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Stepmother sick of stepson freeloading off parents

Dear Annie: My stepson, “Louis,” is 45 years old, has been unemployed for the past 10 years (he never gets along with his bosses or co-workers) and got busted for DUI, for which he underwent court-appointed treatment and had his licence revoked for five years.

When his dad and I married, we moved into my home, and Louis moved into his father’s place with the stipulation that he would get a job and pay rent and utilities. We are still paying the mortgage and taxes. Louis moved his girlfriend (now wife) into the house. She works full time. READ

Kids love outings

The sun is finally shining, the birds are chirping their spring time melody and everyone is itching to get outside to enjoy the wonderful weather. Especially the little ones in our lives. READ

Making the case against the use of marijuana

Question: What’s wrong with marijuana? Personally, I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t be legalized. Jim: Your viewpoint is gaining support, as evidenced by voter approval legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Colorado and Washington. Public opinion aside, my concerns are rooted in the well-documented facts of what pot does to the person who uses it. READ

When you feel hope slipping, reflect on the good things

“It’s hard to remain hopeful,” he said, “as you grow older.” I thought about the statement and wondered if it could be true. “When you’re young, life is filled with endless possibilities.” I was chatting with an older friend who admitted to feeling his sense of hope and possibility dwindling while anxiety and hopelessness increased as the years advanced. READ

Don’t subsidize freeloading son’s lifestyle

Dear Annie: My 26-year-old son graduated from college three years ago. He worked for his father for one year, worked on a marijuana farm for one year and has been living off of his savings for the past eight months. He hasn’t been looking for a job. He says he doesn’t want to work for someone else. READ

Cold frames are another way to stay frost free

Central Alberta has on average 90 frost-free days per year. For many vegetables, this is long enough for the vegetable to mature if the seed is planted directly in the ground in early spring. READ

A rare missed opening day for fishing season

For the first time in many years, I missed my annual April Fool’s, opening-day (spring bear and fishing seasons) giant slalom up and down 30 km of roads tracking along North Raven River searching for signs of spring. READ

Preferred seasonal dining

Many traditional cuisines espouse the wisdom of eating seasonally. This style of dining is my preference. On a winter’s day, hardy stews and soups simmer in my crock pot. With long dark nights, their savoury scent fills the house, and promises warmth for my body and spirit. As the light returns, and the sun’s warmth begins to melt the snow, I crave salads. In particular, flower petal salad. Yet before adding flowers, I always begin with mineral-rich greens. READ

Get crackin' for Easter

Eggs are synonymous with Easter and spring — they symbolize birth, rebirth and renewal. In keeping with this thinking, it only seemed appropriate to give the egg a new life in the kitchen, too. Eggs have been boxed in as a breakfast food or a baking ingredient. But if they’re given some consideration, they really are a versatile protein that can easily replace the meat portion on the dinner plate. READ

Grandmas on the march

In sub-Sahara Africa, orphans are raised by aging grandmothers — a prevalent generation gap caused by the widespread effect of AIDS. Red Deer grandmother Chris Hume bore witness to the aftermath that this deadly disease has on families in these impoverished nations during her trip to Africa from March 1 to 17. READ

Cultural crossroads

There are several Texas towns that were built by German immigrants and as I sit inside an authentic biergarten in the little town of Fredericksburg, I can’t help thinking that I like what they’ve done with the place. READ

It’s a rotten world; use it, don’t throw it away!

No melon rinds or coffee grinds go into the trash in Brie Guenther’s home. The 28-year-old and her fiancé Nathan Schmidt have been composting for almost a year now, thanks to a program from the City of Red Deer. “It fits with our lifestyle. We’re trying to grow more of our own food and plan to have a big garden one day,” said Guenther, a property manager at Sunreal Property Management Ltd. “Reducing our household waste was another big motivator for us . . . We don’t even fill up an entire garbage bag in a week anymore.” READ

Photos depict life of rangers in 1940s

Working as a ranger in the 1940s in Clearwater County meant living year-round in the forest, and travelling by horseback to ranger cabins along the trails. READ

Medical groups produce list of overused tests

A new campaign has been launched that aims to give Canadians appropriate medical care, but not excessive care. READ

Monopoly fans choose house rules for new edition

No rent collection while in jail, double the dough for landing on Go and clean out Free Parking if your luck takes you there are among five made-up Monopoly rules Facebook fans voted in for future editions of the board game. READ

Sole winner of $425-million lottery jackpot comes forward

The sole winner of February’s $425 million Powerball jackpot came forward to claim his prize Tuesday. California Lottery officials said B. Raymond Buxton, a Northern California retiree, claimed the prize at the California Lottery headquarters in Sacramento. Buxton was wearing a shirt that featured a picture of Yoda and read, “Luck of the Jedi I have,” according to lottery officials. READ

Alberta’s bear whisperer says society has it wrong

For 10 years, Charlie Russell lived the majority of his life with the big-pawed, thick-necked kings of the forest. He’s gone fishing side by side with a Kermode bear, run his hands through the hairs of Russian brown bears, one of the world’s largest bear species, and been left in charge of a handful of their cubs. READ

Employee doesn’t feel comfortable with new work incentive

Dear Annie: I’m 18 years old. I work two jobs to save money for college next year, one during the week and the other at a coffee shop on the weekends. READ

Soda wars move to flavoured sparkling waters

he soda wars appear to be shifting to another corner of the beverage industry — sparkling, flavoured waters. A report released Monday shows U.S. soda sales fell at an accelerated pace last year, extending a streak of declines that began in 2005. But people are apparently developing a taste for another type of sweet, carbonated beverage. READ

Pride mixed with sadness at the close of Canada’s mission in Afghanistan

There is not a day that goes by that Lacombe native Paul Szabunio says he doesn’t think about Afghanistan. Lt.-Col. Szabunio, currently the commanding officer of the Royal Canadian Artillery’s 7th Toronto Regiment, served six months in Afghanistan in 2011, working extensively with the training program for the Afghan National Police primarily out of Kandahar Airfield. READ

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