From communism to Canada

Local reverend recounts the humorous and the trying in his life adventure

From communism to CanadaJoan Janzen for The Clarion Kindersley resident Piotr (Peter) Strzeleck experienced the culture shock of transitioning from communist Poland to our nation of Canada in the fall of 1993. Though his homeland had already been free of communist rule for several years, Rev. Peter couldn’t recall any dramatic changes that took place as a result.…

Preparing for another Christmas at Skelhp

There are lights to hang, cleanup work to be done inside and out, kindling to split, a turkey to order and a final round of gifts to buy

Preparing for another Christmas at SkelhpIt’s very calm this morning and still a dark grey overcast at 7 a.m. The offshore islands are shrouded in mist. There’s no sign of human habitation right across the southern horizon. No rising plumes of chimney smoke are visible. No boats or tugs and booms are passing. And it’s cold in the house. Time…

This Christmas, resolve to go device-free one day a week

Starting this Christmas, have the guts to turn off the phone for a few days – okay, start with one day – and contemplate what you have to celebrate

This Christmas, resolve to go device-free one day a weekSomeone once asked me if I missed the mayhem of owning a business at Christmas time. The truth is, I do. While I don’t miss taking inventory, all the extra hours, the squeeze of trying to find enough time for family and customers, figuring out if there should be a Christmas bonus or another program,…

How to shake off your Christmas stress

People who have a calm perspective make better decisions than those who are stressed. And stress behaviour is self-perpetuating

How to shake off your Christmas stressIt’s almost that time of year again – the shops are filling up, along with the roads, and people’s stress levels are increasing. Christmas is a time of tradition. Some people have huge family gatherings with relatives from all over the place, others prefer a quiet evening – fireplace, wine, blanket and time off work.…

Are you one plum pudding away from a Christmas meltdown?

The pre-Christmas preparation can turn the jolliest of elves into Scrooges

Are you one plum pudding away from a Christmas meltdown?I have a holiday cocktail napkin that reminds me to keep a sense of humour during the busy weeks leading up to Christmas Day. The napkin depicts a spotless 1950’s kitchen where a mother and daughter are preparing to take Christmas dinner out of the oven. The little girl looks excited about the feast ahead,…

A different kind of Christmas list

Five-year-old Kinley Hildebrandt and her parents, Candis and Justin, are waiting to receive a call saying a liver donor has been found for Kinley

A different kind of Christmas listJoan Janzen for The Clarion Christmas is coming, and five-year-old Kinley Hildebrandt and her parents, Candis and Justin, and big brother Cohen would love nothing more than to receive a call saying a liver donor has been found for Kinley. It’s been four weeks since Kinley was placed on a waiting list for a liver transplant;…

Is it time to trade in your bratty kid?

Trade, trade, trade your way to the perfect family

Is it time to trade in your bratty kid?A few years back my dog suffered from GDV, gastric dilatation volvulus, a sudden killer that can affect the healthiest dog. GDV is more commonly known as gastric torsion, where that cute, furry little quadruped stomach flips like a young Eastern bloc gymnast and is quite often fatal if not caught in time. Even if…

Falling in love with barbecue

Jack Thompson of BroBBQ.com talks about the necessity of a slow and patient, yet spontaneous approach to grilling

Falling in love with barbecueJack Thompson is founder of BroBBQ.com. What is BroBBQ and what do you do? Where are you located? When and why did you start this up? Thompson: BroBBQ is my brainchild, dedicated solely to all things BBQ. We are located in Texas. BroBBQ started February 2018 and I decided to start it just because BBQ is…

Taking the stress out of Christmas, preserving the joy

Christmas isn’t about gifts, a blanket of snow, a crackling fire and carols. It's about family, and creating warm memories

Taking the stress out of Christmas, preserving the joyIt was cold the other day – really cold. As I sat in a coffee shop with a cup of tea, preparing to answer a few emails during a break from Christmas shopping, I noticed four shivering teens – opting for fashion instead of warmth. They ordered hot chocolates, then headed to a far corner of…

Staying when the government tells you to move

How a decision to remain in an ancestral village helped ensure a family maintained strong ties to a culture

Staying when the government tells you to moveIn 1968, my father took me to Yuquot on Nootka Island, off the west coast of Vancouver Island, because he wanted me to see where Capt. James Cook first stepped ashore in 1778. Little did he know that because of this visit, our family was about to begin a lifelong friendship with Ray and Terry…

Reaching out, leaning in to improve mental health

Connie Jakab of Movement with a Message talks about addressing mental wellness concerns at home and in the workplace

Reaching out, leaning in to improve mental healthConnie Jakab is a mental health speaker and owner of Movement with a Message. Tell me what Movement with a Message is all about? Jakab: Movement With A Message is about building community, courage and compassion in our society. We do this through school workshops, mental health presentations with our National Hope Talks division (nationalhopetalks.com),…

A will gives you control of your affairs after your death

Sandy Lyons of Grant Thornton Ltd. explains that, when you die without a will, any prior verbal wishes to family and next of kin can be set aside

A will gives you control of your affairs after your deathSandy Lyons is a licensed insolvency trustee with Grant Thornton Ltd.’s consumer insolvency team in Calgary. Why do so many people not have a will? Lyons: It can be a matter of cost, not wanting to look at and plan for end of life, a lack of understanding and knowledge of what steps must be completed…

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid perfect for suburban families

Built in Ontario, it offers comfort, versatility, plenty of storage and economy

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid perfect for suburban familiesThe 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, Canada’s only hybrid minivan, is a great choice for families whose parents commute to a job where they can recharge at their place of employment. It has plenty of seating and storage room, which makes it perfect for parents who haul around soccer or hockey players with all their equipment.…

Do intentional communities make retirement sense?

Picturing a idyllic rural setting with exercise, freedom, stimulation – and support as needed. All crafted to cater to seniors

Do intentional communities make retirement sense?My Mom is still teaching me life lessons in her 90s. Chief of these recently has been the creation of an intentional community in which to retire. After a year spent essentially nursing my father through his final days in a fashionable, for-profit Vancouver rest home, he died and she decided to move into an…

Millennials face challenges dealing with inheritance

Shawnette Fraser of TD Canada Trust says its important to remember that there are emotions at play

Millennials face challenges dealing with inheritanceShawnette Fraser is district vice-president of Calgary North for TD Canada Trust. How big of a market is the millennial generation these days for Canadian financial institutions? Fraser: Millennials make up a large portion of our population, and as customer service-based business we need to be looking to how we can best support them in their…
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