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Goal setting tips for spring and summer seasons

With the spring season around the corner, some of you are already thinking about what goal setting you should be doing for the months ahead.

If you’ve put on a few pounds over the winter like most people have, getting leaner so you’re ready to wear those summer clothes and swimsuits is likely a part of your goal set. READ

Food for burnout

Whether it be via career expectations, motherly or relationship demands, or physical overexertion at the gym, burnout occurs when we have exhausted ourselves either physically or mentally of our resources and become depleted. READ

Time to act on Alberta’s cougar problem

After a decade of writing about Alberta’s cougar overpopulation problems, I know we’re really in trouble when the lead story for April 6 in the Calgary Herald is headlined “Cougar encounters on the rise across Alberta … even in cities,” and the lead editorial the next day is titled Wildlife warnings. READ

Know the benefits of container gardening

Gardening in containers allows people to garden where plants would not naturally grow. This can be anywhere but container gardening is used mostly on patios, balconies, entrances or in areas where other plants dominate. READ

The power of gratitude

“Oh no,” I whispered. “Oh please no.” It wasn’t a great day to be driving. Snow was falling and the roads were glazed with ice. I had slowed from my usual 115 to less than 80 km/h. Even still, I could feel the tires on my SUV occasionally lose traction. On my left a car edged past travelling only barely faster, raising a column of snow that all but obscured my view. I took a deep breath and relaxed my grip slightly on the steering wheel. It would be OK. I would be OK. Just breathe. READ

Adventures of a mid-night wakeup call

It is three o’clock in the morning. My eyeballs are stinging and lack their necessary moisture. The smell of pungent urine assaults my nostrils. I was awoken several minutes ago by a waif-looking four-year-old staring into my soul from the side of the bed. Her hair perpendicular, astray. Her eyes are wild and unpredictable. READ

Signs of the season

Somebody gave me a new saying for weather times like these: “If we get April in March, we’ll get March in April.” Similar, that one, to my favourite: “If we don’t get winter when we should, we’ll get it when we shouldn’t.” READ

Following the Norwegian example

You know that awful feeling that hits when you realize that you’ve lost something really valuable? Like a wallet that’s no longer in a pocket? Or a bicycle that’s no longer locked to a bike rack? Or the initial bounce of an exceedingly small car part that flies out of your hand and disappears into the dust and grime of the garage floor? READ

Enjoy the weather but don’t rush spring

Warm weather lures people outside. Gardeners have a strong desire to get active and speed the season along. There are two cautions: One, start slowly and vary the activities and muscle groups used. By doing this, there is less strain on one set of muscles and less chance of injury. READ

Shelterbelts can be a good investment

Old shelterbelts or parts of them dot the Alberta landscape, a reminder of previous houses, farms and homesteads. Shelterbelts were put in place to protect yards from the prevailing winds. Belts of trees planted on the north and west sides offer protection from the winter winds while east and southern trees one are used to defer hot summer ones. READ

Chasing fly hatches

Friend and reader Todd Irwin of Patricia emailed a hard question during his nine weeks of fishing in New Zealand, Australia and Tasmania this winter: “A New Zealand couple, Mick and Julie, are coming to Canada and the U.S. on the May long weekend for seven weeks and want to try some dry fly fishing.” READ

Will sportfishing be unsustainable?

The cover of the 2015 Alberta Guide to Sportfishing Regulations brought an agonized, involuntary groan from deep within me: a gorgeous portrait of a native fish — an Arctic grayling — a too-frequent sign in recent years of another native species in such trouble that yet another zero limit is being imposed on anglers. READ

Dahlia season is on the horizon

Those who walked through Bower Place mall last fall when the Alberta Dahlia and Glad Society were hosting their annual show know what these flowers look like at their best. They are magnificent and easy to grow. Every garden should boast a few. Start with good roots or tubers. READ

Everything was my fault

I woke up with a start. I was dreaming that in some perverse and twisted universe, my husband’s stinky work clothes had gotten mixed in with my whites. READ

Beware of false wisdom and those who peddle it

“I’m not sure I can answer that,” I replied, “without sounding self-important.” I was talking with a friend about life and he surprised me by asking if I considered myself a wise person. It reminded me of the Zen paradox about enlightenment: the moment you think you’re enlightened, you’re not. I told him I thought wisdom was a journey and not a destination. READ

A cold remedy that uses ingredients grown in Alberta gardens

This past couple of weeks, I have been making a traditional cold remedy called fire cider with people who are looking for alternatives to over-the-counter cold medicine. Fire cider is a remedy one makes in the fall, during harvest. All the ingredients but two (and if need be, these can be eliminated from the remedy) are grown in Alberta gardens. READ

Stop fungi, viruses and pests in autumn

In late spring, summer and early fall, deciduous trees and shrubs are covered in leaves. During this time, yellow leaves, dead leaves and dead branches are tell-tale signs that the plant is not healthy. READ

What it takes to stay committed to your health

Real commitment doesn’t always have to be about sacrifice — or does it? When it comes to your health, where do we draw the line between having our cake and eating it, too, to avoid the self-defeating behaviour of not allowing ourselves certain indulgences? And when should we hold true to a commitment to our health and our well-being and ensure our bodies are getting the best treatment possible — no sugar, no alcohol, no processed foods? READ

Stories to help deal with the season of sickness

This week I launch my book, The Herbal Apprentice: Plant Medicine and The Human Being. Because it is the season of coughs, sore throats and colds, I thought three plant stories from the book might be of interest. READ

Energy booms often outpace infrastructure

Bakken and Eagle Ford, of course, refer to the huge shale oil fields in North Dakota and Texas, which use fracking technology to get oil and gas out of the ground. The quote is somewhat flippant, but it merely echoes what the U.S. Energy Information Agency is saying. The EIA is the government’s main cheerleader for the shale oil revolution, but even it admits that production will peak in 2021 and then go downhill from there. READ

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