Saturday, December 31, 2022


         There are many people who I wish a great and wonderful 2023.  So followers and readers I wish you all the best. I have many wonderful blogs that I follow.  So successful blogging in 2023.

Most New Year's Eves I remind you that New Year's Eve 1964 was the first date I had with the Micro Manager. Of course we went to a New Year's party at the Legion in Inuvik , NWT. That was 58 years ago. It's okay if you say it fast. 


Tuesday, December 27, 2022


       One hears much at Christmas about "a good old fashioned Christmas" "Traditional Christmas" "family Christmas" . It feels like people are searching for something . It's easy to look back and see something that was pleasant. They don't get the same buzz from Christmas these days.

       I started to think about my past and Christmas celebrations. I was born in 1939 on the Saskatchewan prairie. Times were tough, very tough. In this area they hadn't really pulled out of the depression and then WW II started and there were more hard times. 

     So, of course, I don't remember much about my first four or five Christmases. We were still hard up in the late forties but I remember Christmases. Schools and churches had concerts which were exciting. For these we received a bag of candy and nuts and best of all a Japanese orange. 

     Our Christmas presents were meager but we didn't know that. 

     We went to our cousins for Christmas  and New Years . We harnessed the team and headed a mile across the fields to our cousins. The next year they came to our house. 

     Economic conditions were better in the fifties and we were older. We received more as it could be afforded. We played games all day with the cousins. This time flew by quickly and we spent more time with our friends at Christmas rather than our families. We still attended the dinner and gift giving.

    Then suddenly I was not able to be home for Christmas and that was another way to spend Christmas. 

    Marriage and we went back to family celebrations.

   My children came and we had a family Christmas with the gifts and big dinner but we were away from family so just the nuclear family participated.

   When my children left they went other ways and did not come home for Christmas.

    As a couple without family we kept up traditions with the big meal and gifts. We attended the Christmas eve church service. 

    Gradually we did less and less. Gifts were omitted. We had too much already. Decorations became less until this year it's only lights outside. Less baking was done until this year there was none which is good because it's too physically challenging for the micro manager. The Christmas dinner was missing some of the trimmings.

     Next year we will eat our Christmas dinner out at a restaurant.

    So, this gets me back to the traditional Christmas. Would it be possible to go back. Never. Would we like the traditional Christmas celebration? Probably not. I don't think I'd like to be riding in an open  sleigh box behind two old farm horses. 

    So the traditional Christmas is the one we celebrate right now. This year , I enjoyed my Christmas as much as ever but there wasn't any razzle dazzle. 

Friday, December 23, 2022


       We have always exchanged some small items at Christmas time with some of the neighbors. Usually it's some baking or at least that's what we did. This year, I finally persuaded the Micro Manager to quit baking. However, we did find something for the neighbors beside us.

     I took it to them this morning. During the chit chat at the door , Darcie asked me if I got her bag of goodies. A question like that made me nervous. Whoa! Did she give me something and I forgot about it . However , my answer to her was no. Darcie knew that something was wrong as I hadn't thanked her.

    So, what happened?

     Darcie had hung the bag on the mail box. So we think the mailman took it. So the mail man must think I'm a good guy and it didn't cost me a dime . Or we have an elderly slightly handicapped paper boy. Ron may have taken it. In this case Ron would think I'm a good guy. 

     Now there are very few kids or homeless in the neighborhood so we scratched that off as a culprit. 

    I suspicion that Darcie didn't have a tag on this bag as to who it was for.

    It was funny when we thought that the wrong person had taken the little gift. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2022


       Today is that magic day of the longest night of the year. 

        Here the sun rose at 8:42 AM and set at 4:24 PM so we had 7 hours and 42 minutes of daylight. So today is the day when days are to get longer. Yesterday the sun set at 4:23 PM  Yesterday the sun rose a 8:41 AM so things have an adjustment to make before we start gaining back time for a longer day.

       Since it's winter in the northern hemisphere I am experiencing winter. Today our high was minus 28 C. Tonight our low will be minus 38. So yes,we are experiencing winter as it normally occurs here. 

       This is what it looked like at approximately 4:05 Pm this afternoon. The sun would officially set about 15 minutes later. 

Sunday, December 18, 2022


       Today we had another typical winter day. The high was minus 22 C. When I woke up this morning it was minus 24. There was a light wind but when it's minus 22 it will feel cold. There was a few centimeters of snow so guess what. I had to shovel.

      So in the morning I did my driveway and front side walk as well as my neighbors sidewalk. After lunch I did my west side walk. 

      So now  at 8:05 PM it's snowing again. I'll be ready again to shovel.

      Today I did get some photos through the window. It shows how dull it is at this time of year as the sun is low down in the sky. 

                               Before shoveling

                                 After shoveling    

       This shows a snow cornice off the roof of my house. The wind blows and the snow drifts over the edge and gradually the snow sticks out over the edge of the roof. You are looking up in this photo. 

Saturday, December 17, 2022


          Yesterday I gave you our dismal weather forecast for the next seven days. So today was our  first day of a long cold spell. We had about 5 cm of snow overnight with lots of wind.

          So when I went out to shovel today,  there was no snow in some places and 20 cm in other places. The wind had drifted the snow into snow banks. 

          So at minus 17 C I shoveled my sidewalks and driveway. And then I shoveled sidewalks for two neighbors. Then I cleaned out the paths to various things around my yard.

         Okay, you have to dress for the cold. First I found my "long johns". These are long legged underwear that go down to your ankles and then your socks fit over the bottom cuffs . Then I found my vest and fleece . Then my jacket went over these. So I dressed properly for the cold and I wasn't cold. 

         Pictures? No way. I don't like using a camera when it's this cold. My fingers soon get very cold and the battery seems to die very quickly when it's cold. 

        Tomorrow is going to be colder!

Friday, December 16, 2022


       For the next seven days we have a nasty weather forecast. 

       On five of the next seven days we have snow in the forecast. Now I don't really mind snow.

      Now the highs for the next seven days aren't nice . Here they are. Keep in mind that these are highs. Did I say that before.

         Dec . 17   minus 15 (6 F)

         Dec. 18    minus  20 (minus 4 F)

         Dec. 19    minus 24 (minus 6 F)

         Dec. 20     minus 28 (minus 20 F) 

         Dec. 21     minus 29 (minus 21 F)

         Dec.22      minus 22 (minus 8)

         Dec. 23     Minus 14 (4 F)

      Now the usual questions that are asked about these temperatures. 

      They are not close to record lows. It is normal  get this cold but not often. 

      We get used to these temperatures and go about our business. 

      North American has had some brutal weather in December. 

Monday, December 12, 2022


       I like listening to music. I don't play any instruments and I can't sing. But I love listening  music.

      I listen to  wide variety of music. When I used to take CD's out of the library one of the librarians said I had an eclectic taste. I like most music and dislike very few kinds of music. I don't get rap or the heavy metal stuff. There's very little country and western that I listen to.

      Now with You Tube we are able to listen to a wide range of music. 

      A while back I told you about an orchestra that I had recently discovered and recommended that you give it a listen. I was looking for some orchestras from a long time ago. I wanted to listen to James Last, Bert Kaempfert, or a Mantovani. All of a sudden Strato Vani jumped out from You Tube. I'm sure that there are many more modern day orchestras. It's just that I haven't found them. 

      Somehow Austrian folk music popped out of You Tube. I started listening to it and before you know it I was hooked. It consists of tuba, trombone, saxophone , accordian , some guitar and a few other interesting combinations. For most of it there are vocals and you hear some great singing. Again these people are amateurs

      After a while the Austrian music looked different. Then I found out that You Tube had decided I should listen to white African folk music. It's an interesting combination of guitars, the odd banjo and accordion. Then there was one instrument that I was not familiar with ...the concertina. There are little to no vocals with this music. Some of it is the standard lead guitar, rhythm guitar and percussion.There are some very good musicians. Very little of it is professional and seems like local gatherings of musicians to play for fun. 

    So who knows what I'll run into on You Tube in the next little while. 

    I'm sure some of you will have suggestions for me.


Saturday, December 10, 2022


       Since I'm on the topic of Christmas presents and traditions, here's one more. 

       My paternal Grandfather lived in the small village 5 miles from our farm. We liked our Grandpa. There were times that he stayed at our place. 

My paternal grandparents about 1947

       Grandma had died recently so we had a Christmas present for Grandpa. The  three of us four to seven year olds ran up to his house to give him his present. We expected that he would put his present some place and open it at Christmas. No! What did he do? He opened the present right in front of us! We were appalled and went home and told our mother as she had knitted him a pair of wool mitts. 

      So that was Grandpa's tradition for Christmas presents. 

     Grandpa was a Central European peasant. His family were farmers in the Ukraine. They came to Canada in the early 1900's as there was not any more land for them in Europe. They came to Canada in the early 1900's and homesteaded in Saskatchewan. Their traditional Christmas was only religious.

      There are many unique ways to mark Christmas. 

      Do you have some unique traditions?

Wednesday, December 7, 2022


       Piling up presents under the Christmas tree is about a Christmas as it gets. However, there's a very dumb aspect to putting things under the tree. I'll get to that. 

       Only occasionally did we have a tree. There were few trees on the prairie and no spruce trees. Paying for a Christmas tree was out of reach. However in the late 40's after the war we did get Christmas trees.

       I grew up in the 40's along with two brothers and a sister. The family was always hard up. If we got a present from Mom and Dad , it would be for the four of us. One year we got a tricycle. Another year we got a dog. Our maternal grandparents gave us individual gifts like a pair of mitts grandma would knit. One year we got pocket watches but they were second hand. Probably something Grandpa had. I remember my watch fell apart right after Christmas and I bawled. 

    Now the few presents we got were put under the tree for decoration. Well you can guess what we did. The  gifts were shaken, squeezed, listened to until the wrapping was pretty well worn away. 

    Now it's getting close to that time of the season where the tree is bought and decorated. and soon gifts will be appearing under the tree. 

     What were our parents thinking when they stashed the gifts under the tree with four little kids in the house. That was kind of dumb!

     Well, guess what? When I had little kids, what did I do? I put the gifts under the tree!


Monday, December 5, 2022


      I've had a number of weather related topics lately. so here goes another one which is related to past posts.

     Yesterday , Dec. 4 it was chinooking here. We had a strong steady west wind and a minus 1 C temperature all day. When the sun sets the wind stops. There was no chinook arch but it would have been farther west toward the Rocky mountains.

    Today we had 2 cm of snow. Just enough to shovel and tomorrow morning is will be minus 29 C (20 below F). At one time minus 29 C would not have been a problem but at this age I'm staying home. 

    So there's my weather report and now you can compare it to yours. 

Saturday, December 3, 2022


       I have ranted on this topic before. Maybe I've ranted too many times. 

       I just hate to see the loudest brainless people get wall to wall coverage in the press. Everybody picks on Trump as getting too much mileage from his outlandish behavior and comments.  Recently, he's been making about half the items in a news feed I follow. As more lawsuits pile up and outlandish comments are made the press coverage is more and at a feverish pitch. 

      I'm tired of hearing all these news items. 

      Recently a new premier was chosen in my province, Alberta. She was chosen by members of her party.

     She campaigned on some extreme right wing policies. Now that she has got started , she's come up with some pretty wacky ideas.

     She sees our federal government as the evil of all evils. She's got a proposed piece of legislation that will allow our province to pick and choose what laws we will abide by and those we will not obey.   These rules have been in effect since the beginning of our country. Yes, they change and adapt as the years go by. So she wants to take everything she can from the federal system and not contribute to that system. Of course she has enough warped logic to make this sound good.

      But, she is  mouthpiece and is getting lots of press.

      I'm not saying these people should not get any press. We have to know people's ideas if they have any. We have to know what is correct  so that we can make decisions about what to support. 

     Okay, I'm not going to ask you for a solution. There is a solution but it'll never happen.

    The press today is to make money. The press puts out what makes the most money for them. So they've found out that outlandish things get good ratings. 

    So I guess I'll have to rant once in a while about what I think is  major problem. 

    I don't think I'll post the next rant!

Thursday, December 1, 2022


       I have to consider myself very fortunate as people do things for me and I have not asked for help.

      We've had some snow and cold the last few days. We've had 5 to 10 cm (2 to 4 in) . Well you know , it has to be shoveled. I also have more than my share of sidewalks ...about 150 ft. So when we get the 2 to 4 in of snow it's a lot of work.

      Now I'm very capable of shoveling snow . I will also shovel snow for other people.

     I have four people I know who have cleared my sidewalk and one other person that I have not identified. So that's a lot of help. I was outside when one guy came along and he told me to go in my house and he would also do my drive way. 

     So I am fortunate and thankful that people come by and shovel snow for me.

     So here we are in our younger years shoveling snow. Well, I see it's only 9 years ago!

Monday, November 28, 2022


      Since I've been on a run of weather topics lately, it reminded me of an experience I had with the radiosonde balloon.

     Weather stations have been situated across Canada for many years. Part of the weather stations tools is a radiosonde balloon. This balloon is equipped with devices that measure things like temperature, wind, air pressure, humidity  and more. The radio in this balloon sends the information back to the ground where is is recorded and combined with all other weather information used to make weather forecasts. 

     The balloon is prepared for it's flight by being filled with hydrogen or some other gas. When the equipment is ready the balloon is released. All the balloons across Canada were released at the same time. Depending on conditions , it may rise about 20 km (12.5 mi). . Depending on wind it may travel many miles horizontally. Eventually the balloon will burst and the flight is over. Some balloons have a parachute .Yes, people sometimes find the remains of these balloons. 

     There was a weather station at one of the places I lived in the Arctic. In one of the science classes I taught , there was a unit on weather. I always took the kids out to the radiosonde station to see a balloon prepared and released. It was always a popular field trip. 

     My field trips to the radiosonde station took place in the early 60's. When I did some research for this post I was surprised to find out that the radiosonde technology is still in use with a few more things added to measure. I thought that satellite technology would have made the radiosonde obsolete. 

Saturday, November 26, 2022


      In regards to my last post on sunrise and sunset, Debbie asked, "What time does the sun set up there? 

     Well, you're going to get more than sunrise. 

  I live in Alberta , Canada. I'm in between the two largest cities - Calgary and Edmonton. 

     I can't give you yesterday's times . Today the sun rose at 8:14 AM and set at 4:29 PM. This gives us 8 hours and fifteen minutes of sunlight. 

    Now our forecast for next week is to be very cold. A couple of the days have highs of minus 19 C(0 F). It's also going to snow on three of those days. 

     Since I'm elderly I find these temperatures cold. The ordinary people may find it cold but carry on with their lives. 

Friday, November 25, 2022


      November 24 here, was a very pleasant day

      I looked out the the window about 7:20 AM and the sunrise looked like it would be a great one. The colors stayed while I got my camera. Some of my friends also took photos and they were earlier and got more color.

 It was a fine windy day with  high of plus 9 C (48 F). Obviously were were having  chinook. 

     I thought I would get a photo of the chinook arch but I didn't get my camera focused so missed the chinook arch. So it was a nice start to the day with a beautiful sunrise and a nice finish with a chinook arch. 

     So this photo is from a post I made a few days ago.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022


       Today was the day I had my annual health check up.

       I've had annual check ups almost every year since my mid 40's.

       Things have gradually changed over the years. At one time cholesterol was a major concern in the check up. Cholesterol was carefully checked and monitored. We were given all kinds of advice for our diet and how it could control our cholesterol. Now , Cholesterol is hardly mentioned. 

      Tests have been added, changed  and deleted. One test I disliked intensely was the occult blood test which was taken from stool samples. That test is gone. How it's measured now, I have no idea. The measurement units in some tests have been changed. 

      Over this time I've had two family doctors. As the years passed they learned new things and the examination changes.

     I have an excellent family Doc now and he is very thorough in his examination. You sense that what he feels with his hands goes to his brain. He feels glands, spleen, liver and kidneys. Maybe more. I don't know. 

      Here you have a pre visit where all kinds of lab tests are given. When you go for the check up, he goes over all these tests with you and explains what the results mean. If further testing is needed it is arranged for at that time.  

      So today for almost all issues his comment was "That's good". The only problem I have is a saturated iron level so I'm to go off my iron. So I will be tested to see if there's any damage done. 

     With that he continues a couple of things that he monitors.

     Then I was free to go with a good bill of health for a rather elderly male. 

     It was a good day. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Elderly Errors

    This isn't my story but I thought it well worth sharing. I am elderly and sometimes very simple things can get out of control. .

    My neighbor was telling me about his parents who are both 89. They live in their own house but have four children here who can look after them. 

    His mother fell in the den and couldn't get up. She called her husband. Husband was not wearing his hearing aides and watching television. He had the volume turned up so that he could hear the TV. Mother called but she didn't get an answer. She called many times and husband couldn't hear her.

    So Mother decided to press the call button on her lifeline. The life line people called and of course the husband answered the phone. He doesn't know his wife is in trouble so he says everything is fine and goes back to watching TV.

    It's a good thing there was somebody on life line who was pretty sharp and thought something was wrong.

    The life line people came about five minutes after the phone call and got things sorted out.

    So with us elderly people things can get out of control in a hurry. 

   I imagine Dad got told to always wear his hearing aids. 

Thursday, November 17, 2022


       I know that it's the wrong season of the year to talk about water skiing, but I have an excuse. 

      Last night I was out to an appreciation dinner. I got talking to one of the guys who had worked in the Arctic and we got telling stories. Northerners are best buds forever!

     He was working on a crew unloading a ship in the high Arctic. They had to get the stuff to the beach over the ice. One day a guy fell through  a crack in the ice and was submerged. The guy survived but when pulled from the water was absolutely stiff.

     This reminded me of one of my cold water experiences. The first time I water skied was above the Arctic circle in Airport Lake. Some of the young police in Inuvik had a boat and water skis. The built a floating dock and they were ready to water ski. Of course, I had to try it. We used the floating dock to get started and then made a few turns around the lake.

     Sooner or later you have to stop. When you stop you are going to sink into some very cold water. The top foot of the water is an acceptable temperature but any deeper and it's icy cold. 

    The photo shows me just landing and although it is a very poor scan job on this photo you can see that I am cold. 

    So not a very appropriate topic on a cold November day, but I just had to tell you!

     This was July if 1965. 

Monday, November 14, 2022


    I have ranted about this topic before. Truth and accuracy are important so that our society runs smoothly and that all people are treated fairly.

    What got me on this topic again is an interview that I heard yesterday. They were interviewing someone who had been a reporter for forty years and was now instructing in some kind of journalism school. She maintained that journalists are reporting accurately. I have some doubts about this. 

    News has become jumbled in with all day interviewing where the interviewer wants to have things said that will raise ratings for their show and station. . Now I'm sure those interviewers would disagree with me. 

      I follow the War in the Ukraine very closely. You read one article and it's for sure the Ukraine will win. You read another article and it's a sure thing that the Russians will win. 

     I follow current affairs here . Politicians can bend the truth a long way to the slant that  they wish publicized. Politicians present their information as truth and  what the other guy says is incorrect. The truth is out there. Public figures don't seem willing to give it to us. 

    Accuracy gets mixed in with information that should be informative. Are reporters taking enough time to dig into an issue? Are reporters making sure that what they report is accurate?

    I have also found myself to be part of the problem. I have been guilty of thinking that my side or what I think is the truth. I have looked for information that agrees with my opinion. In the Ukraine war I obviously see the Ukrainians as the good guys. A commentator I recently heard, said that the Ukraine was winning in the way the story was being told. the Ukraine was successful in showing us that the Russians were the bad guys.

    I think we're all searching for the truth. We don't like to be lied to. We want things to be accurate. 

   One line in the song "Storms never last do they baby"  is "I know your search was for the truth."

    My search is for the truth. 

    Am I naive?

Saturday, November 12, 2022


        Yesterday , I was very surprised that no one had heard of the term "open fall" . That made me think about it's origin.

        Now I should have gone to Mr Google before I wrote the post. Well, guess what? Mr. Google hasn't heard of "open fall" either. 

       So now I wish Dad was here so that I could ask him if he knew the origin of the saying. He would probably say, "I have no idea where it comes from".

      So I remember another term Dad used. If someone was feeling out of sorts...grumpy he would use the term "crakin around". Usually it was Mother who got described with this term. 

      Okay, I said, "I'll be smarter this time and check with Mr Google." I was sure Mr google would have this term. 

      Well, you guessed it. Mr Google has never heard of this term either. 

      I'm wondering if these were terms that Dad made up himself. ? Dad had a good vocabulary and was an avid reader. 

      Has any body heard the term "crakin around"?

Friday, November 11, 2022


       Today is a day for us to remember those who fought in the second world war and other wars and remember  the many who died.

      I was born in 1939, a few days after the war started. I have a few memories. We were close to an air training facility. As little kids we saw many airplanes fly over every day. It's surprising how many airmen lost their lives while training at that base. 

      My brother and I would listen to the news which was all about the Germans. We would turn to each other and say, "German, German, German". That was the height of our understanding of the war. 

     We helped Mom wrap parcels to send to our uncles. 

     At the end of the war we listened as ships were loaded with soldiers who were coming home and wondered if our uncles where on the ship. 

    So on this day of remembrance I share a few thoughts from a small child.

    I had four uncles in the war. One was killed in a freak accident. 

     They were all brave in volunteering to fight for freedom. 

     An old vet friend I had would start talking about his experience in the war in September. He flew bombers . He didn't cover anything up. He told about picking up bodies. He was one of the few who told of his experiences. When he came back he was not in very good condition. His father suggested that he take up wood carving. His health improved and he made many wonderful carvings.  He also helped to make memories for me. 

Thursday, November 10, 2022


     My last four posts have been about winter weather that came calling. Nov. 2 is when the snow and cold hit us.

     However until that time we've had great fall weather. Temperatures have been above normal. It's been dry. It's been nice to be out every day.

     So I think back to what my Dad used to call "an open fall". Dad was a farmer. He bought his first land in 1935 and struggled like most farmers at that time. He did manage to farm and make a living all his life until he retired in 1973. 

     My title refers to what Dad would say about the type of weather we've had this fall. He would call this an open fall. This would mean that he had time to do all the farm  work that needed to be done. Harvest was one of the things that required warm dry weather. He had 10-15 cattle. An open fall would mean that the cattle stayed out longer and ate grass. This also meant that the feed supplies he had could last longer. The cattle would be allowed to leave the farm and find the best forage. .We would collect them every night. 

     I also liked this time of year as it was good weather to wander all over the place. 

     Has anybody else heard of the term "open fall"? I don't remember anyone else using the term. 


Wednesday, November 9, 2022


       We just had about 12 in of snow over four days. For us that's a lot of snow. 

      In my chinook post someone asked if there was flooding if the snow melted so quickly. Our snow is dry and powdery because of the temperature. 10 in of our snow equals one inch of water. So you see there's not much water for flooding. 

     However, where I was going with this post is that new snow is brilliant and white. It's pretty. So yesterday it was clear and sunny. It was bright. You needed your sunglasses. Well, you don't need sunglasses for my photos. With white snow and full sun it's bright. 

     I was out for three hours yesterday cleaning up the snow. Numerous flocks of geese flew over. 

    Now I enjoyed the bright new snow. I hope you do too.  

    I put out the fat in my bird feeder. An hour later this white breasted nuthatch appeared.  He/she would not cooperate and pose in the light. 

       This is my street. Roads were in rough shape but most people got where they wanted to go. 

    This is the juniper in my yard.

    The neighbors mountain ash.

    This is a snow cone on top of a fence post. 

Monday, November 7, 2022


       On Oct 29 , when I took the chinook photos , I was half looking for sunrise photos. I checked and there was good color in the east. Now being lazy I took a few shots out of the window. I told myself that if I got dressed to go out , the color could be gone. Shooting in that direction there's a lot of junk in the way.

      However , it's the best I could get. That bright streetlight doesn't help anything.

      Then I looked west and that's when I got the chinook arch. 

       Today we got another 10 cm of snow. That's three days of 10 cm a day snow. Am I tired of shoveling?

Friday, November 4, 2022


          The photos I'm showing today were from Oct. 29. My intention was to use them for my next post. But you know what got in the way. I had to show the snow photos from Nov. 2. 

         Oct 29 was a very nice day. We had a high of 15. The reason for the pleasant weather was that we had a chinook. We are fortunate to live in an area where we have chinooks as they brings very warm weather.

       We live on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains. The prevailing wind blows up on the western side of the mountains and dumps most of it's moisture. When the air moves over the peaks and down down on the eastern slopes it warms up. That gives us warm windy weather. In some areas and at times the air temperature will rise 50 Degrees F in an hour. 

     So what I intended to show with my photos is the chinook arch. A chinook arch is formed when air is forced up over the mountains and  cools . Cold air not able to hold as much moisture forms the cloud and chinook arch. There are other places in the world with a similar weather phenomenon but different names.

      If you look through the trees you can see a straight line showing the division between clear skies and cloud. 


Wednesday, November 2, 2022


       Winter hit us today with a wallop. We are in the midst of a blizzard with white out conditions. We've had abut 10 cm of snow and lots of wind.

      So guess what the old boy had to try to do day all day. That's right! I shoveled snow. It was miserable because we've had warm weather until last night. So the snow came down on ground that was above freezing and melted just enough to make things miserable. So the snow stuck to my shovel. Think about it this way. 10 lbs. of snow stuck to my shovel while I shoveled one lb. of snow. I had to shovel things twice today. 

     So I'm a chicken. I took all these photos through my window. 

Monday, October 31, 2022


         Everybody needs a little brother.


       So my little brother is on the left. The little old guy with white hair is me!

      So little brothers are good for playing, pushing, shoving and generally being a nuisance with the assistance of their older brother. 

      They also kept you warm at night. When we were little we had a very small two bedroom house. All the kids slept in one bed. Did I say the house was could? Yes , so we slept in one pile and kept each other warm. 

      We had lots of good fights with rhubarb stalks. We would each find the biggest rhubarb stalk we could find and then we'd start wailing on each other. Usually the soft leafy part would breakoff and then we just had the heavy stalk to beat one another. 

     Now you look at the difference in size and you may be wondering about the little brother stuff. No, we weren't adopted. We always said our Mom was 4 ft. nothing even though she was about 5 ft. . Our dad was over 6 ft tall. Two of us were tall and two of us were small. 

     Just for the record I was the biggest until we hit puberty. I quit growing  and my brother had a growth spurt. 

     Now we are 82 and 83. We don't do these things anymore but I look back at the fun we had growing up. 

Thursday, October 27, 2022


         I recently spent a week sorting out a TV problem that wasn't mine. 

          The Micro Manager and I were downstairs trying to find out what was wrong with our phone. All of a sudden we noticed that the TV went off.

          We phoned our provider but the phone was upstairs and the TV downstairs. So for a while we went upstairs and downstairs doing what the tech on the phone was telling us. Well after an hour we gave up. We had 4 more of these advice sessions. By this time we had the phone fixed in the basement.  All the techs told us the same thing and they were wrong. They thought we had a certain system but we didn't.

        So we started shopping for a TV. Now our TV is from 2005 so things are a little different now. So we finally bought a nice TV and brought it home to set up. We made arrangements for a tech to come and hook up the new TV.

       First , the tech had to look at our old TV to see if it was really dead. In 15 seconds the tech who came to the house had the old TV back to life. So much for all the clowns we wasted our time with . 

      Then we had to repack the new TV and return it to the store. 

       So we spent 7 days puzzling our brains when we didn't have to. If the clowns giving us advice on the phone knew what they were talking about we would have had none of the problems. 


Saturday, October 22, 2022


       Sometimes there are things that you should keep to yourself. Blab and you leave yourself open to criticism.

        Jennifer from Cottage Country reflections says, "You just had to tell somebody."

       I've told you before about a new store that recently opened by giving the first 100 customers $20.00. I told you how hard it was for two old people to keep track of the money on the cards.

      Well, there was a good broom advertised in their flier. Everybody needs a good corn broom around the place. They come in handy to sweep up snow or any other debris. We bought a broom a couple of months ago and it was like waving  piece of tissue paper at the dirt.

     So we bought an industrial grade corn broom.

     So when I got home I promptly took my new purchase to the storage shed. What did I find in the shed? Why the exact same broom had been purchased a year ago! It was still wrapped. I had forgotten that I had purchased a broom before.

     So what happened. A year ago the Micro Manager had declared that we needed a new broom. Again she found a broom on sale and bought it. I still liked my old broom and it was still usable. So in using the old broom I forgot I had a new one. 

     Well, now we each have a broom. 

Thursday, October 20, 2022


      As you know, I recently had cataract surgery. This procedure has changed my eyesight for the better. I had to wear glasses for distance before. Now my old glasses for distance are a nuisance. I do not have to wear glasses for driving anymore. My near sight has also improved. I still need reading glasses but can see everything except the really small print.

     I have been to my optometrist and have a new prescription which I hope to get in a few days.

     As a result some of my routine has been interrupted. As I've aged routine is a great helper. Throw me off my routine and I'm in trouble. So I'm back to carrying glasses in a pocket to use when I need them for reading. They are a nuisance to wear all the time.

     Well, on Monday I went to the pharmacy to get my flu shot. I was carrying my glasses in my hand. The micro Manager insisted that I sanitize my hands. I put my glasses down to use the sanitizer. Now I have two places to put my glasses  in the car when I'm driving. When I got home , I looked for my glasses so that I could take them in the house. The glasses weren't in either place! I said to the Micro Manager , I left my glasses at the drug store. She looked at me and said I better go back. Actually, I don't think she looked at me. 

     I beat it back to the drug store. The glasses were not at the sanitizer station. I asked a clerk and they didn't think any glasses had been turned in. Just then I touched my face and what did I feel? My glasses. My glasses were on my head.

    What an embarrassment and I did it to myself. 

Sunday, October 16, 2022


        Last June a new Peavey Mart store opened here. There was a lot of promotion for the opening. For those not familiar with Peavey Mart it caters to farm products. However, it does have things that are more than farm related such as supplies for bird feeding. They also have  excellent gardening supplies.

       Well, for the opening, the first so many people were given  $20.00 cash coupons. So guess who was there early enough for $20.00? That day the Micro Manager bought a broom and I bought some bird fat with our $20.00 coupons. 

       So five months later a flier came out advertising a couple of things we wanted. A bag of bird seed for $27.00. I could use my cash coupon! 

      So the birdseed I wanted was not on display. A kid went to the back and finally came out with a bag of bird seed. At this time we thought our coupons were for $40.00 each. However , we checked and couldn't think why there was so little left on the cards. The micro manager also wanted a snow shovel. Sadly we  discovered that the coupons were worth $20.. each rather than $40.00 each. 

      So with less than half our money left we had to decide what we really needed. We were discussing this just before the check out line. We were talking about small amounts of money. All of a sudden a kind lady approached and said I'll buy that for you! We were astounded. She had obviously overheard us and thought that we were poor and had very little money. 

     So we were embarrassed that we were identified as needy. 

     I guess the moral of the story is to do your discussion away from the check out line. 

     Have you had an embarrassing situation where you were taken as needing help?

Thursday, October 13, 2022


       Over my 37 years of teaching I had many different and interesting assignments. One of those assignments was to teach outdoor Ed. I had been going along with other Outdoor ed. teachers when they went on field trips. So I was given a couple of classes to teach. 

      We had in class instruction and then went on field trips to apply what the kids learned. We hiked, cross country skied and snowshoed. All field trips were over nighters. The kids were given a list of equipment they needed. For most overnights we stayed in youth hostels. The huts were small so kids slept on the floor.

     For one or two field trips a  year we tented. One field trip in November we tented under winter conditions. 

     Now when you take 35 kids on a 2 or 3 day field trip, the kids just don't go home at 3:30 PM to their home. We had those kids until it was bed time. Something had to be done to keep them occupied. We just didn't turn on the TV. 

    So I'm finally getting to the flashlight. One of the things they were to bring was a flashlight. Yes the flashlight was used in the tent. However, there were many games of tag or whatever they did using the flashlights. They hid from the light. They played tag. They ran all over the place.  They kept themselves occupied for an hour or two. 

     So , I'll bet the only kids playing with a flashlight were my Outdoor ed. classes. 

Monday, October 10, 2022


              Weaver of Grass was reminding us about an upcoming birthday. She had already been given two presents. Two torches (flashlights ) were given to her by friends. 

             The torches were to be used for emergencies. One of the handiest things I ever found was a very strong flashlight. I use it around the house all the time. I use it to connect things to my computer tower which is black. I have difficulty seeing things that are black.

             I was also reminded of how I got my handy dandy flashlight.

             I was out with my bird group and I thought I saw a lanyard in the snow. I kicked at it a bit and a flashlight came out of the snow. I had never seen such a flashlight as it was very powerful. 

           Now the flashlight was very likely dropped by a homeless person as there are many homeless in the Bower Woods. The homeless wander around in this dark area at night all night.

            So I got thinking about this poor guy/gal's loss and was about to feel sorry for them. Knowing lots of homeless people , I thought they probably got it for a very good price. Yes, it was probably shop lifted. 

            So I got a free flashlight out of the snow and I don't think I have to feel badly about the guy/gal losing it.


Friday, October 7, 2022


       I make an effort to do as much walking as possible. Out of the last 21 nights I've walked on 20 of them. The weather has been very pleasant so the walking is easy.

      I find that if I have a regular routine, I don't miss very many days.

      Right now I walk around the outskirts of my neighborhood. It's around 3600 steps.

      I usually start around 8:00 PM. Yes ,it's dark by then. This year has been better as there are many more walkers out at that time. 

     Now what really makes my walk is the number of deer I see. One night I saw  8 deer...4 bucks, 2 does and 2 fawns. Most of the deer we have are mule deer. They are a little bigger than white tailed deer .

     Well last night I didn't see one deer! I was skunked. 

     It's 7:27 PM so I'm going to get ready to walk. Will I see deer tonight?

      This fellow was in my neighbor's yard towards the end of July. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2022


      Today was one of those fine fall days that makes fall so pleasant. 

      My job today was to dig my garden. Yes, I grow a vegetable garden and yes , I dig every bit of it by hand! Now my garden plot isn't very large ... maybe 20 x 30 feet. But for an elderly person , it's a lot of digging. 

      The temperature was about 20 C . The sun was bright. Not a cloud in the sky. No wind. It was dry. It was a beautiful day to be outside. 

     We have had very little precipitation since the end of June. Everything is dry. However, it seems like a good fall day has to be dry. Farmers want dry weather to harvest their crops. 

    This would have been a great day to just sit on your deck or patio. 

    Here's one of those pleasant fall days when we were out birding.