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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.

Christmas goes by far too quickly

Christmas has come and gone. I’m always amazed by how far off it seems, and then it is as if someone turned a dial and everything fast-forwarded.

I ate my weight in Turtles and poppycock, even though I vowed I wouldn’t. I even may have promised myself I would do better this year.

Alas, my willpower misunderstood—doing better seemed to mean breaking the world record of chocolate pecan gooey-things consumed in a 24-hour period.

Oh, to have willpower

A book sits on the corner of my desk poking at me, calling me names, just generally annoying me.

It’s title is “The Willpower Instinct,” written by Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D. Kelly, if I may call her that, not because I know her personally but it seems more friendly than Dr. McGonigal, and Dr. McGonigal sounds a bit pretentious.

Fond memories of Christmas past

“Said the night wind to the little lamb.”

A beautiful Christmas carol that always gets me wondering—wondering about Christmas memories and trying to categorize them down from most favourite, which is impossible because they’re all wonderful.

If I had to choose, it would be the quiet and magic of Christmas Eve.

I liked lying under the Christmas tree with all the lights out, save the ones on the tree. I would put Perry Como on the record player, the old, well-worn 78 that played “The Night Before Christmas.”

I’ll not trade my works of art

I was thinking about artwork the other night when I caught some program on television discussing the investment value of owning a renowned artist’s work.

I’m willing to bet most of us will never own a da Vinci or a Monet or a Renoir (and I had to look those up to get the spelling right).

I could go on to say that da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance artist from the 15th century while the other two were more contemporary in that Monet was a French Impressionist who died in 1926 and likewise was Renoir, who died in 1919.

Reflecting on my personal column milestone

This is my 100th column. I suppose in the grand scheme of things, a column being number eight-nine or 512 really hasn’t a whole lot of significance, not exactly “shut the front door” worthy.

But it certainly means something to me.

First, it makes me feel a deep sense of gratitude to Jim Cumming for giving me the opportunity to record on paper those thoughts and memories that tumble around in my head.

It’s ‘better never than late’

George Bernard Shaw won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925, so I grant him some clout when he puts his own twist on tardiness.

He is credited with saying “better never than late.”

That particular combination of words is my best ever mantra—and a code I live by. And when others cause me to break that promise to myself, well, suffice to say, things go terribly wrong from there.

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!”