Tuesday, December 31, 2013

When You Fly, Don't Forget the Airplane

      Yesterday I took a flight and I didn't have an airplane. I didn't even have a parachute like DJan

      So my last post was flying when the airplane iced up. Conveniently yesterday, I took a another flight! I fell down the stairs!

     I survived the fall and the biggest wound was my pride. I was very fortunate and other than stretching a few things I had no injury.

    I was taking groceries downstairs so that they could be put away. I picked up a plastic pail that had a unattached lid  and a little box on top of the lid. This was a delicate balancing act. So with a bag of groceries in my right hand and the pail in my left hand I had to pivot on a step and then go down the stairs. Sounds simple, but I didn't make it. My feet were slower than a lot of other things.

    I fell from about 2/3 s up the stairs and went to the bottom and landed on the bread and some tin cans. The bread was a mess and the cans were badly bent out of shape. My micro manager was not too happy. She came to the top of the stairs to find out what all the noise was. Then she got in a huff about the mess I made. Somehow there were a lot of bread crumbs spread on the floor and she didn't like that!.

    So that's not a bad trick for a 74 year old. If you want my advice a 74 year old shouldn't even risk falling on the floor.

    So of course, here's for a safe 2014.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Nine Lives?

     About ten of the blogs I follow include cats to some degree. Some post about half the time on their cats and some the cats are only mentioned from time to time. I must say that there are some very well looked after cats out there.

    So thinking about cats reminded me of the "cats have nine lives thing." I got thinking that people probably have a number of lives. I'm sure I've used up a number of my nine lives.

    One of the nine lives I remember using up has to do with an airplane incident. I like flying and have flown for many hours in bush planes. 

    One September afternoon a pilot stopped at Wakeham Bay and was going on to Sugluk to drop off some freight and then back to Wakeham Bay to over night. The flight was about 3 hours return. September days there have shortened. The weather has gotten pretty chilly.

    The flight up was pleasant and we only stayed a few minutes to unload freight and started back. We expected to land just after sunset before it got dark.

   About half way through the flight we noticed the wings icing up. We were flying a few miles from Hudson strait so the humidity was high. As soon as the moisture hit the wings it froze. A few minutes later we had to pull the throttle back to have enough power to remain level. A few minutes later more power. What should we do? Land and bash off the ice. If we did this it would be too dark to take off and we would have to overnight on a lake. Losing altitude was not the only danger.  If the ice formed unevenly and one wing became heavier there would be another very nasty problem to control.

    The pilot opted to continue the flight. Because of the extra weight we flew slower and arrived at home just before it got dark. The pilot pulled the throttle back for a normal approach. The airplane dropped like a rock. He pulled the throttle back for full power and we just got things under control before we hit the water. Needless to say, it was a hard landing even on water.

   So there went one of my nine lives. It was an experience I'll never forget.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

My Snow is Getting Deeper

       Far Side has a snow stick that she sets up in the fall and it shows the snow all winter. I stuck a stick in the snow the other day to show you how much snow we have now.

The meter stick stuck in the snow on top of a table in my yard

       This area does not usually get a lot of snow. Some winters we have very little snow. We also have chinooks that come through and melt  a lot of snow. This much snow is quite unusual for us. 

That pile of snow really is on top of a table

       So if this wasn't enough snow, we had a major storm come through last night. There were high winds so most of the snow blew around. Visibility, right in town, was close to zero. 

And some English measurement!

      It was a good night to stay in and look out the window.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Blogger Blues

    My most ardent followers have noticed that I've been missing. I've reminded some that I'm still in business.  When you follow so many blogs it's hard to notice when some one goes missing.

    I've been missing for a month. I've been posting but people weren't finding me. In other words my feeds were not being picked up.

    It was disappointing for me as I missed the contact. It was difficult to post when you didn't know what might happen. You keep hoping the feed will magically return.

    I was trying to find out why my feeds were not being picked up and what to do about it. I did lots of searching...mostly in the wrong places. I found many people had the same problem I had. I didn't find any solutions. I got mixed up and confused many times. I contacted my son. I contacted a good friend. Everything came up empty. My friend left me with one comment ringing in my ears, "You should be able to find a blogger site which will help you." Sure enough. Yesterday I stumbled on to a blogger forum site. I asked my question. This morning in my email was an answer. I then started to worry about the security of the site. The answer came from nitecruzr. I hadn't seen anything about nitecruzr on the forum. I then realized the answer to my question was in the email. I reset what I was told and bingo my feeds returned.

    So a big thanks to nitecruzr.

    A big thanks to all of my followers. I've missed you. 

    Now don't give yourself homework and try to comment on all the posts. I'm  just happy if you start to comment on the new posts.

    So did I have blogger blues or what!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Winter Solstice

     Today is one of the more notable days of the year for us northerners. It's the shortest day of the year! Winter solstice! It's the first day of winter! Days start getting longer after this!

     Here the sun rose  at 8:42 this morning and set at 16:25 this afternoon. This gives us 7 hours and 43 minutes of the sun being up. We had a clear frosty day. We had a high of minus 16 C(  plus 3 F) and now at 8:30 it's minus 20 C(minus 5 F).

    Most years I have watched very carefully as the days shortened and darkened. I looked at each day's sunrise and sunset. The shorter days caused me some tension. I did look forward to the shortest day as I knew things would get better. This year , all of a sudden it's the first day of winter and I'm surprised! I have not been following with dread the increasing darkness.

   Many cultures have celebrations to mark the winter solstice. Now the day passes quietly. 

   So welcome to longer sunny days! 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Stories From an Account Book

     In my last post I told you about a package that I received that held many stories. Of course I told the most fascinating one first.

    However, who knew that a plain ordinary little old farm account book could contain many stories? My Mom kept books for the farm. Things that were bought and sold were carefully entered. There were no totals or balances. The list just went on. The account book covered parts of the years 1944 - 1947.

    One entry, among many, caught my eye. The entry simply says Dr. and hospital boys tonsils. Aha! This is when my brother and I had our tonsils out! The doctor charge was $30.00 and the hospital charge was $17.00. There was no date for this entry, not even the year. I vaguely remember getting my tonsils out. I was not in school yet so it would have to be 1944. I can remember eating jelly in the hospital and getting into trouble from the nuns for getting out of bed to play with my brother. Once we got home we insisted on more jelly as we really liked jelly.

   The changes in charges are would be rather obvious. I wonder what the procedure changes would be? What would have been use for an anesthetic? What other medications would have been used?

    Shortly after this the Saskatchewan govt. brought in hospital care. So from that time on Saskatchewan residents did not have to pay for hospital care.

   So one entry brings back long ago memories. I'm sure that if I talked to my brother he would add more details.http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=8688207620251526295#editor/target=post;postID=1929825484963442768;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=1;src=postname

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Surprise Story Package

    My brother mailed a package to me this week. I was surprised to get a package from him and I was really curious as to what he was sending me. When I opened the package I found an account book my parents used from 1944 to 1947, some bills from purchases they made and a bunch of letters in envelopes.

     The letters were what really caught my attention. I was teaching Inuit kids in 1967. Apparently I was teaching letter writing and had them write a personal letter to my brother who was about 12 at the time. It was a truly awesome discovery. I'd forgotten that I had done the project so to see letters that students from 1967 had written was like seeing something from another age. I was overwhelmed as I read each letter and remembered the students from that time.

    Kullutu Piturtuut E9-2020 said that he liked school, had three brothers and three sisters,  lived in a small house, that he lived in a beautiful place and liked to play on the hill. All the people there thought it was a beautiful place and indeed it was. It was on the coast and there were cliffs that rose up out of the sea. Our settlement was built where there was a beach. The hill was about 200 m high and had some very steep and cliff like ledges. I remember one of the kids telling me not to walk in one place because I might fall. It was OK for them to walk there but not me! Every time I went out for a walk, I soon had all kinds of company. So Kullutu, Nukaya, Johanisi, Tirisi, Joseph, Maggie, Adami, Qumanquaq and Nuluki took me back to relive a time in 1967.

    Some day I will get a scanner and be able to show you pictures of my experiences.

   The government gave each person a disk number. The E9-2020 was Kullutu's disk number. They were proud of their disk numbers that were used for all business both government and private. The disk numbers were given because the govt. couldn't understand the naming system and had difficulty spelling the names. As an administrator I had a supply of disks and I gave each baby their disk and recorded their birth.This was a disgusting racial discrimination activity as it reduced a person to a number. The numbers were abandoned many years ago.

    Now I have no idea how my brother kept these letters for so many years. I can understand that my Mom would keep them as she was a pack rat. But my brother moved many times so I was really surprised that the letters had survived all the moves. I am also gratified that he thought to send them to me all these 46 years later.

   Now there were other items in the package that will generate stories and they will come out at some time.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I Had to Shop Today

     Those who follow me know that I am a reluctant shopper with very few skills  and no desire. Today I had to do the weekly grocery run as my micro manager was quite under the weather.

    The micro manager always has a long list for two stores. Some items on her list are optional. She watches for them to go on sale. 

    When I do any shopping for her I demand a highly detailed list. So brand, size, cost and number are very explicitly written out. Why do I demand this? It comes from the famous toilet paper episode. Toilet paper was on sale and since I was going by the place I was asked to get toilet paper. I was given the specific brand with a x2 beside it. I came home with two cases instead of the two packages she wanted. Nothing on her list said packages. So after that the list had to be very precise.

    I had two places to go today. The first place I bought 3 grocery items and a pharmacy item. So I wrote down prices and consulted my notes before I went to the cashier. Well, my mandarin oranges were keyed in at the wrong price and I had to get that adjusted.

    I needed much more items at the second place. There were two items I could not find and I picked up two others that I knew to be a good deal. I also needed two prescriptions and one was already fouled up as  they only had 100 pills instead of 400. Through  the cashier and check my slip. Oops they keyed in the wrong grapes. So I had to go to customer service and get that corrected. 

    So I arrive home and go over in detail what had happened. The first question was , "Why did you only get one milk?" "Oh, I'll bet I left it in the car!" Sure enough one milk was left in the car. Then another question. Where are the grapes? We couldn't find the grapes and then it slowly dawned on me that when I went to customer service to get the adjustment on grapes that I had left the grapes on the counter. 

    So with all these disasters, who would want to do any shopping? On the other hand if I did more shopping, I'm sure I'd get better at it. Is my micro manager going to delegate the shopping to me? I doubt it!

Sunday, December 8, 2013


I have friends
Here they are!
A lonely little birch twig
My birch twig friends
Lilac seeds
And lots of lilac seeds
A lot of pretty friends

    Last year I heard a very interesting talk about the idea that trees can communicate. Apparently quite a bit of research has been done and there's a number of  indications that trees actually do communicate. Trees communicate if there is a sickness or disease to others so that they can protect themselves. Sound far fetched? The speaker made  strong case that makes it sound reasonable that trees have some method of communication.

     So my little trees have their friends to be with on these cold winter days.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Little Weather Excitement

       We had a major blizzard this past Saturday, Sunday and Monday. We had 25 cm ( 10 in ) of snow and lots of wind. The temperature gradually dropped to minus 20 C (plus 3 F). 

       Needless to say I had lots of snow to shovel. I good neighbor came with his snow blower and really helped me. It was drifted in the next morning so I shoveled. Cars were getting stuck on my street. Monday afternoon the storm was about done.

      We have had 65 cm of snow this winter so far. Most winters we don't get even close to this amount of snow.

     Because there was wind we had snowdrifts. We rarely get snow drifts. So the wind made some great carvings for us.

The little old wishing well has a full load

There's a canoe under that snow bank. 

It's a good thing I put a roof on the bird feeder

A nice snow carving on a roof edge

A full load of snow on another garage

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Oops! It's December

    I was a little surprised today to realize that it's Dec. 1. Things have been so busy that I wasn't considering the date.

   We've had two major dumps of snow so I've been busy shoveling. We're going to get another dump of snow tonight. A couple of other things are going on in my life and they have stolen my mind and kept me busy.

   Usually I'm obsessively watching sunset time for each day. Usually I have noticed that the days are much shorter and the sun is going down very early. I haven't even thought of those things this year.

If I watch we also get some great sky colors at this time of year. Reminder to self. Take the camera in the afternoon.

    So today the sun rose at 8:22 AM and is setting at 16:26 PM. That gives us 8 hours and 4 minutes of sun. We are very close to the time when the sun doesn't set much earlier. Here the earliest the sun sets is 16:23 PM so you see we're almost there. 

Lights on the house from last year

    December may have surprised me but I do have my house Christmas lights up.