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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. http://wendistewart.writersresidence.com

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.

Spring has started to tease us

Spring is teasing, is peeking out from behind the snowdrifts, is pushing winter back from the edges of the road, is whispering at us.

“You'll soon be up the lake,” it says and we try to resist, not wanting to be pulled into winter's game. It's not really spring. It's winter in disguise, trying to fool us.

It is still February and we can't let our guard down. There still is snow to be shovelled, windshields to be scraped, and bad roads to be maneuvered, but what a lovely hint of what is to come.

Death is not the end

Death is not the opposite of life but a part of it.

Haruki Murakami, a Japanese writer, said those words and he is the same age as our beloved Stuart McLean, whose death left our world a lot less bright today—the day I am writing this; writing to soothe the ache in my heart as though Stuart McLean was my family, my friend.

Proud of 'medals' of having lived

I think we can agree that there is a load of the ridiculous that gets posted on Facebook.

And when I say ridiculous, I don't mean those postings that make us giggle or laugh right out loud, or our hearts to ache, but those postings that have the descriptor stupid and insensitive and cruel and pointless buried in them.

January was kind to me this year

January was kind to me this year. That is, aside from dumping the 'flu on me, though I may have blamed others and not January specifically.

January may have read my column from a few weeks back (though that may be presumptuous on my part) and decided to extend a hand of gentle consideration and go easy on me.

If that is the case, thank you, January.