Author and playwright Dan Needles is a recipient of the Leacock Medal for Humour and the Order of Canada. He lives on a small farm in Nottawa.
A country house has a lot of moving parts that can stop moving at any moment.
Given the choice between a Rolex watch and a 1948 Champion root pulper that weighs 500 pounds and needs sharpening, the burglar is more likely to take the watch.
I often tell my writing students that they are unlikely to get better at writing, but it is possible to get better at not writing.
Dexter wants us to believe he keeps us safe from coyotes, but this is a harmless fiction. The truth is he craves news and gossip as much as any of us.
Chicken police from the provincial marketing board patrol the neighbourhood in big black Escalades.
In the haymow I found a red sleigh built by the McLaughlin Carriage Company about 1910, and I took it home to my own haymow 30 miles north where it sat forgotten for another 27 years.
Science now agrees that changing your mind actually improves brain health.
Age 65 came and went without a gold watch or a cake, or any of those earnest speeches assuring me how much I would be missed.
There was something totally manic about Champlain. He crossed the Atlantic some 27 times without losing a shipmate.
You made up your mind between one or the other when you turned 16 and you drove that make for the rest of your life. If you drove a Toyota into town, as I did, you would be watched …
People seldom bother you when you are up 20 feet painting an eavestrough, just as they don’t come near you when you are beekeeping or forking steamy piles of manure.
Coyotes are like hotel burglars. They won’t force a lock, but if a door is left open, they will slip in and strip the place to the walls.
For most of the century before I arrived, this old house hosted a parade of smoker-drinker-carnivores who poured Paris green arsenic on their potato plants and thought cleansing of any kind was weakening.
That made me think – grumpy old middle-class white guys who live in the country?
“Painted barns are a symptom of an overheated economy, just like the whiz kids driving around downtown Toronto in a BMW with two payments made on it.”
If you’ve ever wondered why they have height, width and weight restrictions on science projects at your school, it’s because of cousin Eddie’s corn dryer.
I discovered at an early age that people who work outside with their hands tend to be more grounded than the rest of the population.
“Nothing lives longer than a horse with a health problem!” says the vet as he purrs out the lane in his limited edition Land Rover.