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A favourite fishing spot

A youngish friend is trying to become more accomplished at fly fishing by getting to know one of Alberta’s better trout streams really well.

Recently he found some “new” water on this stream by travelling an obscure district road to a bridge over the stream. READ

Some crops thrive in the hot summer sun

An early warm summer means that the squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and pumpkins are flourishing. These crops love the hot weather but if the flowers are not pollinated, fruit does not form. READ

Living a different life

Weed the garden. Bake the bread. Clean the bathrooms. Call the insurance company. Pick the peas. Register the kids in another day camp. Pay the bills. Make that appointment for family pictures. Practise reading with Lars. Look into singing lessons for Sophie. Book in with the dog groomers. READ

The search for self-worth

“She’s perfect,” I said, more to myself than anyone in particular. “So beautiful.” I gently passed my newborn grandchild back to my daughter. It was a precious and perfect moment. Life’s grand adventure had just begun to unfold for this perfect little person. READ

Respecting our land

Various aspects of weather since April Fool’s Day have made us all a tad testy. Certainly the heat and the drought are major factors but, for example, I am outraged that my prediction for when we would finally get a real rain was dead-on: two or three days in the middle of July. READ

Fresh fruit in Alberta

When one mentions fruit in Alberta, we automatically think of B.C. We don’t think of what we Albertans grow best, berries: saskatoons, raspberries, haskaps, or honey berries, currants, strawberries and cherries. READ

High energy, all day long

The kids are bouncing from wall to wall. Their shrieks of merriment are carried easily throughout this otherwise peaceful house. They are playing a rambunctious game of hide and seek. Sophie makes her way, rather surreptitiously, into another room to hide but when discovering her ideal spot, she continues to giggle explicitly until Lars follows the sound, uncovering her location. READ

Peering through a confusing world of illusion

Have you been to my house?” she asked. “I’ve been visiting with neighbours.” I turned around to see an attractive young woman standing before me wearing a blue peasant dress with a floral design. On her head was a colourful scarf that was tied under her chin. On her feet were a worn pair of black leather lace-up shoes. She spoke with a Ukrainian accent. “I did stop by,” I replied. “But no-one was home. I guess you know that, though.” READ

Wondrous day camp

I’ve got a taste of the future … and I think I like it. The children had been begging me to enrol them in day camp this summer. I guess this particular summer program was the hot topic of the kindergarten class before school let out and Lars was gung ho to sign up. Lucky for me, Sophie qualified to participate in it, too. READ

Lessons from the bottle depot

My friend James is a positive guy — always looking on the bright side. When times get tough at work, he is the first person many folks will seek out for a pick-me-up. One day, I asked James how he managed to stay so upbeat. He just laughed and said it was no big secret — just something he learned while working at the bottle depot. I asked him to explain. READ

Gardeners must adapt to the different conditions

One thing that all gardeners can agree on is that every growing season is different. It depends on the amount of rain, sunshine and temperature. This year, rain is spotty within Central Alberta with some gardens growing well and others not. Wet areas are thriving and dry ones are struggling. READ

Future of the North Raven is in doubt

Herself did the driving so I could do the looking early in April on my annual slalom, zigzagging north and west up the North Raven River from where it flows into the South Raven River just west of Raven on Hwy 54. READ

Helping a sick kid feel better a huge task

The sound of Ariel’s singing soars boldly out of our living room television. Her voice is angelic and I can see why Sophie is constantly attempting to mimic those sweet lyrical sounds. Not today, however. Today, she is lying lethargically on the couch and just listening to her beloved undersea princess. READ

Stop assuming insincerity and accept more compliments

“I don’t give out compliments,” she said, “and I don’t like to receive them either.” I had just started a new job and was going through an orientation with the sales manager. I was taken aback by the comment but she was right. The entire time I worked for the business, she never once complimented me READ

Lack of rain not hurting local angling

Two weeks ago, the column remembered the “200-year flood” of June 2005, when monsoon-struck Central Alberta rivers and streams were running harder and higher than longtime residents could ever remember, and noted that aquatic life, including fish, of those waters finally seemed to have recovered. 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

Four mistakes people make when trying to get abs

Is six-pack abs topping your goal list these days? Do you feel like you’re pretty happy with your overall body development except one key area: your ab region? 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

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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