Friday, June 26, 2009


     Michael Jackson was larger than life so when news of his death came yesterday it was a shock .

     I do not consider myself a fan of Michael Jackson in any way , but I found that when Jackson's music was played today it was familiar and I found that I remembered listening to it and liking it . I did listen to commercial radio so I did hear Michael Jackson . I did listen to and like the Jackson Five . Michael Jackson was only five . My kids were 11 and 13 when Thriller was released. They had Michael Jackson records in the house. Only a few years ago I sold a Michael Jackson LP on a garage sale . I was a junior high school teacher until 1997 . I always made it a point to be aware of the music kids liked and listened to . So I did listen to Jackson even though I was not in any way a fan . I was more familiar with his music than I thought . I liked his music more than I realized

     The last part of Michael Jackson's life was odd, weird and bizarre . I feel for him as I believe that it is very important for children to live as normal a life as possible .Children need to experience and learn about life. This life experience must continue to the end of puberty .Michael Jackson began performing at five and lost his childhood . He missed contact with peers . Normal behaviour was not learned . Some people live through the lack of normal experiences and thrive while others are devastated . Some learn later on in life the behaviour they missed while others never discover normal behaviour . Michael Jackson missed these experiences and many of the adults in his life did not provide what he missed .

    We will remember Jackson's music and put his abnormal behaviour in perspective .

Saturday, June 20, 2009


     Sometimes rude awakenings happen at the most surprising times .

     I was delivering papers at 6 AM and was about a step and a half from the next mailbox when a jack rabbit jumped up . The rabbit had his butt up against the house foundation right under the mail box . He took a couple of little hops and then stopped and looked at me with an evil eye as if to say "You just woke me up ! " I was also wakened to some extent as delivering papers can be fairly subconscious . I was not expecting to find a rabbit under a mailbox.

     I told him I was sorry for disturbing him but it didn't seem to make him feel any better . It had rained so he was on a dry spot which had been sheltered under the eaves . So the spot was dry and comfortable .

     There are several rabbits which have a territory on my paper route and I see them most days . They keep their cover until you are almost up to them .So when they do move you are very close and it can startle you if you are daydreaming .

       They are beautiful creatures and very pleasant to have in the neighborhood .


     Today I picked my first crop of rhubarb for the year. Growth came on rapidly the last week as we had warm weather and some moisture. So I sat out in the sunshine and trimmed the leaves off , washed off the stalks and brought them into the house.

      What's so good about rhubarb ? Well, stewed rhubarb is great say nothing of rhubarb pie , cobbler and rhubarb jam. The limit of my culinary skills ends at stewed rhubarb. I freeze most of my rhubarb in 6 cup packages. This amount fits nicely with many recipes.

      Fresh rhubarb at this time of year always reminds me of what my brother and I did when we were about 3 or 4 years old. We were less than a year apart so we had many adventures. When rhubarb matured we would each find the biggest piece available. Then we would start wailing on each other with the big leafy end. We would be like the cartoon drawing showing two people fighting and there's just pairs of arms and legs sticking out of the dust. Sooner or later the leaf part would tear off and there would be a 1 inch thick stock left. Somebody would get bonked on the head or across the mouth with the solid stem and that hurt and ended the fight with some little fellow in tears.

      From there we went on to some other mischief or into the house for refreshments. Sooner or later we would pass the rhubarb patch again and have another bout. I was the larger and kind of pudgy. Merce was slim and quick . Our record of rhubarb fights was probably about even. Rhubarb season was short so we had to make the best of it .

      Today I only picked rhubarb and didn't have the pleasure of a fight !

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Road Home

    I admit that I am somewhat partial to radio. Not just any radio but select non commercial stations and then only certain programs .

     One program I find particularly satisfying is The Road Home on CKUA. The station is supported by the public and has a very different program mix and format .

     The Road Home is heard on Mon. to Thur. evenings at 9:30 PM. What's so great about this program ? It's very quiet and relaxing . Bob Chelmick the host reads some poetry , plays music which we don't hear every day and tells about his life in a cabin in the woods . So he begins a program with a current report on birds or other critters around his cabin and will often comment at great length on some project or happening that has recently occurred . The music is of a very wide range . Many times he plays new artists who we've never heard before and also plays big names such as Bob Dylan . His music usually fits in with the theme of the program .

     CKUA is heard through out Alberta on AM and FM .It's also available on and internet feed . Let me know if you find this station and what you think of it .Check out their website at