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Back in the day I used to party a bit with the Franken boys. Man, they made me laugh. With a drink in their hands, a twinkle in their eyes and a general joie de vivre, they dished out rural Ontario colloquialisms at a dizzying rate.
I wish I had ...

Because deadlines need to be so early in order to get this magazine assembled and printed -- not to mention distributed with pandemic-inspired on-line shopping making every week like the week before Christmas for Canada Post...

The year 2020 will go down in most of our memories as being one of confusion, turmoil, and for some, disaster. There have been lots of online jokes about the stream of major events and disruptions that have a good chance of changing things...

Mariel, dark eyes smiling, would watch our two children from her bathroom window that overlooked our small yard and garden.
They were pink-cheeked youngsters then, playing among the morning glories growing up strings over the back porch, one...

"You look rough," George Mackenzie said to Dave Winston the other morning as they sat at the picnic table that's been moved to the parking lot at Mabel's Grill and has the company of four others now that Mabel's allowed to have patio service...

I like looking at the beautiful people. The movie stars in their finery at their Met Galas and Academy Awards -- it's quite a show.
How curious it has been during this pandemic to see photos of the famous ones with wild, greying hair. To see them...

Amid so much physical, emotional and economic pain, the COVID-19 pandemic may have done society a small service in readjusting our attitudes about what, and who, is important in our world.
Who, until the crisis hit, thought of people...

In our new normal, there are a lot of things that aren't the same as they were a few short weeks ago. There are also things that have changed less than we might imagine, but have been made more clear to us. One of these is the precariousness...

It was many years ago, during my travels as a reporter for the now defunct Voice of the Farmer newspaper chain, that I stumbled upon an unusual recipe.
In those days, one of my assignments was to take photographs of old homes...

"I guess I can't stop you," Mabel told George Mackenzie when he asked if they could use the new picnic table on the grass just beside the parking lot at Mabel's Grill after he bought take-out coffee for the guys the other morning.
"I set it up...

Virtually overlooked among the attention-getting promises of last fall's election (and seldom heard from since) was a promise by the Prime Minister that Canada would plant two billion trees in the next decade as a way of countering climate change...

Winter in Huron County - the snow is swirling and the winds are blowing, with a bit of freezing rain thrown in for good measure every once in a while. Lots of people swear by heading south, getting a bit of sun and a vitamin D boost and shedding...

I hadn't heard of Fannie Merritt Farmer until I picked up a copy her cookbook -- one of millions printed -- at Presbyterian Church a couple years ago during Dresden's town-wide yard sale.
I remember the two women at the time, chuckling...

"So, what's that about?" George McKenzie asked Dave Winston after he watched him stop to pin a note to the bulletin board at Mabel's Grill before he arrived at the table for the morning coffee session on recent morning.
"I'm selling my ...

Recently a short essay was shared on Facebook that's profoundly pertinent to the climate-crisis times in which we live. The essay laments what befell the Inuit people with the 16th century coming of Europeans to their windswept Arctic land. It's author..

I tend to think of us as the good guys. We are farmers, a breed of people who take good care of our animals and cultivate the soil to feed families.
It saddens me to realize the Ontario government felt compelled to introduce new legislation...

There's something about human beings that fascinates us with magic, whether it be that of the sorcerers and with doctors of ancient times or technological advances of today.
Right now, the magic that fascinates us generally comes from...

Last year, about this time, I wrote a column about participating in Agri-Food Training's C-Team course. I began with the first course almost two years ago in Vancouver and have been fortunate to also travel to Calgary and Niagara Falls...

I've long appreciated the National Farmers Union's propensity for speaking uncomfortable truths.
For many years there was a focus on things like government agricultural policy, the banking system and consolidation within...

As I was mulling over what to write about, I was sitting on a recliner chair in the living room of our farmhouse scrolling through my smartphone (like most millennials) when I saw a tweet that my Fire Chief, Bill Hunter serving West Perth and...

With no fanfare or media attention, Alice Munro's house was bid on by three potential buyers on October 16. Asking price was $269,000.
I was one of the three but my offer was not the winning bid. I feel both relief and regret.
Alice is, of course...

One of the things that makes winter bearable around our place is the day-long show through the big windows of our family room, thanks to feeding the birds .
The amount of money I spend on seed to attract these birds would have amazed, or even...

"So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests." Matthew 22:11
Christmas isn't complete without traditions.
Some can be relatively new...

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