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Fathers Who Harm

Father's Day has become a more highlighted day of celebration than when I was a child. My father was born in 1927 and lived a pretty long life: he died in 2013, a few months into his 86th year. He was not a bad father. He did struggle with alcohol addiction and was imperfect in other ways, but he was basically loving and kind. He was a workaholic, so we did not have access to him for emotional affirmation, but he told me in his old age that he always loved everything about us kids and felt sad that he had not been a better parent, and he was sorry he was most of all that he had not spent more time with us.  Other men in my family– my grandfathers, my husband, son, uncles, brother– have all shown themselves to be good guys and have adult children whom they love(d) and who love them back.  But I think to myself, having been a social worker to women and children who fled lives with men who put them and their children through Hell, that there are probably a fair number of children, te

Elderberries are Flu-Fighters (New Study)

One summer day a few years ago our younger son pointed out various exotic trees as we walked around our neighborhood.  One with clumps of  luscious blue-black berries caught my eye.  Black Elderberry.  I asked if the berries were edible, and he said they were.  And the black elderberry ( Sambucus racermosa ssp pubens var melanocarpa ) is native to our Vancouver Island.  As someone wanting to grow only native trees in my yard, I have the ethical go-ahead. (To read about why we should grow native trees if we grow trees, see this article about botanist Diana Beresford-Kroeger.) And... did the berries not have some medicinal benefits? I wondered aloud.  He told me that indeed elderberries were noteworthy for staving off and remedying colds  coughs, sore throats and flu.  Customers' Most-Loved Gifts Click to learn more...  A New Study  from the University of Sydney, Australia, published in 2019 in the Journal of Functional Foods...  shows that this amazing berry contains phyt