Cathy-Hird-tulipsBy Cathy Hird
Creation is in a hurry. One day last week, the tulip buds had barely formed when I went in for lunch. After the meal, there were ten brilliant red flowers near the tool-shed with rose coloured ones beside the lilacs. An hour later, there were yellow and red ones by the house.

It wasn't just tulips. When I walked down the hill to weed part of the garden, I saw dandelion leaves. When I came back to the house, fourteen were in flower. Until that day the only colour came from the daffodils, bright yellow trumpets, a double white one, and some with pale rose trumpets and white petals. Suddenly, there was colour everywhere.

foodswap-featureOwen Sound's first food swap will be held Sunday, May 24 at the Owen Sound Farmers' Market.

In essence, a food swap is a free community event where participants bring homemade, homegrown or foraged foods - things like rhubarb, jam, lettuce, granola, bread, or pickles- and swap their goods with other participants. Everyone is guaranteed to leave with a bounty of delicious foods to try and perhaps make new, like-minded foodie friends, too. 

One of the organizers, Melissa Monk, explained her enthusiasm, “Food swaps have been gaining in popularity for a few years, spurred on by media like this New York Times article and have become a bit of a mainstay in the urban eat-local scene. The entire concept seemed like a great fit for our town.”

The first event is going to be held at the Owen Sound Farmers' Market on Sunday, May 24th from 1-3 PM.

More information is on the website or Facebook page and people can sign up for the event for free here.

newborn-featureby Jon Farmer

It's easy to be cynical when glossy greeting cards and slick ads make holidays seem like superficial excuses to spend money. But as much as consumerism strips the spirit of a holiday it's important to remember why we celebrate, especially on Mother's Day. We all literally owe our lives to our mothers but the commercial expectations of a North American Mother's Day can taint authentic gratitude. As we celebrate mothers and motherhood today, let a small dose of perspective be a suitable antidote.

Mothers are incredible. They carry developing fetuses for 40 weeks, then give birth to babies and nurture them. The mother's hormonal shifts and physical changes to her accommodate the pregnancy and culminate in a birth that requires a baby to exit its mother's body – one way or another. Our mothers literally bleed to bring us into the world.

Language is important here. Saying that a mother 'gives' birth should remind us that a child has received something through the process: life. Every other gift we ever receive is a bonus on top of that first one. But as a culture we take birth for granted. Readily accessible and capable healthcare, caricatured portrayals of birth in popular culture, and polite avoidance of health-related topics in every day conversations make birth seem normal and simple.Enough of that. Today we express gratitude because the price of motherhood is high and too many women around the world die just becoming mothers.

cdss-musicians-featBy Jon Farmer
I could tell it was going to be a good afternoon as I was walking up the steps. The murmur of conversations and laughter mixed with fragments of music and poured out of the St George's Hall. Inside, dozens of contra-dancers mingled while musicians tuned their instruments on the crowded stage. It was the last afternoon of the Country Dance & Song Society's Owen Sound event and I was there to find out about contra dance.


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