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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.

The results can lead you to feeling stressed, anxious, emotional, experience decreased enthusiasm, low self-esteem and even lead to more critical symptoms of headaches, fatigue, hypertension, weight loss or gain, addictive behaviour (including drug and alcohol abuse) and even sexual dysfunction. 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

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

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

Beware the Ides of March

The soothsayer’s dire “beware the Ides of March” to Julius Caesar in 44 BC has taken on new meaning this year; that and flying kites. Even in the ’toons, one sooths sad truths: the coloured Classic Peanuts of March 7 showing Charlie Brown, a red kite hung on his nose, and saying “Eventually, I may have to give up kite flying,” immediately brings Premier Jim Prentice to mind. 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

Planning your yard with the right focal point

How much ornamentation, statues, arches, pergolas, fountains, walls, etc., should be in a yard? It depends on the size of the yard and whether plants or ornaments are the main focus of the garden. READ

How do you bee-have?

In my experience, there are three types of reactions you will find humans having when coming in contact with the ominous bee. READ

Crying babies disrupting Sunday service

Dear Annie: Quite frequently during our Sunday church services, the loud noise of a crying baby or babies makes it difficult to hear the sermon and other portions of the worship service. READ

What will our children become?

There are moments when I look upon my sweet children and am taken away to thoughts of what they will become. I want them to be respectable. I want them to be happy. I want them to be self-sufficient and above all I want them to be moral. READ

A thrilling yarn from Canadian history

The year is 1915, the war that later came to be known as The Great War had begun in the autumn of 1914, and all eyes were on Europe. Young men of Canada were anxious and willing to go overseas and defend the Empire; automobiles were becoming popular for those who could afford the $1,400 price, and the LCW (Local Council of Women) were hard at work lobbying for women’s rights. READ

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