Author: Margy

Life and What it Is Quotations

It’s not true that life is one damn thing after another – it’s the same damn thing over and over. – Edna St. Vincent Millay – Life is like a jigsaw puzzle but you don’t have the picture on the front of the box to know what it’s supposed to look like. Sometimes, you’re not even sure if you have all of the pieces. –  A Whack on the Side of the Head – Life is easier if you dread only one day at a time. – Charles M. Schulz – Life is hard. Then you die. In between you are a volunteer. – Author Unknown (This was my ‘mantra’ during all those years of being on Volunteer Boards!) – Life is lumpy. And a lump in the oatmeal, a lump in the throat and a lump in a breast are not the same lump. One should learn the difference. – Robert Fulghum (I collected quotes like this when our youngest child had cancer.) – Life is the art of drawing without an eraser. – …

Wine Quotations – From the Vintner’s Cellar

Thoughts to put you in a Wine Frame of Mind: Age is just a number. It’s totally irrelevant unless, of course, you happen to be a bottle of wine. – Joan Collins – [A] hangover is the wrath of grapes. – Youngman 1987 – A man who was fond of wine was offered some grapes at dessert after dinner. ‘Much obliged’, said he, pushing the plate aside; ‘I am not accustomed to take my wine in pills.’ – Jean-Antheleme Brillat-Savarin – I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food. – W.C. Fields – If your Doctor said you could drink wine or be skinny, would you choose Red or White? – Author Unknown – I have great faith in the people; as for their wisdom, well, Coca-Cola still outsells champagne. – Adlai Stevenson – I thank god for my children everyday. Without them I’d never have known how well red wine complements chicken nuggets. – Author Unknown – It’s no longer ‘box wine’. The classy term is ‘Cardboardeaux’. – someecards.com – …

Not a Sweet Tooth – a Chocolate Tooth

I started my Not Fueled by Chocolate Diet and Exercise program in April of this year. Six months into the project – I’ve come to the realization that it is going to take a lot longer than six months to achieve my goal! That means I still can’t have a stash of dark chocolate in the house. Why?  I am  1/3 a Chocoholic. That is to say, on the few occasions I have had access to a dark chocolate bar,  I am Chocoholic Signal 1 – not particularly good at limiting my intake to, lets say, a square a day. Fortunately,  I am not Chocoholic Signal 2 – having intense cravings and Chocoholic Signal 3 – eating it despite the consequences! No, I am not inclined to nibble a mere 70 calorie chunk and be content. It takes a full 200 chocolate calories (or more) to satisfy my palate.  I’d have to add another 3 miles of walking a day to make that calorie neutral. That isn’t going to happen, which brings me back to …

Where is Your Codex Vitae?

Is Codex Vitae a technical term for a part of your body or does it sound like a disease?  To answer that, I’m going to start you with Twitter, drag you through YouTube, and deposit you in a Book. Twitter – What do you Seek? Twitter receives a lot of criticism, but like everything else on the internet, the value is there if you take the time to look around. Think of Twitter as an almost endless series of doors. You open one door and if you don’t find anything of value, you can close it – but you might find another door there that is of more value to you.   It is through this exploration of doors that I have found a growing movement of people who don’t identify with ‘tribes’. They are open to listening to others they may not agree with. They have discussions and share ideas. Many of these people can be found at the Intellectual Dark Web Site. It’s the great agony and the ecstasy of the Internet today. …

Puppy Classes… Again

Grandpa Car Guy said (or maybe he suggested, even perhaps asked) “Shake a Paw.!?” As near as I can recall, I said “Why? What do you seek in this engagement?” I may have said or done a few other things too… So I’m back in a Dog Training Class again. Apparently I could be the dog that gets the ‘most improved’ award – but it is much too early to tell whether I will ‘paw the line’. Early days… This isn’t the first time I have been in the Gamma Dog’s blog. You can also see me at: Sticks and Car Shows A Satisfying Day at the ‘Gamma Dogs’ House Looking for Puppy Faces The quotation “What do you seek in this engagement?” is from the book Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore. The photo has had a Rembrandt filter applied in Topaz Studio.

Indoor Cold Storage – Project Accomplished!

The new fridge finally arrived. Twice actually. The first time, the delivery truck couldn’t negotiate the deep snow in our drive way and had to abort the mission. With little hope that the snow would melt before spring, The Car Guy abandoned his plan to mow the grass one more time this fall. He removed the mower from the tractor and installed the snow blade. I helped him. We had some brief discussions about either buying a new tractor with easier implement changing, or moving to the city… Two days later the fridge was delivered. If you have been following the Fridge in the Middle Story, you will note that the fridge just fit into the cabinet and all is right in the kitchen again. Now, and here is the ‘cool’ part, we have a water and ice dispenser – and not just cubed ice – crushed ice too! Think of the summer drink possibilities – except now it is fall. Or, it should be fall except  winter arrived first. The two seasons have been …

A Canadian Thanksgiving

Canadian Thanksgiving is today (the second Monday in October).  It is a celebration of thanks for a good harvest – and it occurs earlier in the fall than American Thanksgiving because Canada’s climate is colder and our harvests end earlier. At least, our farmers hope they end earlier, but the early snow we’ve had here in Alberta has delayed harvest somewhat. We’ve had our family Thanksgiving feasts already. On Saturday we hosted a Thanksgiving lunch. The featured ‘guest’ was a fairly large ham. Though we bagged up a lot of ham and sent it home with the family, we still have a lot of ham left over. Eternity is a ham and two people. – Dorothy Parker – Yesterday (Sunday) we went to the daughter’s house for a Turkey Dinner. Son-in-law got a little carried away in the selection of the size of the turkey. This caused them to own a bird that just barely fit into the appliance that cooked it. There was also lots of mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry jelly, several salads, …

First Big Snow – It’s a Home Day!

There is a reason why we talk about the weather so much here in rural Alberta… Early October, and it is the first big snow of the 2017-2018 Winter. The good news is: the UV and Pollen Counts are really low. The not so good news is that the tractor is still set up for mowing grass, not plowing snow.  More snow is in the forecast – possibly 20-30 cm (7-12in) in total. The Car Guy is doing an effort/time/temp/risk/reward ‘put blade on tractor’ analysis as I write this. I think he is going to take the optimistic approach – Mother Nature will remove the white burden for him by the end of this week. The photo above shows most of our ‘fleet’ docked on the driveway. None of them will be going anywhere until the snow melts and they can be moved into the garage for the winter. Hey car buffs – can you identify them with their snow coats on? A few days ago, it was still fall, though the temperatures were more …

Playing with Snow

Not enough snow to play IN! Just enough snow to play WITH! Photo filters are courtesy the program Topaz Studio. Any interesting weather in your part of the world today? When was the last time you had a snowball fight or built a snowman?

Dark Days

It comes with no warning. Days of being sad. Energy tank on empty. Dark, dreary, heavy days. Overwhelmed. Too much, too many. I’ve been down this road many times before. It always passes. It is seasonal or hormonal or just being sad. It isn’t depression, but it is a gift that helps me to understand those who battle real depression. If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather. – Stephen Fry – I wanted to write down exactly what I felt but somehow the paper stayed empty and I could not have described it any better. – WTM –

Fridge in the Middle

The Car Guy and I decided to replace our refrigerator. It is over 20 years old and well past its ‘best before’ date. This is a haiku Haiku’s don’t have to make sense Refrigerator – Author Unknown – The appliance store had so many fridges to choose from – at least, that is what we thought when we first walked in the door! But, as our sales associate, Todd, walked us through the choices, it became clear that our new fridge would be ‘one of a kind’. Yes, if we wanted a fridge with an ice maker/water dispenser, with two upper doors and a lower freezer, that would fit in the space we had, in the colour white (to match the appliances we weren’t replacing) – our selection was one fridge. So we ordered the fridge. It was supposed to be delivered in a week – two weeks tops! That was almost two months ago. On a very local scale, a refrigerator is the center of the universe. On the inside is food essential to …

The Race is On – Fall Harvest

Alberta has 21 million hectares (52 million acres) of agriculture land that is used for farming and ranching. Wheat, barley, canola, oats, rye, dry peas, lentils, flax, dry beans and potatoes are the primary crops. An Alberta Harvest – past and present. Irricana’s Pioneer Acres hosts an annual Farm Days which features working demonstrations of  the farm equipment that would have been used by our grandfathers and great grandfathers. This photo shows a wagon, a stationary thresher machine (which separates the grain from the straw and chaff) and a grain truck. The thresher is powered by a tractor (not shown). Today, harvesting is done by self propelled Combines that cut the crop and threshes it. The combine doesn’t even have to stop moving to transfer the grain to trucks. This is one of three combines that harvested the quarter section behind our place yesterday afternoon. It was a dusty day for everyone within a mile of the action (but probably not for the driver!) Farming has always been a risky business and that is no …

Canada Historical Climate Trends

Canada is the second largest country in the world, with an area of 9,984,670 square km (3,854,082 square miles). Canada has apparently been keeping track of temperatures across the country since 1948. The number of weather stations that track weather, now and in the past, is impossible to determine. Canada’s Weather and Climate website does not make it easy to find that kind of information. Here are the reports I have been able to find about Climate Trends and Variations in Canada. Summary of annual mean temperature departure Lineal Trends: 2007: 1.4°C 2008: unavailable 2009: 1.4°C 2010: 1.5°C 2011: unavailable 2012: 1.7°C 2013: 1.6°C 2014: 1.6°C 2015: 1.6°C 2016: 1.7°C 2017: 1.8°C Canada 2007 The trend over the period 1948 to 2007 shows a 1.4°C increase when looking at annual temperature departures from the 1951 to 1980 climate normal. Canada 2009 The blue linear trend line – national annual temperatures warmed by 1.4°C since 1948. Temperature data from more than 330 weather stations were used to compute seasonal and annual departures from normal. A Baseline …

Sticks and Car Shows

My name is Ghost. I am this blogger’s Grand-dog. I’m still a puppy. A really big puppy. The two-leggers take me to Car Shows. When we aren’t looking at cars, they tie me to the bumper of their Mustang. Then they give me a stick. I chew the stick while I think about pulling the bumper right off the car. I think I could do that if I really wanted to. It is one thing to think I could do it. It is another thing to think about what would happen if I did do it… Treats and tummy rubs might be in short supply for a while. Last week I forgot I was attached to the weaker of the two-leggers. I pulled on the leash too hard, and the two-legger tipped turtle. She scraped her knee. No treats and tummy rubs for the rest of the morning. When I’m older, will the scent of a rabbit be tempered with anything? Will I ever have control over what my nose tells me to do? I …

Everyone Talks about the Weather

Weather is the state of the atmosphere at any given time and place. Climate is the long-term average of the weather in a given place. While the weather can change in minutes or hours, a change in climate is something that develops over longer periods of decades to centuries. – United States Environmental Protection Agency – Certain ‘activist’, ‘extremist’ or ‘alarmist’ media will invariably report colder than average temperatures as just being ‘weather’. Warmer than average temperatures will be reported as   ‘climate change caused by CO2 emissions’(formerly global warming.) Drought, extreme rainfall, heat waves, wild fires, cyclones, flooding, hurricanes – certain media will always claim these are caused by climate change, even if reputable scientific sources dispute these claims. Whether you are an Anthropogenic Climate Change Believer or Skeptic, the important question is “What are you going to do about it?” In a one-year longitudinal study of 600 American adults, participants reported their climate change beliefs, pro-environmental behavior, and other climate-change related measures. (Journal of Environmental Psychology, Volume 56, April 2018, Pages 55-62) Three belief …

Wonkey Weaving Gourd Baskets

I’ve taken three Gourd Art classes from a talented artist,  Margaret Sullivan of Rio Verde, Arizona.  In two of the classes we used very large gourds that we stained with leather dyes before we launched into the time consuming technique called ‘Wonkey Weaving’. The bare bones of the weaving is done with reeds soaked in water to make them pliable. The wonkey meant you were supposed to leave lots of odd shaped gaps to fill in later with wool or other pliable materials. My first gourd had not become very ‘wonkey’ at all by the end of the class. I took it home and completed the rest of the weaving and added purchased feathers and beads. At the second class, I achieved wonkey. In the third class, we made a Totem Pole  from small gourds. We stained the gourds, etched them with a dremel, then decorated them with feathers, beads and paint. Back in Canada, I could add feathers that I had collected from the grounds around our house. (In Alberta, it is legal to …

Looking for Puppy Faces

Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. – Winnie the Pooh (by A.A. Milne) – Six years ago I wrote a post called A Perfect Storm – The Motorcycle Accident. It was the story of the day (Friday, July 13!) that The Car Guy and the Harley abruptly parted company – both landing in a farmer’s field, both with considerable damage. I reread that post yesterday. I also reread all the comments left on posts then and after the event – words of encouragement, concern and prayers for a speedy recovery! Thanks again, from the bottom of my Canadian heart, to all these kind bloggers who reached out to me during those dark days: The Cvillean Peg-o-Leg’s Ramblings Virginia Views Before Morning Breaks Joys of Creating The Other Side of 55 Mark Armstrong Illustration Coming East composerinthegarden Year-Struck Nylon Daze MountainMae From the Drawing Board Fear No Weebles Bless Your Hippie Heart k8edid The Sandwich Lady Winsomebella I Need a Play Date …

Great Horned Owl Update

We haven’t seen the Great Horned Owl Family very often this past month, but I now have a permanent set of Owlet triplets to remind me of how special it was to watch the Owls. I crocheted my own owls from a pattern at Jacquie’s Website. Jacquie says “If you are proficient at crochet you will be able to make one of these sweet little owls in no time at all.” Proficient is the operative word. My crochet skills were rusty, and apparently my counting skills were too. ‘No time at all’ took several weeks. There are many fiddly bits to the project. The hardest part, however, was getting a decent photo of them. Their light weight little bodies didn’t want to sit on the branches of the trees. I finally had to wedge them between branches or skewer them a bit with the poky thorns. As for real owls, two of the owlets were hunting here on July 19. There were several other owls too, but they didn’t land. The original un-retouched photos are …

Mildly Amusing Missives #4 – Twitter

I created a Twitter account a few weeks ago.  I’ve been following and unfollowing people since then. There is a fine line between ‘this is interesting’ and ‘this is depressing’. Here are some of the more amusing and thought provoking things I’ve found. What your Dog is Thinking something. you may not realize you’re allowed to do. is take a snoozle. and then when you wake up. immediately start another one – Thoughts of Dog @dog_feelings Jul 4 – sometimes. i will yawn really big. and soon after. the human will also yawn. i have yet to decide. what to do with my powers – Thoughts of Dog @dog_feelings – I don’t own or use a virtual assistant – do you? You would think that by now Alexa might be experienced enough in the ways of carbon-based lifeforms to be able to distinguish between a sneeze and the calling out of her name. “Bless you, Stephen” would be a better response than “Hm. I don’t know that one.” – Stephen Fry, @stephenfry Jul 11 – …