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A work in progress

“I am perfect in my imperfection. A magnificent work in progress.”

— Kate Spencer, senior producer/writer and on-air correspondent for VH1 READ

Dealing with my daughter the drama queen

There Sophie was insistently slamming her hand down over and over on the Hideout Hut. You may be asking yourself what in fact a Hideout Hut is and why was I allowing my daughter to beat it. Have patience and read on! READ

Arm wrestling with telemarketers

They got me good today. Twice in fact. I can usually figure it out when the phone rings and the ID thingy on the phone reads a weird number with lots of zeros or says “Ontario” or “Nigeria” or “Answer this, you fool” — I can usually realize that I’m being had. 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

Fairy gardens are fun and meant to catch the eye

Fairy gardens are miniature gardens developed with small plants and accessories. They can be located outside or in. Outside, they are located in nocks and crannies; inside, in a large shallow container. READ

Albertans’ access to public lands decreasing

It has been written of our neighbours to the south, Montanans, that they will obey any law or policy with which they personally agree. Albertans are different: they will quietly obey any policy or law with which they personally disagree, provided you let them say so before you ignore them and cram it down their throats. That is why we elect bad governments, over and over; just so long as they do not increase taxes or otherwise affect our creature comforts. READ

Learning to live with beater cars

From the time the kids were wee babes, Jamie and I have drove older vehicles. Some may refer to them as beaters, beasts or even pieces of crap (whilst booting the wheel well over and over again because the damn thing broke down for the fifth time that month). But who’s keeping track, right? READ

Being an encourager

“I can’t hit the broad side of a barn,” I lamented. “I’ll look like a fool.” I was chatting with my cousin, Lloyd. He had come out to the farm for his usual summer visit. I had been expressing anxiety about playing slow-pitch with a group of guys at my new job. READ

Important to do your research on soil

Thinking of purchasing soil or compost for the garden? As with any long-lasting purchase, it pays to take time to do research and ask questions. Once soil is delivered, it is just about impossible to return. READ

Missing pheasant season

If only I was able to do the rough-ground walking involved in hunting wild pheasants, I’d be sleepless at the prospects of a vintage pheasant season starting Oct. 15 in the best of Alberta’s upland bird country. Rick Martin, wildlife projects manager for the Eastern Irrigation District at Brooks, tells me that brood counts on key upland species are the best since 2008: pheasants up 25 per cent from last year, Hungarian partridge, up 46 per cent, and sharp tail grouse up an amazing and unexplainable 145 per cent. READ

Moments can be cause for reflection

“Life is a journey, not a destination,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson. The phrase came up in conversation a couple weeks ago. Another birthday had come and gone, and with it the obligatory reflecting back over the past year. READ

How to eat less and feel more satisfied

Do you struggle with overeating? Most of society does. How could you not? Sandwiches with greasy meat patties, cheese with egg and bacon drizzled with gravy is not helping anyone reach their health goals, but continuously feeding our so easily tantalized taste buds. On a recent poll on doctoroz.com, people admitted to overeating mostly later in the day (between 6 and 10 p.m.). READ

Cougar management needed

Nothing demonstrates Alberta’s city-country divide quite like peoples’ attitudes to cougars. A cougar was recently shot and killed in a busy Calgary location because the conservation officers considered tranquilizing the big cat could pose a serious threat to public safety. READ

Making the best of the remaining warm days

Warm days in fall are made for gardening and doing all those last-minute chores before winter sets in, including transplanting plants, watering in and in general tidying up the yard. Perennials divide and/or transplant well in the fall. READ

Learning to shake the guilt

The pressing guilt I had been experiencing all day hadn’t started with the fact that I had slept in. Nor did it stem from when I cut that guy off on 60th Street the other day. It wasn’t that itching reminder that I’ve been dropping the proverbial ball with friendships lately or that my healthy eating plan has somehow evolved from rice cakes and cottage cheese to loaded nachos with salsa and sour cream. READ

Clarifying expectations

“Things are not working out,” he said with a heavy sigh. “All we do is fight.” “What are you fighting about?” I asked. “Is there a common theme?” “Apparently, I’m not living up to my end of the bargain.” “And by ‘bargain’ she means your responsibilities?” “I guess.” He shifted uncomfortably in his chair. “No matter what I do, she’s upset.” READ

Dorm Registries? Really?

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

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

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