Saturday, December 31, 2022
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
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.
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!