Gratitude makes the journey better and so does kindness

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Weekly column: Spring is here – Let’s make it brighter yet with safety and kindness

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Monday, April 12, 2021.

We’re finally moving into spring. It’s been a tug-of-war as of late, with snowy mornings and frosty windshields yet again, some strong and cold winds too, but the days are getting brilliantly sunny and long enough to be able to fit enough in one with time to spare.

The sun is coaxing out more people, and there seem to be many more cars on the road because there’s much to do around here. The latter calls for some extra reminders for safety.

Weekly column (from two weeks ago): Killing is not the solution for managing wildlife

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on March 22, 2021.

Do you remember the first couple of months into the pandemic when social media was inundated with images of wild critters strolling through cities and other areas usually frequented by humans that were suddenly empty due to people staying home? Photoshop tricks notwithstanding, we were indeed witnessing a different level of interaction with mother nature and its wild children, albeit from a far.

Nature, it is safe to say, has since become the ultimate and absolute saviour of humanity as the COVID-19 crisis progressed to envelop us into a grip that has yet to lessen. We cannot travel the way we used to, but people took to nearby trails and when and where allowed, they went camping.

Weekly Column: B.C.’s wolves are still being killed but will that save the caribou?

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on September 16, 2019.

I will save you the suspense. The answer is not likely, according to many wildlife researchers who have studied the issue from all sides because of what’s at stake, which is the balance of entire ecosystems. The conclusion, though not generally accepted because it depends who you ask, is that you cannot cull (kill, in plain language) a species to protect another, they say.

The wolf cull that has been going on in British Columbia for five years will now be followed by an even more intensive one, according to a leaked memo from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. More than 80 percent of the wolves in certain parts of the province where the caribou herds are in steep decline are to be ousted, which will hopefully see the caribou surviving and thriving.

What would Dr. Seuss say…

One facet…

Two days ago, I read a thought-provoking article about the strategy (or one of them) that Dr. Seuss used to create his work. He was challenged (it was a $50 bet in fact) to write a kids’ book using only 50 words that a grade 1 student would understand and handle with ease. Green Eggs and Ham was born and if you haven’t read it yet, please do today because that it will make your day, and beyond. It has rhyme, reason (obviously) and quirkiness galore.

When the boys were little, we collected and read as much Dr. Seuss as we could. Quirky and funny and rolling off the tongue is the recipe for what children like in a book and parents can read many, many times over without wanting to tear their hair out of sheer boredom. Not with Dr. Seuss’s books. A healthy side-effect: They incited the boys to want to read by themselves. Just to have that silly rumble of words come out of their mouths instead of mine.

Why it matters that we exercise simplicity (while it is still a choice)

Every now and then I play an interesting game with myself. I deliberately avoid buying more food when we still have enough supplies in the house to make a few more meals. The process conjures creativity but that’s what makes it interesting. That’s where empowerment sprouts.

Seriously though, why do it?

Why not decide on a menu and then shop for ingredients? Spoiler alert: this is not a cooking post; as you will see below, it goes far beyond that. Why cook with whatever available, when available? Because:

Weekly Column: For the Love of Trees

Did you know that March 21st is the International Day of Forests? It was established back in 2012 by the United Nations General Assembly. Not many people know that because it is not highly publicized; social media is filled with reminders of international days of, cupcakes included, to the point of rendering us nauseated. Forests of all things should not be left aside. We exist because they exist. Coincidentally, March 21st is the first day of spring, so let’s hope the reminder sticks.

Weekly Column: Climate Change Challenges Will Never Be Solved With Cat Doors

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on January 7, 2019. 

If you want to chuckle, check out the amusing story of how a $2,000 cat door installed in a West Vancouver home can help fight climate change (embedded in the $3 million home it belongs too.) To be fair, the article has some good information on passive houses, or net-zero homes, but you might find yourself jaded by the time you get to the part where the 11-foot windows are described (shipped from Europe, they were.) Carbon footprint applies to the whole product and the processes involved in building it, no?

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