Explore mindfulness meditation Parkdale-Cromdale Community League offers free meditation classes on Tuesdays

A mindfulness meditation class is held every Tuesday between 7 and 8:30 pm at Parkdale-Cromdale Community League (11335 85 Street). This free class gives neighbourhood residents an opportunity to explore how sitting meditation practice can help you become more calm. Over time, meditation helps develop serenity not only during class, but also in everyday life. People practicing mindfulness meditation use a relaxed yet upright posture and pay attention to the natural flow of breath. All are invited to attend.

Looking for butterflies This year, let’s resolve to help others

Have you ever been in a room when someone walks in and everyone is immediately drawn to that person? That individual exudes easiness, openness, and genuine warmth, making them approachable. That person has a healthy self-image and is a soaring butterfly.

In order to experience happy human relations, we must consider self-image. Depending on the way we perceive ourselves, self-image dictates how we behave.

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Sowing seeds for savings Growing sustainable food from seed to table

Urban agriculture is on the rise in Edmonton. With tough economic times ahead and food prices steadily increasing, it’s a good time to turn that overgrown patch of lawn into a garden.

Gardening can seem overwhelming, but it is simpler than it sounds. All you need is a few square feet of the great outdoors along with water and time. Even if you don’t have a yard, you can still grow food. Consider container gardening if you have a sunny balcony or patio, or even a herb garden on a bright windowsill. It’s amazing how many tomatoes or peppers can grow out of one pot. Another option is to take advantage of a community garden.

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The surprises of life lessons What I’ve learned on my journey in motherhood

Katherine Noreen arrived on a sunny July morning with a wide-eyed, questioning glare, as if to say, “ Why was I just pulled out of my warm comfy place?” Those words have been the metaphor for the last six months of my life.

At 42 years old, I had nine months to contemplate what my life had become. Three years prior I was a pediatrician working in rural Bethel, Alaska. My parents were deceased and I was so engrossed in my work that I had no intentions of getting married or having children. Everything changed when I met my now-husband Justin while on vacation in Mexico and he showed me that life could be different. I took a leap of faith, moved to Edmonton and now I am a mother.

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Everyone can be a little bit Irish The Serca Festival of Irish Theatre showcases celtic culture on Alberta Ave

For many people, St. Patrick’s Day is an opportunity to wear green and celebrate Irish culture, but organizers of Serca Festival are hoping to engage Edmontonians in Irish theatre.

Mark Henderson, the creative director and founder of Serca, explained the festival goes beyond a literal definition of Irish theatre. The plays featured at the festival could be about Ireland or by Irish playwrights, or they could be translations of non-Irish plays by Irish playwrights. They could also, as festival producer Michael Clark said, “be about the Irish experience.”

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The sound and story of The Secretaries The decade-old Edmonton band is playing at SkirtsAfire

The Secretaries are having brunch in Amy van Keeken’s kitchen on a Sunday afternoon, before rehearsal. Happy dogs lie at their feet. It’s a cozy domestic scene, but don’t be mistaken—this band isn’t made up of shrinking violets.

Colleen Brown, Natasha Fryzuk and Amy van Keeken work hard for the money (so hard for it, honey).

“We just wanted to jam,” said guitarist van Keeken. Six people showed up at their first session, but by the second, the band was distilled to its core members.

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Celebrating women International Women’s Day examines equality, challenges, and progress

“Women, like men, should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others.” – Amelia Earhart

International Women’s Day, which falls on March 8, is a global event celebrating the economic, social, and political achievements of women and calling for change and equality.

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Stretching the food budget Creative ways to grow food, save money and stay healthy

It’s no secret that food costs have increased. For some, that jump has barely registered, but for many of us, it has impacted our budgets noticeably. What has caused food prices to soar? Where does that leave those of us with tight finances? Are there alternatives to purchasing expensive fresh fruits and vegetables?

Part of the reason food costs have risen is because of the high price of oil. Large-scale farms require machinery to mechanically harvest products and the cost of transport has also increased. Climate change is another culprit, with floods, droughts, and storms in various areas destroying harvests. The low Canadian dollar is another, more recent factor. Finally, some governments have banned exports of foods, fearing shortages and ensuing political instability. Such bans mean low supply and correspondingly higher prices.

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Welcoming Syrian refugees How a group banded together to help a refugee family

Kathryn Rambow is still dragging around that cold. There has been no time to recuperate. A refugee family—the first installment—arrives on the plane tomorrow.

Rambow, an Alberta Avenue resident, has been busy ensuring a two bedroom apartment is outfitted for a young family of four. Rambow is part of the Refugee Response Group, a few dozen people (some local) who connected to welcome Syrian refugees.

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Striving for the Olympic Games Parkdale resident and sabre fencer proves that dedication pays off

Nine years ago, Parkdale resident Marissa Ponich didn’t know much about sabres, a cavalry weapon used on horseback long ago.

Andrew Rusheleau, Ponich’s then-boyfriend (now husband) introduced her to sabre fencing when she was attending the University of Alberta. She came to love the sport under the guidance of coach Sergei Kazimirski, founder of Sergei’s Sabre Club.

Today she’s one of the top women’s sabre fencers in Canada.

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