Tuesday, October 21, 2014

75's a Good Number

    Today is my birthday and I'm a proud and happy 75. I don't think much about aging and how old I am or how much life I have left. I've enjoyed my 75 years. I will enjoy what's left and not worry about it.

    What I do like to think about on my birthday is my birth.

    I was the first born child for my Mom and Dad. They were in their mid 20's and were the young generation which lost heavily in the great depression. Mom worked as a house maid and stayed home with her parents. Dad roamed around and picked fruit, worked in the bush and sawmill. worked on a dairy and did as many day jobs as he could find. He stayed with friends and relatives. 

    My Dad was able to buy a small farm and this is what he took my Mom to when they got married. There were only country doctors and the nearest hospital was 40 miles away. Most children were born at home. I imagine my mother was somewhat terrified as there was really very little expertise as far as delivery was concerned. The old doctor had much experience but nothing to work with. Mom's two friends came to be with her. My birth went smoothly , the doctor left and Mom's two friends took over. 

    It was a very warm fall day. Dad said the house got hot when the old cook stove was used to heat up lots of water for my delivery.

    I like to think about the mixture of excitement and fear my Mom and Dad had when I was born. The story of my birth was told many times. I was born in the house and both parents shared the experience. 

    So it makes me happy to reflect on my birth once again.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

I Have Decided...

      I have decided, well somebody decided, that I will no longer climb my step ladder in the winter!

      We were watching the kids across the street decorating their house for Halloween. Their dad was on the step ladder putting up orange and black lights. At that time the micro manager said, "We're not putting up Christmas lights this year." That was it. The decision was made. Done! Over! Okay, I was told that if I wanted to live in this house I could not go up the step ladder.

And the ladder leans in

Great window reflection!

     Now putting up Christmas lights here has been a tradition. We've had the same house since 1970. We've had the same set of lights since 1970. The lights have gone up in the same place since 1970. You get the drift. This is a well established pattern. Simple. Except for one thing. A step ladder is needed.  Now the step ladder is really not high enough, so I have been standing on the very top of the step ladder to get the lights on at the peak. Complicating the matter is that one side of the ladder has to be on soil and the other side is on cement. There's usually lots of snow. Sometimes the ground is frozen and solid so there's a firm base. Sometimes the ground is only partially frozen and will suddenly give away.

    So it was decided that the old guy would not go up the ladder any more to put up Christmas lights. It is risky. Step ladders aren't user friendly. 

   I have always been a risk taker. Now I realize that if I fell on the floor I might hurt myself and if I fell from the top of a step ladder it might be game ending. So I have happily come to a conclusion and made a decision.

    Have you made any live changing decisions?

Friday, October 17, 2014

I Spent Two Nights in the Maternity Ward.

    Now some of you are saying, "Big deal.! I spent several nights in the maternity ward and did the real thing! "Others may say, "Ya,visiting?" Others are saying,"Ya , visiting your wife!" Ya, I know . You were born there.

    None of these are true. I was admitted overnight twice to a maternity ward.

    Two beds in a regional hospital are dedicated to sleep testing. Those two beds just happen to be carved out of a maternity ward.

    I was sent twice to sleep overnight for sleep testing. Sleep apnea is when you stop breathing in your sleep. You'll always start breathing again. The problem is that your blood oxygen level gets low. You wake up the next day feeling very fatigued.

    I have allergies so sometimes I get nasal drip which irritates my throat. What really sent me to sleep testing is one time when my daughter stayed in the same hotel room as us. The next day she complained about all the noise Mom and Dad made all night. She said, "One of you snores and one of you makes choking noises." I knew who snored , so that left me with the choking noises. That's what prompted me to get some testing done. The test showed that my oxygen level stays above the minimum level.

     You check into the hospital about 8:00 PM. About 10:00 PM they put you to bed but not until an awful lot of wiring is done to you. This equipment will keep track of your sleep patterns and your blood oxygen levels all night. Sleep is almost impossible with that much wire on you. You can't roll over without worrying that you pull some wires off. Going to the bathroom is a major event. However, morning comes and they take all the wires off and you're good to go. You make your way to a restaurant for breakfast. The cheapos don't even give you breakfast.

    Now getting back to maternity. The first night I was there there were no maternity patients, just one other guy for sleep testing. The second time there was a young couple on the ward and the baby had been born in the afternoon so Mom was staying over night. So the heavy work in the maternity ward is done in the day and everybody is sent home.

    So there, I did spend the night admitted to a maternity ward!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Face Book: I'm Not a Big Fan

      I've had a face book page for about 4 or 5 years. I haven't found anything on face book that really excites me and a lot that aggravates me.

     I started a face book page to keep up with family as I am far away from them. At first there was information from nieces and nephews. I guess they grew tired of the thing and gradually one by one did not post on face book.

    The aggravating part is when people like and recommend a bazillion different things that I have no interest in.  People find all kinds of things from God knows where to put on thinking that I or somebody else may be interested. For example: religious pieces, food, recipes, restaurants...

    Now the other day I did find something interesting to follow on face book. This is a long and convoluted story. Get ready! I like Vinyl Cafe on CBC radio. I don't miss it. Once  a year they have a segment called the Arthur Awards. Arthur is the name of the dog in the story. The Arthur Awards are for somebody who does something good which is not rewarded in any other way. It's something that is a common everyday act of kindness or help that is completely volunteer.

     I was not listening terribly well at the beginning of the presentation but grew very interested as the interview moved along. The guy being interviewed had walked across Canada and now was walking from the U.S. border to the Arctic Ocean. It was a fascinating interview. At the end the guy gave his face book page "The Great Hike." He had described how the previous night he had camped along the road and in the morning a buffalo was outside his tent. He looked out the tent and the buffalo was right there. To take a picture he had to back into the tent in order to get the whole buffalo in his photo.

   This page really interested me. So I searched for the page. The page comes up with his photo of the buffalo. Of course, there were many more photos. Also one of the people liking the page was my friend Cheryl! What a surprise!

    So this is a site I really like and if I made more effort I might find other pages I like. Oh yes, this week I began following a birds of Alberta page. It has awesome bird photos.

    What do you find interesting on face book?

Monday, October 13, 2014

How Much Pain Does One Have to Endure?

     I have a friend that I meet about twice a month. Albert is a spunky, feisty, with it, little 88 year old. Albert spent all his adult life in upper management and was very successful in his field. Albert was active socially and with his five children.

    Around age 50 the roof began falling in on Albert. Albert's wife developed what they thought was Alzheimer's. She deteriorated rapidly and passed away in her mid fifties. After Nellie's illness began Albert took her to see her sister in California. The first time, they flew and Nellie refused to walk down the stairs from the aircraft. The second time, they drove and Nellie became hysterical when she couldn't see over a hill on the road. They persuaded her to lie in the back seat so she couldn't see the road and this worked. Needless to say, there were many more challenges

    An autopsy showed the condition was fronto temporal lobar degeneration. This condition is not Alzheimer's. This had only been diagnosed  recently at that time.

    Now Albert was told that the condition is hereditary. Albert began to worry about his children. Sure enough, his eldest daughter developed the condition in her late forties. It was first noticed when she was staying temporarily with her Dad and went to the wrong house on her way home for dinner. She had gone to the house her Dad had previously lived in. She had no idea were she was to go. Albert got a phone call from the people who he had sold the house  to, saying that he should come and get his daughter. She continued working for a while. Her husband had her tested for the condition and when it came back positive, he quickly left her. She went into a relationship with another guy and he fleeced her. Albert tried to get custody but it was difficult. By the time he got custody of his daughter, her assets had disappeared.

    When  Albert got  custody he  had to put her in a nursing home and watch her deteriorate. She has lived 17 years with the condition. The usual life with this condition is five to six years. Now her muscles have contracted and become rigid so that she is malformed. She has been fed for several years.

     Genetic testing can be done to show if you have the gene for this condition. His son was tested and does not have the flawed gene. His daughters chose not to be tested.

    When you hear a story like this you first wonder how somebody can be so strong to carry on and then how much pain can one person endure? I enjoy my visits with Albert as he has a zest for life and loves a good conversation. It's difficult talking about his daughter as the tears flow many times. I have learned much from Albert as he's demonstrated tremendous strength to carry on with his life and look after those around him.

Saturday, October 11, 2014


      This weekend is Thanksgiving in Canada. To all my Canadian followers, Happy Thanksgiving.

      Thanksgiving here is a somewhat moderate long week end. There are a few exciting Canadian foot ball games, but foot ball is not a big deal except for those few who like it. Mostly families get together for some visiting. The big turkey feast is all but gone. We had roast turkey breast with the trimmings. If the weather is fine , outdoor activities are enjoyed. If we have rotten weather well inside activities take place. 

     So yesterday was a fine fall day. We had a high temperature of 21 C (72 F) with lots of sunlight and calm. I wish I knew how to take a photo of a nice fall day.  We didn't set any high temp records ,but it was very nice.  We are looking forward to a pleasant weekend weather wise.

     Now it is tradition for one to identify what one is thankful for. Usually we pick one thing that has been a major influence in the past year. I'm not good at selecting one thing that is above all others. I am thankful for all the usual: family, good health, good friends, peace, hope, excellent community, fine neighbors, blogging, bloggers... My hope is that as many people as possible can be thankful  for what I am thankful for.

    And to my American followers, have a great Columbus day week end.

Thursday, October 9, 2014


       All of enjoy fall colors. Sometimes if we work it right we can get double the colors. I was supposed to be birding when I saw these two shots on the pond. 


I forgot about the birds for a minute and let my fellow birders keep their eyes on the birds.