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Transforming Decaf

I blame the palm civets for my current coffee problems. Remember those adorable Indonesian berry-munchers? They choose only the best coffee cherries, snarf them down, and then leave the beans behind in fragrant piles for the weird hairless apes to collect and export. I first tried Kopi Luwak, the “best and/or most expensive coffee in…

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Transforming Tumbles

On the cusp of 70, my mother has begun to slow down – but by her standards, that’s like down-shifting from the Indy 500 to the Autobahn. She was an indefatigable wife and mother and, after my parents divorced, an even more steadfast working single mom. Since her retirement, she has been globe-trotting routinely, starting…

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Transforming Timmy’s

Edmonton recently had its hopes raised, then summarily dashed, by the Oilers’ adequate performance in the playoffs. For a brief moment, all Canadians threw in with the plucky underdogs. We were envisioning a uniting moment, not unlike the one we got in 2016, when the Hip played Kingston. In Canada, we are always a bit…

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Transforming Deluges

When it rains, it pours. Cape Breton gave us a week or so of decent weather — that is, some clouds, some rain, or some wind, but not all at once — but apres ca, le deluge. For a week now, it’s been unrelenting, and the damp has dampened the excitement of our homecoming. Weather…

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Transforming Potluck

The potluck is at S’s boss’s house. The house used to belong to a different colleague, a fact which reflects the two-tiered world of Cape Breton: the academic haves trade resources – projects, homes – while the local-born blue-collars cling to a shrinking raft. But the neighbourhood kids don’t distinguish; they have invaded the potluck,…

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