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Dorm Registries? Really?

“Move over brides and expectant moms: Now college-bound kids want to be showered with gifts also!”

This is a direct quote from a recent CNN article that heralds yet another clever marketing ploy dreamt up, no doubt, by some highly paid retail chain CEO who happens to have one or more offspring heading off to college this year. READ

The joys of fall

My days of yore were always crazy daze around the autumnal equinox. The rig was a constant confusion of fishing tackle, waders, dogs and their gear, decoy bags, shotguns, shells. …. When we left on a Saturday morning, we seldom knew where we were going or what we’d be doing: some fall fly fishing, maybe, grouse hunting, perhaps, water fowling, what? Sometimes all of the above. They tell me it is even better, now that Sunday hunting is lawful in most of the province. READ

Regrouping after snow fall

A huge dump of wet snow early in the fall or late spring always damages trees and shrubs. The excess weight from the wet snow coats leaves and branches and, as a result, the branches begin to succumb to gravity and bend towards the ground. READ

Living a better life story

“Look at me, Opi,” Alexis cried. “I’m Rapunzel.” With that, my granddaughter twirled around in a circle — the long and colourful ribbons she had tied in her hair wrapping around her body. She stopped to study the situation. READ

Be prepared to distract the child on the sidelines

As Jamie and I stood in line at the community centre waiting to sign the babes up for their new after-school activity of gymnastics, I daydreamed of Lars becoming a world class Olympic gymnast. READ

The value of the outdoor classroom

Children belong outdoors. We know this intuitively, but now an extensive and ever-growing body of research supports it. Kids who spend time outside every day are healthier, happier, more creative, less stressed and more alert than those who don’t. Several recent studies even show time in nature or green space helps reduce ADHD symptoms. READ

When and where to throw a snit

Wednesday, 6 a.m.: Alarm clock sounds. I am heading to Sarnia, Ont., of all places, carrying five bags of photo gear. Extra baggage charges give me a stomach ache. READ

Emotional eating? Make peace with your food

Take a deep breath. Now exhale. It’s OK. You’re aloud to enjoy your food! You’re allowed to indulge in the satisfaction of eating your food. In fact, this is what you should do! READ

A message for Prentice

Hon. Jim Prentice, premier: Congratulations, although it is beyond me why a man would leave a good and accomplished life to attempt cleaning up the mess your party and this province are in. READ

Growing season cut short by snow

An early snowfall and wet, cold weather has put an end to the growing season. All tender plants and crops were either brought inside or lost to the cold. READ

Quit using quality farmland for neighbourhoods

Speaking as a farmer, I can see that society has no concern for the agricultural community, after reading the article in the Sept. 3, 2014, Advocate (Councillors excited by ‘naturally exquisite’ neighbourhood)! READ

If these walls could talk

A bellow commences, shrieks of horror surround me, and the quiet ambiance has swiftly gone astray. Soon, time will mean nothing. In these next 12 hours all that will occupy the mind is survival, sanity, and the obscure knowledge that it must come to an end at some point. I am the canvas that has been coloured on one too many times. I am the one who stands idly by while being battered in outbreaks of a violent tantrum. I am the one who can remember but never reminisce with another living being. READ

Self-esteem and career choice

“It’s a different world today,” said Oma. “Women have many more opportunities.” Years ago, my mother-in-law, Gisela, and I were sharing a conversation over coffee while my four-year-old daughter, Heidi played on the floor between us. “Oma” was a title Gisela wore like a crown. The word meant grandmother but to Gisela it was an official title: matriarch of the family. Oma had an opinion on everything and usually the evidence to back it up. READ

Have you been ice bucketed yet?

It’s funny how certain things catch on, isn’t it? Like the pet rock, mood rings, deep fried mini donuts and the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party. READ

An opportunity to speak out

The downside of receiving a Canada’s Recreational Fishing Award (plaque and medal) by mail instead of being able to get to a ceremony where Department of Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea, herself, might even be making the presentation, is that you don’t get to make a speech. READ

Fall doesn’t mean the end of flowers

Annual are the only plants that can flower from the time they are planted in spring until the freeze in the fall. Even with the best of care, they can start looking old by the end of August. READ

How sea levels could rise dramatically

“How climate hysterics hurt their own cause.” — September 2014 headline from The Atlantic magazine I get side-tracked easily. I read The Atlantic article and was going to do a column on coal versus oil in the CO2 emissions debate (the author, Charles C. Mann, stated that coal was a much bigger worry). READ

The importance of the Oomph

Today I want to write about my Oomph. Now don’t get ahead of yourself people, “Oomph” isn’t some weirdo code word for my lady parts or something equally uncomfortable that I would probably write about. No, “Oomph” is something much more important. READ

The love of good storytelling

“You tell the story, Jerry,” she said. “It’s always better when you tell it.” “Oh, I don’t know about that,” Jerry replied. “It’s still the same old story.” “But you make it fun,” she said. “You make the story come alive.” READ

The more things stay the same

I’ve always felt like September is the beginning of the year. Not that I have a New Year’s Eve party on Aug. 31 or anything, it’s just that after many years in the compulsory public school system (attempting to graduate) and many subsequent years in the party school system (university) (also attempting somehow to graduate), it’s been sort of ingrained that the start of each new school year feels like the start a whole new year for me. READ

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