Wednesday, October 30, 2013

" Good bye to you my trusted friend..."

       In 1976 we bought a small, completely forested recreational property at a lake. The plan was to build a small seasonal residence(cabin) and that this would be our refuge from a city.

      We were shocked one time when a cow bawled and my son said , "I think I heard a bear." We knew it was time to get out of town for part of the year.

      We made a start on the dream but the main part of the dream never happened. As a young family we spent a lot of time at the property. It was quiet. There was a beach and sand that kids love to play in. Canoeing was easy and safe. Although the kids were very young they had free range in the area. There were very few people in the development at that time and those who were there  were good neighbors. We had the run of nearby land which was mainly forest. Much time was spent wondering through the bush. There were many berries we could pick on the neighboring property.

      We built a small garage which was going to be used while the cabin was being built. We put in a propane stove and fridge. This served as a kitchen living room. It was comfy. A small trailer served as a bedroom. 

     The kids left and less time was spent at the lake. Then it got down to just going out to do maintenance and cut grass. Finally, I decided that it was time to part with the property.

     So the property is in the process of being sold. It's time to say good bye to a good old friend.. 

Front of lot lined with spruce trees that I wish I'd never planted

Walking path to the lake which you can see at the end of the trail.

The lil' old garage.

The trusty old propane stove.
Fun times in the old canoe.

Good bye

Monday, October 28, 2013

Curried Carrot Soup for Lunch

      Today I had to be in the house so I made a big pot of curried carrot soup! Remember I told you I had a big surprise when I went north and had to cook for myself. I like cooking and now with the Internet you just find a recipe that looks good and away you go.

My wonderful soup

     Ordinarily , I'm outside most of the day. The weather man kept me in the house today.

We received this snow Sun. Oct. 27

Some landscape trees do not harden off like this willow so it still has colorful leaves.

This particular willow sprawls over a large area.

I hope this year that the willow loses most of its leaves before I put my ski trail out in the park

The deer visited this park last night.

   so now you see why I stayed in and made soup!

Sunday, October 27, 2013


      The other day when I was wandering through the woods and  weeds to get the Outlet school pictures I found an interesting fence post if fence posts are ever interesting.

      The post was the end of the fence. I don't know why so much wire was tied around the last post . Why  are there so many differ ages of wire? Why are different kinds of wire used? Who did this?  Was it done over a number of years. Did different people add to this collection.?

    It's an interesting piece of work.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Prairie Country Schools

       I have driven by this site for may years. Five years ago this sign was erected so I knew what was formerly at this location...a country school.

       Alberta and Saskatchewan were settled in the late 1890' and early 1900's. Since families came to settle the land schools were needed . A system of country schools was set up. Each country school was set up to serve an area that was convenient for children to travel to the institution. The schools were numbered and run by a local school board. They collected taxes and hired teachers. The school yard was a standard two acres. A number of plans were available for school boards to choose from.

     These little buildings were notoriously cold.  They were poorly built and had no insulation. They were heated with a large coal and wood stove. The fire went out over night and had to be relit every morning. It would take until noon until the building warmed up.
      This site is completely overgrown with trees. As you see from the sign it was Outlet school which was built in 1902 and closed in 1949. So it's been closed for 64 years. The school number was 599 which means that it was the 599th school built in Alberta.

      So if there were any grade ones in this school in 1949 , they would now be 70. The memory of these schools and school districts is fast coming to an end.

     When I think of these country schools I cannot help but wonder about the people who attended. For 47 years an assortment of students gathered at this site and received some education. Boys, girls, big, small, all kinds of people went through the program. There were many teachers who worked in this school. Who were they. The district was supported by a dozen or more families and it became their community center. There were other uses for these schools. Church services were conducted in many of them. Community meetings , dances and socials were organized in these little buildings.

     So I finally stopped the other day at the Outlet school site. I walked in and in the center there was  clearing where the school stood. Other than that nature had reclaimed the site. A picture of the school shows no trees around it.

This is the outer view of the site.
This weedy clearing looks like where the school sat.

       I attended a country school from gr. one to nine. My first year of teaching was in a country school. 

       A few years ago it was decided to mark the location of all the country schools. A marker was set up where my school was located. The memory of these schools may fade but the locations will still be noted.

This is where I went to school. The school site is behind the sign and it is now a grain field.

Ten former students. Two of them are my brothers and they attended the last year the school was open. One brother 5 th from the left and second brother 8 th from the left.

Two former teachers unveiled the sign.
A 1947 photo of school students in front of Hiawatha School. My Dad's shadow is on the right as he took the picture. I am first left in the middle row.

 I used this photo the other day but, today I want you to notice the large stove in the corner.

      So now you can put two and two together and see where the name of my blog came from.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"It's a Beautiful Day in my Neighborhood"

      This huge poplar tree is directly across the street from me. Since it's such a large tree and has brilliant yellow leaves I couldn't resist a photo. I wanted more light from the rising sun , but that was not to be.

Many of the leaves have dropped from this tree but it's still got color
      Trees in the neighborhood are from 6 m (20 ft.)  to 14 m (45 ft.) high with some spruce at 28 m (80 ft.) Some variety of poplars were planted and are up to  30 m(100 ft.) and stand out over the whole district. The tree dwarfs the house in front of it.

    The spruce help to show the yellow of the poplar leaves.

      So it was "a beautiful day in my neighborhood."

Sunday, October 20, 2013

EeK! Irish Triplets!

      Two posts ago I wrote about my brother and I being the same age for a couple of weeks because our births were less than a year apart. I didn't intend it to be a serious post and it wasn't. I was really surprised by how much we learned. Tina at Bringing Along OCD  calmly dropped the term Irish twins. Very few people had heard of Irish twins including me. It was a term that intrigued many readers so thanks Tina.

    So I had to find out more about Irish twins. I wanted to know how it originated. So as with all things Google it didn't take long until I found it's origin. It's as I thought. The term originated in bout the 1850's and was a derogatory term used to refer to Irish immigrants who had many children.

    What I also found is that there are Irish triplets. That means that there are three births within two years. For I minute I almost thought I was an Irish triplet , but not quite. I was born late Oct. 1939. My brother was born early Oct. 1940. My sister was born early Jan. 1942. So I was two years and two months old when she was born. My brother was 1 year and 3 months old. So my Mom had three kids and the oldest was 2 years and two months old. Not quite Irish triplets!

   My sister is the little girl in the front of the picture. I am right behind her and my brother is the little guy with his legs sprawled out in the aisle. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

My Age is Established

      Yesterday I posted a bit of a riddle on my age related to my brother's age.

      Yes, we were born less than a year apart. It was always interesting when we were little kids and someone would ask our age. When we both said the same number people would automatically ask us if we were twins. We hardly knew what twins were but we knew we weren't twins.

     The situation of our births being less than a year apart brings up one of those questions I wish I'd asked my Mom before she died. I wish I'd asked her if my brother's birth was a little early or maybe even a lot early. But I didn't ask so I'll never know. I believe that there are many people with births less than a year apart because the younger one was premature.

    I've had fun with this situation all my life so I thought I would share it with you.

    I was surprised that such a simple post attracted do much interest. Several  readers got it bang on.   Check these blogs too. I given links to these blogs. Several more were in the ballpark and some were mystified by the situation.

    I had fun with this post and was surprised how much I learned. For example,  the term Irish twins refers to siblings who are born less than a year apart.

We were in gr. 2 and 3 in this school picture. So second row from the back...we are second and third from the right, I'm the dude with the bib overalls behind the teacher to the right. My brother is standing beside me on my left.

    At this age I was much bigger than my brother. It didn't stay that way. In my prime I hist  5' 10" In my brother's prime he was 6' 1" or 2".

    My bother was a farmer all his life so was outdoors and doing heavy work. I was a teacher and was inside so we have some differences in physique. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

What About My Age?

     It's my brother's birthday today and he's 73.

     I'm also 73.

     It's not my birthday today.

      It wasn't my birthday yesterday and it won't be my birthday tomorrow.

       We both have the same Mom.

     What's going on here?

Both photos about 3 years ago.

Red on the left and brother on the right.

Handsome lookin' dudes!


Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Thanksgiving List

     I was introduced to the thanksgiving list a few years ago where we would say what we are thankful for. It's a good exercise. It puts some meaning into Thanksgiving and leads us to stop and  appreciate things .

  Since this is the blog world I thought I would keep my list connected to the blog world.

   1. I'm thankful for the people who follow my blog. You are the ones who put meaning into what I write. I very much appreciate that people stop by and visit Hiawatha House.

   2. I'm thankful for all the great blogs that I get to read. I go for variety . So some blogs publish excellent photography. Others are humorous. Some blogs are very descriptive other other places. Other blogs relate daily life. Many blogs have very attractive layouts. Some blogs stick to a very narrow topic that is covered in depth. I have to be thankful that you work so hard on your blogs and that I benefit from it.

    3.I'm thankful for comments. Comments do many things. Comments make me think more about what I wrote. Comments often gently show another point of view. Comments are always enlightening for me!

    4. I'm thankful for the genuine friendship of fellow bloggers. You have to really care to read and comment on what I write. You pick up on things that you like and things that I struggle with. Thanks for the help and support.

     5. Some of you are great huggers! So thanks for the hugs. They are most appreciated. 

     I look forward to more high quality blogging. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fall From My Yard

     The other day I took a few minutes to take a look at fall colors around my yard. Once leaves turn color here it doesn't take long and they fall off. 

     So here are some photos taken from my yard on Oct.

My cheerful little white birch

Already some leaves have fallen

My green ash. Yesterday, Oct.10, most leaves had fallen from the ash.

Some birch beauty contrasted with cedar

My neighbor's birch trying to help brighten up a gray sky

      Happy thanksgiving to Canadian followers and anybody else who cares to accept good wishes.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Fall Gardening

      Gardening is winding down in this part of the world.  I think of vegetables first when gardening is mentioned. I like planting vegetable  gardens, watching them grow and eating the fresh produce as it comes directly from the soil.

I can taste these by just looking at them

A few beets are still left.

Onions have been pulled for a while so that they can dry and be stored.

The onion crop was poor this year as they didn't have time to complete growth.

I will leave the miserable sunflower for birds to pick through.

The remains of the bleeding heart
The bleeding heart in prime time.

Who couldn't like bleeding hearts

     My Dad and maternal grandfather were skilled gardeners. I guess my brothers and I were influenced enough that we all like gardening. For my Dad the vegetable garden produced a major proportion of food.  Vegetables were processed or stored and had to last to the next summer. In Dad's day produce was not sold in stores. A vegetable garden was vital.

     Sadly gardening comes to an end each fall. I have to harvest the late produce, clean things up and work the soil. I have just a small garden patch and I work everything by hand. I use a fork to work up the soil. My soil has become very hard in the last few years so I'm trying to add plant material to soften the soil. I get two loads of shavings and work them into the soil. So as well as good food I get a tremendous amount of exercise and fresh air.

    So I've had a wonderful summer with these plants and will be ready next spring to start over again.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

...and I Give You Crows!

     Now is a very active and interesting time for bird migration. First, I had a visit from Brewer's black birds. Common grackles should have been with them but were absent. Then, I had robins preparing for their trip.

    I can't miss out on commenting on the crows I'm sending south!

    Crows start their preparation for migration about the end of August and the action grows larger and larger though September. In the evenings crows fly in a steady stream. The width of the flock is narrow( about 2 or 300 m). It is a constant straggly flow of birds through the evening hours. They are flying back from the fields where they have been eating all day to a favorite roosting site along the river. When they get to the roosting site there is a fair amount of fussing around until each bird has found a roost that he?/he likes. The opposite process happens in the morning when everybody wakes up and they fly out to the fields in that continuous line of birds.

     Most crows leave here about the 25 th of Sept. We still have a few left as I heard them on my street this morning.

   Crows are some of our earliest arrivals in the spring. They show up about the end of March and very soon start nesting. They spread out in the summer and then form these huge flocks in Sept.

   It's an interesting time to watch crows. Now I know some of you will not like seeing my crows arrive on your doorstep. However, there's nothing I can do about it. They have to eat.

   As with the robins, we always have a few crows that over winter here . We always count crows in our winter bird count.

    So look after my crows this winter and keep them healthy until they return to me in the spring.