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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.

The problem is, he started sleeping with me when he was a baby and still does it. I have addressed this issue several times and told him he’s too old to crawl into bed with Grammie. But he cries and pleads with me, saying how much he loves me, and that he wouldn’t be able to sleep otherwise. I always give in, because deep down, I’m happy to have him with me. 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

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

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

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

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

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

Protein – how much?

Next to water, the next highest source of molecules in the body is protein — an essential macronutrient required for growth and repair of cells, including hair, skin, organs, and of course muscle. It is required for stabilizing blood sugar levels, building strong bones, balanced brain chemistry and needed for endurance and strength. When broken down into their building blocks of amino acids, they are required as precursors to hormones, immune response, and even the formation of nucleic acids such as your very own DNA. READ

Creating a garden expresses individuality

Why garden? Is it to: create a beautiful area, increase the value of the property, produce food, or relax? These are just a few reasons people garden. Why people garden is as individual as the garden they create. READ

Tales of a fisherman ... really

Last September, I wrote my worries that friend and angling author John Gierach was reported as “unaccounted for” by Colorado authorities in the wake of the huge floods that had hit the St. Vrain River, the town of Lyons, and the nearby area of Colorado where Gierach lives. READ

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