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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.

Slowly learning the mantra of success

I confess that I'm not particularly fond of cooking, though on some occasions such as Christmas and Thanksgiving, I've been known to put on a decent spread and most of it quite edible.

To the best of my knowledge, I haven't killed anyone off with my culinary skill (or lack thereof) and there have been no lawsuits or court appearances. I didn't have to flee the country and assume an alias, as well as wear a wig and Groucho Marx glasses.

Bless all the children

I am in a state of emotional rage and I'm struggling to focus on the simplest of tasks—tasks as simple as flossing or walking.

I can't think straight and all I can think about is the images of children taken from their mothers at the U.S.-Mexican border, oftentimes removed with lies to garner co-operation, babies and toddlers torn from their mothers.

Love the art of Marjorie McDow

I have friends visiting from Dawson City, the kind of people you meet and feel instantly as if you have known them your whole life.

So off we went the other day to Fishermen's Cove on the Eastern Passage of Nova Scotia, a small historic village on the Atlantic Shore just a short drive from Halifax.

So just who is minding the baby?

The prime minister of New Zealand has just gone on maternity leave, and something about that warms and calms me.

Jacinda Ardern, at age 37 the youngest female government head in the world, has a team in place who will help her do her job. But no doubt the time she will take to allow her body to recover from the rigours of pregnancy and labour and delivery, and for her infant to find her rhythm in a world outside her mother's body, won't be adequate.

Secret to true happiness

When we are young, we think many “things” will be the answer to our pursuit of happiness. A new bike, our first car, cool glasses (though when I first started wearing glasses at age 13, there was not a single thing cool about them, no matter the colour or shape).

I have adorned my face with some of the most hideous frames ever made over the 50 years I've been peering through eyeglasses to get a clearer look at life and though there were moments when I thought I might look cool, or cool-ish, I assure you I didn't.

Libraries are a place of sanctuary

I have written about libraries a few times in my last 524 columns, 385 of which have been printed here. But who's counting? I guess I am.

Libraries are the past and the future, and everything in between.

I was at the Kentville Public Library one morning last week, doing some writing while my car was being repaired, hoping the bill will match the small amount I budgeted for—money I set aside for such annoying distractions as car repairs and tooth decay.

I would much rather spend my money on running shoes and new pens and pencil sharpeners.

How well does your garden grow?

I went a little crazy with my pre-gardening plans this year. I've started seeds and no longer have a spare room. That room now is a seedling nursery, with the bed and a table covered with little pots housing plants of every variety in excessive numbers.

It's a bit like an all-you-can-eat buffet, where the eyes are bigger than the stomach and it is feared this may very well be the last available meal, ever, so the plate is piled high, too high. And as you walk to the car, your belly groaning and complaining, you ask yourself, “What was I thinking?”

Maybe trains are the way to go

If you get the chance to escape the winter next season for a warm clime and Sunwing is in charge, I suggest you forego the opportunity.

My daughter returned from a Sunwing Vacation some 15 days ago (while I am writing this) with her husband and two small children. Their expensive stroller and luggage vanished somewhere between Cuba and Toronto—jettisoned, perhaps, over the Atlantic to save on fuel.

As misery loves company, there is a very long list of sun-seeking travellers in the same boat, so to speak, though a boat might have been the better option for mode of travel.

I fell but got back up

We often hear the advice from others as the calendar turns over at our birthday—marking another year having galloped into the great abyss, out of sight.

“You're not getting any younger.” Not exactly a revelation like the splitting of the atom or landing on the moon or the discovery of insulin.

My body is more aware of that fact than I am, oftentimes complaining into the wee hours of the night, in a language that doesn't always translate well, whining about the various injuries, mostly from falls from horses.