Saturday, July 31, 2010

I Hate Garage Sales

       I hate garage sales! Well, I hate only 50% of them . I hate my own garage sales. I like everybody else's garage sale.

       My own garage sale is a tremendous amount of work and bother. First, I have to sort through all my possessions and make a decision on each one. Do I need this anymore? Do I use this article? When's the last time I used this thing? Much consideration has to be given before I decide this is kept, goes on a garage sale or is thrown out. Then the garage sale pile is set up. All items then must be priced. A gamble for a suitable sale day or days is made. All precious articles then must be hauled out to tables for display. This year we had a wide variety of items...sports  equipment, clothing, nick knacks yard stuff. Take a look at the pictures to see the wide variety.

      Through all these steps consultation has to be made with Home Farm Girl. Some of this is done easily and quickly and some of it results in strenuous debate and argument. Some of these issues are not resolved for years.

      This year Home Farm Girl had a chance to go through her massive clothing inventory and prepare about 40 items for sale. Historically she was a size 4. She is no longer size four so the decision was simple...sell some clothes.

      Sale day or days occur and some things sell and some are left. We have usually decided ahead of time what comes back into the house and what never comes back and goes to a charity. It's always interesting to see what loony things sell quickly and what quality items are ignored. All of this may be interesting but it mystifies me.

     So my garage sale for this year has come and gone. It was quite successful. And yes, all the eager customers who come for a look are as much enjoyment as getting rid of some of my useless. treasures.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Red Deer River Summer Vistas

        You saw pictures of the Red Deer River in early April in a post called Red Deer River Vistas.. There were still snowbanks in the shady areas. You commented and caused some more ideas to form on the Red Deer River topic.

       So here are some summer pictures of the same area of the river that was shown in early April. I also found a couple of late July flowers to include. I hope you enjoy these.
Looking up river again on a long straight stetch. You can just see a white house at the top of the bank at the far end.

Looking up river from the parking lot around a wide lazy bend.
Looking down river over a two to three hundred meter long set of rapids.
Northern Bedstraw(Galium boreale) a common plant a long the edges of the woods.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Perigrines Have Fledged

        Since mid April I have had a link in the top right hand corner of my blog to a web camera which was in a peregrine falcon nest. The link has been well used, but most important, the web cam views were a tremendous hit. There was a comment space on the site so there was much conversation about perigrines.

      I have posted twice before on the peregrine falcons. Once on April 28 called Peregrine Falcon Web Cam Set up at Red Deer. And the second time on June 10 titled Peregrine Falcon Eggs Hatch at Red Deer.

       We watched as the five eggs were laid. Then incubation began. The incubation period is around 30 days so it was a long inactive process. Two eggs mysteriously disappeared about the middle of the incubation period. The three eggs hatched over a five day period so the one bird was very small and many viewers worried about the survival of the little guy. The young birds  grew slowly at first and then grew rapidly and developed their feathers. Feedings were often and rather gross. Now the nest is filled with left over bones feathers and blood stains.

      Yesterday the peregrines left the nest for the first time. They were away all day. Two of them returned to nest box at night. Soon they will not return.

     I found the whole experience very interesting. It was amazing to see how interested the public was.

     So in a few days the web cam will be turned off and we will be planning for next year. We already have plans to mount an outdoor web cam.

     Thanks to all those who came to the site I am happy that it was enjoyed .

Friday, July 16, 2010

Good Times...Old Guys

        Good times and old guys can go together especially if the group has hung out over a long time. I've been fortunate enough to have been associated with such a group. I have always valued the people I work with as described in Reflections...Valuable Colleagues.

       When I moved to Red Deer in 1969 to teach, I was very fortunate to land on an excellent staff. We were young and  fortunate enough to teach in a school which drew students from a very supportive community. There were staff who were excellent mentors and other staff who were willing to see that a junior high program was presented well.

       A number of the staff not only worked hard but also played hard. We visited each others homes , had young families and were  recent education graduates who had teaching experience.

     Some of us stayed in the same area and kept in contact. Now, once or twice a year we get together and enjoy lunch and  visiting. This group is aged 64 -84 and still have the same energy and and drive to enjoy life.

      We are so very fortunate!

Monday, July 12, 2010

It Could Only Happen to My Kid

        "It could only happen to my kid" was phrase that was quite common when my friends and I had pre school children. Little guys always seemed to be able to commit something that was totally unpredictable because of their lack of life experience. Everyone has some kind of incident like when a kindergarten class performed on stage, left, but one little performer remained on stage. The teacher had to go back onstage to take the little singer off.

       Well I have news for you. My daughter is almost 40 and she had one of those "it could only happen to my kid" experiences.

     She does human resource program development and presents training sessions as well. She was sent to New Jersey to do training in the company facility. She checked into her hotel at 9:00 PM Sunday evening. She was tired and in a hurry. She is also a problem solver. Just like Dad wanted her to be...independent. She went to her assigned room and found the card wouldn't unlock the door. So she took her luggage and went back down to the desk. They apologised and reprogrammed the card. She went back to the room and found that the card worked. However, the security chain inside the room seemed to be caught. She didn't want to make a second trip down to the desk so she thought someone must have slammed the door hard enough to make the chain snag on something. So she reached inside the door to dislodge the chain. A hand touched hers! She freaked. Someone was in the room. She mumbled sorry and a gentleman said "Don't worry.

     Down at the desk a second time with luggage, she found clerks making all kinds of silly excuses such as "a computer glitch." The room had been rented to someone else. The mess was cleared up.

      My neighbor, who has known my daughter all her life says, "Tell her to keep her hands to herself."

    This "could only happen to my kid."

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Birthday Delights

       A few weeks ago I was invited to a small birthday party for a woman I've known for many years in several different settings. Home Farm Girl was also invited as well.

      Now we were asked to bring a small number of squares or fruits and veggies which is a super way to have an easy and fun party. Most women I know go all out in a situation like this and come up with something unique and wonderful. So food at these dos can be a hit ...with me anyway. Home Farm Girl got the idea of a water melon basket and came up with something awesome.

     Now I also got thinking that there is some unfairness as if I was going on my own I probably wouldn't have been asked to bring anything and would have showed up and been surprised by the great food. I would have been some embarrassed as I would not have contributed. So just one of the little parts of our world where there is some in built unfairness. However, I did not let this bother me and we had a great celebration for one of my fellow teachers, skaters, parent and all round friend.

     So Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Young Male Misbehavior

       Many of my posts have come from experiences on my paper route. I know I'm finished the paper route but this incident occurred at 7:00AM on my last Saturday delivery. I found some evidence of misbehavior.

       I found a garage sale sign on the sidewalk about 8 houses away from where it was supposed to be. I carried the sign along with me and left it on the rightful owner's yard. In the same area a barricade around a small city work site had been pushed over. I began wondering who had been messing around in my quiet neighborhood. Then I remembered that I heard my papers being dropped off at 4:23 AM and at the same time I heard a male voice in my back alley. So somebody was in the area at that time and was probably the culprit. What else did they do?

     I began thinking about this misbehavior and who and why someone might be roaming around at 4 AM. My mind started to work in overdrive and I wondered what had happened in our society that allows people to wander around and be a nuisance or worse. I thought of all the places which are open all night which allow people to receive services such as snacks and drinks, lack of policing, lack of parental guidance and other things which may lead to youth being out in the community at all hours.

     Then I said, "Wait a minute. There's something wrong with this scenario." I remember that when I was a teenager in the 1950's. I would at times be out all night and come home and not go to bed. Just got home in time to milk the cows and have breakfast. I got into all kinds of mischief. Not only were vehicles not locked , the keys were left in the ignition. If there weren't keys the technology was so simple, you could put a nickel behind any ignition and make a connection and start a vehicle. So we moved tractors and trucks which were left out in the back 40. Some vehicles we took for a ride and brought them back. I discovered tobacco and alcohol during these ventures. Now in the 50's things close early and nothing was open all night. There was more stringent policing. Parents had more time for their kids and being from a farm we had lots of work to do.

     So now I've shot holes in my own theory as to why some young males go out and become nuisances or worse. I also look at my severe condemnation of the youth who took the signs and detect that when I relate my own misbehavior I'm not as hard lined. I'm not looking at my misdeeds as harshly as the other guy's misdeeds.

    So my question is,"Why do some young males misbehave and have difficulty seeing that what they are doing is wrong?" I thought  all the stuff I got into was "funny", but it wasn't for the victims. How long before my time did young males go out and act up?