Path in the woods Arts & Life, Columns

Spill the Beans: A walk in the woods

When I moved to the farm after 13 years of living in the city, my grandmother suggested I start small. You know, small garden, only a few chickens, don’t bite off more than you can chew…I didn’t really listen. Maybe I should have. But now, almost three years into my prairie farm life, I think it might be too late to heed her wise advice… Spill the beans is a weekly column chronicling my attempts… Read More
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What once was old is new again

On Monday, July 20, 2015 once the servers finished doing what they do, the Spectator Tribune will have shed its once current design for clean lines, white space, and intuitive usability. It’ll be a better experience for those reading and those writing. Read More

Healing Canada’s ailing democracy starts with how we vote

Our politics are an extension of ourselves, not something that exists separately from us. Even those who cannot be bothered to vote are a part of this system; their inaction is an endorsement of the sorry status quo. Our entire political system—from the way we structure our institutions to the manner in which we select those to serve within them—are symbolic of how we see ourselves, and what we value as a country. What the current Parliament of Canada says about us is very sad, indeed. Read More
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Pet Patter: Dog massage, part two: Therein lies the rub

The act of pet massage ought to be relaxing for both your pet and for you, so make sure you are in the right frame of mind before you begin. Do not hesitate to pat your dog or praise him while administering massage. Be sure to speak softly. Your dog should view this process as a treat or reward; something to enjoy, not endure. Let us do everything we can to make them feel safe, stimulated and loved. Read More
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Daddy Issues: Fathers of confederation, fathers of reconciliation

Names are important as signifiers of who and what we are. They are also indicators of a historical trajectory of which we — whether acknowledged or not — are all set upon together. We’ve decided to name our firstborn of this new generation Russin, and the following is a brief history — cobbled together by insights from my father, nana, great aunts and an admittedly amateur interest in our country’s history — of that name. Read More
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We’re all sweaty and having fun: The 2015 Winnipeg Folk Festival

Folk Fest is this sort of unifying event that brings all sorts of people in, and provides an opportunity to not only see great performers, but also pals who migrate back to the city for the summer, or that friend of a friend you see around, or that person you were in a super professional work meeting with one time, only now they're wearing a sarong. Read More
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Spill the Beans: Starting all over

The sourdough recipe in the book is simple. First you make the starter, feed it regularly and when it’s ready (seriously, the worst words you can possibly hear when you have no idea what that even means), you make the bread. Sounds easy, right? The first loaf turned out alright. It was small, but utterly delicious. At the time, I found the feeding of the starter tedious and the making of the bread took all day. And who has time for that? I wasn’t smitten like people seemed to be. Read More
Photo credit: Jamie Dyck

Spill the Beans: Going to the dogs

When you move to the country, you need a dog. You need a dog to let you know that there might be something lurking in the bushes down by the creek, which they had better investigate. You need a dog to keep the deer out of the garden and the raccoons out of the garage. You need a dog to alert you that a strange vehicle is on the yard. You need a dog to keep you company when you’re working in the garden all day, so you don’t appear to be talking to yourself. Read More
Provider by Bry Webb
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Daddy Issues: Provider

A human is growing inside of one of us, and it is not me. I’m having difficulty finding purpose, or feeling useful when social roles are fluid and yet biological ones remain so static. In so many ways we do not want to become our fathers — and yet they seem to be the role we gravitate to by default. Read More
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Spill the Beans: Howdy neighbour!

Last weekend, our neighbours asked us to chore their animals while they were away. This is another thing that neighbours do. We’ll be away this summer and we’ll need someone to check up on, feed and water our chickens. And likely, it will be one of our neighbours either repaying a favour or hoping that we’ll help them out somewhere down the road. Read More
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Daddy Issues: Fearing his children would depose him

My best friend is going to give birth to our child in about a month or so. No, we're not ready. I don't think we can be. It's not that I'm not excited about it — it's just that I'm caught wriggling beneath a massive Sisyphean boulder of anxiety when I think of the social, moral and economic gravity of raising another human being. Read More
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Safe to drink?

A recent CBC News investigation has discovered the City of Winnipeg is only testing for 49 of Health Canada's voluntary but recommended 75 substances that could contaminate water supplies. Read More