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Janice DePeel

Harvest Means Busy Days Preparing for Winter

Last week a medical trip to Saskatoon coincided with my family and I being able to visit a weekly Farmer’s Market.  It was nice to see social distancing in effect while having ‘human’ contact in the form of eye contact, conversation, food and interaction as purchases were made.  The fruit truck provided a wide selection of fruit from across Canada including watermelon, cherries, blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes and vegetables such as corn.  The really great thing about visiting a larger venue is the producers are more likely to have fresh items on sale.  The day we were there the sale consisted of twenty pounds of fruit for twenty dollars.  I took particular delight in watching seasoned food preservers walking away from the fruit stand carrying boxes full of fruit, very pleased with themselves over their special find.  The spring in their step and the proud smiles on their faces was delightful to witness.  I looked at the boxes left for sale – apricots and a few plums.  I decided to pass this time but I’ll return next month to see what is available.

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Seasonal Change a Cause for Reflection

As we drove through the country side the other day, I enjoyed watching the colours of the setting sun reflect in the sky and off the water in the sloughs on the ground.  There is something magical and irreverent about the different facets of lights and colours the human eye can detect that a camera can never truly capture.  And, although it’s wonderful to see all the wildlife that has grown up over the last number of weeks, it makes me feel a little nostalgic and sad as well.  This summer seems to have passed uncharacteristically fast.  It feels like I was just counting the number of yellow-bodied ducklings that had hatched and now they’re flying!  The clouds are changing and starting to take on the familiar shapes we associate with cooler weather.  And the evening is quite chilly, requiring a sweater or blanket, once the sun goes down.

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Life is a Comedy Sometimes

Lately life has seem like a comedy special where I can neither change the channel, mute the volume or even push a ‘pause’ button to just let my brain catch up with reality so I don’t feel quite so overwhelmed.  Things were going very well until I was scheduled for day surgery one Friday a few weeks ago.  The Saturday before, I noticed a small bump about the size of a pin head and I immediately began treating it with a topical antibiotic.  I’ve had these bumps before and the ointment relieves the pain and takes the swelling away.  This time, the opposite took place and by the time Friday morning rolled around I knew the swelling would only go down if it was drained.  I apologized to my surgeon when I saw him.  “I’m sorry for wasting your time today.” He reassured me that all was fine and I met with someone who was able to help me with the swelling.  But it also meant a hospital stay.  And we do have an incredible team of hospital staff at Victoria Hospital who treated me with nothing but dignity and respect despite my desire to be at home with my children.

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Have We Learned From The Past?

COVID has me thinking about the history of my Indigenous ancestors.  When explorers landed on the shores of what is now Canada, they thought they’d found India, thus the name given to North American Indigenous people... “Indians.”  With the explorers came a disease that was apparently familiar to our Indigenous community; Scurvy.  It’s a disease that leads to death unless fruit and vegetables are added to the ailing person’s diet.  The Medicine person knew how to help the explorers, and they did.  Then Smallpox happened.

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Stay Cool

When I was a little girl, growing up at Candle Lake, hot weather never bothered me at all.  Once I hit my teens, bronchitis hit me like a sledge hammer in my lungs every February and it never really cleared up until May or June.  And once the bronchitis was gone, hot and humid weather hit and I had trouble breathing for another set of reasons. Prior to my teens, weather didn’t seem to bother me much.  And for the last decade or two, I have not had very much adverse reaction to the weather as far as breathing goes. Until this summer.  Perhaps one of the reasons I’m noticing how difficult it is to breathe is due to the humidity.  We seem to have two temperatures this summer: rainy/cold and sunny/hot/humid.  There doesn’t seem to be a moderate in between where we can all just be comfortable.  The challenge of hot and humid has led me to explore some easy, at home solutions to helping me stay cool.  Hopefully you will be able to use some of these ideas to help you find your cool zone too.

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Wednesday August 4, 2021