Now that spring is sometimes in the air, I have the urge to plant a few vegetables.

There’s only one problem now that I’m an apartment dweller – I have to use containers.

And that means I’ll have to go to war – not with my neighbours but with the downtown squirrels.

Squirrels never bothered me when I had a real garden, but since I’ve tried container gardening, they can’t contain their glee. Last summer, for example, I’d plant a box and the next morning the planter would be dug up and earth scattered to the four corners of the deck.

It didn’t much matter what I planted – dutch sets, tomato plants, or just vegetable seeds – chaos reigned each morning.

If I caught them in the act early in the morning, they’d chuckle and then take off along the fence to the nearest tree.

If I’m wearing a squirrel skin hat this fall, you know I went to war. If I’m not, I’ve given up gardening.


Speaking of vegetables, the president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture says many young people don’t know how to prepare a meal from scratch because they have never been shown how.

Mark Whale told Premier Kathleen Wynne Wednesday at a breakfast meeting at Queen’s Park that the government should bring back home economics to the schools so teen boys and girls would at least know the basics of cooking.

The Bluewater Board of Education, of course, closed the shop and home economics room at KTTPS two or three years ago. They served the needs of local public school students.


Despite all the rain of late, Lake Huron is lower than ever. Changes have to be made to the loading docks at Tobermory and South Baymouth for the Chi-Cheemaun to operate between Manitoulin Island and the mainland.

In a story in this week’s Independent, you’ll read the Municipality of Kincardine has just finished a 115-page tourism strategic plan to promote Kincardine and attract visitors.

The plan may be lovely, but it won’t do a bit of good if Lake Huron continues to disappear.

Kincardine’s main strategy should be raising hell with the federal government to do something about the dropping lake level.

There won’t be much tourism without a healthy lake at our doorstep.


There is an odd thing about that tourism report mentioned above.

After being told for years that the municipality had to have a tourist booth on the highway – not downtown – the report says, quite strongly, that the tourist booth must be downtown.

I guess we live in changing times.


My skate sharpener for the past 47 years dropped in with a photo given to him in 2006 by Garrett Meurs, who recently signed a pro contract with the Colorado Avalanche. On the back of the hockey photo, Garrett, about 12 at the time, said “Thanks Frank”.

Frank figures Garrett has known all along he was going to make the big leagues.

As Frank’s buddy Dennis Riggin (who made the NHL) asks, “Is there anybody from town who made the NHL who didn’t get his skates sharpened at Frank’s?”

True story, says Frank.


I heard on the radio Sunday morning that a website that ranks jobs has listed actuary as number one and reporter the least desirable job at 200.

And I always believed, when I was just a reporter, that there wasn’t a better job. You get out of the office, you meet interesting people and you do something different each day.