Saturday, April 27, 2013

Reflecting on Ghosts

   The response to the ghost series of post I have done was both surprising and knowledgeable.  I had never done a series of posts before. I'm pretty loosey goosey when it comes to blog topics.

   I got the idea for the posts when I admired some of the statues in photos I had seen on various blogs. I was envious of the art shown on some posts and thought we didn't have much art here so I began to look.  When I looked I found much more than than I expected. For the statues , I've driven by them many times . Once I walked and took photos the Ghost statues became much more meaningful. The ten statues were done by six artists. Two artists were local people and the other four were from Alberta. The statues were funded publicly by groups . The city agreed to place  the statues at chosen locations and then look after them.

    Many of you were interested who the sculptors were. So here they are.

Reaching Out - Elden Neufeld

Waiting for Gordon- Brian McArthur

Choices - Barbara Paterson

Reverend Leonard Gaetz - Robert K. Spaith

Let the Music Play - Patricia Galbraith

Francis the Pig - Dan Mozdzendski

Hazel Braithwaite - Alan Hendersen

Francis Wright Galbraith - Dan Mozdzendski

Sound the Alarm - Robert K. Spaith

    Now when I took photos of the statues I ended at the library. Our librarian is retiring so I thought I would ,as a joke, take his picture with the ghosts. He wasn't in so spoiled my plan. I talked to him later and he didn't miss a beat and had ideas for more ghosts .He said , "How about the first paid librarian we had?" The first librarian was 17 years old and a real flapper. Her father was the library board chairman. Then he referred to Sound the Alarm which is right outside the library. He wanted to know if the two horses ever had names. If they don't have names he wants to run a contest for kids to name the horses.

    Ideas for ghosts are endless. We are only limited by the amount of money we have.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Ghost #9

     The Rotary Club sponsored this ghost to celebrate the successful fight against polio. The rotary club had been involved in supporting the fight against polio.

    The statue is called Reaching Out and shows one child helping another child climb up a huge rock. If you check the one child you will see that she's wearing a large leg brace. 

    The statue is placed in front of the Recreation Center Pool. 

A large leg brace

A long reach

A ceramic on the side of the Recreation Center

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ghost # 8

    Our city recently finished a major bus terminal and parking facility. It was a project completed over a ten year period. 

   Before our city started it's own public transit system in the 1960's, a  private company provided limited service. At that time the city was less than 20000 in population. 

    A couple provided the service. Gordon drove the bus and his wife ran a small restaurant /bus terminal. The wife was the director /scheduler/operator/ticket seller and was energetic and well liked.

  So the city fathers thought that our new transit terminal should have a name so it was decided to call it Sorensen Station after the couple who operated the little bus system.

    The statue is placed outside the new bus terminal and is called Waiting for Gordon. I think the artist caught the energy this women had to run a very original and creative business.

A working woman with a cup of coffee ready for Gordon

This lady got things done.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Ghost #7

    This statue was made to honor Hazel Braithwaite who was a leader in early women's movements. In 1926 she pushed her way by men who were attempting to stop her from voting in the provincial election.

    Hazel belonged to many organizations that helped people and had roots to the agricultural industry. Hazel ran for the Alberta legislature in 1965. Hazel died in 1989.

    This sculpture certainly shows her determination to bring about changes that would benefit all people. And all people included women and all people would be equal.

A very powerful lady who could get things done.

I can't find out what the female sculpture in her hands means.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Hot Tip I Just Got Off the Street

     Last September I did a post about a young girl, April, who walks to school by my place and she can use my place if she has any difficulties. Every few months I happen to be out in the yard and April comes along and we have a great conversation. 

    Today I had a visit with April. I found out why she was late going home from school . I found out that she likes the new colors her room was painted ...lime green and duct tape gray. I found out that she made the first brush stroke and that  her Mom painted the room. 

   Then she told me that she was on her way home to make supper. I asked her if she cooked . Oh yes, she can cook . Then I started to ask her what she cooks. Eggs? Yes, but she's allergic to them, but not if they're scrambled.

    Then I got a hot tip. In the summer she goes to the Farmer's Market with her Mom and Dad. They go to a vendor who sells home made bread. April buys a chocolate bread the has lumps of chocolate in it and it is soooo good.   Now back to the eggs. She can make French toast. Yes, you guessed it! French toast with the special chocolate bread that she buys from the Farmer's Market.
     It sounds so good I think I'll try it! So there's my hot tip from the street!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Ghost #6

    Ghost # 6 was to honor Keith Mann who was a band leader and music instructor in Red Deer. Keith was extremely active in the local college music program as well as community bands. He was active in local, provincial, national and international professional associations. Music was everything to Keith.

    Now Keith was a very energetic and active person. I'm disappointed with this statue as it doesn't get at the key part of Keith. 

    Sadly Keith was killed in a motor cycle accident. He was a great loss to music and our community.

    The statue is called Let the Music Begin

Ready for the music to start.

Looking to see that everybody was ready.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

I've Been "Trooly Blest" With Lots More Snow

   I have been blessed with lots more snow this weekend. On Saturday we had a bout 15 cm (6 in) of snow. It started early Saturday morning and most of the snow melted as it fell. It cooled off in the afternoon and the snow started accumulating.

   My 80 something neighbor fell down the stairs recently and injured a leg tendon. She's a very feisty lady and always shovels her own snow. I volunteered to shovel her snow this morning. She admitted that she tried to shovel last night and took four shovel fulls that hurt and then she suffered all night. So another yard for me to shovel is fine as I can do with the exercise.

    The forecast for the remainder of the week isn't good.

    So here I am this morning shoveling my side walk again.
It was pleasant for shoveling this morning. I see I didn't set the date on the camera!

    Usually by this time in April I've finished cleaning my yard, got my snow tires off and planted sweet peas. I would also be looking to see if the garden is ready to dig up. Oh well, it will all get done in good time.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Ghost #5

    The fifth ghost done was to keep the story of Red Deer's most famous pig alive. Francis had been delivered to the local abattoir and escaped. He was on the loose for several weeks and was very difficult to catch. It was winter so he could be tracked. He was bated with food but would not take the bait. Finally they say him and used a tranquilizer dart. A local farmer took Francis, but Francis died a few days later because the tranquilizer dart had injured internal organs. 

    So the story of Francis was gripping but ended sadly. So this ghost honors poor old Francis.

Francis charging through the brush

Francis evading the trappers

Monday, April 8, 2013

Ghost #4

      Ghost number four is called Sounding the Alarm. It's  a tribute to local firefighters. There was a large tragic fire here in 1904 and after that the local fire department was formed.

      This is the most elaborate of all the statues as it has four separate figures and the fire wagon. 

      Sound the Alarm sits in front of the children's library which was at one time the main fire hall and before that an armory.

The the left side shows the  first phase of the local library . On the right is the old fire hall with Sound the Alarm right at to corner.  The brick building with the tower was the old fire hall.

Harnessing some high strung horses.

I think the artist caught the excitement in this statue with the horses and men getting ready to go to a fire.

The driver was doing all he could to keep control of his horses.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

It Likes to Snow Here

     We received about 7 or 8 cm (3 in) of snow last night. It was the kind of snow that fills the sky with snowflakes. You look at your street lights and the air looks like it's full of fluttering snowflakes.

    Three inches is a pretty good snow fall for us. Our air is dry. Now I know some people get many times more snow and would think this is nothing.

   These systems come in and circle around and gather energy and then they sling themselves southeast towards Minnesota. As they move east they pick up more energy and moisture. So when they get to Minnesota the system is full of snow.
   So I'm afraid that my blogging friend Far Side is in for more snow. I know that she's sick of winter and has cabin fever but there's nothing I can do but let this system go.

The roof on the tree stump is my snow indicator

Mountain Ash trunks that catch snow

A little juniper weighed down with the snow load

A van that needs to be cleaned off

A dog walker taking to the road

A sporty new coat

One more time shoveling

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Ghost #3

    The third ghost on the series is Francis Galbraith who established our local paper in 1906.

    Here he is reading his hot off the press paper and having a cup of coffee. 

   To me the artist caught the editor deep in thought while reading an article in his paper.

Yes, I got it right!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

We're in the Middle of a Northern Migration (not birds)

       Now most of my followers know that I have a keen interest in birds so northern and southern migrations are very interesting for me.

      But this northern migration is different! It's "snow birds" that are heading north. Snow birds are those people who leave us to spend the winter in southern states or Mexico.

      In Canada and some northern states retirees who have some money like to spend their winters in the south. These people don't like winter weather and they like it warm so that they can continue with summer activities. So south they go in the fall and golf, hike, swim or any number of summer recreational activities.

     I had always thought that only Canadians went south for the winter. When I went to Arizona I was surprised to find out that most snow birds were Americans.

    When I was a child, on the farm, some of our neighbors went south. They would bring things that would freeze to store in our house. They also brought their live stock to our place for us to look after. So that was in the ancient time of snowbirds.

    Right now snow birds  are moving back north. Some begin the northern trip in mid march and others stay another month until mid April. For some their six month time limit and insurance times out. Others have to get home to meet some income tax deadlines.

    So, many snow birds are leaving the south and arriving back home. My brother left  Arizona on Mon. morning and got home yesterday. My sister-in-law is leaving Arizona April 14.

    So at this time of year there is much excitement as people start returning home.

    Would I be a snow bird? I don't think so. I like good old winter things to do.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Ghost #2

                In a previous post , I described how I found 10 pieces of sculpture and that I would  show  what we have in Red Deer As far as sculpture is concerned.

               This sculpture shows a railway worker pleading with a little dog that has his foot on the worker's two dollar bill. The sculpture refers to the struggle the workers had to look after their money. Credit Unions were formed in the 1930's and 40's to look after worker's money. The local credit union funded the making of this sculpture and of course it sits in front of the Credit Union.

Carefully trying to retrieve his money

What is this guy trying to do?

A stand off!

Monday, April 1, 2013

What in the World is an Alimentary Canal?

     Well, the alimentary canal is the system in your body that takes the food in and eliminates what isn't absorbed. So from mouth to butt and everything in between is the alimentary canal.

     So why am I telling you about this? I'm certainly not an expert. I heard a very interesting interview on the radio this morning with Mary Roach who has written Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal.

     The interview began with the topic of hot dog eating contests and how such enormous amounts can be consumed without damage. Answer? The whole system can stretch enormously. 

   Roach got interested in the system when she was a little kid and didn't wan to eat her vegetables. She told her mother that the Inuit didn't eat veggies because they couldn't grow any. They researched the topic. Inuit survive because they eat all the organ meat which is rich in vitamins. Roach didn't tell us that Inuit eat the stomach contents . Many animal the harvest eat vegetation so in this way the Inuit do get veggies. One caution. Don't eat polar bear liver as it's so high in vitamin B content that it's poisonous.

    The forty minute interview continues with all kinds of off the wall info about the alimentary canal.

     At one time people believed that stomach noises were caused by frogs. They thought that the water they consumed contained eggs that hatched in their body.

    Study of the alimentary canal has gone on for ages. Only recently have they been able to see inside the canal and understand what goes on. At one time bags with food were consumed so that the contents had to be eliminated. They then tried to find out what happened to the food. 

    They found out that contents could be removed and digestion continued as the amazing number of chemicals kept on with their work. 

   So it was a very humorous and informative interview... so much so that I had to do a blog post on it.