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If these walls could talk

A bellow commences, shrieks of horror surround me, and the quiet ambiance has swiftly gone astray. Soon, time will mean nothing. In these next 12 hours all that will occupy the mind is survival, sanity, and the obscure knowledge that it must come to an end at some point.

I am the canvas that has been coloured on one too many times. I am the one who stands idly by while being battered in outbreaks of a violent tantrum. I am the one who can remember but never reminisce with another living being. READ

Self-esteem and career choice

“It’s a different world today,” said Oma. “Women have many more opportunities.” Years ago, my mother-in-law, Gisela, and I were sharing a conversation over coffee while my four-year-old daughter, Heidi played on the floor between us. “Oma” was a title Gisela wore like a crown. The word meant grandmother but to Gisela it was an official title: matriarch of the family. Oma had an opinion on everything and usually the evidence to back it up. READ

Have you been ice bucketed yet?

It’s funny how certain things catch on, isn’t it? Like the pet rock, mood rings, deep fried mini donuts and the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party. READ

An opportunity to speak out

The downside of receiving a Canada’s Recreational Fishing Award (plaque and medal) by mail instead of being able to get to a ceremony where Department of Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea, herself, might even be making the presentation, is that you don’t get to make a speech. READ

Fall doesn’t mean the end of flowers

Annual are the only plants that can flower from the time they are planted in spring until the freeze in the fall. Even with the best of care, they can start looking old by the end of August. READ

How sea levels could rise dramatically

“How climate hysterics hurt their own cause.” — September 2014 headline from The Atlantic magazine I get side-tracked easily. I read The Atlantic article and was going to do a column on coal versus oil in the CO2 emissions debate (the author, Charles C. Mann, stated that coal was a much bigger worry). READ

The importance of the Oomph

Today I want to write about my Oomph. Now don’t get ahead of yourself people, “Oomph” isn’t some weirdo code word for my lady parts or something equally uncomfortable that I would probably write about. No, “Oomph” is something much more important. READ

The love of good storytelling

“You tell the story, Jerry,” she said. “It’s always better when you tell it.” “Oh, I don’t know about that,” Jerry replied. “It’s still the same old story.” “But you make it fun,” she said. “You make the story come alive.” READ

The more things stay the same

I’ve always felt like September is the beginning of the year. Not that I have a New Year’s Eve party on Aug. 31 or anything, it’s just that after many years in the compulsory public school system (attempting to graduate) and many subsequent years in the party school system (university) (also attempting somehow to graduate), it’s been sort of ingrained that the start of each new school year feels like the start a whole new year for me. READ

Planning for spring already underway

It is never too early to plan for spring. Spring bulbs: daffodils, tulips, crocuses, squill and grape hyacinths need to be planted in the fall to provide colour to next spring’s garden. Bulbs are available for purchase in catalogues, online, grocery, hardware and big box stores, as well as garden centres. Selection and quality will vary between outlets. READ

No such thing as a perfect year

Every fishing and hunting season is different, and after a lifetime of recreational vegetable gardening, I doubt that a perfect year for that exists either. Every year is great for some crops and awful for others. But all years, this one included, are perfect for ants and weeds. READ

The things that go bump in the night

In the deep, dark depths of night the monsters hide. In the corners beyond the murky shadows and the dismal place from under my bed, I know they lay, waiting ... waiting. READ

The seeker’s path

“What do you want?” I asked. “What do you really, truly want?” “To stop being a seeker,” she replied. “To finally be at rest.” READ

Why name anything ‘pickle?’

Years ago, probably a couple of decades ago in fact, some neighbours of ours did something unusual. No, it’s not what you’re thinking; what they did was, they dug up their backyard. Completely. Bulldozed away all the grass, flowers and shrubs and flattened the dirt. READ

The pee predicament

“To pee or not to pee?” That is the question currently being debated by environmental groups and the American Chemical Society on relieving oneself in our oceans. READ

Tips on crafting tasty healing teas

Part of a herbalist’s job is creating individualized formulations for her clients. Formulation is as much as science as an art. Crafting formulas with several herbs is one of the more challenging and rewarding aspects of being a herbalist. READ

Naturescaping to attract creatures

Naturescaping is about creating a garden or ecosystem that resembles the local wild areas. It is a garden that encourages wild creatures as opposed to eliminating them. The landscape can be any size: a park, playground or a backyard. READ

Time for studies is over

For several days, the old hunter in me was smelling gunpowder in the air, then the first frost warning of the fall for Aug. 23 verified that it all wasn’t just self-delusion. 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

Perception

“There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.” — Aldous Huxley, English writer “That how you see it.” READ

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