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V8N14 - June 21-July 18, 2010:

Spotlight feature:
Warren Breyfogle
Stonewall, Manitoba

Manitoba Carver, Warren Breyfogle, Donates “Miranda & Jeremiah”
to Grain Elevator Interpretive
Centre in Warren, MB

By Gail Spencer Lamm
Tourism Coordinator
West Interlake Trading Company

Warren Breyfogle with Miranda & Jeremiah

“I decided that because I have lived in the area and because Warren may be starting a museum or something that they would feel at home there. These carvings represent pioneers, which came to Manitoba by ox-cart and settled.”

Warren Breyfogle was born on his grandparent’s farm in Union Point Manitoba (a place Warren says used to exist between Ste. Agathe and Morris on highway 75). It was called Union Point because the Paddle Boat and Stage Coach stopped there (on the Red River). If you go there today you can still see tracks that the stage coach cut into the ground 100 years ago.

Warren lived in Union Point with his family until 1938 (except for a few years that the family spent in Chicago from 1924-28). In 1938 his Father and Grandfather built a new homestead on a farm in the same area.

Warren attended the proverbial “one room school house” where one teacher taught 36 children, (every grade from 1-8) and graduated from grade 8 when he was 13 years old. He proudly states, “I never had a day of high school.” His many skills are mainly self-taught and it sounds like he has always been a very creative and industrious person.

Warren started running the family farm when he was 14 and joined the Air Force when he was 20. There, he worked as an aero-engine mechanic until the end of the 2nd World War, in 1946. After the war, Warren qualified to attend University and got his diploma in Agriculture at the University of Manitoba.

After University, Warren went back to his family farm, got married to Joyce Gluck in 1951 and raised 7 children with her. In 1953 his brother took over the farm and Warren moved to Winnipeg where he went into “sales” which caused him to travel extensively.

When Joyce fell ill and had to be hospitalized for a year, Warren stayed closer to home to care for his children. Eventually, Joyce got out of the hospital and Warren purchased another farm and moved the family to Rosser, Manitoba. “My wife just loved gardening.” In Rosser he took a very active interest in youth and sports. He helped to run recreation programs, coached, organized field days, dances and skating evenings. As he himself puts it, “I did it all!”

Joyce and Warren lived happily in Rosser, which he felt was “an ideal place to raise and educate a family.” (Rosser is located on the northwest boundary of Winnipeg.)

In 1963, he and Joyce retired, and they moved to a little cottage in Sandy Hook from where they enjoyed traveling to distant lands. They spent thirteen winters going to Texas where he started carving at the age of 75 or so. “I took to it very well and got a lot of satisfaction out of it,” he said.

Eventually Warren was approached by the seniors club at Gimli New Horizons and was asked to consider becoming a carving instructor. This worked out well with the carving group topping out at 25 people. He also instructed several other programs and entered many carving competitions winning in both Canada and the U.S. Eventually, he limited himself to doing carving on consignment only and over the years he has carved hundreds of pieces.

At time of writing in 2010 Warren is 88 years old and Joyce has passed away. Warren now lives in Stonewall’s Lion’s Manor and only does very “special” assignments.

Warren has had many interests over his lifetime and has been what you might call a true Renaissance Man. He says that carving is very “enjoyable, relaxing, and takes my full concentration” and laughs, “it takes your mind off of all your problems.” Now Warren gets most of his enjoyment in life by helping others.

 “I carved these because I felt it was something that very few people would or could do and I had something to prove to myself.” Most of Warren’s other carvings are much smaller than Miranda and Jeremiah and have been sold or given to friends and family. “I decided that because I have lived in the area and because the West Interlake Trading Company may be starting an interpretive centre or something, that they would feel at home there. These carvings represent pioneers, which came to Manitoba by Ox-cart and settled in Vita.”

In the photo of Warren Breyfogle with Miranda & Jeremiah, the two amazing pieces of hand-carved folk art were made from one tree, cut down in 1998 on 5th Avenue in Sandy Hook. The wood was left to season for 3 years before it was cut into 8-foot lengths and stored to season indoors for another 2 years. The carving was mainly done by chainsaw, with more delicate finishing touches done by hand. They were left in their natural state, mostly unpainted, until this past winter when they were completed for the Grain Elevator Museum/Interpretive Centre in Warren.

Warren states, “If things do not develop like I hope they will in Warren, Miranda and Jeremiah are to be relocated.” The Woodlands Pioneer Museum would be another great choice for their home.

To visit Warren’s larger than life carvings, come to the Warren Country Market & Grain Elevator.

(Read more in the Jun 21 -Jul 18/2010 issue of Senior Scope)


Can you spot the Con Artist?

Most of us believe we could spot a con artist as we have preconceived ideas of what they look like, how they walk, and more importantly how they talk. But if identifying this type of criminal is so easy then why do Canadians
continually fall for their pitch?

The truth is anyone could be a con artist. If you think they are male, mid- forties, well dressed, and well spoken, think again. The only constant with con artists is they’re deceptive and want your money. No matter what the pitch is the end result will be a request or demand for your money either in the form of cash, cheque, money order, or wire transfer.

Although most fraudsters complete their pitches over the phone or on the internet some still prefer face to face interaction with their victim. Unlike a thief who steals your wallet for its contents, the con artist convinces you to hand over the contents. They will say anything to build your trust and play on personal information acquired from you in

The following are some of the more common red flags which may suggest you are being conned:

They only want you to pay in cash: Legitimate businesses would never refuse an alternate form of payment.

You only have today to get this “great deal”: A common theme is pressure and they will try to get you committed without thinking about it.

Confidentiality : Ask yourself, why does this deal have to be secret? Be suspicious if you’re asked not to talk to anyone else about it.

If you’re being offered a deal that is too good to be true, then it probably is. If you’ve been approached by an unknown person who claims to know you from the past or is a long lost relative share this information with friends and family. Above all, don’t part with your money or personal information unless you’re absolutely certain you know who you’re dealing with.

Cst. Ben Doiron
Winnipeg RCMP
Commercial Crime Section

(Read more in the Jun 21 -Jul 18/2010 issue of Senior Scope)

Financial Planning Solutions

Investing for Cash flow
How to Generate Steady, Tax-Friendly Income From Your Portfolio

BRIAN G. KONRAD CFP, Financial Consultant

After a lifetime of hard work, you’ve arrived. Now that you’re retired or fast approaching retirement, it’s time to review your financial plan to consider what your future income needs will be. Some of your expenses, like mortgage payments, will likely be lower. Others, like travel or medical expenses, may be higher.

And, if you’re like a growing number of Canadians, you’re looking to generate capital appreciation and a steady, tax-friendly cash flow from your investment portfolio. How do you get there from here?

Getting there

To identify your cash flow needs, you first need to consider what sort of lifestyle you hope to lead throughout retirement and, based on your financial resources, determine how to reach your goals.

A cash flow analysis is an effective way to gain a clearer understanding of your retirement picture. This analysis includes a review of all income you will receive from various sources such as OAS, CPP, company pension plans, and income you may receive from an investment plan. On the opposite side of the ledger, you will want to review all expected expenses.

The purpose of this analysis is to show the cash flow you will have available to support your retirement lifestyle. See Figure 1.

Your retirement income strategy

Once you have examined your cash flow needs for the future, we will customize an investment strategy targeted at achieving a consistent level of cash flow that will support your lifestyle. Quite often this will entail making adjustments to your current investment portfolio as retirement is a time when investors need to protect their investment assets that have grown over the years. So it is not uncommon to reduce exposure to assets that are geared towards long-term capital growth and shift towards financial products that primarily focus on providing you with income.

So called “safe haven” investments like bonds, mortgages and guaranteed investment certificates have been the product solution to meet cash flow needs since they typically offer the lowest price volatility. But they also typically produce the lowest relative return and can have immediate tax implications. The problem with this tradeoff is that while you may be protecting your capital, you are not adequately protecting your purchasing power which could decline rather rapidly due to the ever present effects of inflation. To support your retirement lifestyle you will likely have to move beyond the relative stability of guaranteed income securities into investments that offer the potential for greater returns and potential tax efficiency.

Balancing your income needs with your risk comfort level can be challenging. That’s why one of the more effective methods used to meet cash flow needs is to take a portfolio approach. With this approach we can not only structure a well balanced investment portfolio that meets your cash flow needs, but also give consideration to protecting purchasing power by seeking moderate capital growth.

With a portfolio designed to meet your objectives we can combine investments in such a way that the income flow received is derived from a number of different asset types that produce different types of income.

Investors Group offers a complete selection of dividend funds designed to provide a stable and steady income stream, and considerable capital growth specifically to support individuals in retirement.

Once we have determined your optimal investment portfolio, your investment strategy should give some consideration to how you will withdraw cash flow from your portfolio. Taking a fixed dollar amount at regular intervals is certainly the simplest method, but during periods of market declines it accelerates the draw down of capital and increases the possibility of outliving your nest egg. As long as you are still able to meet your expenses, a slight variation could entail taking out a fixed percentage at regular intervals. This improves the capital preservation capability of your portfolio, as you take less out in down market cycles.

By working together, you and I can appropriately gauge your future cash flow needs and eliminate any complexities in designing and managing your investment portfolio. Through investment alternatives such as the Alto™ Monthly Income Portfolios, Investors Group offers investment planning solutions that are geared for steady cash flow, and can help protect your purchasing power.

Financial Consultant
(204) 489-4640 ext. 246

Stephanie Graham
(204) 489-4640 ext. 267

This report specifically written and published by Investors Group is presented as a general source of information only, and is not intended as a solicitation to buy or sell specific investments, nor is it intended to provide legal advice. Prospective investors should review the annual report, simplified prospectus, and annual information form of any fund carefully before making an investment decision. Clients should discuss their situation with their Consultant for advice based on their specific circumstances. Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated.
™Trademark owned by IGM Financial Inc. and licensed to its subsidiary corporations.
“Investing for Cash flow” ©2007 Investors Group Inc. (07/2007) MP1063

(Read more in the Jun 21 -Jul 18/2010 issue of Senior Scope)

William J. Thomas

The healing farm in Morris, Manitoba -
How barnyard animals teach people how to live

Ray and Dianne Shaw live on a 25-acre menagerie near Morris, Manitoba which they call a hobby farm. They should refer to it as a healing farm. Their rural homestead, bordered by the infamous Red River became the focus of international media attention recently when a couple of four-footed residents came together to create an improbable family of two.

Sheeba, the baby lamb was born to Moon, the mother sheep, who rejected him almost immediately. Nobody knows why this kind of birth betrayal or maternal disowning happens. But it might explain Russell Crowe.

So Sheeba is suddenly sheepdip out of luck as far as surviving goes when into the barn saunters Sunny, the Shaw’s three-year-old golden lab with a disposition that matches her name. Sunny was a mother once herself several years ago, so she knew exactly what to do.

Sunny simply and morphed into the motherhood role. She nudged, licked and snuggled the little black baby lamb until the newborn felt he was alive and loved. And then, in front of the rest of the barnyard crew, Sunny suckled the rejected offspring of the farm’s only adult lamb.

Boggling minds that look to science for answers, Sunny produced enough milk to nourish the lamb and allow him to live. Sheeba, the male newborn lamb, so named by a family friend who is not particularly good at gender reckoning is most definitely going to live. Indeed, with Sunny at his side, he’s thriving. They romp around the hobby farm together, yellow lab and black lamb garnering very surprised looks from the geese which, as you know, mate for life. (For the record, Ray and I disagreed on the monogamy of geese. He believes they are life partners until death. I believe if geese could afford lawyers, they’d never mate for life.)

Night and day, together the dog and the lamb look a lot like Ebony & Ivory:

Now Sunny has a baby lamb,
Whose fleece is black as coal,
And everywhere that Sunny rocks,
Sheeba’s sure to roll.

Moon, the biological mother is going to need an animal ethics lawyer to get her son back now.

“Do you keep sheep for their wool?” I asked Ray, hoping the answer was not ‘for meat’!

“No, actually I hate to cut grass,” he replied. Ray’s an accountant who doesn’t waste words or money.

Sheeba is now two months old and fast becoming the size of Sunny, his surrogate mother. Sunny’s in for a bit of a bad surprise right about now because according to Ray, the lamb is now “teething”. OUCH! Yet, in one more month, Sheeba will be able to take a bottle and after that watering hole.

Past this little miracle of cross-species nurturing, there’s a lot more happening on Ray and Dianne Shaw’s 25-acre hobby farm along the banks of the Red River. There’s that watering hole.

“Funny,” said Ray, “but I’ll bring in a hen and that chicken has a distinct personality. And then I’ll introduce a rooster to the farm and the hen’s personality changes. Then I brought a goose here, pretty vicious at first and the rooster protected the hen so that they changed too.”

Inside the fence, Ray explained they all get along – the chickens, the geese, the ducks, the ginny hens, the wild turkeys, the sheep, the dog and oh yeah, Holly the donkey. (Think “Babe”, the movie, with the animals playing non-speaking roles.)

“We all drink from the same watering hole,” said Ray.

“It’s very loose, very calm around here with all the animals mingling,” added Ray’s wife Dianne.

“Holly’s the leader of them all,” said Ray. The irony of an ass being the leader of this barnyard zoo and the guy in charge of that federal circus in Ottawa was not lost on either of us.

Outside the fence, Ray discovered another level of companionship. He was asked to assemble a little petting display at Morris’ annual stampede.

“I thought a few people might drop by, but crowds began to form. You could see the natural joy people felt petting the animals. The humans really let down their guard. The animals couldn’t wait to go back to the fair.”

One particular kid, Ray described as having a “rotten personality” just melted into a giggling softie as he stroked the rabbit in his lap.

But there’s a lot more going on inside the Shaw’s fence than meets the eye of even Holly, the lead of this unlikely band of waddling brothers and cackling sisters.

In their 60’s, both Ray and Dianne suffer from depression.

“I tried all manner of assistance including those self-help tapes by Tony Robbins,” recalls Ray.

But nothing helped bring Ray and Dianne out of their dark moods like the animals around them.

“Just the way they react with each other, just watching them all get along and occasionally help each other … like Sunny and Sheeba … well, it takes the bad stuff away.”

And then Ray repeated a line I’d like to hear every delegate to the United Nations recite in unison: “We all drink from the same watering hole.”

Ray and Dianne’s adventures at animal farm have confirmed what I’ve been saying for years – that cohabiting with animals strips away the self-importance of people, that caring for our pets replaces our egos with a greater purpose and badly needed humbling. The love we have for our pets is unconditional. The love we have for each other sometimes requires a prenuptial agreement.

Pets, they drive us crazy and they make us better people.

William J. Thomas lives in Wainfleet, Ont.
For comments, ideas and copies of The True Story of Wainfleet go to

(Read more in the Jun 21 -Jul 18/2010 issue of Senior Scope)





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Senior Scope
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