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New growth: sure sign of spring

Spring will soon be here.

One sure sign are the indoor plants reacting to longer days by putting out new growth. READ

Labrador tea can calm the mind

The other day, a friend gave me a small bottle of an infused oil made with flowers from Labrador tea. READ

Happiness, success and self-esteem

As with a lot of people, I’ve taken to watching TED Talks. If you’re not familiar with TED Talks, I encourage you to search for the talks on the Internet and watch the ones that intrigue you. In official terms, TED is “a global set of conferences run by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation under the motto, ideas worth spreading.” In general terms, TED Talks are insightful, inspiring speeches READ

Printer problems never go away

First off, if you are looking for the other three in this tale you may be disappointed — today it’s more of a “me” piece. A few days ago, I found myself with a hankering to work on one of my dusty fiction yarns. I decided that printing off a first draft sci-fi piece I’d been toiling with for the last few years would be a great start. I could touch up on some revision and editing skills. READ

Lots of bad news for outdoors people

It doesn’t matter that, in the midst of a soft winter, with sunlight and its warmth increasing, this always seems to be cabin-fever, shack-nasty season for Alberta outdoors people where the bad news just keeps piling on. READ

Can’t beat fresh fruit and vegetables from the garden

Vegetables straight from the garden have a much different flavour than those that are mass produced, packaged, stored and shipped to market. If the availability and cost were the same, people will choose garden fresh every time. Cost, land and availability play a big role in what people eat. READ

Hard finding a little bit of personal time

It seems to me that telephone use and/or important work of any kind must give off a high-frequency pitch that only dogs and children can hear. Dogs, because they seem to be able to hear things of this nature. Kids, because, well, have you ever answered an important phone call in the close vicinity of a child? READ

The power of play and its innumerable benefits

I had gotten home late from work and was greeted at the door by my eight-year-old granddaughter, Alexis. It had been an especially trying day and I was exhausted and frustrated. She led me by the hand into the living room and sat down next to me on the chesterfield. “How was your day, Opi?” she asked (Opi being a variation of Opa or Grandfather). READ

Memories of an old friend

The miracle of birth is that it generally happens on time, in the same way and is always awesome; the older I get, the more conscious I am that the debacle of death can come any time in life and in a myriad of ways, most of them awful. READ

A guide to different types of seed labels

Thinking of purchasing seeds either for bedding out plants or the garden? It can be confusing with the different labels: GMO, hybridized, F1, F2, heirloom and organic. READ

Herbal medicine for the ovaries

The Taoists, an ancient wisdom tradition from China, believe that a woman’s life force flows from her ovaries. READ

In awe of educators from kindergarten to university

The last few articles I’ve written, about the kids and school, possibly came off in a bit of a negative light. Today, I’d like to set a few things straight. READ

When those old emotions rise to the surface

“That’s him,” said Jerry, motioning with his head. “That’s the guy.” “That’s him?” replied Jerry’s wife. “That’s Dale? That’s the bully?” Jerry was attending his 25-year high school reunion with wife, Marion. She had hear many stories over the years about Dale, the vicious high school bully. In the telling and retelling, Dale had taken on an almost mythical quality. READ

Grouchy? Blame it on the Bummer Gene

So I was pretty grouchy the other day on account of I was trying to clean off my desk. More to the point, I was trying to clean my office so that I could find my desk. Things seem to get a little cluttery down in my mancave that I alternately call my “office,” “music room” or “dungeon from hell,” depending. READ

How and why natives are killing elk at CFB Suffield

The view out the window as I write all Groundhog Day is cold, grey and gloomy. Out west, I doubt that Prairie Rose, the local groundhog, bothered to emerge from her den and, if she did, she certainly didn’t see her shadow. READ

Unseasonal weather can have an impact on some plants

Unseasonal warm weather was a welcome break from winter in Alberta. The weather will have little effect on hardy plants but might be detrimental for some of the tender ones. Transpiration rate of evergreens increases as the temperature increases. Roots of cedar and junipers that were not completely hydrated in the fall might not be able to replace the moisture lost from the needles and scales. READ

Reality TV? I don’t think so

I don’t know if you get WGN on your 325 channel cable/satellite television package, or whether you get the BS channel, which features nothing but pseudo-documentaries about global warming, or SMUT TV out of California with its “adult” viewing (so I’ve heard), or the EXFX, which features extreme sports and specials on people with room-temperature IQs looking for ghosts with fake electronic equipment. But if you do get WGN, perhaps you and your remote clicker stumbled upon a new reality show that invaded the already depressing airwaves last week. 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

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

Probiotics can change your life

It may not be what’s trending on Twitter right now, but it is certainly coming to the forefront of more people’s nutritional conversations, as it should. READ

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