Would Grandma Approve?

A Collage of Doilies. What would Grandma think if she saw some of her handiwork hanging on the wall!?

red wall, starched

Doilies with the FotoSketcher Emergence filter
Doilies with the FotoSketcher Dots filter
Doilies with the GIMP Stained Glass filter

Do you have any of your Grandma’s  or Grandpa’s treasures displayed in your house?

This week’s WordPress.com Photo Challenge is Collage.

I Don’t Want Your Squirrels

A Black Eastern Grey Squirrel – an introduced species.

Really – I don’t want your squirrels. They are your problem. If you don’t want them at your place, why do you think I want them at mine?

Do you think you are being humane by transporting them out to the country to release them? Well, you aren’t. You’ve just signed their death certificate, but you are too ‘sensitive’ to kill them yourself.
– You’ve removed the squirrel from a home range where it knew how to find food, water, shelter, and how to stay safe.
– You may have trapped a mother squirrel – her babies will be left behind to die.
– You’ve spread a non-native introduced animal into yet another habitat where it doesn’t belong.

In the past week you’ve brought me two squirrels- a brown Eastern Grey Squirrel and a black Eastern Grey Squirrel. The magpies were quick to spot them, and followed them around and harassed them. With major predators, like hawks, owls, weasels, fox and coyotes, the squirrels will not likely last long. That’s good news for life in my forest.

In a perfect world, someone would drop you off in my forest for a few days too. How long did you spend in the trap – was that terrifying? You would wander through the woods, naked, with no food or water, no roof over your head. The Coyote Pack would be close by…

I love mankind … it’s people I can’t stand!!
– Charles M. Schulz, The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 5: 1959-1960 –

Over the Air Television – Anticipating a Better Picture

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Christmas Reindeer inspect the new flat antenna before it is positioned for best reception.

One of the things on our Christmas wish list this year was a gift for our TV set.

Television – in my lifetime, I’ve ‘seen’ it all! Our first TV had rabbit ears which were enhanced with wire and tinfoil. In later years we had roof top antennas, then big satellite dishes, little satellite dishes, and cables. Our first TV gave us one station. In later years we had dozens of stations, then hundreds of stations. Our TV screens were sometimes as small as a laptop computer, sometimes big boxes that took two men to lift, and finally flat screen lightweights that hung on the wall.

We wanted to see if we could ‘cut the cord’ on our Satellite TV service. To do that, we needed a digital antenna that would pick up free Over the Air (OTA) television. The Car Guy chose a TERK omni-digital antenna for 1080 HDTV broadcasts.

Like children who peek at their presents before Christmas morning,  we opened this  gift a few weeks ago. The installation was very easy once The Car Guy had finished exploring all the possible ways not to connect the cable.  We were pleasantly (okay ecstatically) pleased with the crystal clear High Definition picture we now receive thanks to an uncompressed signal.

The antenna cost just a little more than the price of one month’s satellite TV and gives us free TV from 6 local stations: GLOBAL, CTV, CITY, CBC, YES and OMNI.  Three of these stations broadcast the seven shows we like to watch each week. What a great Christmas present!

Have you ‘cut the cord’ on your TV service? Discontinued the phone land line and gone cellular? Turned off the internet for more than a day? Moved out of your parents basement? Finished your Christmas shopping? Do you anticipate doing any of these things?

This week’s WordPress.com photo challenge is Anticipation.

He said, “I Don’t Want the Chicken”

I’m helping my Dad downsize. He will probably be moving to smaller living quarters in the not too distant future. The ‘weeding’ process isn’t easy for him. He has a strong attachment to just about everything old in his apartment. His bonds to the distant past grow stronger, as the memories of the near past fade.

If he is willing to let me remove anything, it is only because he is very certain that a family member will take ownership of the item and treasure it as much as he does. Everything I have carted off so far is now safely stored in The Car Guys Garage, pending resettlement somewhere. The pile is fluid. Some of the things I put there last week must now go back to Dad’s place – a change of heart and mind.

As I was getting ready to haul another load down to my car yesterday, he suddenly said, “Take the chicken. I really don’t want that chicken.”

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That surprised me. The chicken, (more accurately a Portuguese Good Luck Rooster, I suppose) sat in a place of prominence in his living room. I don’t know how he acquired it, but it was clear from the tone in his voice that he would be glad to see it go.

Since I know someone who might want the Rooster,  I put the bird on the handy catch-all ledge in my kitchen. A row of sharp knives is nearby – a rather appropriate reminder to the bird of the historical method of dispatching fowl, should the bird need to be kept in line.

As I look at all the ‘treasures’ that reside in my house, I think about which ones I would want to keep till ‘death us do part.’ What will be my ‘chicken’ when my children are carting some of my material memories out the door?

We all need some of the material things that provide continuity to our lives by always being there and always being the same.
– Andy Rooney –

Are you still in the accumulating stage of life, or have you started to downsize?

Weather – Pondering Alberta’s Four Seasons

I’m in Arizona this morning. It is springtime here and the first blooms have appeared on a few bushes. By this evening I will be back in Alberta. It has been a mild winter, but if anything in my yard has been fooled into thinking it is spring, it is sadly mistaken!

I’ve chosen the Mountain Ash tree at The Red House to show you the seasons in Alberta – which are summed up as follows:

In Canada we have: Six months of winter, and six months of poor sledding. These can be broken down into: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction season. To be more specific, the four seasons are: June, July, August and Winter.
– Author Unknown –

Here are the photos and quotes that explain the seasons:


Mountain Ash – late spring

The principal function of March is to use up the winter weather that wouldn’t fit into February.
– Doug Larson –


Mountain Ash – Late Summer

Summers always fly – winters walk.
– Charles M. Schulz –


Mountain Ash – Fall Colors

Autumn is a season followed immediately by looking forward to spring.
– Doug Larson –


Mountain Ash – Early Winter

The problem with winter sports is that – follow me closely here – they generally take place in winter.
– Dave Barry –

What season are you enjoying (or not enjoying) right now? Do you have a favourite season?

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Seasons.

Christmas Greetings – 2015

The Car Guy is in the kitchen making S’More Pinwheels; the snow is gently falling; NORAD is already tracking Santa’s progress; we have no place we have to be until tomorrow morning – Life is Good.

I don’t mean to sound like a Grinch, but if we are going to be ‘entertained’ by Christmas Carols for almost a month, don’t you think they could play this one now and again?

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Only a hippopotamus will do
No crocodiles or rhinoceroseses
I only like hippopotamuseses
And hippopotamuses like me too!
– Written by John Rox, sung by Gayla Peevey in 1953 –

To the member of our family who got my name in the Christmas draw – you didn’t ask me for a Christmas Wish List. Did you finally get me a hippo?

To my small group of faithful readers – and to the thousands of followers of this blog who might stumble onto this post by mistake – Have a very Merry Christmas!

Germany – Man vs Nature – Ornate Designs

It is a WordPress Photo Challenge and the topic is Ornate. Man has challenged Mother Nature.

purple

Mother Nature presented this work by Jack Frost who embellished this Campanula flower with spikes of white crystals.

metal scrollwork on wood

Man replied with this intricate metal scroll work on carved wood at Residenz Wurzburg in Germany.

tree branch

Mother Nature fired back with the work of Sylvia Spider who embellished some dead spruce needles with a fine web thread. Jack Frost then highlighted each element with a sparkling series of frozen droplets.

inside church

Man said “Go big or go home” and presented the lavish decoration of the inside of Zwiefalten Abbey in Germany.

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Mother Nature confidently turned once more to Jack Frost and said, “Show them a close-up look at frost crystals.”

Who will win this Photo Challenge? The choice is up to you!

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is: Ornate.

Cautionary Tales – Falling off the Roof and Securing a Pumpkin

We had two ‘Be Careful!’ events at the Red House this week. The first was when The Car Guy went up on the roof to check the chimneys and see if the gutters needed cleaning. I was truly torn as to whether I would go up there too. I’m okay going up the ladder. The transition from ladder to roof is a bit scary. I’m okay walking around the roof, as long as I stay at the peak. The transition from roof to ladder… that is the really hard part.

But, I did it, and really enjoyed looking at the yard below.

The second ‘Be Careful’ event was the transportation of the Pumpkins. They had to get from our house to the Family Pumpkin Carving Party, a trip of half an hour. I’d already given the pumpkins a lobotomy and didn’t want them rolling around the back of the JEEP. I also didn’t want them to turn into projectiles if we had to stop suddenly!

The Car Guy decided this was the best way to carefully secure pumpkin noggins for the trip.

I’ll love you til the end of vine.
– Source: PumpkinNook –

There are three things that I’ve learned never discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.
– Linus, ‘It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’ –

chicken day after HalloweenSome of the stores already have Christmas product on their shelves! This reminded me that when we took apart our Christmas tree last year, it never quite made it back into the storage closet. I wanted to clean up that area, but the tree was in the way. What to do – put it away, or just put it back up in the Living Room… can you guess what I did?!

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge was Careful