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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.

Worried about our honey bees

I’m worried about bees. I love big fat bumblebees and bumble just happens to be one of my favourite words.

I wasn’t always a fan, though. There was an incident when I was six involving my brother, a hornet’s nest, and a lit firecracker. I don’t recall much about the event but I do remember my brother’s words, “Don’t tell mom,” as he packed river mud onto the 14 stings on my back.

October sunny days a delicious surprise

I love the warm, sunny days of October. These kind of days feel like a delicious surprise; an oh, I forgot how lovely fall can be sort of day.

October can come with a lot of rain and dark skies, so I can’t help but feel blessed when I hear and feel the warm wind; a wind that is fairly insistent on moving things such as leaves of every colour, and laundry off the line, and anything I had meant to put away but didn’t—and now wish I had.

I hit a culinary home run

I am not a good cook. There, I’ve said it. I confess.

At times I’m a reasonably fair cook; I can prepare meals that are somewhat tasty and usually edible. But every now and then, not often, I prepare a meal and absolutely knock it out of the park (it’s October—the baseball reference is obligatory).

This Thanksgiving was one of those grand slam events and though the leftovers have nearly been consumed, I’m still walking around with a proud smile on my face and an upright posture, wanting to stop traffic to announce to anyone who will listen: “I did it!”

Memories of my hometown still treasured today

I am missing my hometown today, the place where the stories and people include me.

I am missing the geography that is sealed tight in my memory; the turns in the roads, the grade of the hills. I am missing the clickety-clack sound of the car going over the bridge to International Falls that made me feel I was on a train.

I am missing the trees on Second Street that leaned in, wrapping their branches around each other like the old friends they had become.

We’ve lost respect for all living things

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated.”

Gandhi said that, a very wise man who lived his life as an example of non-violence and justice.

Those are words we all should live by. Justice and fairness and kindness seem so dim some days, as if we are ready to abandon our humanity at the least provocation or challenge.

I love a parade

I recently started a new job. I have two 10-hour shifts under my belt; certainly enough hours to bring into question my sanity and the limited endurance of my arches.

This is an entry-level position, paying minimum wage. Why, you ask?

Stones provide great comfort

The wind was blowing in my office window last week, repeatedly chasing papers off my already disorganized desk.

I was deep in “writing thought” and was annoyed at the intrusion. I would have shut the windows, but I’ve been so hot for what seems like the entire summer; the breeze was a welcome reprieve from “glowing.”

Remember, men sweat and women glow. If that’s really the case, then I’m practically fluorescent.

I reached for something heavy to contain the papers and I grabbed a bowl filled with small stones—a bowl that sits on the shelf above my desk.

Go fly a kite

Have you flown a kite recently? I haven’t, not since I was 14 or 15.

It was a kite I made myself, at that age when one starts to resist assistance and strike out on one’s own—outwardly certain and slightly over-confident.

My father gave me some hints as to aerodynamic design, weight considerations, and the like. He should know because he flew Liberators, for goodness sakes.

April is national kite flying month in the U.S. Not sure if Canada has anything quite so formal. I was born in April, so it seems logical that I loved kites.

Time to pay attention

Have you heard of Sophia Scholl? Or Traudl Junge?

Films have been released, separately, on each of them—a creative depiction of the choices they made and the startling differences in their legacies.

They were two young German women at the beginning of World War II, born in 1921 and 1920, respectively. Their age and citizenship were all they had in common aside of both having joined The League of German Girls, the female branch of Hitler Youth.

It was at that point their lives went in different directions despite a very similar youth.