Friday, October 21, 2016


    Seventy seven years ago this afternoon the lives of a young couple changed forever. I was born seventy seven years ago this afternoon. It was a terrifying time for my mother and stressful for my Dad. You see, I was born in a small farmhouse. The place was about 14' by 24' .  Mom had two of her friends , Linda and Margaret, assist with the birth. Their only claim for expertise was that they had had children. The country doctor sat and smoked and read magazines until the great event was about to occur.

     It was a very warm pleasant fall day. Dad said the house got warm as they were boiling water to be used for good hygiene. 

     So for the next 34 years my Mom cared for me and my Dad cared for me for 68 years.  Now I don't mean that they physically looked after me but as parents I was on their mind. I appreciate their support even though sometimes I disappointed them greatly. A couple of years before Dad died , he looked at me and said. "Well, you did alright!" Of all the things he said, this is the most meaningful. He approved of what I did.

   Today most births occur in a hospital with highly skilled specialists and nurses. The risks in the birth procedure for me were very high. Mothers ,in particular, paid a high price in childbirth at that time. 

      So on my birthday I like to think of the beginning and the important things that had to happen to bring me into the world. Birthday parties for being one year older? I can pass it up.

Thursday, October 20, 2016


     Sunday afternoon was nice compared to the last two weeks. I decided it was a good opportunity to get out for a couple of hours. I live less than a kilometer from a 100 acre natural area with a small creek running through it. The area is completely surrounded by an urban area.

    I often walk through this area and it's very productive as to what you see. There are many surprises. I came within 2 meters of a northern pygmy-owl. It didn't move. I stood for ten minutes watching it. I didn't have my camera. I went back with the camera but it was gone.

    Sunday I was looking for a black backed woodpecker. I wanted to find one so my bird group could see it. I didn't find one but found lots of signs that they are in the area.

    So sometimes you get a pleasant surprise. I found a female mule deer. She was very cooperative and posed for me. She allowed me to get closer and in a better position for a photo. Yes , that is snow.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


    I just finished reading Common Ground I found it a very interesting and informative book. I remember Justin's birth and heard about him many times but your don't really know what his life was like or what he did. This book fills in the details.

    Justin's Dad Pierre, was late 40's when he married Justin's mother who was in her early 20's. Justin comments on this factor.

    Justin goes on to cover his parent's divorce, upbringing by his father and much more.

    Justin claims he had a fairly ordinary childhood with brothers who often rough housed. But on the other hand Justin and his brothers travelled with their Dad and met many dignitaries.
   Justin spends a lot of time covering his long post secondary education. He spent time teaching and travelling. He decided to take engineering.

   Justin then covers his slow entry into politics. He thought things out before entering the political field. He was ready. He new what he wanted and how to get it.

    He covers his mother's mental health and how it affected his growing up. His mother also remarried and had two children which of course, gave him two half brothers. He spent much time with his mother's family. He also has a half sister who is Pierre's daughter.

   He covers his romance and how he met and courted Sophie. He wants to work with his wife as a team.

   He also had major loses on his life. His brother Michel was lost in a mountaineering accident where he was carried to the bottom of a mountain lake and was never found. And of course, his father's death was devastating.

     Along the way other topics are covered and of course the details are there.

     I found this an interesting book and would highly recommend that people read it. You may not agree with everything, but you will understand Justin's main goal that he wants to find common ground with Canadians and Canada as a country. Surely unity makes for a stronger country.

Image result for photo justin trudeau

Saturday, October 15, 2016


     I have written about one of my neighbors on this blog before. I live about 7 houses away from him and always have a good visit when I went by his place. We have also walked together. We've attended community events. In other words , I know him very well.

    Said neighbor was a college instructor in psychology and also spent time counselling. From my visiting with him, he was a good counsellor. He knew the statistics and a whole lot of other things from a very active life. He was a very active bee keeper and was well informed about raising bees.

    Yesterday the roof fell in on his life. He was taken out of the home due to his dementia. For the past three years it was obvious that he was not well. He talked in very general vague terms. Physically he lost weight and became very frail. He always tried to present himself  as the same old guy. He was always going to call me and we would go walking. He never called and I was not going to ask him to go walking. He was not going to admit that he had any problems so you can't talk to a guy about his dementia if he refuses to admit he has dementia. His wife isn't going to talk about his dementia as he would argue about it and there would be a very uncomfortable situation.

     So life carried on under difficult circumstances for them. Family was supportive to this couple.

     For the last 6 months his condition worsened rapidly.

     Recently things became acute. He threatened his wife. He was going to kick her out of the house. He obviously thought she was someone else. She called the police over one incident. Nothing was done. A few days later she called emergency and he was taken out of the home and admitted to hospital. She felt guilty about turning him in but it's the only option she had. Her physician had told her that she had to make a decision.

    The next day she visited and they found that his dementia medication was very incorrect so some of his anxious behaviour was due to incorrect medication. However, he will not be able to come home.

   So I find it very sad that there's such a crash ending to a relationship that has been enjoyed for over 60 years.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


     I intended to post yesterday but I was just too busy. I had a good topic for the "day."  I'll write it and post it today.

     Now I've been known to post about "days." Many times I post about these "days '
because the are just plain silly so a little amusing. Days like national hamburger day is just silly. Mother's day and thanksgiving have more significance and have status and some are statutory holidays.

     Yesterday was one of those days that I consider important. It was International  Day of the Girl. this has been celebrated for five years now.

     Now I have more than just a little interest in this topic.

    I was a middle school teacher for my whole 37 year career. I worked with female colleagues from start to finish. I won't say that I soon learned their equal status because I didn't. It took a few years before I appreciated and understood that equality of opportunity was necessary. Over the years I worked on teams, had female team leaders, and had a female vice principal. There were many female principals in the system but they were in the elementary system.

     Where am I going with this? It's been difficult and challenging for women to not only compete but to be accepted on an equal basis as men as far as professional competence is concerned.

    When I look back on my career, I came up short in advocating for young girls. I found no difficulty to advocate for my female colleagues.

    So yesterday I was happy to see a special day with all kinds of information and support that would help young girls and women be able to be accepted with equality.

    I have a daughter who has challenged the system and done well. She applied for a position and they really wanted a male. She made a complaint to the teachers' organization.

   I'm disappointed that most of the girls that I've been able to follow have landed in positions for work. So some day I hope that women and girls are looked at in the same way as far as work placement and power  is concerned.

Myrna and an award

Monday, October 10, 2016


    Since it's Thanksgiving say there is a tradition to take some time and list what you've been thankful for over the last year.    I sometimes try to think back and remember what I said last year that I was thankful about.

    Now usually we name things that are large in our life. Such as , Mom and Dad. Mom had to put up with me for 34 years and Dad 68 years! My parents gave themselves very little credit for raising and providing for me. I'm sure I've expressed thanks for the Micro Manager in my life. Most of the time the Micro Manager is just that...someone who looks after the important details. I'm thankful for my son and daughter and granddaughters.

    However, this year, I can't help but think about all the little things that go into a year. The chat with someone. The joke shared, The warm smile. The help holding a door. The good books I read. The dogs that are walked by each day and who visit me. The birds that visit my yard. A cloudy day. All of these things are small. So I am thankful for all the small things that make up daily life.

    Daily life is what it's all about. We move through life one day at a time. There are no big gulps. Just small sips. Little things make up our life and that's what I'm thankful for.

    So Canadian friends, I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving.

Turkey, Bird Watching, Living Nature, Animal, Beak

Saturday, October 8, 2016


    Yesterday we got snow...3 or 4 cm (1-2 in) of snow. and as we say when something happens like this, "It had to happen sooner or later." It's snowing again this evening and we're supposed to get more snow tomorrow.
    Now it's not unusual for us to get snow in October. The snow will melt and disappear. Even if we get snow at the end of October , it will likely melt. It's also not unusual to get snow in September.

    Now it's a bit of a downer when we get snow like this. We've had some very nice weather to this point. 

     So I will hunker down for a few days and when the snow has melted I'll be back out in the yard. I still have lots of yard work to do.

     So to all my Canadian buddies, have a happy Thanksgiving. To my American buddies, I won't forget you when you celebrate Thanksgiving.