Tuesday, March 30, 2021


      When I got a new computer a few years ago I soon found out that I had problems hooking up my old  printer. I liked my old printer because all it did was print and did a good job of it. With the new computer there was no way to make a connection. The wires from the old printer just would not connect to the new computer. I tried looking for adapters and then I found out that the old printer  was not on the new computer's mind.

     So I bought a nice printer. No color though. Stay with black. However, there were still about 50 different directions on the thing. Not very many of them made sense to me. There were no instructions with the printer and to set it up I had to spend a few hours with Mr Brother. I did get it connected . At first they tried giving me oral directions but I found them difficult to follow. They emailed the steps and I could follow them

    The printer also had a scanner. Since I've had the printer I've only used the scanner a few times. Again there were no directions. So I just tried the buttons until it scanned. The next time I came to scan I went through the same experimental procedure.

    Yesterday I needed the scanner and had to send the scan by email. 

    This time I decided to write instructions. It was a challenge. It took me an hour to write the instructions. Then to test things I had the Micro Manger go through the instructions so there was some editing. 

    So now I'm a whiz at scanning. Maybe some day I will learn to print both sides? 

Sunday, March 28, 2021


      My Grandma's life here, was a good example. However, I keep thinking about how she came to this country and left her family somewhere else. My Great Grandpa brought all of his adult children and they were all married. For several of them the in laws came along so there were several large families in a group. Most of these people had  lived in the same place in Russia and many were related. 

     However , in Grandma's case , as far as I know, she didn't have any relatives in the area. There apparently were some relatives in Illinois but I don't know if there was contact...maybe some letter writing. Most of the family communication was in German so I may have missed some things. 

     One of her brothers did show up in about 1947. One day a stranger got off the train in the village.  He had no coat or baggage. He asked where CK lived. He was about 200 meters from his sister's house. He was a big surprise as they didn't know that he was coming. He visited for seven days and got back on the train and was never heard from again. So some of the pioneers had to be strong to leave and lose family.

     Some people did come to the homestead as one and no family. However, many of the homesteaders came as family groups. My Mennonite neighbors came from the USA in large family groups. 

    Grandma's children were large. Her four sons were all over 6 ft. tall. Her four daughters were large women . When they all visited grandma, the men sat in the kitchen at the table and the women sat in the living room. The grandchildren tore around the farmyard.

     So as well as being strong physically they had to be strong emotionally as well.  

Friday, March 26, 2021


     Recently I had an epiphany that the female side of my family also have a story to be told. There is not as much information on the maternal side but nevertheless it's important. 

     My great grandma Barbara was born in  1840 and died in 1911. She was married in 1862. She died before my Dad was born so I didn't get stories from him about his grandmother. My oldest aunt would have been about 11 when her grandma died but Aunt Martha didn't live close to us so we didn't get the stories. When my great grandma  came to Canada she brought all of her adult children. She was 65 years old when she came to the homestead.  She lived in a very small wooden house which was poorly built and very cold. She died of tuberculosis in 1911. 

      My grandma Caroline was born in 1874   and died in 1948. Grandma was a very hard working woman who survived under harsh circumstances. She never had electricity in her house and running water came in a pail from the well. So it was much work for her to raise 8 children under these circumstances. 

     Grandma had to be industrious to have enough food to last for a year. She was a skillful gardener and raised enough food to keep her family fed for the year. Her children spent much time in the garden weeding and then had to bring water by pail to water some of the plants. She had chickens, ducks and geese that provided meat and the chickens also produced eggs. They sometimes gathered wild duck eggs. My aunt told me how grandma told her to tell the difference between a fresh duck egg and one that had been hatching. She was also told to only take one or two eggs at a time. She also had a few cows so had milk and cream. Some game was also taken from time to time. 

     Very little was bought from the store...sugar, salt, coffee, yeast. Grain was hauled to a mill and made into flour. 

     Cabbages and potatoes were the main crop. The cabbages were made into sauerkraut and in that way the cabbage was preserved. 

     I remember going to grandma's house when some of her sons were there. They would talk about the good donuts Grandma made. In no time flat donuts were being made . I remember these fresh donuts and how Dad and his brothers enjoyed coffee and donuts. The family always spoke German when they were together as this was their first language. 

    At one time Grandma made all clothing for the family. It's amazing how much she could knit...socks, mitts, hats and more. They made goose down quilts. The houses would freeze out at night so a goose down quilt kept you warm. I remember Grandma and her daughter in laws making a quilt . They worked quickly but it was a lot of work. My cousin Betty sat under the frame and pushed the needles back up to the top. At the end of the day they had another quilt made. 

     Grandma was very practical. Houses were cold and she dressed for comfort and not style. She wore combinations fleece lined underwear and felt boots. 

     In 1946 Grandma moved into the little village into a house with no running water or electricity. 

    At 70 years of age they had no savings and were supported by some of their children. They each got a $5.00 per month old age pension. Other than that they still raised their own food. 

    Looking back she lived a very successful life under challenging circumstances. 

    We liked our Grandma even if most of the time she was busy and rather stern. She would sometimes take us into the dark stairwell to set the mood and tell us stories that were always scary. I remember her chuckling over these stories. 

    Grandma died in 1948 at age 72 . 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021


       A while ago I made a number of posts starting with my Great grandfather , moving to my grandfather and then my Dad. 

       I got reflecting on these posts and suddenly it hit me. I hadn't included and women!

      I'm not going to look around for excuses as to why I left the maternal side of my family out.

      My great grandmother died in 1911, the year before my Dad was born. Dad had no stories about her. She died of tuberculosis . I did not hear any of my relatives talk about her so I don't know what she was like.

     I knew my grandmother well. As little boys we stayed with her the odd time. She was an older woman when her first grandsons appeared on the scene. She had four grand daughters by the time I showed up. The only thing I remember is that she sometimes told us stories. Her stories were of central European origin and were of wolves, bears and foxes chasing people across the land. Grandma was a very hard worker under very trying circumstances where she didn't have any modern conveniences.

      This is the only photo I have of my grandma but it is just as I remember her. This was taken the year before she died. 

      I know lots about my mother who was a very hard working and caring person. she had to be hard working to look after us. My Mom lived a short hard life and died at age 59 . 

       So here I am with Mom.

       So there are stories to tell about my maternal side of the family . I will have to rectify that situation. 

Friday, March 19, 2021


       I have been thinking about scanning my slides for a long time...too long. I've got so serious about scanning my slides that I have started looking for a scanner. I took slides from 1966 to about 1970 so my slides are old. However, they contain some important memories. 

        So I started checking out scanners. I found a wide variety of scanners. Since my slides are not great   just garden variety, I don't need an expensive scanner with all the gadgets. 

      What I found was that there is not one scanner for sale in my town...not one. Well, there was one on Kijiji but it had been sold. I also did a wanted ad on Kijiji but that has not worked. 

     So I checked on line. There are many scanners but when you check the availability many aren't available so your choice becomes smaller. I will have to buy on line. 

      So what better place to check than my blog followers. Have you scanned slides? What kind of scanner did you use? 

     Wish me luck!

Monday, March 15, 2021


       So daylight savings time is visiting us again. I haven't seen very many bloggers complaining about the time change this year so I will snivel about the change. 

       I've gone through close to eighty changes to daylight savings time. For most of that time the change has not bothered me. I have never had a difficulty with the change. The next day I would be completely adjusted and would not even recognize that a change had taken place. 

      I lived in the Arctic for five years and loved the 24 hour daylight. The parties were longer and sometimes I had to stop and get some serious sleep.

     Recently , though,  I have found the time change more of a challenge to adapt to. It's harder to get up at the right time. Meal times seem noticeably off.  

     Then I thought about why do we even have day light saving time?  Yes, I know , we're supposed to get more daylight! What a laugh! The day light doesn't increase. Yes, I know it's supposed to  give us a longer evening so that we can have more evening outdoor time. 

    More and more people have been complaining about day light savings time recently. I'm sure that many areas would have changed from daylight savings time except that it's not that simple. If there is a change it would be much better if everyone changed. That's the challenge. How will we get everybody to change at the same time. After that we say do we stay on standard time all year or daylight savings time all year?

     I think we'll probably keep on with the time changes for a while until we get all of our ducks in a row to make a change happen. 

    What would you like to see happen to our time changes?

Thursday, March 11, 2021


      I'm happy that I got my Covid vaccine shot last Saturday. However, unlike many others, I do not have a sense of great relief and safety.

     Here in Alberta, Canada there is a staggering amount of disorganization when it comes to distributing the vaccine. I got my shot when they opened it up for anybody over 75. Now I was disturbed, to say the least , to find out that in many senior residences and care centers, the residents have not received a shot. I feel badly for these people as many of them are not in good health. Why leave them in a very vulnerable condition and no vaccination?   Most of these people are well over 75. My friend's 90 year old mother, who resides in a senior residence, got covid about a week ago. 

     I was maybe too hopeful and naive to think that the vaccine would prevent us from contracting covid! All kinds of statistics have been bantered around. We hear numbers such as 90% , 95% ! We don't really listen and understand what those numbers mean. I can't put numbers to things , but I now know that the vaccine may not necessarily prevent us from getting Covid-19 but may prevent a more serious illness from Covid. It may prevent us from death. It is compared to the flu vaccine we get every year. 

    Some people have expressed great relief when they get the first shot. I hope that sometime later , they are not disappointed. I don't share that great emotion. I know I'm better off having the covid shot. I'm just not sure how much better off I am with the vaccine.

     One thing for sure is that we must still practice all the good habits to keep from getting and spreading the disease. So keep on wearing a mask, washing your hands and keeping your distance. 

    Having said all this I'm glad that I got the shot. I'm far better off with a shot than without a shot. I urge everybody to get the shot  as soon as possible.  

Tuesday, March 9, 2021


      Ordinarily I'm a very low key, mellow fellow. I don't worry.

  The mellow fellow about 30 years ago. 

  However, this week it was very different. I suffered some anxiety and worry. 

      Apparently my sister-in-law put on Face book that she had moved to the next town. Now the only reason I can see for moving to the next town is that there is a nursing home. Some of her friends were offering hugs and all kinds of support. So that really got me worried about what was going on. Had a sudden change in health put her in the nursing home?

     I email my brother every couple of weeks and he replies that everybody is OK. The last email I sent was not answered. Can you see more anxiety. I didn't want so say anything stupid so I emailed my nephew who always answers very promptly...usually in a few minutes. He didn't answer me right away so the anxiety was building.

    What do I do now?

    Fortunately, my nephew replied the next day.  His Mom and Dad had got a new computer. When they were trying to set it up, it would not accept the name of their little village . However, it would accept the next town which is much bigger . So that's where the quip came from that , "I have moved to L." The computer address will be L.

I still haven't emailed them and they haven't emailed me. However , they do read my blog and will find out the unplanned trick they played on me. 

    Now what can I do to get back at them?

Sunday, March 7, 2021


       I haven't posted for a while. I've got excuses...probably all of them wrong!

       First I was blown away by the comments on my last post on education. Obviously all of you have been following what's been goin on in education for a long time. You're not just recent followers when much instruction is being done on line. You wonder what will happen next in education. 

      So thanks for the great comments. 

      I got my first covid shot yesterday.  I could tell that my arm was a bit sore this morning but in an hour or so all soreness was gone. 

      I have dabbled in family genealogy for four or fine years . I have found it difficult to enter and change information so usually abandon my efforts. Last month I contacted a woman who has been working on our genealogy. I had information and photos to share with her and she sent me off on a search for information. So It was nice to make a little progress on the project. 

     I've been enjoying some spring like weather. we've had highs above freezing for about ten days which is warm spring weather for here.

    So I have some excuses for not posting but I know you won't let me get away with them.

Monday, March 1, 2021


     I've been working on a post for a few days that hasn't gone well. I can't seem to get the post to say what I mean! So another topic has caught up to me. 

     The pandemic has caught up to the education system . I don't know if consideration has been given to where things are going. Kids have been out of school for a few weeks. Then they're on line for  few weeks. Then they're in school for a few weeks. I doubt that any unit can be completed when they bounce back and forth among types of presentation. 

     Even though I taught Middle School for my whole career, I have to be somewhat skeptical about  public education. I know why I taught but most of society sees only a bunch of facts that have to be carried around. 

    So today I gave the Micro Manager a few questions on topics the public thinks should be known. Now the Micro Manager is sharp and was a very hard worker. She was at the top of her nursing class! So I  asked her a few questions. What's an isosceles triangle? What's the formula for the area of a circle? What's the formula for the volume of a sphere? What's a metaphor? What's alliteration?  What's a noun? Then I asked her  few historical dates and characters. Some of these she had some idea about what it was but mostly she didn't know. 

     So here's someone in her 80's and has lived a successful productive life and very few things from school are still with her. The micro Manager has no trouble with logic, judgement, comparison, communication  and all those other things used in daily life.

     My argument is that a good education should give people skills to find accurate  information and make judgements with what they have found. And don't cheat and look for what you want to find instead of what appears. 

    So I don't think the kids will miss much. There are going to be challenges about entrance to post secondary education unless adjustments can be made to take into account what has happened. It looks like schools will be influenced for about two years . 

     I'm also sure that some new teaching strategy will be discovered as well. There will be some positives that come out of the pandemic situation.