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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...

"I did something stupid yesterday," George Mackenzie said the other morning as the gang gathered at Mabel's Grill.
Molly Whiteside, who was in the midst of filling his coffee cup, choked in surprise and spilled some of the coffee. "You're actually...

When I first walked through the door of S.S. No. 1, I was bejesus scared. What would all those farm kids think of me, a "foreigner," a "city slicker," from London, Ontario who had parachuted into their territory, the 10th Concession of Logan Township...

Everyone has heard of the Holocaust but have you ever heard of the Holodomor?
Recently, I became aware of the Holodomor in the Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg where exhibits are fashioned to generate ideas and capture the stories of people...

Political leaders took a terrible beating when the big marches to protest the lack of action on climate change took place earlier this fall. One of the values of politicians is that they provide a convenient punching bag for our frustrations.

Anyone who knows me very well has had to listen to a lot of whining lately about something I've spent most of the summer and early fall doing. Whether you call it purging, decluttering, reverse nesting, or by some other name, I have been going through...

It was with a bottle of scotch from the Orkneys that she was christened in the all-but-forgotten language of those isles. The bottle was not broken but a dram was sprinkled on her prow and into the waters of the Sydenham for good luck.

"Thanks for those parts," Dave Winston told George Mackenzie when he sat down at the table for the morning coffee session at Mabel's Grill.
"They work?" George asked.
"Like a charm," Dave replied.
"What's this about?" Molly Whiteside asked ...

I've been chasing two combines with the grain buggy for most of the day. One of them has broken down. It has been a long week, with not a lot of sleep and rain in the forecast. Tensions are high on the crew -- we weren't communicating well and I keep...

There is a reason we cherish the friends we made in elementary school or hang around family -- these life-long bonds create safe places where we feel known and secure. Where we don't have to filter everything we say because they know who we are...

On the night I attended Dan Needles' The Team on the Hill, this past summer, the Blyth Festival's audience was filled with familiar faces of people I'd come to know through years of work on this magazine.
Over the next couple of hours there were...

Whether we are talking about family, friends, or community -- respect for each other is one of the key elements to keeping relationships healthy. As we humans become more numerous, we have to work harder to share spaces and live together in harmony...

Little boats lead to larger boats -- and higher stakes. His boy wanted to add a sail to the mix and little Samwise with its six-foot length wasn't a likely candidate.
It was a visit to the nature centre and gift shop in Algonquin Park that led to...

"Sure hope we don't get an early snow this year or we'll never get the crops off," said George Mackenzie the other morning at Mabel's Grill.
"Yeah, normally I'd getting ready to combine my corn by now but it's far from ready ready," said Cliff Murray...

With fall fair season in full swing, it got me thinking about the importance of fall fairs and also how some have struggled. I recently attended the Wellesley-North Easthope Fall Fair after entering a pie in a political pie contest among councillors...

When James Alf Wight was 50, he was sharing a funny story about a farm client with his wife, Joan, and said he'd write it in a book someday.
Joan laughed. "People don't suddenly start to write a book at the age of 50," she said.

Late last winter I noticed a grey smudge on the snow outside our kitchen window and when I investigated, I found the remnants of a paper wasp nest blown out of one of the trees in our yard.
The wear and tear of winter winds had ripped away the outside ..

Permaculture is a term widely attributed to two Australians, Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, who began moving the idea ahead in Tasmania in the late 1960s and '70s.
Holmgren in his book, Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability...

Friday, March 8, 2019

Are you one of those persons who loves quotes? I know they drive some people nuts how they congregate on Facebook memes and feel-good annotations. Yet there is something about a pithy collection of words that can deliver a hammer blow of truth...

Friday, March 8, 2019

There s never been a time in human history when the general population was more educated than today. There s never been a time, thanks to smart phones and the internet, when we ve had access to more expert knowledge...

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