All posts filed under: Home Life

Saying Goodbye to The Fisherman

I recently read the book “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Lessons from the Crematory” by Caitlin Doughty. It is a witty and thought provoking look at the history of caring for the dead and how the process has been sanitized by today’s funeral industry. The author explains the process of cremation in some detail – all very fascinating if you are interested in options to the ‘casket in the ground’ type of burial. The Car Guy’s dad, The Fisherman, passed away in October 2017. The Fisherman was cremated. It was a good choice because a number of events, including the weather, made it preferable for us to hold a burial service the following June. As the date for interment approached, our family discussed what kind of special box or urn we would use for the ashes. We decided that a wine bottle in a wood presentation box would be an excellent choice because The Fisherman had made his own wine for decades. The Car Guy filled one wine bottle with ashes for the cemetery. …

And That Ended The Card Game

Hi again. My name is Ghost. I’m this blogger’s daughter’s dog. The last time I ‘blogged’, I was back in Puppy Classes again. I think they went rather well for my owners. I wasn’t as impressed, because apparently I am going to have to get used to ‘coming when I’m called’ and all sorts of other infringements on my love of absolute freedom. Freedom to do what I want. Case in point is this ‘incident’ from before puppy classes. I had a sleep-over at the aunt’s house. The whole family was playing cards on this flat topped piece of wood (that looked like the floor).  They called it a ‘table’, but I didn’t have one of those at my house yet, so how was I to know that it was off limits to me!? Anyway, I thought it would be okay if I joined the card game, so with a speed that surprised even me, I unlocked, launched and landed right onto the middle of the table. Then I settled down to wait for whatever …

The Quippery

Christmas Desserts and Family Traditions

The Fruitcake Have you ever thought what it must be like to be a Fruit Cake? Made weeks or months in advance of Christmas Dinner, it is left to steep in whatever secret ingredient is used to give it that special flavour (I prefer rum). It is briefly admired as it is paraded down the catwalk of the dessert tray – then ignored by a bunch of carnivores who have just devoured half of a gigantic turkey. I’ve always liked Fruit Cake. Back in the days when I’d do lots of Christmas baking, I’d serve it with Rum Hard Sauce. It is a simple recipe. Beat 3-4 tablespoons of butter (though my recipe says margarine because back then it was much cheaper than butter.) Add 1 cup of icing sugar, 1/4 cup rum, and 1/8 cup milk. Beat and chill before serving. In a 1983 New York Times column titled “Fruitcake Is Forever,” Russell Baker claimed to be in possession of a fruitcake that a long-dead relative had baked in 1794 as a Christmas gift …

Lest We Forget –

Calgary’s Field of Crosses Each year, from November 1 to 11, over 3400 Memorial Crosses are placed in a park along Calgary’s Memorial Drive. Each cross represents a soldier from Southern Alberta who died in active duty during Conflicts and Peacekeeping Missions from 1899 to the Present. The Car Guy and I walked the length of the park to reach our destination at the east end of the Field – the marker of Henry William Vine, my grandfather’s brother. World War One Henry William signed his Attestation Papers for the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force in September 1915. He was 17 years and 1 month old, and likely lied about his age in order to enlist. The family story is that a woman handed him the white feather of cowardice, and that is what compelled him to join. Henry’s unit, the 49th Bn, arrived in France on March 26, 1916. Henry reported to base slightly wounded in June, 1916 but remained at duty. He was wounded again on September 15, 1916, apparently a gun shot wound …

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, …

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 –