Dear Mother Nature,
Having received my free sample of winter, I would like to cancel the remainder of my subscription. Thank you.
– Author Unknown –
As I’ve previously mentioned, we’re still in Alberta ‘enjoying’ our first full cold and snow winter in about 8 years. Though we would prefer to be in warm sunny Arizona, many factors convinced us to stay home rather than fly south, then home weeks later. This included Canada’s recent new rule that anyone who is allowed to fly into Canada will have to present proof of a negative Covid test taken in the previous 72 hours; then they will be required to stay in a ‘detention’ hotel for up to three days, at their own expense, until such time as another Covid test says they are still negative. Then they will be allowed to go home for the remainder of a 2 week quarantine where security officers may pop by to make sure they are where they are supposed to be. Last, but not least, another Covid test must be done on day 10 of home incarceration.
Our Prime Minister is showing how super tough he is when it comes to Covid! I guess that is to make up for the fact that his government failed to procure very much vaccine and Canada is now 45th in the world in terms of doses per 100 people administered. (The UK is 4th, USA is 5th.)
On the lighter side of winter life, here is #DudeDad and #CharlieBerens to tell you How to train for winter!
How Other Countries are Coping During the Pandemic
Back to the theme of fitness:
My favourite labs, Olive and Mabel are urged to join the gym that Andrew Cotter has built in his garage.
Quotes of the Day
The first thing you should know about me is that I’m not you. A lot more will make sense after that.
-Author Unknown –
The three hardest things to say are:
1. I was wrong
2. I need help
3. Worcestershire Sauce
– Author Unknown –
The Car Guy and I have big plans for Valentine’s Day… 2022. Valentine’s Day 2021, however, will be much like every other day during lockdown! Not that I’m complaining – I can’t think of anyone else in the whole world that I would rather spend my morning, afternoon, evening and nights with, day after day after day, than The Car Guy!
A bit more than half a century ago I was still searching for the right person – ah, those heartbreak years. This video captures that pain… but only if you listen to it. Watch it, and you’ll get a good laugh.
After you’ve watched the video – do tell – did you give/or get a class ring? Gals, did you ‘size’ it with tape or string so it would fit, or did you wear in on a chain?
Relationships are a lot like algebra. Have you ever looked at your X and wondered Y?
– Author Unknown –
I don’t understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine’s Day. When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon.
– Author Unknown –
Love is in the air? Wrong. Nitrogen, Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide are in the air.
– Author Unknown –
If Donald Trump gave Valentine’s cards to his loved ones, the message might read: “I want you on my side of the wall.”
– Author Unknown –
Do you have a duvet on your bed, or do you use blankets? We have duvets here at the Red House. We use two single duvets on our bed, instead of one big one. No more waking up cold because a shared duvet has migrated to the other person’s side of the bed!
A ‘better’ duvet cover is the kind that has a set of stringy things sewn onto the inside of each corner. The easiest way to insert the duvet in this type of cover, then, is to turn the duvet cover inside out and lay it on the bed. Lay the duvet on top of the cover. Tie the duvet corner strings to the duvet. Then turn the cover right side out.
I don’t have duvet covers with those strings. I have a sewing machine, I have strings, yet it is a sewing task I’ve never got around to doing. Instead, I use the ‘almost crawl inside the cover to try to match the corners’. How does the laundry/bed maker domestic engineer in your house do this task?
I just started a new band called ‘Blankets and Duvets’
We’ve already been called the best cover band of all time.
All bugs are insects, but not all insects are bugs. The Praying Mantis is an insect, but I don’t think it is a bug… but I needed a ‘B’ word for the title of this post…
Bees: “Flight of the Bumblebee” is an piece of music written by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov for his opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan. It was composed in 1899–1900. It evokes the seemingly chaotic and rapidly changing flying pattern of a bumblebee.
Bats: Since no one actually speaks ‘Bat’… In the people world, locating some one by calling out ‘Marco’ and getting the response ‘Polo’ if the person is in hearing distance – I learned this from my grandchildren.
Beatles: At over seven minutes in length, their song “Hey Jude” was the longest single to top the British charts up to that time.
Imagine that Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are far out in the English countryside in pursuit of a unique case involving an agricultural mystery.
They have settled down in their sleeping bags in a small tent for the night.
Just before dawn, Sherlock nudges Dr. Watson awake, and says,
“Watson – look up and tell me what you notice.”
Dr. Watson tells him that he sees the stars – that the clear sky means the weather will be good in the coming day – that the very faint light in the east says it is almost dawn. “What do you notice, Holmes?”
Holmes sits up. “I notice that someone has stolen our tent during the night.”
– Robert Fulghum, Now What? –
That – Shopping in the Time of Covid
The Car Guy calls him (though sometimes it is a her) Andy Amazon. Andy visits our house a few times a week. He/She has delivered everything from printer ink to kitchen sink taps… epoxy resin to tools… all the things that our local stores either don’t ever carry or can’t get because of Covid caused supply chain issues.
The absolute nicest Andy was of Asian descent. He left a parcel at our front door, rang the doorbell, then headed back to his vehicle. I got to the door before he got to the end of the patio.
I opened the door and said, loud enough for him to hear, “Thank you!” He turned and… bowed.
Whenever it snows, I trudge out to the main road and shovel down to bare dirt so that Andy knows exactly where our driveway is. If Andy is just a few feet off the mark he/she could end up in the ditch. That would really mess up Andy’s day and maybe we would get a black mark next to our name and all the Amazon Andys would tell the dispatcher that they definitely don’t want to deliver the parcel to the house in the country with the really deep ditch that sucks your car in right up to the door handle.
Without Amazon, The Car Guy and I might go crazy… no, make that crazier…
Serious Lock Down Advice:
Everyone please be careful because people are going crazy from being locked down at home!
I was just talking about this with the microwave and the toaster while drinking my tea, and we all agreed that things are getting bad.
I didn’t mention any of this to the washing machine, because she puts a different spin on everything.
Certainly couldn’t share with the fridge, ’cause he’s been acting cold and distant!
In the end, the iron straightened me out. She said the situation isn’t all that pressing and all the wrinkles will soon get ironed out.
The vacuum, however, was very unsympathetic… told me to just suck it up.
But the fan was very optimistic and gave me hope that it will all blow over soon.
The toilet looked a bit flushed but didn’t say anything when I asked its opinion,
but the front door said I was becoming unhinged and the doorknob told me to get a grip.
You can just about guess what the curtains told me: they told me to ‘pull myself together!”
We will survive!
– Author Unknown –
The Other – When do you have Enough Drink Coasters?
The Car Guy, Daughter the Nurse and gHosT thedog (who has posted on this blog a few times: gHosT the grand dog) get together once a week for a day of woodworking. For the past few months they have dabbled in woodworking AND epoxy resin. One of The Car Guy’s first projects was embedding computer parts into the epoxy – in the shape of drink coasters. He has also embedded rocks, photographs, wood slabs and many other things. When we had answered the question “How many drink coasters does one house need?” the subsequent coasters left home and took up residence in the homes of various family members.
You might remember from a previous post that The Car Guy went through an epoxy resin glitter phase during the holiday season: Epoxy Resin Snow Flakes.
Daughter is cutting out intricate shapes with a scroll saw and filling in the holes with resin!
I am thankful that The Car Guy has embarked on a new hobby that challenges the creative side of his brain. I’m not saying woodworking isn’t creative, but the epoxy resin also challenges him to think more like an artist. An added bonus to this new hobby is that it is absolutely excellent daddy-daughter time and goes a very long way to keeping us ‘older folks’ from feeling very alone in this locked down Province.
gHosT wants to add this:
it was cold at the Red House. today. so cold no one. took me for a walk. but they put me in the fenced yard. i ran and ran and ran and borked. i smelled something. it was big. i think. it had a big smell. grandma said it was. moose. ive never met a moose. if i did. i would bork and bork. even more. the moose wouldnt know if it was a. friendly bork. or not. all my borks sound the same. even to me.
How are all you folks passing the time these days? Are you in some sort of lock down too? Are you feeling fearful or optimistic? Do you have things to do that make you happy? Do you have someone to share your life with?
I put all the Christmas decorations away last week – everything but the Christmas tree. The tree takes up quite a bit of space in the living room – so I scooted it out to an adjoining area. Now it is out of the way, but still clearly visible when I sit in my favourite chair!
I think it will stay there for quite a while. The lights make me happier and I need all the happy I can get to dispel the gloom of Alberta winter nights and mandated Covid social limitations.
We’ve turned the corner on sunlight, of course. The shortest day was December 21, and we are gaining almost a minute a day of daylight right now. We’ve also had a few weeks of mild weather. That is to say, temperatures have been such that I’ve traded heavy winter mitts for light ones when I go for a walk.
We’ve spotted the moose, a few times, though not in our yard. They have been favouring the lands west of us. We’ve been seeing more non-local vehicles drive up and down our road lately. I suspect they are hoping they will see the moose too.
As you can see, we’re still in Alberta. We haven’t made the annual snowbird trek to Arizona yet. Travel outside of Canada is not advised and we aren’t allowed to enter the USA by car. In one of those strangely odd ‘rule loopholes’, we are allowed to fly there, though. That makes Arizona happy because they need the tourist dollars.
The Car Guy is ready to pack his bags and board a plane. I’m not so enthusiastic. For whatever reason, I’m just not keen to get into a metal tube full of people wearing masks to fly to a State where a different group of politicians is making rules that also ignore the concept of good ‘risk management.’
2021 – A new year, a new crop of memes and jokes – and names to remember. Covid-19 is now more commonly called SARS-CoV-2. You might remember that it became politically incorrect to refer to it as Wuhan flu or China virus, but you might be forgiven if you call the new variants UK variant and South Africa variant. Remembering their real names, 20B/501Y.V1, VOC 202012/01 and 20C/501Y.V2 is just a bit much.
You might be able to relate to this fun video if you have ever had to prove you are not an internet Robot or if you have had to verify your account so that you can change your password.
It starts off so plausible and serious…
Did you know that in Las Vegas, NV, there are more Catholic Churches than casinos. Not all that surprisingly, some worshippers at Sunday Mass will put casino chips in the collection baskets.
Since the diocese receives chips from dozens of casinos, it has become problematic and time consuming for individual parishes to separate, count and cash in the hundreds of chips they receive each week.
The Bishop turned to and enlisted the assistance from a Franciscan Monastery, just outside of Las Vegas. Some of the Franciscans sort and count the chips, while others are tasked with delivering the chips to their respective casinos and returning the cash to the parishes.
Good idea, really poor execution: The Alberta ‘Rona Virus website has a COVID-19 personal risk severity assessment tool. I tested it out.
Age group: 60-69. Biological sex: Female.
Conditions (from list of 8 health risks): none.
Resulting risk level: LOW
That was what I would expect… except I recently took up residence in the 8th decade. So I took the test again. Age group: 70-79. Biological sex: Female.
Conditions (from list of 8 health risks): none.
Resulting risk level: HIGH
To sum it up: If you took this test one day before your 70th birthday, you would be at Low risk. One day after your 70th birthday and you would be at High risk. Seems like they have to have a greater number of age brackets AND they have to give some weight to the health risks. (In Alberta, the average age of death from Covid-19 is 82. The majority of those who died had 2 or more health risks.)
If it wasn’t for the delivery guys, our social life would be almost zilch.
The only upside to Covid is that many retailers have made online shopping really easy! We don’t need to drive anywhere, delivery is quick and products are available that aren’t always stocked in the local stores. What’s not to like!
The King/Queen of online shopping is Amazon. It has more than 2.5 million retailers selling on the Amazon marketplace (according to Marketplacepulse, 2019).
We ventured out last week to buy a new kitchen tap set at Home Depot. They were out of stock, but we could order online from them. Delivery was in one to three weeks. Amazon had the same product for the same price and it was delivered two days later… though it might take The Car Guy one to three weeks to decide whether he is going to call the plumber to do the install.
How did IKEA come up with their business and marketing plan? Dude Dad has this very funny explanation!
This ‘Lest We Forget’ admonishment arrived in my Facebook feed a few days after I had put up my Christmas Tree. I’m not really sure how decorating for Christmas implies disrespect for anything, but if that is what some people feel, then they have every right to feel that way…
…and I have every right to do what feels right for me. Hence the tree. Right now it is the brightly lit beacon in the corner of the living room that dispels the late afternoon gloom that came after we changed the clocks.
We had one more day of being ‘Hostage to the Moose’, though by mid day they had all settled down together, well away from the truck.
We drove to town and did some errands. Got the seasonal flu shot. The Car Guy never gets a really sore arm from the shot. Mine hurts so much that I can barely lift my arm. A sore arm is apparently good. It means the immune system is mounting a robust attack on the dead viruses. This year, the Canadian flu shot is for protection against Influenza A(H1N1), Influenza A(H3N2) and Influenza B. (That doesn’t mean we won’t get a different flu, but it might mean we don’t get as sick from the flu types in the vaccine.)
That night, nursing a flu shot sore arm, I watched some YouTube videos about Moose. Did you know that in Russia there is a herd of moose that are being raised for milking!? Moose Milk! (Not to be confused with Canadian Moose Milk, an alcoholic beverage that the Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force, and Canadian Army all claim to have originated. )
In modern times… recipes and techniques vary—different branches of the military may each have their own secrets—but dairy, rum, nutmeg and sugar are typical ingredients. “It’s high-propulsion eggnog. You can dig into this stuff and find yourself in a sorry state very quickly.”
– Moose Milk – Imbibe Magazine –
After a few weeks of really great Fall weather we got a few weeks of snow and cold. Then it warmed up for a few days. We thought we would get back to work clearing the dead fall in our woods – but the moose put an end to that idea. We could have got the tractor out and used the noise of the ‘Deere’ to discourage the moose from staying. That seemed mighty unneighborly though.
The next morning the Moose were gone from our place. I miss them – while not really missing them, if you know what I mean.
It started snowing again. We got a message from Amazon that they couldn’t make a delivery to our house. A ‘mooseless’ walk down to the main road and we could see why the driver had aborted the delivery. It had snowed enough during the night that the driveway had disappeared.