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Always wary of strangers PDF Print
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Wednesday, 22 May 2013 22:27

By Jamie Rieger

I don’t know if it’s the old age setting in or if it’s because of what I read in news releases, but for whatever reason, I have become increasingly suspicious when a stranger comes a-knocking at the door.
Yesterday, a man who claimed be doing tree cutting showed up and claimed to be looking for an address that was one digit off from my house number (which I never revealed to him). In fact, I’m not sure there is a real address for the one he was looking for.
But, I am fairly certain that my landlord would have contacted me to let me know if somebody was going to be working in the yard and as I had just spoken to my landlord a few days prior, I pretty much knew this man was not hired to do any work on the premises.
(And if it is on the agenda to do some tree and shrub trimming, could you please wait until the lilacs have finished blooming?)
Anyway, the part of me that questions everything, and I mean everything, wanted to know more about this alleged tree trimmer. For instance, why did he and his buddy show up in an SUV and not in a work truck with a trailer for hauling away the branches and such? Second, the guy asked whether I rented or owned the place. Well, does it matter? If he had been contacted by the owner, what does it matter to the tree trimmer if the place is occupied by the tenant or the owner?
Just like when the marketers come around to get me to change my utility provider or stop by the office for donations for some apparent charity, I always have my doubts about their legitimacy.
Maybe I am too suspicious, but I have never been taking in by a scammer or some fly-by-night shyster. So I apologize to the legitimate door-to-door salesman who come by, and perhaps this guy was a real tree trimmer (but I doubt it), for all the questions I will likely fire your way before telling you I’m not interested; but with all the scammers that do take advantage of people, I am not taking any chances.

Just like Roy Rogers and Trigger PDF Print
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Tuesday, 14 May 2013 16:45

By Cassie Weiss

I was only a little girl when I first laid eyes on him. He was so handsome, so sturdy, and so tall.
His whiskers tickled my hands and as he snorted I pulled away in laughter. I couldn’t resist going back for more, running my tiny paws over his velvet nose.
His name was Doc. Just Doc. He was papered, probably, but I didn’t care. To me all that mattered was those three letters spelling that simple name.
But Doc was anything but simple. He was my hero, my protector.
A liver chestnut Quarter Horse gelding, that boy spent most of his youth taking care of me.
This didn’t come without challenges, for both him and for me. He wasn’t used to this sack of potatoes that now claimed his back, downgrading from my dad, a grown man, who used to rope steers off of him, to me, a little blonde six-year-old who really had no idea what she was doing.
We had many adventures, the earliest I remember happening in a spot we rode over many times.
My parents were chasing cattle, and away they went, knowing that Doc would keep me safe. And he sure did, plodding along the prairie, realizing that keeping slow and steady was more important than chasing those rascal cattle.
This began our lifelong friendship, with the days and years following as I slowly grew up and he slowly grew older.
Into 4-H the two of us went, learning more skills and bonding on an even deeper level.
We fought, I yelled, he stomped, I fell, he waited patiently, it was a never-ending cycle of learning.
Many a child has been put on that good ol horse, and he still waits patiently, having learned that there is nothing more precious than a child.
The days still pass, and I still grow older, and so does he. I know one day he will be gone, but I also keep and hold my memories dear.
I haven’t ridden the old boy in at least a year, and it is something that is long overdue.
One day we will hit to the plains again, running at the speed of sound, both his mane and my hair flying behind us in the prairie sun. Maybe Lady will join us, or maybe she won’t, but what is important, is that we will be together once more, a better team than most people can ever dream of.

Recognizing all the special moms out there PDF Print
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Tuesday, 07 May 2013 17:19

By Jamie Rieger
Nurturer, nurse, maid, bookkeeper, coach, mediator, chauffeur, “the best cook in the world”, entertainer, storyteller, and the loudest fan in the stands. There is only one person who can wear all of these hats, and at times wear multiple hats at the same time, in a single day, and often do it with a smile and do it all for free.
That person is mom. Mothers had multitasking mastered before it was even a word. Somehow, they can take on pretty much any challenge and have it solved or crafted before the end of the day. Sheer determination, motivation, and of course, lots of love are the things that will get any mother through the day, most of which are hectic ones.
From sunrise to long past sunset, they are keeping their homes in order, driving the kids to their sports or other activities, breaking up squabbles amongst the siblings, and making sure there is a hot meal put on the table.
Moms don't do any of it for any sort of recognition either. They do it out of love and because they want what is best for their families. They just do what needs to be done.
It isn't all work for moms, although it sure seems like it sometimes. Moms take their little ones to the park, the pool, to their games, and organizes family nights, with movies, games, popcorn, and music.
Moms know there has to be a balance between the work and the fun time and has a knack of finding ways for the family to have some enjoyment on even the worst of days.
It is on those bad days and during those times of turmoil that a mother is at her strongest. While everybody around her seems to be falling apart, the mother is the strong one, being the glue that holds it all together. Just solve the problem and move on. If any tears need to be shed, it will have to be later...and often alone.
At the end of the day, after the rest of the family has gone to bed, the mom finally hangs up the dish towel, puts away her mending, folds the last of the laundry, and finally is able to put her feet up with peace and quiet. She might finally have a chance to pick up the latest novel she's been wanting to read and if she falls asleep in the chair. Gently cover her with a blanket and let her rest or lovingly send her to bed. She's had a long day and is tired. She's a mom and she deserves a good night's sleep.
Appreciate your mom and everything she does, show her how much she means to you and how thankful you are. Moms don't expect or want much, just a little thank you or gesture of appreciation to let her know you do recognize everything she does. This Sunday will be Mother's Day, but one should show their appreciation every, single day. A simple thank you or hug means a lot to moms.

It's a sad truth animals sometimes face PDF Print
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Wednesday, 01 May 2013 15:26

By Cassie Weiss
There are little things in life that absolutely disgust me to the point of no return where red is the only colour I see.
Every day you hear stories of animal abuse, posts all over social media sites of dogs that were dragged behind quads, or kittens that were doused in gasoline and then set on fire.
I’ve watched videos of fur farms in China, where animals are bludgeoned to death, or sometimes left alive, to then be skinned, no energy left to make any kind of sound.
Kat and I have applied, and been accepted, to become foster parents to another cat, and last week we almost got our newest temporary member of the family.
He was a Himalayan male cat who had been found in a trap, so weak he could barely lift his head. He was going to be transported to Medicine Hat from Lethbridge, and we were going to pick him up at a vet clinic in town.
But plans changed when the people who were going to ship the cat thought that they may have found the real owners.
I do not care who you are, if you let that happen to your animal you are not deserving of that animal.
I have heard people say about the SPCA, “Why not just put down every animal, no one wants them anyway.”
It appalls me that people could be that insensitive and cruel to animals that do nothing but give us their love.
A lot of people hear of animal activist and think of P.E.T.A., who won’t even have pets due to the cruelty of it.
I love animals, and I own animals, and I would do anything for my animals. I would never become a member of P.E.T.A. but I also have seen how animals are treated in slaughter houses, I’ve heard of people sending perfectly good animals to auction where they get picked up by the butcher.
You see people swerve to hit a gopher when driving down the highway.
There are levels of animal abuse, but none of it is okay. My pets have never given me anything other than undying love (well, except my cats, but they mean well).
If I ever go nuts and decide to douse one of them in gasoline and then light them on fire, may the exact same punishment be exacted onto me.

Public grieves for loss of life from TWO tragedies PDF Print
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Tuesday, 23 April 2013 16:41

By Jamie Rieger
Two major tragedies should be reminders to all of us about how valuable our first responders; our police officers, paramedics, and firefighters (whether paid or volunteer); are to our communities.
The bombings at the Boston marathon brought a city to its knees, albeit for a short time, as these law enforcement officials combed a neighbourhood where they thought the one still-living terrorist suspect was thought to be holed up. On a side note, I happen to have a friend who lives about two miles from where this manhunt was taking place and I don't think she or anybody in the area felt at all peaceful in those hours.
Besides killing three innocent bystanders during their ruthless, senseless act, a police officer, who was not even in pursuit of them, was ambushed and killed.
The rapid and thorough actions by law enforcement that followed led to a quick apprehension of the other suspect.
The second tragedy last week received a lot less media attention; at least by the major networks and newspapers, possibly because there was a lot less solid information available. As of Sunday, a cause of the explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas was still undetermined and investigators could not access the site initially because of the extreme danger. The blast at West, Texas, a small agricultural community not much larger than Bow Island population-wise, killed 14 people, 10 of whom were first responders, and by last accounts, at least 200 more were injured, some critically.
The fact that there was less information available and the cause is not yet known, but likely was not an intentional act, does not mean the lives lost in Texas are any less significant than those in Massachusetts. Both were incomprehensible tragedies and deserve to be treated with the same dignity. There is no explanation for either one; for what makes people commit evil acts. (The people of Boston actually don't care what the motivation was, by the way. They just want justice to be served to the fullest). There is also no reasonable explanation for why so many of a community's finest citizens could be taken in such a tragic way. The investigation will determine what caused the fire and the ensuing explosion, but the people of West, Texas are probably concerning themselves more with re-building their homes, their lives, and mourning the losses of many loved ones as others heal.
On Sunday, the members of a Baptist church congregation, where the church was not yet accessible, held their service in a hayfield, with the pastor delivering his message from atop a flatbed truck.
These people are healing and forgiving, just as the people in Boston are.
But I think most people would be in agreement when I say, that is more than enough horrible tragedy for one week.

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