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Give body the help it needs

By the time we’re 30 years old and beyond, our lives have undergone a great deal of change. Often we are on our second career, we’re starting a family — whatever it is, it’s safe to say life has really changed.

For most of us through our mid-20s to our mid-60s, much of our time is spent on our working life. READ

Cowboy Welfare article riles

The recent “Cowboy Welfare” column has drawn more reader response than any of the many other times I have written on the subject in the past 40 or so years. To be clear, I refer to the highly unusual practice of the Alberta government in permitting the oil, gas, etc., surface disturbance payments on Alberta public land grazing leases to be paid to the leaseholder, rather than to the owner of that land: we the people of Alberta. And trying to find out how much that costs us annually and in total over the years since it got started. READ

Homeowners can do more to prevent fire

Every fall, fire departments encourage people to replace the batteries in their fire detectors and make sure they are working. In the summer, campers are asked to be careful when camping and to make sure the campfire is out. During times of dry weather, open fires are banned. All are good preventive methods to help the community as a whole. READ

Grandma should not give in to grandson’s bedtime demands

Dear Annie: I am very close to my 12-year-old grandson. His family life is not good, and since his parents live nearby, the boy is at my house more often than not. READ

Choice typical of sandwich generation

Question: We’re considering taking my elderly mother into our home, rather than placing her in a nursing facility. READ

What we know: Is it truth or perception?

“You’re wrong,” he said. “I see everything clearly.” “You just told me that the world is a scary place.” “And I’m right,” he replied. “Just look around you.” READ

Little ones learn an ugly word

We have all heard it, the age old saying, ‘Hate is an ugly word.’ I had never taken much thought to the adage before though, because I too have been guilty of using the word. READ

Healthy trade-offs need to be done right

Dear Annie: I am quite a bit overweight. My 29-year-old daughter is concerned that I might have a heart attack and die on her. Meanwhile, she has been smoking cigarettes since she was 16 years old. READ

Rethinking Old Reliable: The Banana

One of the food staples in my house is bananas. READ

Dad should be teaching kids respect

Dear Annie: My husband keeps telling our sons they can do whatever they want when I tell them “no,” and that they don’t need to listen to me. He is never on my side. The kids make fun of me and call me names, and Dad doesn’t seem to care. READ

How thermoelectric generators work

Thermoelectric generators produce electricity by harnessing heat. Thermocouples and thermopiles are the most familiar types, notably so, to those who have ever fixed a hot water tank or furnace when it refused to stay lit. READ

Mexico’s Snowbirds

Like many other winter-weary Albertans, I had the recent good fortune to savour a week of sun in Mexico. Our destination was Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa on the Pacific coast. READ

Put your body back into proper balance

OK, this may be weird but just do it: go to the mirror and take off your shirt. Don’t look in the mirror! At least not yet. Close your eyes, take a really deep breath, let it out slowly and really relax. Now looking straight ahead, open your eyes and look at your shoulders. Notice if they are level with one another, if they are the same size and shape and if your head is straight, turned or tilted. READ

Hopes, ideas for the garden

After my gloomy April 3 trip west, I’m having a hard time believing how fast those record snows are disappearing. The downside is the reader reports I’m getting of mud in every flowing river and stream, ending any good ice-out fishing. On the upside for another outdoors recreation: green shoots of the garlic cloves we planted last September started showing above their mulch on April 10, the earliest ever; last year, it was May 1. READ

Have we forgotten how to eat?

We now live in a world that has more diets out there than ever before. Everything from the Paleo diet, the Hormone diet, to juicing and 10-day diets. READ

Coming to understand unsettled spring weather

Back in the frigid depths of March, we visited my sister’s family in Calgary. And as we were about to leave, my brother-in-law took a look out of the window. Knowing my environmentalist sympathies, he couldn’t resist a jab: “Well, it looks like Al Gore is going to have to give us our money back.” READ

What’s in that bag? Soil products examined

Any time now, pallets of bagged soil products will be appearing in garden centres. Deciphering the differences and what they are best used for is a challenge. READ

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

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