Summer sun safety


Two women chat and enjoy the sun.
Photo by: Dana/CC, Flickr

Summer sun safety
Story adapted from HealthLink BC by Patti-Lea Ryan
Edited by Nila Gopaul
Level 2

It is fun to sit or play in the sun.
But, too much sun can be harmful.
We can get sunburned on cloudy days, too.
Too much heat can lead to health problems.
People can get stroke, heat exhaustion,
skin cancer, or eye disease. Continue reading

“In Flanders Fields” poem is 100 years old

Field of poppies (Le champ de coquelicots) Photo: Vincent Brassine/CC, Flickr

Field of poppies (Le champ de coquelicots)
Photo: Vincent Brassine/CC, Flickr

“In Flanders Fields” poem is 100 years old

Adapted from Canadian War Museum and Wikipedia
by Patti-Lea Ryan
Level 3

This year is the 100th anniversary of the writing
of the poem “In Flanders Fields”.
The poem was written in 1915
by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae.

Who was Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae?


Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae and his dog Bonneau, ca.1914
Photo: Canada War Museum

Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae
was a Canadian field doctor.
He was from Guelph, Ontario.

In mid-April 1915, the Canadian Army
moved to Flanders in Belgium.
McCrae was an officer in charge of
a medical aid post.
One of the bloodiest battles of World War I*
was in the fields of Flanders.
McCrae started to write a poem about Flanders.
* World War I (July 28, 1914 – November 11, 1918)

Just two weeks later, McCrae’s good friend was killed.
He buried him in Flanders.
The next day he stood on a back step
of an ambulance at his post.
It was there that McCrae finished the poem.
He had put it aside for months
while helping the sick and dying.

In the autumn of 1915,
McCrae was sent to serve in a hospital in Boulogne.
He sent the poem to a publisher in England.
The publisher rejected it.
So he sent it to a magazine publisher called Punch.
“In Flanders Fields” was published on December 8, 1915.

The poem quickly became very popular with the soldiers.
McCrae continued to serve as a medical officer.
In 1918, Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae
died of pneumonia while serving in  France.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

Why poppies?
Someone, years earlier, noted that poppies grew
on the graves of soldiers.
Due to severe bombing, the soil in Flanders was damaged.
There was a lot of lime on the surface soil.
The poppy was one of the very few plants
that could live there.

Since then, poppies are used as a symbol of remembrance
for fallen soldiers in the fields of Flanders in Belgium.

We remember . . .

The first Remembrance Day poppy. It was made of silk in 1921. Photo: Canadian War Museum

The first Remembrance Day poppy.
It was made of silk in 1921.
Photo: Canadian War Museum


  1. ambulance:  a vehicle used to move a sick
    or injured person to hospital
  2. pneumonia: a very bad lung infection
  3. surface soil: the top layer of dirt
  4. symbol of remembrance: a poppy means to remember
    those who died in war.


  1. CBC:  Remembering 100 years since the icon war poem
  2. CBC for kids – Remembering WWI – by numbers infographic
  3. Ottawa Citizen: “McCrae’s poem In Flanders Fields
    resonates across a century
  4. Global News: Listen and watch –
    Ceremony in Griesbach honours 100th anniversary of poem

Harvest time is the right time for giving thanks

Thanksgiving turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Photo by Steve McFarland/cc, Flickr

Thanksgiving turkey dinner with all the trimmings.
Photo by Steve McFarland/CC, Flickr

Harvest time is the right time for giving thanks
Adapted from Canadian Living: “How to cook a turkey”
and BC Turkey Growers by Patti-Lea Ryan
Level 2

What better time to give thanks?
Farmer’s markets and stores are filled with fresh vegetables.
The vegetables are fresh and colourful.
Carrots, brussels sprouts, broccoli, yams and corn, to name a few.
There is also cranberry sauce in the stores and farmer’s markets.
And maybe even a dessert.
Pumpkin Pie and whipped cream is a good choice.

Steps for roasting a turkey
Step 1:

If your turkey is fresh (not frozen) you can skip this step. Go to Step 2.
Thaw a frozen turkey in its plastic wrapper in the fridge.
Allow for five hours per pound.
Remove the thawed turkey from the plastic cover.

Quicker method: In a sink, cover the turkey with cold water in its plastic wrapper.
Change with fresh cold water every 30 minutes.
Allow one hour per pound.
Remove the thawed turkey from the plastic cover.

A third method is to buy a frozen pre-stuffed turkey.
Stop reading this. Do not thaw the turkey.
Follow the directions on the package very carefully.

Step 2:
Rinse and wipe inside and out with a paper towel.
Stuff the turkey.

Turkey Stuffing
People can put what they like into the stuffing.
There are many recipes.
Below is an easy recipe for a simple and tasty stuffing.
It is my mother’s recipe and my personal favourite.
I use it every year.

Another option is to buy stuffing that is cooked in a pot on the stove.
Use roasting time chart below for unstuffed turkey.

Easy turkey stuffing recipe

Turkey stuffing Photo by Dan Costin/CC, Flickr

Turkey stuffing
Photo by Dan Costin/CC, Flickr

Ingredients to stuff a 10lb – 12lb turkey
5-6 cups bread cubes
¼ cup butter
1 chopped onion
4 chopped celery stalks
6 oz. ground beef or sausage
1 tbsp. Poultry Seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Up to ¼ cup water

Ready for the oven


Roasted turkey
Photo by master phillip/CC, Flickr

Step 3:
Place turkey, breast side up, on rack in a roasting pan.
Brush with melted butter or oil.
Place meat thermometer in the thickest part of the leg.
Cover pan loosely with foil.
Take the foil off and baste every 30 minutes. Replace foil.
Remove foil cover for last hour of roasting. Save foil for next step.
Never under cook a turkey.
Juices should run clear when turkey is pierced.

Step 4: When turkey is done, transfer to warm platter. Remove the stuffing. Tent the turkey with the foil and let stand for 20 to 30 minutes. This allows time for juices at the surface of the bird to distribute evenly throughout the meat.

Pan Gravy
3/4 cup juices from pan
4 cups turkey stock or chicken stock
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

1. Skim fat from pan juices in turkey roasting pan.
2. In the roasting pan, whisk flour, salt and pepper.
3. Cook over medium heat, stirring for 1 minute.
4. Gradually whisk in stock and bring to boil.
5. Reduce heat and simmer, about 5 minutes.
6. Strain through fine sieve into gravy boat.

Video: How to cook a turkey

Video: Pan gravy

To learn more about the care and preparation of a Turkey: