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Wendi Stewart - Wendi with an 'eye'

Wendi lives in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, but the farm on Rainy River in Crozier will always be her home. MEADOWLARK, her debut novel released September 15, is published by NeWest Press of Edmonton. She is the mother of four daughters who did the unforgivable: they grew up.

Time to tackle all that waste

To say I find the number of those living on the street in this country, in any country, alarming and upsetting seems an obvious statement to make and somewhat trite.

I heard someone in political authority once say there is no solution to poverty; that poverty begets poverty. I think the latter part of that statement is true. How does one break from the chains of poverty when the weight of life is so very heavy, the opportunities so limited?

Creativity has healing power

I attended a meeting recently with a group of individuals who are going to create a community arts centre in Kentville, N.S., close to where I live.

I use the words “going to" because they are determined and don't want to use tentative language such as "planning to" or "hoping to.” This is a dig-in-determined plan.

They need the support of municipal government, and though it seems like an obvious community-building and community-strengthening strategy, that support never can be counted on.

It's a worthy labour of love

It is my baby's birthday today (April 26), the youngest of my brood; four daughters who are no longer babies at all but instead are full-fledged adults, living lives in which I am an accessory, no longer a necessity.

I can't pull them on to my lap and kiss away their tears when they are hurt. I can't speak up for them and be their shield when others would do them harm. I can't go along with them to interviews and proclaim their unsurpassed value, and how bloody lucky any employer would be to have them (mother bias aside).

Don't be afraid to say I don't know

I was listening to CBC Radio the other day while I was driving.

I can't remember what the program was about, due to my failing retention, but the discussion focused on thinking for ourselves. On challenging those who make authoritative statements founded on nothing but opinion; where hubris gets in the way of truth.

It's coming back to me now. Steve Sloman was discussing his book, “The Knowledge Illusion,” that focuses on the sense of some people (most people, in his estimation) who are convinced they know just about everything there is to know about everything.

Make the time to blow bubbles

I have a bucket list, of sorts.

I don't really think of the list as things I want to do before I take my last breath. That seems a bit like encouraging the dying thing; bringing it in to focus.

Most of us, after all, just pretend dying will never happen.

My list isn't a long one—just enough entries to keep me moving forward. Some of them aren't much of a challenge, like the sweater I have been knitting for 12 years that sits in the top of my closet and stares at me every night as I drift off to sleep, wagging its finger at me and calling me unkind names.

Castles in the air

I would like to live in a castle, maybe one in Ireland because I'm fairly certain Canadian castles are in short supply.

The selection of castles in Europe is extensive, I've read. Windsor Castle holds some sort of record for having been continuously lived in for the longest period of time—all the way back a 1,000 years to when William the Conqueror built it.

Author's passing has dimmed our light

I like to think Richard Wagamese and I are friends.

I can't bear to put that in the past tense because I never got to meet him and the opportunity won't come now. I won't bump into him on the street and introduce myself as his fan and fellow writer, though I will be quick to add that my writing isn't at his level.

He won't assure me we are all family, all of us who share this county. He won't smile at me with his beautiful smile, and gather me in and advise me to write from my heart the way he did—letting down all the barriers; being open and vulnerable on the page.

Lots to love about Newfoundland

I'm always in a bit of a slump after the Scotties and the Brier have wrapped up. Yes, there is more curling to come but it's never as good as the Canadian championships.

I particularly enjoyed this year's Brier. That's not a real statement; I always enjoy the Brier. But this one from Newfoundland had such a positive air to it, so much excitement as the home town cheered on their own Brad Gushue team, which made the win all that more gratifying for host St. John's.

Too much sleep may be bad thing

I used to sleep. At least, I think I did.

There must have been a time when my mother placed me carefully in my bed and I drifted off to sleep instantly and effortlessly. Alas, that no longer is the case.

Teenagers train for sleeping like runners train for marathons, although that wasn't the situation in my teenage years. I grew up on a farm and there were morning chores to do.

This isn't a complaint because I leapt from bed eager for the work at hand and to prove I was of value despite my size and gender; when voices said girls couldn't do such things.

No fan of Oscar night

For those of you who enjoy the glitz and glamour of the Oscars, I suggest you stop reading right now and walk the dog, wash the bathroom mirror, or take the garbage out.

Make good use of your free time. Or take a nap if you prefer, though a nap often is considered a good use of one's time, especially if your eyelids are setting with the sun.