Sunday, March 31, 2019


        I've had a bit of a struggle with the blog lately. I've been very busy. Topics come to my head and by the time I get to pencil and paper the topic is gone.

        However , today I have something to write about that was planned for me by somebody else.

        I want to tell you that my winter snow is about 90% gone. There are only snow banks on the north side of something or in a very sheltered spot.

       So I went out to get some photos of my gone snow. 

       Well, I found some other things and some things I didn't find quite soon enough.

       I noticed  that a large tree trunk had fallen and the the bark was stripped off the branches close to the ground. I had to check this out. From a distance I thought it would have been a porcupine. When I got there I discovered that it had been deer that had chewed the bark off and nipped all the end twigs. Most nights deer had gone through my yard so I was not surprised by the evidence.

     Now I was so interested in the evidence of the trees being chewed that I missed seeing the larger bulk if the evidence. Since the deer had stayed in this area most of the winter they had left a massive amount of droppings. I didn't see the droppings quite soon enough. They were in a consistency where they mushed and really stuck to my shoes!

    So you see the deer gave me my topic today.

Monday, March 25, 2019


     A few posts ago I told you that I had started looking into my ancestry. There were some questions that I wanted answers for.

    It's taken me some time to learn the system. Slowly I'm learning how to bump into things and find what is there.

   I was always curious as to why my Great Grandpa on my Dad's side did not have relatives here except for his own family. He came to this country in 1902 and over the years brought all of his seven adult children here. I did not hear anything about any of Great Grandpa's siblings. Had they come to North America and gone to the states and were lost track of? I think they could all read and write in the German language and probably other languages. They learned to read and write from the church. So lack of written skills should not have been a problem.

    Well, the other day I found a family tree that contained my older relatives.  It went back the great, great grandpa. However , what it showed is that all my Great Grandpa's siblings died in Poland. He had four sisters and the all died fairly early. One of them lived into here early 30's. The oldest sister may have had children but we don't know who she married.

    So as you find one thing, you  are immediately looking for something else.

     It's interesting.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019


     At the risk of offending a reader or two I would like to make some comments on religion.

    The Muslims killed in New Zealand happened to be in the wrong place. They were conveniently observed by  mad man and killed on location. They had gone about life and worship and not bothered anybody.

    There are many religions but only three or four main religions. People need a religion and the fellowship that goes along with it. They need a belief system. They support one another.

    However in each religion there are people who become over zealous. They consider the other guy's religion to be "wrong" in some areas so they attempt to correct the other guy. Many times they are not very tactful about how they want other's to change.  Some of the over zealous attempt to recruit from members of another religion. In any one of these situations violence can occur if they become too aggressive in their attempt to win converts.

   In the Arctic there were two denominations that competed for the souls of the Inuit. The Inuit had a religion but the two denominations declared that their religion was better. Well the two denominations brought schools and were better able to control the Inuit . The schools became a horror institute from which many have never recovered. The Missionaries went in under the guise that they would help the aboriginals. Instead they all but destroyed them. This scenario has occurred in many areas around the world. There were certainly some who did assist local native groups.

     In many places today the religious denominations in the Arctic are a combination of christian and aboriginal. The last memorial I attended they went back and forth smoothly from christian to aboriginal 

    Today other denominations are at work to gather souls to their churches.

    Now wouldn't it be nice if major religions could leave each other alone? 

  The study of religious wars could keep one busy for a life time.

   Now another wondering I have is why there are so many denominations in all of the great religions. I don't know how many denominations are in the christian religion. I can not understand why they have to be separate if they are christian. In small towns here there can be three or four christian denominations and they all have the same goal.Why can't they work together?

    So quite some time ago I fell off the religious bus because I could not understand why denominations could not worship together.  Now that I'm older yet I wonder why the great religions can't harmonize and work for the common good. 

Sunday, March 17, 2019


      I cannot imagine the terror and horror of the people in Christchurch as they were being gunned down. I cannot imagine the grief and sadness of friends and relatives who are left. I cannot understand the rage of one human being who undertook such deliberate acts of terror and horror.

      My sympathy goes out to the people who experienced such great  loss and terror in Christchurch.

     There are too many of these incidents happening but I listened to a radio interview this morning that gave me a couple of thoughts. White supremacy jumped out at me. I hadn't thought about that issue very seriously. 

     What makes someone become such an extreme white supremacist that they will kill? Somehow they become obsessed with the idea that people of other color will take over the world. They see danger and risk hiding in many places. They see themselves as a savior to white people. 

    Some things are easy for me to see and say as I spent 5 years as a minority person and was often called the white man. The first time I was called a white man has stayed with me all my life.

    As a child and young adult the only idea in my head was that white people were the best in all areas. My parents and all surrounding neighbors thought this way although they didn't say anything about. It just was the situation.. We were not exposed to people of color except for the odd Chinese running a local restaurant. These people lived alone and did not participate in the community. I did not see a black person until I was in my teens and had no contact with them. Asians were looked at as unusual. For all my public school years I went to school with white kids.

    None of us ever thought of taking this idea to any extreme. We didn't have any fear because there were no other people to worry about. We were it.

    So today why are so many white supremacists taking an extremely violent position. They fear losing power. They fear that other religions would prevent them from their freedom of religion. They fear other systems of law would be imposed on them. They fear that they will soon be in a minority because the people of other cultures are having so many children and moving out of their homelands to other parts of the world.

    As a child I was not exposed to other races. Once I was exposed to other cultures I learned that they had all kinds of good and different ways of looking at the world. I learned to trust and rely on people who where different. This exposure changed my life forever. 

    Somehow we have to be able to set things up so that people are exposed to other cultures in a meaningful way and that they will not become so extremely fearful of others that they will see the only option is to kill as many as they can.

   I think that some world leaders are supporting white supremacy for their own political gain. We don't need leaders dividing us for their political power.

Friday, March 15, 2019


    I've had deteriorating hearing for the last 5 to 10 years. I've tried to ignore it. I've tried to live with it. I've tried to blame it on others like the  Micro Manager. I've tried to blame it on other health issues.

   About a year ago I finally admitted the obvious. I had to get hearing aids. Then came the shopping. There's a very wide selection of places who want to take your money. Lots of warranty and service are promised.

    In Alberta we have something called aids for daily living. That gave me about $900.00. My health insurance agave me another $900.00 I pay about 1/3 for the hearing aids I got.

    I got the no frills aids. It's very basic. Not much more than volume control. Yes ,they set them according to your test and what you can and cannot hear.

    Off you go!

    Well, on the way out to the parking lot I was amazed at all the things I hadn't been hearing for a doors slamming, shopping carts and car motors running. The car motors is important. When I would walk through a parking lot I had to watch cars start to back out. I couldn't hear which cars were running and about to start backing up. So this is actually a serious safety issue.

    When I got in the house I stopped many times to say what is that. Footsteps, fabric rubbing, faucets running (very loud). I could hear the radio at the back of the house again.

    Most of all I can hear the micro Manager.

   I got the behind the ear type 

   One hurdle I haven't mastered yet is to insert the aids into the ear.

    So over all I'm very happy and look forward to the time that it's easy to insert them into the ear.

Monday, March 11, 2019


       Aunt Lucy was my Mom's aunt and she was my Grandma's sister.

       Aunt Lucy was a very tiny English lady who was very able to look after herself. She wore her iron gray coat and hat...a straw hat in the summer and felt hat in the winter. She always wore a substantial pair of shoes.

      In the late 40's early 50's Aunt Lucy visited our place every year...usually late fall. A series of letters would be exchanged and arrangements made. Aunt Lucy would be picked up from the train. She had two large and heavy suitcases. We liked to see her come as she was a great visitor. She was a talker and had lots of stories.

    After a ten days or two weeks she would move a couple of hundred miles down the line to where her twin daughters and grandchildren lived.

     She would stay there about a month and then travel to the west coast. There she had two sisters and a son. She went from place to place and visited and in the late winter she would travel back to Winnipeg. 

    To us kids there were mysteries. We didn't know what happened to her husband. We didn't know how she made a living. We didn't know how she became this tiny independent English lady. 

    As kids we didn't know much about aunt Lucy .

    So why am I telling you this. I recently got Ancestry and found aunt Lucy and a bit about her life so I can piece together a story about her.

   She came to Canada in about 1900 and they decided to farm as there was lots of good cheap land. In 1914 she was left as a widow with five children with her youngest child only two years old. I'm not sure what she did after that but records show that she was in the same area as the farm. Somehow she raised 5 kids. I would guess that she received some support from relatives.

    Later on she moved to Winnipeg as some of her children lived there. Now When she visited us and went on to the coast she probably still lived with family as she was able to leave her place. 

   So with a little inference it was fun to put together more of aunt Lucy's life. 

   So far with ancestry I've found much more than I thought I would. I know I won't find any famous or high class people. The people on my Dad's side of the family were peasants who farmed. The people on my mother's side seem to have been farm workers in England. For example, my Grandpa did butchering. When a farmer was going to butcher an animal my grandfather was called and did the job. 

Friday, March 8, 2019


    When I was still teaching one year on the last day before Christmas holidays a kid came to the concert with a newly broken arm. I said to the kid that I had never had a broken bone.

     Well guess what? The next day I fell and broke my wrist. Worse than that I was doing the Christmas bird count so I was fair game for all kinds of ribbing like " I didn't know birding was a dangerous sport. "

     Well on my last post I made a few remarks about people who have spring weather that is ten times better than mine and they still wanted better weather. I should have known to keep my mouth shut. 

    Over night we had 15 to 20 cm of snow. Lovely soft white stuff just made for shoveling. The snowplow had just finished yesterday. 

    Why don't I keep my mouth shut? 

Wednesday, March 6, 2019


     I admit it. I snicker about some of the comments that are being made about spring on some blogs right now. I'm not snickering at the blogger...just the perception of spring.

    You see we have some very wide perceptions of spring. It depends on where you live. 

     I got thinking about this today because of the weather I have. Today we had a high of minus 12 C (14 F) and a 50 - 60 kph wind. It was a very, very nasty day. Now my calendar said Mar. 6 and the first day of spring isn't until Mar. 21. But what I snicker about is someone complaining about flowers being late and cold spring weather like 40 F. I snicker about people wanting warmer weather when they have 50 F. So when I have a nasty day it's funny when people want more than 50 F

    Now on the other hand I think other bloggers might be snickering at this blogger for being in such terrible weather. What I have is winter weather and fairly frigid winter weather at that. 

    So here we are one is snickering about some great spring weather that somebody has and they want still better weather. Another is snickering because somebody's weather is just like winter.

   Well right now I would like some warmer weather...maybe something above 0 C !

    Spring comes with changes in light. At this time our daylight starts to increase rapidly. We will get warmer temperatures but most of all we will get more of the sun's energy per day so our plants will grow and develop rapidly. We will have nice spring weather , just at a different time of year.

   I didn't get a photograph today but I found an older photo that shows what things look like.

Yesterday they snow plowed my street.

    My path to the bird feeder looks like this.

Monday, March 4, 2019


     The area I live in has very few earthquakes and they are all small.

     Well this morning when I checked Face book some of my friends were talking about an earthquake! In fact, my friend Cynthia, was quite shook up   about it. The earth quake occurred around 6:00 AM. Not many people were up at that time but many of them were well aware of what was going  on.  No damage was done but people get a little shook up when the ground moved and things rattled.

     The earthquake we had was 4.6 and was originally thought to be caused by fracking in the area. Later it was shown that it was caused by fracing.

     So I was still pleasantly asleep at six AM and heard and felt nothing. Many days I am awake around 6 AM but not today when something exciting was going on.

Saturday, March 2, 2019


      The other day I listened to a documentary about violence toward teachers in classrooms. I was dismayed to hear that young children are hitting, kicking, threatening, spitting at teachers and more.

      The micro manager and I were talking about this situation over dinner. One wonders what has happened  for this situation to develop. 

     Many changes have occurred in society and the education system. So there's endless speculation. One of the things we talked about was the inclusion of all students in a regular classroom. Students who never would have been in  a classroom a few years ago.

    This got me thinking about a situation I encountered in my first year of teaching in 1958.

    My nine little munchkins in 1958 with their cool teacher!

    One family in the district had two boys with Down's syndrome.  These two children were kept at home. Most Down's syndrome kids were kept at home or institutionalized. They were not in the public school system.

    This couple decided that they wanted to send these two boys to school with me. They didn't talk to me. They conferred with the trustees. The trustees were wise and referred the matter to the superintendent. The superintendent came out to see me and we had a long discussion. The superintendent discussed all pros and cons. Then he said that I had to make the decision as to whether these kids entered the school system. I said , "No."  He had very skillfully slanted his comments to me so that he got the answer he wanted.

    This topic was discussed in the community and they were against the boys entering the school system. 

   I've never forgotten this issue. These parents were a bit ahead of their time. When I said no they didn't  pursue the matter any further.  I often wonder what happened to the two boys and the family. There was no support for families at that time.

    So inclusion of all students was beginning a long time before it happened