These after dinner mints are so pretty that couldn’t possibly have any calories, could they?  | Sheri Hathaway photo

Homemade mints for Christmas

At the end of a family meal, we’d lean back, stuffed like turkeys. While conversation and coffee or tea circulated the table, a pretty dish of after dinner mints stole its way around as well. Our Aunt Mattie often brought her delicious homemade candy when she joined us for a special meal. We groaned but […] Read more

Brown sugar fudge makes a nice birthday or Christmas present.  | Sheri Hathaway photo

Precision important with brown sugar fudge

Author’s aunt did not believe in ‘fudging’ when making this sweet delight; she also didn’t believe in scraping the pan

Brown sugar fudge makes a welcome gift for a birthday or for Christmas, sedately reposing in an attractive container. This recipe is presented exactly the way Aunt Mattie wrote it. You may think it’s a small thing to time the boiling for 7 1/2 minutes and have your dial at No. 6, but Aunt Mattie […] Read more

January might be considered the perfect month for marmalade because it is the best time to buy citrus fruit.  |  Sheri Hathaway photo

January a great time for making marmalade

Two elderly women influenced me in making my marmalade. When I attended university in Edmonton, I boarded at Mrs. Mae Head’s home. She always made marmalade in January from Seville oranges. I can still hear her English accent as she tells me, “January’s the best time to buy oranges, you know. That’s when they’re in […] Read more


Cpl. Huron Brant of Ontario’s Bay of Quinte Band was decorated with the Military Medal in Italy in 1943 by General Bernard Montgomery for bravery at Grammichele in Sicily.  |  Supplied photo

Indigenous soldiers wore the uniform

More than 4,000 members of First Nations volunteered for the First World War and 3,000 in the Second World War

Aboriginal men and women have served Canada in all wars. In the War of 1812 before Canada was wholly independent of Great Britain, thousands of First Nations and Métis fighters fought alongside British troops and settler militia, defending Canadian territory against American invasion. Commander of the British forces, Major-General Isaac Brock, saw these warriors as […] Read more

The Hathaway family stands in front of their Rambler.  |  Hathaway family photo

Auto evolution: a prairie family joins the ride

The author remembers what it was like as her parents started down the unfamiliar road of car ownership in the middle of the last century

SASKATOON — Jim Adamson farmed in Alberta near Harold Hathaway’s place in the 1940s and they worked together for harvest. “Transportation in 1947-48 still involved horses and we had a particularly lively pair of grey Percherons, who delighted in periodically running away for no reason at all and in the process, usually completely demolished a […] Read more


Store relish in nice jars and give them away as Christmas gifts.  |  Sheri Hathaway photo

Plenty of ways to cook rhubarb

Lilacs and rhubarb have nothing in common except they are both ready for picking at the same time. On one sunny day earlier this year, I went out to my rhubarb patch, pulled several stalks and then cut lots of lilacs to take indoors with the rhubarb. Rhubarb was a staple in every early Canadian […] Read more

Prairie measles outbreak prompted quarantine in 1937

Life was significantly disrupted when family members became sick and a 21-day quarantine period went into effect


The first words of Louise McLean’s diary for 1937 were: “Jan. 1 to 22: Quarantined for measles.” She and her parents and siblings spent the last part of their Christmas holidays in isolation because her younger brother and sister had contracted measles from friends at school. “Stanley is the worst — very thin. Varina seems […] Read more

Combines have come a long way since they were first introduced to prairie farms.  | File photo

Combine a game-changer for prairie farmers

The earliest combines were pulled with huge teams of 20 horses, but by 1948 the author’s father was using a tractor

A young farmer in Alberta, Harold Hathaway, had just written a letter to his parents, now living in Vancouver. He would rather pull nose hairs with a vise grip than write a letter, but he had managed to fill up two pages by regaling the latest changes in farming. The recently discovered letter, dated Oct. […] Read more


Getting enough sleep is a key element of good health. The author’s father, as captured in this painting, would take a nap in the truck after lunch in the field during harvest.  |  Sheri Hathaway photo

Sleep deprivation causes a variety of problems

Sleep is thought to be so critical to good health that it should be considered as important as nutrition and exercise

Sleep problems such as insomnia, sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome are common for many. Our lifestyle and technology affect our sleep. Research has proven that sleep is as important to our health as diet and exercise. Studies show that sleep is a factor in reducing weight. When we are sleep deprived we have increased […] Read more

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Making the case for having a nap in the middle of the day

“Lay down for at least 15 minutes every day after lunch,” our family doctor advised Dad when he was diagnosed with an ulcer and still recovering from a back injury. The doctor advised laying on the floor to help my dad’s back but the midday rest would benefit both conditions. The idea of a rest […] Read more