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Facing up to the bully challenge

“Courage is fire, and bullying is smoke.”

— Benjamin Disraeli, British Conservative politician, writer and aristocrat READ

Why we tolerate Christmas concerts

The spotlights shone brightly, giving the holiday décor a magical twinkle upon the stage. I could see the excitement in my son Lars’s eyes as he silently went over his rehearsed songs of yuletide merriment. And similar to every Christmas concert in the history of mankind, the crowd was abuzz with anticipation. READ

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. 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

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

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

Piloxing: it’s pilates with a kick

Sleek. Sexy. Powerful. That’s the mantra for a trending fitness routine still emerging in Canada known as piloxing, a mix of high energy dance moves, kickboxing and pilates. 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

The future of our health — well-being for kids

After presenting to a group of middle school students on the topic of nutrition recently, I got a taste of what it would be like to be a parent — tough. 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

Give body the help it needs

By the time we’re 30 years old and beyond, our lives have undergone a great deal of change. Often we are on our second career, we’re starting a family — whatever it is, it’s safe to say life has really changed. For most of us through our mid-20s to our mid-60s, much of our time is spent on our working life. READ

Little ones learn an ugly word

We have all heard it, the age old saying, ‘Hate is an ugly word.’ I had never taken much thought to the adage before though, because I too have been guilty of using the word. READ

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