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Suggestions for Xmas presents

There was a time when I’d emerge from the dark woods on the last day of the deer season, blinking at the sudden bright Christmas lights on neighbouring residences, and arrive home to a pile of reader queries about the non — appearance of the annual Christmas gift suggestion column.

This year I’m early because it is the season I always thought I’d retire from hunting. READ

Perfect gifts for gardeners

Looking for the perfect gift for a gardener in your life? Then visit the local crafts people and artisans. These people make unique items for the garden or home. Each piece is finished with skill and care. READ

A letter to a daughter on her fourth birthday

Dear Sophie, I write this note to you on your 4th birthday as a letter for the future. I remember the car ride to the hospital as though it was yesterday. I was scared and excited and eager but most of all I was nervous. I was nervous because I didn’t know about girls. I didn’t know how to raise a girl. For weeks prior I had obsessed over the tiny dresses I would put you in. Washing, hand drying and hanging them on the girly pink closet hooks I had bought for that exact purpose. READ

The eulogy exercise: how do you want to be remembered

It was an odd dream. I had arrived at the funeral service late and the pews were filled. I had to sit in one of the chairs hastily lined up for overflow. READ

Attack of mean meter machines

Those dumb parking meters can see me coming a mile (1.6 kilometers) away. And what’s worse is the intrepid meter man (or in a Beatles song “Meter Maid” named “Lovely Rita”) can see me leaving from a kilometre (.6 miles) away. READ

Vinegar a good replacement for toxic cleaning products

We have a new maintenance man in the building where my clinic is located. Our last maintenance man was a great guy. He would do anything for me, change light bulbs, help me move stuff about and was always ready for good a laugh. READ

Hunting incident not an accident

For almost five years, now, I have been haunted by events just west of Red Deer on Nov. 29, 2009, and what has been dragging on behind them ever since. READ

Critters can cause garden problems in winter

Snow has closed the garden from human traffic for the season. Hardier people will head out to prune but most will wait until the weather begins to warm in the spring. Either works well. READ

Reality sets you free from baby fever

There are moments — not often, but sometimes — when nostalgia decides to creep up on me and I get a rare case of baby fever. I will look at my nieces and nephews and think, “Oh golly gosh, [I think in terms of a 1950s housewife] a little teensy tiny baby would be so nice to have to cuddle and hold. I want a baby.” READ

A flash of insight

Have you had an epiphany so shocking you actually said out loud, “Aha!”? Recently, I had an “Aha!” moment about “Aha!” moments. “Aha!” moments are flashes of insight or enlightenment when a deeper understanding or solution to a vexing problem seems to falls into place through sudden insight. READ

Elk and moose problems are similar

On Sept. 19, a class-action law suit against the government of Newfoundland and Labrador on behalf of people injured in moose-vehicle collisions was dismissed by Justice Robert Stack of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador. READ

What’s a book launch without books?

So I’m having this little book party tomorrow — Sunday, Nov. 16 — and you are all invited! This is something I’d normally be quite pumped about, as they used to say, or psyched, as they used to say, or stoked as … well, you get the point. READ

Poppies don’t just grow in Flanders Fields

“In Flanders Fields where poppies grow” is the opening line of a poem that is used in many countries to symbolize the sacrifices that others made in times of war. The poppies immortalized by the poem are papaver rhoeas, also known as corm poppy or field poppy. READ

A citizens’ assembly on resources makes sense

In last month’s column, I mentioned the possible use of a citizens’ assembly to decide on the direction of resource use in Alberta (after also seeing it mentioned in an earlier column written by ATB’s senior analyst, Robert Roach). READ

How to properly integrate interval training into your workout program

If you’re looking to get started with interval training, it’s going to be essential that you are incorporating it into your workout session properly. READ

How do you handle a sincere compliment?

I was in a workshop once where an exercise involved participants looking into a mirror and writing down a sincere compliment they could give themselves. One woman became so upset, she ran out of the room sobbing. Imagine how negative her self-talk must have been! What do you do when someone compliments you? READ

The morning after a Halloween candy binge

My eyelids pull apart from each other in a wretched, sleep-deprived, there’s-no-way-it’s-time-to-get-up kind of way. I can feel the sugar-riddled breath of an almost four-year-old on my cheek, which tells me it probably isn’t time to get up but I’m not going to be given the opportunity to choose this fine morning. READ

Finding the healing powers of a plant through taste

In every tradition of herbal medicine around the world, herbalists learn to identify a plant’s medicine through its taste. READ

Automotive strategy needed

There’s a vital question about where Canada will fit in the future global economy. This directly affects our jobs and living standards. And how well we are able to do in the fast-changing and increasingly high-tech automotive industry may be a good test case of our ability to succeed in a major global industry. READ

A bad case of earworms

They call them “earworms.” I’m not sure who “they” are but I kind of wish they’d called it something else because “earworm” is not an image I like to carry around with me because it’s almost impossible to get rid of. READ

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