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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.

Feed children's imaginations with fairy tales

Fairy tales have been around since the early 17th century, say some “experts," while other historians and anthropologists link "Beauty and The Beast” back four thousand years. Suffice to say, fairy tales have been around a very long time.

Psychology Today reported in 2014 that fairy tales are told in all languages, from Arabic to Zulu, the details differing, but the common link is our sense of humanity, of right and wrong, with good and evil separated completely.

On Father's Day

Father's Day is coming.

I am not sure many of us whose fathers have gone ahead think of the hero of our childhood with more devotion on Father's Day than any other day.

There simply isn't a single day that goes by without my father in it, in memory now having lived without him for more than double the years I lived with him.

That fact alone is surprising, where on that first day in October 1974 of living without him came a certainty and an almost wish that my heart should have stopped beating when his did. But not so.

Like the old saying goes: 'Seize the day'

I am moving.

I sold my beautiful property with the maple syrup trees and the Ginkgo tree and its history of 270 million years and the Butternut rescued from my friend's back yard.

I leave the blueberries and the blackberries that grow in abundance.

I leave my pony buried beneath the Pin Oak and carry with me the memories of him wandering my yard in search of patches of clover, nickering at me through the open window, wanting to press his nose into my neck, to breathe me in, his lips searching my pockets for something he is sure is there.

'Every child is full of his/her own possibilities'

I am having a mixed green salad for supper tonight.

I'm not expecting your applause for my healthy meal choice nor do I think you should care about what I am eating, but I do hope you care about what I am going to tell you about the dressing I put on my salad.

Let me start at the beginning.

If you are a Dragon's Den fan you may remember an episode from 2013. If you are not then let me introduce you to Hope Blooms.

Hope Blooms has been changing the lives of at-risk-youth in the North End of Halifax since 2008.

I'm not writing about dandelions

I bet you thought I was going to write about dandelions, those yellow works of art that began popping out on my lawn yesterday (May 11) as I write this, like sunshine in the grass.

But I'm not going to.

I wrote about dandelions in my very first column back in 2010 and I've celebrated their glory a few times, because my love of dandelions bears repeating, I tell myself.

The smell of spring

It is spring today. Not because the grass is growing.

Not because the trees are straining to burst into leaf. Not because the pussy willows have come and gone as has the maple syrup.

Not even because the frogs are singing to me at night, my window lifted enough to let the frogs' voices come in and play in my dreams.

Not for any of those signs, though they are lovely accessories to the announcement.

Witnessing the beauty of tai chi

While I was in Vancouver I met a friend at Queen Elizabeth Park, which is a “horticultural jewel” according to the City of Vancouver's Parks and Recreation Department and I would have to concur.

The park is at the geographic centre of Vancouver. The park is a former rock quarry when settler population began in earnest in the 1870s.

The park consists of 130 acres. At the top of the hill, Little Mountain, the highest point in Vancouver proper at 500 feet above sea level, is the Bloedel Conservatory, a geodesic structure with a lovely view over the city below.

Hats of every kind will be atop most heads

I love hats—hats on other people.

I can't do a hat unless it is a ball cap and I'm hiding a frightening hair day.

You have to have a certain sort of panache to pull off wearing a hat. The word panache is derived from the historical reference to a tuft or plume of feathers, especially as a headdress, so that alone is explanation enough of the requirements to don a head covering.

I admire those who do wear hats, admire them without envy or judgment, just a happy witness to self-confidence.

Not enough free-range children

I am in Vancouver. It is spring here. The magnolias are in bloom and the grass has been cut, rhododendrons are popping out in big loud colour here and there and everywhere, while at home in Nova Scotia the brown wintered grass is buried in snow and the trees are only imagining their leaves.

Vancouver trees have fresh new leaves, sporting the hesitant colour that is merely a whisper of their summer hue. I am always amazed by the diverse climates in this country, yet the stretch from coast to coast is immense and so it is logical for the weather to differ . . . but still.

The trees talk to one another

Years ago I heard an interview with Martha Stewart (no relation) and the only statement she made that stuck with me all these 20-plus years was the answer she gave when asked who helped her get to where she was going, who inspired her, who gave her a hand up to build her Martha Stewart empire. Her response was immediate, her voice emphatic.

“No one,” she said.