A late Easter means turkey and hot dogs!

MIKE RAINONE/Hammertime

Hopefully everyone celebrated the true meaning of Easter this past weekend, as well as finally enjoying the sunshine and lots of quality time with family and friends. With Easter falling on a later date this year it was great to gather for the traditional turkey and trimmings, but it was also nice to fire up the barbecue and throw on some hot-dogs or whatever else goes good with the great fresh air and sweet aromas of spring.

How was your chocolate temptation this time around? Now that our children have left the nest, we don’t have to get up early and find places to hide the eggs anymore, but that also sadly means that I don’t get to sneak a nibble of those tasty treats anymore. We do however have to go shopping for some goodies for the grandchildren, and I was completely overwhelmed by how many candy treats there are now available to help us turn our little sweethearts into absolute zombies for an entire afternoon.

In order to make it a little easier for the parents, we actually tried to buy some educational type Easter treats that you had to read first, then eat later, but that didn’t go over to well because grandpa dared to suggest that they should finish their dinner first. Whatever the case, I am sure that everyone got their share of extra sugar that day and the family calorie countdown was likely put on hold!

Did you know that at this time of the year Cadburys sells over 200 million of those yummy cream filled Easter eggs, while something like 16 billion colored jelly beans are consumed by excited children and sneaky adults?

The birds and the bees!

We should not mind at all if all the noisy birds, creepy bugs, and all those other wild critters are now emerging out from under what is left of all the snow, or wherever else they spent the winter. Many of us likely got a peek at the first robin of the season a few weeks ago, as well as the odd gopher and pesky squirrel, but most of them were forced back into hiding by more wet snow! Whether we believe it or not all of these creatures have some sort of a part in nature’s spring formula, even skunks and porcupines, of which we simply need to give a wide berth.

Unfortunately, many are still half asleep and become ‘road kill’, but once they start working the ground and building their nests we know that it is time to get outside and start sprucing up our own little piece of heaven! Most of our kids loved to scream when we dug up those long pink worms in the wet soil, but some bravely put them in a jar for show and tell, or to save for the best live and wiggly fishing bait.

It was a real treat to walk the parks last week and watch the geese and ducks make a delicate all points landing on the ice, then go about staking out the safe and comfy spot where they will soon bring their precious little squawking family into the world. I was most impressed by the great photo that appeared on Page C6 of the April 18, 2011 edition of the Red Deer Advocate. Perfectly captured on film by ardent Ponoka naturalist Murray MacKay, a Richardson ground squirrel was about to be snapped up for lunch by a big black raven, but Murray intervened to help the underdog, just like he has for years, and the little critter was saved! Hopefully all of us will do the same to protect nature’s finest?

Just a few good quickies for you all!

*Little Johnny and his family were having Sunday dinner at his grandmother’s house. Everyone was seated around the big table as the food was being served, and when little Johnny received his plate, he started eating right away. ‘Johnny! Please wait until we say our prayer.’ urged his mother. ‘I don’t need to,’ the boy replied. ‘Of course you do.’ Insisted his mother. ‘We always say a prayer before eating at our house.’ ‘That’s at our house.’ Johnny explained. ‘But this is Grandma’s house, and she knows how to cook!’

*When we were kids most of our meal menus featured two items…. take it or leave it! If we didn’t like what our mother put on the plate we were allowed to sit there until we did.

*The dentist asked, ‘what kind of filling would you like in your tooth?’ and she quickly replied ‘chocolate!’

*Doctor: ‘the cheque you gave me for my bill came back.’ Patient: ‘so did my arthritis!’

Hopefully most of us are still cheering for the Habs and the Canucks to survive in the Stanley Cup playoffs, while just loving all those wild overtime games! Please don’t forget to vote on May 2nd, enjoy spring to the fullest, and have a great week, all of you!

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