From Farm to Table: Everything old is new again

From Farm to Table: Everything old is new again

By Heather-Anne Wakeling - As the sun warms the land, self-taught horticulturalists spend hours cultivating home-based gardens, coaxing plant life by digging, hoeing and watering. Their “hands in the dirt” efforts are rewarded by watching wee buds that peek their way up through freshly laid topsoil grow into full-fledged plants by early summer.

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Just Saying: Weather or Not…

Just Saying: Weather or Not…

By Shelley Wildgen - Hail bigger than your head! Snowbanks as high as houses! And the heat…that oppressively sweltering newly minted summertime heat! It’s everywhere and nowhere at the same time. The weather, just air that forms into droplets and crystals, then drying out only to refill and generally doing its thing like it always has…except now, well it’s…bigger. 

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Summer Unplugged: Rediscovering how to be a kid at summer camp

Summer Unplugged: Rediscovering how to be a kid at summer camp

By Michelle Annette Tremblay - If there’s one gift I want to give my children this year, it’s the gift of camp. There are few things as Canadian or timeless as summer camp. Days spent swimming, sailing, playing tetherball, catching snakes; evenings around the camp fire with friends, singing favourite songs. It’s a tradition that spans generations. And it’s needed more today than ever.

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Making a Splash! “Hamburger” Hal Trites — Belly-Flop Champion Extraordinaire

Making a Splash! “Hamburger” Hal Trites — Belly-Flop Champion Extraordinaire

By Barry Penhale - At a current bodyweight of 410 pounds, Hal Trites is but a shadow of his former self. Now that’s not to imply that the well-known Tweed businessman is svelte! But the one-time Canadian Belly-Flop Champion is way down from the avoirdupois he previously carried on his six foot-four-inch frame.

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The Village Idiot: The bird feeder

The Village Idiot: The bird feeder

By John Hopkins - You hear all sorts of isolated creaks and groans in the country during winter nights -- ice cracking on the river, trees slowly shifting under the weight of snow, a large man in red landing a sleigh on your roof. But the sound that woke me up very early one morning was different. Rather than a single crack or creak this was a steady tapping sound, as if someone was throwing pebbles at a window pane. Or worse, as if water was steadily dripping from a leaky pipe. And it wasn’t stopping. Obviously I was going to have to investigate and hope for the best.

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Just Saying: Responses less travelled

Just Saying:  Responses less travelled

By Shelley Wildgen - “I should have said…” is a much said line. Maybe it’s because what we should have said has far more value than what we did say. Should-have-saids are sparkling and witty and always turn our conversations in the direction we wish they had gone. Those should-have-saids are conversational rock stars. Shiny and unattainable. We’ve all gone places we didn’t want to go, okayed plans we didn’t want to make, spoken our mind blindly, engaged in long conversations we didn’t want to have, alienated someone with an unnecessarily sarcastic...

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The Next Chapter: Winter words with Noah Zacharin

The Next Chapter: Winter words with Noah Zacharin

Story and photos by Sarah Vance - It is in the woods north of Slabtown that Canadian singer and songwriter Noah Zacharin has been producing his latest music. A vintage typewriter sits atop his desk, a guitar is within reach, and his studio window overlooks the York River’s icy refracting shoreline... Zacharin finds Carlow Mayo’s tranquility absorbing as he gradually closes one chapter in his life as a dentist in Toronto’s busy inner city to pursue his parallel career as a singer, songwriter and poet northwest of Bancroft.

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Worlds Apart? Swiss region and Stirling share some traits

Worlds Apart? Swiss region and Stirling share some traits

By Angela Hawn - Step out the door of our temporary new digs in the lovely rural town of Switzerland’s Farvagny le Grand and savour the rustic sounds of cows lowing in the distance, frequently accompanied by that homey whiff of manure associated with cows everywhere. Ah, so much like our former surroundings back in beautiful Stirling, Hastings County. Except here, the cows generally sport bells, and on special occasions, flowers and even hats!When my family decided late last March to move abroad for a year courtesy of a job exchange for dad, we eagerly anticipated all the differences encountered when living in a new culture. And, to our delight, there have been many.

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Working Class Dogs: Trials all business for this crew

Working Class Dogs: Trials all business for this crew

By Susan Shipton - “First it was one dog and a small car. Then two dogs and a bigger car. Then more dogs and another move up in car size. A camper for going to trials and clinics followed.” This is how Tara Dier describes the progression of her sheep dogging hobby.Dier was settled into a career as a lawyer in Toronto when she decided to get her first dog. She had a friend with a Border Collie so she chose that breed due to what she describes with a laugh as “no great amount of imagination”. She went to her friend’s breeder and got a puppy. She called him ‘Doug’.

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Sterling Silver: Exercise group gets fit and raises funds

Sterling Silver: Exercise group gets fit and raises funds

Story and photos by Lorraine Gibson-Alcock - As I woke up the other day after my first exercise class in over 30 years, with my body aching in unfamiliar places, the old expression came to mind, “In for a penny, in for a pound!” A pound of flesh, that is!A neighbour of mine talked to me about this exercise club, ‘The Silver Foxes’, she was starting up a few years ago, but as I was still working full time I did not research it further. But as I got older and worried about the formidable aches and pains of getting older, plus the additional pounds going on my frame, I decided now was the time!

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Circle of Hope: Talking about the land between

Circle of Hope: Talking about the land between

Story and photos by Michelle Annette Tremblay - The Land Between is the only area in the province with exposed rock barrens, and also has the highest concentration of lakes. We have an abundance of lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands; swamps, fens, bogs, and marshes. With all this water and plant diversity comes an explosion of animal and insect diversity. The Land Between hosts flora and fauna from both the north and the south, living side by side. There are also species living here that you won't find anywhere else in the world, including the five-lined skink, Ontario's only native lizard. 

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Still Swinging: Commodores Orchestra celebrates 90 years

Still Swinging: Commodores Orchestra celebrates 90 years

By John Hopkins
It seems like these days longevity in the music business is measured in years, perhaps months, but certainly not decades. Yet in 2018 Belleville’s own Commodores Orchestra will celebrate nine decades of swinging. It is an impressive achievement for any musical collection, but especially for a group that not only grew and thrived through the big band era of the 1940s, but has also managed to keep the music alive through the lean years as well.

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Remembering Vimy Ridge: Preserving Our Military Past

Remembering Vimy Ridge: Preserving Our Military Past

By Barry Penhale
Guardians of Canada’s history warrant a big vote of appreciation for the countless ways our war dead have been remembered. Honouring those men and women in the armed forces who gave their all is evident in the built memorials across Hastings County and by the annual November 11 Remembrance Day services.

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The Village Idiot: Laughing in your face

The Village Idiot: Laughing in your face

By John Hopkins

In his book ‘Sajo and her Beaver People’ the author Grey Owl – widely acknowledged for his appreciation of our First Nations – remarks on the industriousness and intelligence of the beaver. He describes them as “the very wisest” among the creatures of the forest, and “especially respected” by the native Canadians.I find I must also pay them a grudging respect, following the events of last autumn, although I might choose to use words like conniving and devious in my assessment.

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