Posts by Nancy Whelan

Of Brains And Books …

Posted by on Aug 27, 2017 in Current Posts, Featured Slider Posts, General, Health & Wellness | 1 comment

Of Brains And Books …

 What? Why? How? When someone close to you suffers a stroke, you suffer too … groping for answers to questions you never expected to ask. Some questions go without answers, but many of the answers are out there just waiting to be found. When my dearest friend and partner suffered a stroke eight years ago his friends and mine rallied round with sympathy, support and suggestions that might help both of us. Some offered suggestions for a book or an article that could help shed some light on a phenomenon that we knew little about and never expected to deal with. And then came an invitation to...

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My Garden Decor

Posted by on Jun 8, 2017 in Art, Current Posts, Featured Slider Posts, Gardening, General | 0 comments

My Garden Decor

Even when your thumb is not particularly green, you can have an intriguing garden– certainly one with more personal, perhaps nostalgic, history behind it than the heirloom rose in the corner. Not to knock the roses though, because my robust and invasive Rugosa, covered with scented blooms, carries with it a story of the Alaska Highway. But back to those garden specimens that have sprouted without roots and need no pruning or fertilizing. Probably the first of these is an ancient cast iron Franklin fireplace. While directing its placement in a corner by the hedge of my present yard, my husky...

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Same Desk, New Toys.

Posted by on Mar 6, 2017 in Current Posts, Featured Slider Posts, General | 0 comments

Same Desk, New Toys.

This is a second chapter on the foibles of my family room desk and writing corner with a little illustration to indicate only too clearly the dearth of good housekeeping which too often invades that particular space. (Editor – a link to the first chapter is at the end of this one). However, the new year has brought about a few changes; I was going to say improvements, but that’s not exactly the right word in every case. When last year’s computer of a certain age (known to me and a few in the loop as ‘Alvin VI’ ),  seemed to be forgetting a lot of what I’d told him and...

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If Winter Comes …

Posted by on Feb 1, 2017 in Current Posts, Featured Slider Posts, Gardening, General | 0 comments

If Winter Comes …

January, the winter month with probably the most shivery feelings involved, this year being no exception, is a month with a dual personality. Even the harsh sound of the month’s name grates on one. But January took its name full of stern consonants from a two–faced god so it does have some redeeming features.      The god Janus, supposedly adopted from the Greeks and given a Roman name, is sculpted, painted, and carved as a stern figure whose head looks in two opposite directions, backward and forward. He was known to preside over conflicts and wars; the gates of Roman cities were...

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Books, Bills & Bios.

Posted by on Nov 20, 2016 in Current Posts, Featured Slider Posts, General, Lifestyles | 0 comments

Books, Bills & Bios.

That title pretty much describes my desk in what I call the ‘view area’ of my family room. When I first looked at this spot some decades ago when house-hunting, it sported a rudimentary desk, but what truly grabbed my attention then was this corner’s ideal placement with easy access to the kitchen beyond. What better place to store helpful book titles, pay the inevitable bills, and write irresistible biographies of talented artists, writers and musicians or announce the what, where, and when of upcoming events? Here I could sit searching for just the right phrase, watch the decreasing...

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“Dear Little Buttercup”

Posted by on Jun 22, 2016 in Current Posts, Featured Slider Posts, Gardening, General | 0 comments

“Dear Little Buttercup”

With a quote from Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore many a gardener could well agree: “I’m called Little Buttercup – dear little buttercup, though I never could tell why”. It’s that word ‘dear’, likely the very last adjective to come to mind as on hands and knees, we try to extract, eradicate, and remove forever the creeping scourge of Ranunculus repens. Although the buttercup has its tame and cultivated cousins, it’s the one that fills our spring fields and garden beds that earns the title of an aggressive major weed. A favourite walk down the back lane where I can...

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Time To Think Spring

Posted by on Jan 21, 2016 in Current Posts, Featured Slider Posts, Gardening, General | 0 comments

Time To Think Spring

The seed catalogues have been here for a month. You might be spending evenings in the rocker by the fire, but as you start dreaming and flipping pages, drawing up backyard maps, planning and deciding, checking those boxes of saved or leftover seeds, you may come to the realization that the months of dirty fingernails are not far away. And … “SEEDY SATURDAY” is just around the corner. This year’s “Seedy” in Qualicum Beach will bloom on Saturday, February 6, from 10:00 AM till 3:30 PM at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre, filling all the halls and overflowing outdoors, as usual. Many...

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Safety In My Garden

Posted by on May 8, 2015 in Gardening, Lifestyles | 3 comments

Safety In My Garden

I have to thank Peggy Grigor and her Island Woman piece of March 23rd, “Lessons in My Garden” for finally getting me busy on this article! Her thoughtful thoughts remind me of that line from the Prophet Muhammad: “If I had but two loaves of bread, I would sell one of them and buy hyacinths for my soul.” In the interests of keeping body and soul together, I want to offer some tips to help us enjoy not only the planting of those hyacinths (and peonies, and asters …) but their bloom to come. Gardening is fun, but it’s also work, and it can nag at us if we get behind in the caring for...

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Give Up The Wheel?

Posted by on Jan 27, 2015 in Lifestyles | 1 comment

Give Up The Wheel?

Some time ago one of those photo jokes appeared in my inbox. The single frame showed an intent and apprehensive ‘grey hair’ hunched at the wheel; in the passenger seat sat a small dog with a look of abject terror on its face. The caption? “How you’ll know when it’s time to stop driving.” Yes, humorous, but an unsettling message for those of us who might be approaching ‘wheels loss’.  While we’re still safely in charge of a vehicle is the best time to consider the evidence that could lead to hanging up the keys, as well as some simple steps that can maintain, or even improve...

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A Stroke of Luck

Posted by on Oct 7, 2014 in Health & Wellness | 0 comments

A Stroke of Luck

It was a cold and snowy January morning five years ago when I found a dear friend slumped in his chair, breathing but unresponsive, his empty coffee cup rolled away from him on the carpet. It was three days since I’d last seen him, hale and hearty on a bird-watching hike. When the ambulance team had him wrapped and strapped on a stretcher, I asked, “Do you think it’s a stroke?” “Probably,” was the terse answer. Six months later my friend was moved from hospital, after a minimum of therapy, to a care facility. Five months after that he was brought to my home for a holiday...

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At My Mother’s Knee

Posted by on May 9, 2014 in Lifestyles | 0 comments

At My Mother’s Knee

As reminded in a recent letter, mothers are people to be loved, respected, cherished, and cared for (or not) every day of our years, not only on a Sunday in May when our outpourings of affection have been directed to the bottom lines of Coutts/Carlton, florists, and fancy eating places. Every one of us remembers our mothers differently, just as our growing and present years are different; some of us still have our mothers, others have been without them for months or decades. Some may still be grieving their loss. The memories are bound to be varied and innumerable. Whatever form the memories,...

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They Also Serve Who …

Posted by on Feb 24, 2014 in Health & Wellness | 0 comments

They Also Serve Who …

A few years back, a dear friend and I often commented on the ongoing construction of two care facilities in Parksville and Qualicum Beach, most often expressing our vehement desires to end up any place but … Fate was not listening though, and since a severe stroke, my dear friend has been a resident in one of these buildings for five years. I, on the other hand, have been a constant visitor to the facility, and though I most dearly cherish my health and freedom, I now appreciate the gap these facilities fill; the link between self-sufficiency and dependence in our community; and yes, the...

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Colour your Winter

Posted by on Jan 13, 2014 in Lifestyles | 0 comments

Colour your Winter

Island Woman articles breed articles, as do casual emails from family. Two of these, juxtaposed on the same day, incubated this one. Sarah & Sean’s “Beauty on a Cold Grey Day” led me to remember the outdoor colour present even on the most miserable of our days, and a note from my daughter in chilly Fort McMurray, in reply to my dismay at dismantling holiday décor, suggested we needed that indoor colour through February. Pandora’s box popped open! Away with the winter blahs! In the midst of some other necessary but mundane job, I made the first splash. The aging Christmas...

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Now that was a dress code!

Posted by on Oct 18, 2013 in Lifestyles | 0 comments

Now that was a dress code!

What to wear – check the sumptuary laws!  A couple of definitions to start: SUMPTUOUS– costly, lavish SUMPTUARY – seeking to regulate extravagance on religious or moral (and, we might add, profitability and ‘class’) grounds It was a few paragraphs in Sally Armstrong’s book, “The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor” that got me curious about vanity or sumptuary laws. Said the 18th century colonial heroine while story-telling to her offspring, “Women were so painted and hidden behind all manner of costume for every occasion, Parliament (in England) finally passed a...

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How Sweet It Is!

Posted by on Jun 27, 2013 in Food, Health & Wellness | 1 comment

How Sweet It Is!

The first pleasure of my mornings starts with drooling a spoonful of golden honey into that first cup of coffee. Only then do the lists and chores of the day follow the sweet sipping from a sturdy wide-bottomed mug. Beekeeping naturally precedes the collection of honey, and beekeeping has often been out of favour in urban areas. But with the growing interest in and appreciation of homegrown food, the option of keeping a hive or two of bees in one’s own backyard is again becoming part of a homeowner’s possibilities for providing her own food. Just this spring, Qualicum Beach adopted a...

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Abreast Of Life

Posted by on Mar 29, 2013 in Health & Wellness, Lifestyles | 0 comments

Abreast Of Life

“You take on rough waters with the challenge of winning Dragon Boat competitions – it is a brilliant metaphor for your own individual battles and for your many victories over this disease.” Thus did BC’s then Lieutenant-Governor, Her Honour Iona Campagnola, welcome nearly three hundred breast cancer survivors at Government House in 2006. The gala reception and dinner celebrated the tenth anniversary of Victoria’s survivor team, Island Breaststrokers. Our own Central Vancouver Island team of survivors, Abreast of Life was there to hear Her Honour continue, “This is the...

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