Monday, February 27, 2023


       Today that darn vacuum cleaner played another nasty trick on me.

       I have a couple of pairs of black socks. Quite often there are quite a few white particles on them. The white particles are probably from dry skin .

      Well, today I decided to clean some of the white dust off the socks before I washed them. I thought this would be a quick and easy job. Little did I know that the vacuum cleaner had other ideas. I have a central vacuum system which works well.

     So I was kneeling on the floor vacuuming the socks. I guess I was trying to move the sock in a different position and left it on the floor for a split second. In the split second the sock disappeared. The normal reaction is to turn the vacuum off as soon as possible. 

     Now this has happened before so I take a four ft. handle from a paint roller and shake it down the hose. If the sock is in the hose the handle will push it out. So I went through the process and no sock appeared. So I'm hoping the sock isn't stuck in the line someplace and will block the line.

     So downstairs and look in the vacuum canister and there was my sock in a much worse condition than before.

    So the next time I vacuum socks I will have them tied down so they don't blow away on me!

Friday, February 24, 2023


     Yesterday I was talking out loud to myself about some photos for today. Some of you heard me and said you were looking forward to some photos. So what can I do even if it's still very cold. Why of course , take some photos.

     So here are some out of focus, poorly composed photos of cold.

                  A minus 28 C sunset

                 A very white and cold city park

                  Very bright new snow

                  Pile of snow from snow removal
                  Lots of vapor coming from chimneys. Houses are heated with gas and when the furnace runs water vapor used in the burning is vented. As a result our houses are very dry in winter unless we have a humidifier.
                 Using the vapor pattern I know the direction of the wind , approximate wind speed and air pressure. 

                 Cold western sky
                  Bright early morning sunlight on houses across the street
                  Sun rise 

       At 11:25 it was minus 25 C and felt like minus 39 C. The wind was 28 kmh gusting to 39

      At 2:00 Pm it was minus 24 with a wind of 25 kmh and gusting to 42.

     So it was cold out there. My camera froze up and it wouldn't focus any more.

Thursday, February 23, 2023


          We are in another nasty cold spell. It's not record breaking cold just good old fashioned cold. Now at 8:30 PM it's minus 28 C (minus 18 F). We are looking at a low of minus 33 C. 

         We have two more days of very cold and then some warmer weather for a few days. Then it gets cold again. 

        There's been some snow with the cold so I've been outside shoveling. It's not too bad to be outside if you have the proper clothing on. 

        It's been mostly clear so I'm going to get out tomorrow for a few photos. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2023


     I'm sure that reading between the lines on this blog you can tell that the Micro Manager and I are quite opposite. With the posts on downsizing it's very obvious that we are opposites. One reader left a comment in jest  that "a war was developing between Red the Declutterer and Jean the Hoarder". One of us was very busy finding things to "decorate" the house. There are enough "things" to decorate a few houses. I know that she had a great time collecting items and displaying them . She bought very few things in a store. I sometimes ask her "Where did you get that thing?"  She always knows. Many things were picked up on garage sales or were given. The mother in law gave us many paintings. There are probably 20 of these creations in the house. The Micro Manager liked paint by number. She also liked the needle work patterns. She also took a ceramics course and produced quite a few creations to hang in a wall. 

     Then I also noticed a pattern in a few comments where it was obvious the spouses were in opposite corners of he downsizing issue. It was interesting that many different compromises were made. And then thee are the people who know they should be downsizing but just can't get started. 

     The room with thirteen things on the wall is now down to two. 

     When I went out with the Micro Manager I recognized that she was opposite to me in quite a few areas. I thought it would complement our relationship . However , when it comes to down sizing we've spent quite a bit of time discussing. However, I don't think that Mr. Pudding is right that we are in any kind of war. A siege maybe, but not a fight. 

    the bear painting is from the Mother in Law
The hands are from the ceramics course
The swans are from a paint by number kit.

Sunday, February 19, 2023


      As most of you know I've been trying to downsize for quite some time. So far my greatest success is to get something to blog about.

      I have discovered some things about the micro manager that I hadn't recognized. The Micro Manager will hang almost anything on the house walls. She has an untanned sealskin on a wall that she bought from one of the Inuit while she was nursing in the Arctic. It's a good thing she doesn't find a skunk skin or that might be on the wall too.

     Her cousin found painting late in life and we were the beneficiaries of many the these creations. Guess where they went? Well yes, onto our walls. Guess who framed and hung these treasures? Ya , Red , that's who.

     I found one little room with 10 treasures on the walls. 

     Well this year there is a little more movement to actually discard things. If something is on paneling it's gone because it  doesn't leave a nail hole. 

     So these two treasures are being disposed of. I know I'm not supposed to end a sentence with a proposition. 

     These were meant to be bumper stickers that were passed out by the Alberta Teachers Association in the 1980's.

     I didn't know what to do with them so I mistakenly brought them home.

     The Micro Manager got busy right away and found the two cedar planks and voila the stickers went on the planks and on the wall. 

    I also found several coats that I never remember seeing.

    So here are piles of this and that that are really going to leave the house this year.

Thursday, February 16, 2023


       I read a sad piece in the paper about a 19 year old who shot and killed 10 people.

       This killer had read some racist material on line and became convinced that he should kill people not of the white race. 

       It was once very difficult to reach people with a message unless you were a leader of some kind or had buckets of money to advertise. 

      The internet has made it easy to set up sites that can reach millions. The internet allows us to easily make up a site that is attractive and eye catching. People start to read something and it sounds reasonable to them. They bungle into more of the same message very easily by clicking on a few links.

     People use the facilities of the internet to easily communicate what ever idea comes to their head. Many times it can be racist , violent or to an extreme political view.

     So is it time to put some control on internet sites that allow people easy access to millions ?

     As bloggers, most of us enjoy communicating about interests we have. I reach around 160 people with my own expertise to set up a blog. With more skill and interest someone can easily set something up that catches more fish.

     So is it time to create some regulations that prevent the extreme and dangerous messages from being easily publicized? This would be far from easy. The free speech people would have their say. The bad guys would not like to see their rights taken away. 

      Where will this end?

Tuesday, February 14, 2023


       I just got off messenger from talking to the birthday boy. 

        It's not everybody who has a sibling or relative with a Valentine's day birthday.

       I was 15 when D was born.

       There wasn't supposed to be another child in the family. As many of you know we had an eleven year old sister who passed away. Mom and Dad were completely devastated. Mom's family physician  recommended that she have another baby to replace this lost daughter. 

      Well surprise surprise. The new baby was a boy. At that time they were very happy to have a baby boy.

     D was the perfect child for that situation. There were ten years between D and his next brother. He was really a one child family. He was the ideal child for grieving parents and an only child. D was amiable( still is) pleasant and able to get along with adults . Of course, adults liked him. His brothers loved him too. 

     Conditions were severe at that time. Dad took Mom to a small hospital about 25 miles away two weeks before her due date. On the way , the little Studebaker did a 360 on the icy road. The month of February that year was very, very cold. It was a few days before the new baby got home.

      Unfortunately I left home when D was 2 1/2 years old so missed a lot of his growing up.

      So one hour of reminiscing went by in a hurry. 

     So D's birthday is always special. 

Sunday, February 12, 2023


         Dad didn't place much value or treasure on material things. He started out in life with very few material things. They were a pioneer family with little cash. When Dad was 18, in 1929 he hopped a freight and went to northern Alberta. You can see the pattern about physical things. The other reason Dad placed little value on "worldly treasures " was his religious outlook. He gave every penny he could spare to he church.

      However, after the Second World War , when the economy picked up, he was able to build a house and buy good farm equipment. Dad and Mom retired in 1970 and moved to town and a small house. They took only what they needed from the old farm house.

     Mom passed away a couple of years after retirement. Six months later Dad held an auction sale. This left him with not much more than his clothes. 

     He remarried. The possessions were all our step mother's things. 

    Our stepmother died before Dad. Dad had been in a nursing home. He made sure that he had enough money for his funeral and little more. His estate ended up with about $1600.00 left. 

    How's that for downsizing and sliding into home base with little to spare. 

    Now I won't downsize as much as Dad but he certainly didn't have very many possessions to deal with at the end. 

    However , I am making a good effort to dispose of as much as I can. 

Friday, February 10, 2023


       Three posts ago I wrote about not knowing dates of death for my Mom and sister. I had tried searching but didn't have any luck. 

       Connie from Far Side of  Fifty found my Mom's date of death. I should have been able to find it. 

      My sister's date of death was a bigger challenge. My best searchers didn't find anything. My son-in-law is an expert on genealogy and he couldn't find anything. So I checked with Vital statistics. They wanted $70.00 to find it. When I read that I very quickly decided to look a little harder. My brother was looking through some papers and there it was . He was surprised as he didn't know he had the date. He had a clipping from the paper that was an announcement of memoriam. 

     My niece who has looked for this information sent it to me. She also got another niece in on the search. It's interesting as these two were born 70's and 90's and would very likely not ever heard of Doreen. 

      So I didn't have to look very hard to find the date in the end. People are a great help.

      I guess it's my age that got me thinking about dates of death.

     Do other people start looking for this information at an earlier time?

     Now I wonder what else I will need to know ?

Wednesday, February 8, 2023


       When I looked in my back yard about 7:AM this morning a jack rabbit was comfortably "sitting " in the snow with new snow covering it's coat. It sat there all day and left around 6:00 PM. They are more active at night. 

       Now for those who don't know about jack rabbits, they are a hare that lives about 3 - 8 years in the wild, weighs from 6- 10 lb. (2.5-4 kg) 22in. -26 in (56-65cm) long and can hit speeds of 55 km/h. They are  quite the sight when they put things in high gear. They soon disappear over the hill. They inhabit the central part of the north American plains. 

     They also change color with the  seasonal changes so they are white in the winter and brown in the summer.

      They are common here and get along  in the city very well where there's lots of food they like. So they cross my yard often and stop to eat and many times spend the day in the shelter of my yard. There has been two litters of young born in my backyard and of course, I blogged about them. 

      The reason this animal caught my eye this morning is that it is changing color. Usually the color change is much later starting about mid March.

    I took this photo shortly after 7:00 Am as I thought he/she might leave
    You can see how they make a scrape in the snow and bed down for the day. They like to get their butt up against a wall of some kind where they cannot be attacked from behind. 
       The ears remain dark all year.

Sunday, February 5, 2023


      I am up to my usual spring jobs...spring cleaning. In my other post I explained that this year's spring cleaning means getting rid of things...downsizing.

     Today it was books. Discarding books. We don't have very many books but discarding some will lighten the load if  I have to move sooner than I think. 

    I was a teacher and when the library was discarding books I was there to pick out what I wanted. Then there were all kinds of books that were gifts. Somebody (Mom) in their wisdom kept most of the books I was given as a child.  My youngest Aunt gave us books for birthdays and Christmas. One  series she gave us was called the Sugar Creek gang. It must be a huge series because a brother and sister also got books. We were too young to read some of these books so Mom would read them to us. Reading time was just before going to bed. So the four of us would crawl  into bed with Mom and she would read. Mom was an excellent oral reader and could put some emotion into the story with her voice. 

     Some of the books are very hard to part with because of their sentimental value. 

    I had many good outdoor books on hiking,  cross country skiing and birds. 

    The Micro Manager had many books given to her and was good at seeing books she could pick up. She kept most of her nursing text books. 

   So the afternoon was spent going through our book collection. I'm not done yet . There are more books around the house.

               Examples of gifts I was given as a child

                Three boxes of books culled

              Way out of focus , but some of the books that were kept. 



Thursday, February 2, 2023


            My sister died in 1953 at age eleven. Children were ignored at this time when it came to grief. My bother and I put this death out of our heads. The first time my brother and I talked about our sister's death was when we were in our 50's. 

          So I was thinking recently as to what date my sister's death occurred. I thought this would be an easy find. I checked the stone on her grave. The only thing there was February 1953 and age eleven. Then I thought the local history book would have the date but it wasn't there either. I checked a genealogy sight and there was no date there either. So I emailed my brother and thought for sure that he would have the date. He didn't have the date. 

        So it's surprising that the date of death is missing and hard to find. 

        So I have emailed vital statistics and hope that they have her date of death. 

      Then I also thought, "What about Mom?" What was her date of death? Mom died in a November and there was no date of death. I looked in all the usual places for info and it was not there. 

      This has got me curious as to why the dates of death are missing.

     For one thing I'm looking for this information far too late. 

     I know I'll find these dates.

     Has this happened to other families?