Friday, December 6, 2019


      November can give us some very nice sunsets. The sun is lower in the sky and there's more time between sunset and dark. These photos were taken just before 5:00 PM.

       The white line across the center of the above photo is the top of some one's fence.

      There's a bit of snow on the mountain ash berries .

     Winter skies can be colorful.

    When I lived in the Arctic and the sun didn't rise above the horizon for six weeks we had many colorful skies. We had light from around 11:00 AM to 2:00 Pm. It was like a three hour sunset. 

Monday, December 2, 2019


       I like music. I don't sing or play an instrument. I like listening to a wide variety of music. It would be easier to say what I don't like than what I do like. I don't like rap or modern country.

      Several bloggers have had some very good pieces on music lately.

     I have (had) two main sources of music that I go to.

     I have a favorite radio station that plays a wide variety of music and provides commentary on everything they play. All of their DJs have a tremendous amount of knowledge about the music they play. I love it. Check out

     Now there used to be a very fine radio program called the Vinyl Cafe hosted by Stuart Mclean. Unfortunately Stuart passed away.

    Stuart had a one hour radio show every Sunday at noon. He had music , stories, interviews and games.

     Stuart had his Dave and Morley stories .Dave was a bumbling idiot and Morley kept things together. A favorite Canadian Christmas story is Dave Cooks a Turkey.

    Stuart always tried to find music from performers who were not well known. So some of the music I like comes from the Vinyl Cafe

    Three singers stand out for me: Sarah Harmer, little Miss Higgins and Connie Caldor.

     Sarah Harmer is a singer songwriter. Many of her songs are about the country. Give a listen to Oleander. She sings a song to this tough little plant. Little Miss Higgins is more comedy. She's forceful and lively. One of her songs is about buying underwear in a thrift shop. Connie Caldor sings heavier stuff about women's rights but has a haunting strong voice.

    Now since I've discovered you tube I can find these performers and listen to them. So if you're interested take a look for these performers and give a listen.

Thursday, November 28, 2019


     Building a house the way ours was built certainly led to some chaos. Not everything could be under control. 

    Some of the things that happened were very funny and remained family stories. 

     Some how or other,we came into possession of a little billy goat. In 1947 our grandparents had retired into the little village. In those days there weren't coolers or freezers and you couldn't buy milk. Some of the villagers had a cows and sometimes you could buy milk from them. Some how or other, Grandpa came into possession of a nanny goat that he thought would give him enough milk. Surprise , surprise , the nanny promptly had 3 kids. Just what grandpa wanted! But wait . Grandpa had three sons so each son got a little goat. Grandpa thought his grandchildren would like a goat for a pet. We did.

    Our goat was Billy. Billy thought he was a little kid ...I mean a little human kid. Billy played with us all day. Billy was smarter than all four of us put together. Billy got his way. Billy was a nuisance

    We moved into the house as soon as it was closed in but not finished. There was a plank ramp up into the kitchen. Some how or other Mom was distracted and had left all the breakfast dishes on the table  and was out in the yard. The kitchen door had not been closed. From a distance someone noticed billy going up the ramp. No one was in the house. By the time we got in the house Billy was on top of the breakfast table. Billy had already cleaned out the butter dish! We were surprised.

    Shortly after that Billy disappeared. Dad had had enough of poor Billy. I think Billy was passed on to someone who needed some meat. That's one thing Dad never ever told us.


Tuesday, November 26, 2019


     Comments on my last post caused a flood of memories to come back about our old house.

     As I said , my folks didn't have enough money to build a house on the farm. A house was badly needed because the old house was far too small and it was in very poor condition. My Dad was great at putting things together that would work. Sometimes things he made didn't have much quality but the house was well built except for the foundation.

     The house was moved in from another farm . Some of the old house had to be torn down so that there was space to work on the new house. So 2/3 s of the old house was torn down . The one third of the old house that was left was used for Mom and Dad's bedroom and to store all of our clothes.

    Okay here's where it gets tricky. There were going to be quite a few workers over the summer and they had to be fed. So all the kitchen stuff was moved into a granary. This would be a 12' by 15' wooden structure that was used for storing grain. So all summer my Mom cooked and served meals in the little building. Now remember , this place did not have running water or electricity. The running water came when I was sent to the well to get water. It was our kitchen and living room for the summer. Sometimes we were stuck in it for a few days when it rained. Part of one wall was taken out so that there was enough light for Mom to work. 

     Okay , with most of the old house torn down and the kitchen and living room in a small wooden building. What happened to the kids? Of course, Dad had a good plan to get a bedroom for his kids. Yes, you know the little wooden granary. We had our beds out in a grain bin all summer  and loved it. We were a rough bunch of kids so some very basic shelter was fine by us.

      Many neighbors helped Dad do the work to build the house . The house was ready to move in about Sept . before it got cold. It was nice to have space for everybody. When the furnace was lit on one of the first cold evenings it was very comfortable.

     For a ten year old kid it was a very exciting summer.

Sunday, November 24, 2019


     Not surprising but there was  fire in my childhood home and it was quite badly damaged. The house had been vacant for five to ten years. A sister-in-law had been using it to cater.

     We can get sentimental about houses if they are in the family for a long time.

    This house was finished in about 1947.

    My Mom and Dad had four little kids and their house was terrible. It was small...14 x 24 , old and poorly built. There was no insulation. There was no electricity . My Mom labored under horrible conditions.

    They had talked about getting a better house but the problem was they didn't have any money. Finally, they found a piece of land with a house. They moved the house to their farm yard and the project started. They tore part of the house down and put on an addition. When it was finished they had a fairly large story and a half  house that was insulated and had electricity.

      This is a very poor photo of the house but it's the only one I have.

    They had something that they liked. It had space for their kids. Some of us had separate beds and there was lots of room for kids to play when it was cold. They would also be able to have guests and have friends come to visit.

   I lived in the house from 1948 to 1957. It was long enough to become attached to the place. Mom and Dad lived in it to about 1969. During those times it was vacant from time to time. My brother and sister-in-law moved in and lived in it from 1973 to about 2010. My brother did some renovations from time to time.

    With family farms , there comes a time when there's no more family to take over. My brother left for more comfortable lodging. My youngest brother bought the land but didn't need the house so the house  remained empty.

   Now sometime in the spring the house will be torn down.

   So the old house served it's purpose but it left us with many good memories.

Friday, November 22, 2019


     Well, you're going to get the third post.

     You will remember that I did a lot of cycling. I rode 47 000 km from 1984 to 2019. All the riding was done on the trail system in this city. Starting in 1984 trails were put in . The original trails have aged and a lot of shrubbery and trees have grown up along the edge of the trails. There are sharp turns and with the shrubbery growth visibility is limited in some places.

     You will know that from time to time we have moose in the city. Sometimes lots of moose. Now moose don't give anybody consideration. They do what they want. Moose have found that it is very comfortable to stand on the paved trail and stick their head in the shrubbery and eat until their belly is full. Then they come back the next day and do the same thing.

No photo description available.

    Okay. in my cycling prime I kept up a steady pace of at least 20 kph. Most of the time it was above 20 kph except on the hills .

    Well you know where this story is going.

    Twice I came around a sharp turn to find a moose with his/her head well in the shrubbery and the whole rear end out on the trail. If I put the breaks on I may disturb the moose. Worse yet I may bash into the moose. Both times I swerved to miss the moose and went within arm's length of the back side. All you can think of is those long back legs kicking out behind him/her

    When you get by sigh of relief would be an understatement.

     I'm not sure if the moose  knew I had ridden by them. I'm not sure if they even cared.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019


     Just when I thought it couldn't get any better with moose stories it did.

     Lynette was out with her trusty camera and was most fortunate to find two bull moose sparring to find out who was the best. I have spent more time in the bush than most people and I have never witnessed two bull moose in conflict.
Image may contain: tree, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: tree, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: outdoor and nature

     This is the time of year for moose to breed. Males compete with some major fights to claim a number of females that they get to breed. 

    Most times of the year we have moose in our city of 100000. Sometimes there are quite a few. I think these moose are just across the river from where they saw the cow and two calves. 

    On several occasions I've had moose in my small urban yard . On one occasion I got up in the morning and looked out my front window and there they were...a mama with two calves about 4 m from me. Moose browse.  They eat the ends of shrubs and some trees. They were doing a good job of trimming my birch tree. It's fascinating to watch them eat. They take in an enormous amount of food. They don't do much chewing just a little so they can swallow the material. 

   They're very interesting animals. Thanks to Lynette for being on the spot and getting such excellent photos and thanks for letting me use them on my blog.