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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.

How I miss those caterpillars

“There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.”

Buckminster Fuller said that. What a great name. Buckminster.

He, if you don’t know or remember, was an American architect who created the geodesic dome design. He was a prolific writer, designer, inventor. In a nutshell, he did it all.

But he also had some serious ups and downs, losing a child to complications from polio and spinal meningitis, so the sentence that opens this column makes perfect sense if you imagine Mr. Fuller saying it.

Hurry hard!

I love watching curling on television. Always have, so you can’t blame it on my age.

My daughters groan when I tune in to curling and they roll their eyes as if I’ve just made the lamest confession of all time; as if I showed up at their workplace with rollers in my hair.

They used to collect snails and earthworms, and I didn’t groan about that; never complained when I had to empty their pockets before doing laundry (okay, I might have complained but only with moderate loudness).

Take in an Al Simmons show

Are you feeling winter-weary? If so, then you need your inner child recharged and I can’t think of a better way to breathe life into your sagging soul than attending an Al Simmons concert.

If you are as poorly-informed as me, then undoubtedly you will pull your eyebrows together and utter, with a most perplexed voice, “Who?”

Al Simmons. Every Canadian should know who Al Simmons is; he should top the list of Canadians who make life better.

I pack along my oddities

I went to a fiction-writing workshop this past week. I sometimes wonder why I go.

It’s not as though I think the workshop leader will say something profound, and I’ll leap out of my chair with my arms thrown over my head and shout, “Oh, if only I had known.”

But I like to go; like to sit in a room that is oozing with hope, with what ifs.

The thing about going to a workshop, or really any gathering of strangers, is I bring along with me all my eccentric-ness. I carefully pack all my oddities in with my pens and pencils and fresh paper.

‘Canada Reads’ worth watching

Did you tune in to “Canada Reads” the week of Feb. 11-14? If not, I wish you had.

It was the celebration of Canadian literature in a way unparalleled by the Giller or the Governor General’s Award, or other Canadian literary awards. In the format of reality programming, “Canada Reads” pitted five Canadian novels against each other—each representing a region of Canada.

Snowstorms can be comforting

There’s something deliciously comforting about a snowstorm—the feeling you get when you are tucked inside your house safe and warm while the road and weather reports say roads closed, businesses closed, schools closed, all events cancelled.

The feeling when the cupboards are reasonably stocked with staples like potato chips and cookies (I mean, salad fixings and lots of vegetables) and when the generator is sitting ready just in case.

It’s all about playing games

When I was a kid, my family played board games, though not often. Mostly we played outside—building forts in trees and in the hay, and we spent a great deal of time catching frogs.

There were a few marathons of “Monopoly,” where I never seemed to be much of a land baron, getting stuck with the likes of Baltic Avenue, earning a pittance in rent, and someone always lost interest, wandering off before the game was won.

We need new heroes

I should probably get my two cents’ worth in about Lance Armstrong.

Not that he is of any consequence in my life or in your life, but just watching (or rather trying not to watch) the huge carnival and fiasco about his confession, his coming clean about being a cheater and a liar, got me thinking about some other things.

So though I’d rather not give Lance Armstrong any of my time, and don’t want to come off as a holier-than-though individual, I do think the situation warrants comment and helps me work out what goes so horribly wrong in society.

Musing about how best to observe 2013

The United Nations was formed in 1945 at the end of the Second World War with the participation of 51 countries.

In 2011, there were 193 members with the addition of The Republic of South Sudan.

Peace is the UN’s main objective but fostering friendly co-operation between countries, considering the plight of those burdened with poverty and possible solutions thereof, as well as to be a centre to create actions that achieve their goals are all part of the UN’s mandate.

Ain’t no mountain high enough that can keep my cool

If I were to die tomorrow, I’d like to think my children, once they got over being sad, would regale each other with tales of when their mother went berserk.

What a great word. Berserk. It hasn’t happened often but when it did, well, it is the stuff of legends.

There was the Future Shop incident with a computer I had bought from them 18 months previous and I was still without a functioning modem. Suffice to say, my patience and tolerance for poor customer service had been extinguished.