All posts tagged: Red House

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 …

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 …

The Robin Welcome Wagon

Two years ago, a pair of American Robins built a nest on top of the electric meter box near our front door. (See this post: The Endless Quest for Food.) Yesterday, a pair of robins were checking out the same location, but almost immediately afterward, a magpie landed on the meter. This seemed to dampen the enthusiasm of the robins. They haven’t returned. The Car Guy and I remembered, though, that the previous robins had a great deal of difficulty building a nest on the narrow, smooth surface of the box. It seemed to us that it might be a good idea to mount a platform on top of the box that would make it easier for the robins to anchor their nest. This is what The Car Guy came up with. Just to make it very clear to the magpie that this was for the robins, The Car Guy added the name of the intended occupants. A wall, an electrical meter box, the robin platform – do you see anything else in this photo? …

Right Place, Right Time

Every now and then (but not if I’m in a line-up at the store) I’m in the Right Place at the Right Time! Here are three photos to illustrate what I mean. In 2011, I wrote a post titled Lady’s Slipper Orchids – Surprise in the Ditch. At that time, the orchids were growing in a ditch – about a 5 minute walk from us. Not a great distance, but they were easy to overlook in the tall weeds and their blooming season was short. I only saw them once again after that. A few days ago, I was very surprised to find the pretty yellow orchids again growing in the ditch –  but this time right at the end of our driveway! It would have been easy to miss their yellow flowers, surrounded as they were by clumps of yellow dandelions. But, they must have whispered to me… “It’s your lucky day – we’re your  neighbours now!” I’m a Canadian ‘Snowbird’ who spends part of the winter in the USA. Last winter I went …

I’d Rather Be… Here than There

March is a strange month. It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. ― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations – I’d rather be here where it is warm: Than there where it is cold: This week’s WordPress.com Photo Challenge is I’d Rather Be… Where would you rather be?

The Christmas Spirit Can’t Come too Early this Year

The World of Commerce starts promoting Christmas earlier and earlier each year, it seems. In Canada and the United States, the ‘Great Pumpkin’ products can be in one shopping aisle and ‘Jolly Old Saint Nick’ can be in the next. Personally, I don’t like the crass materialism of the season, and I really feel sorry for the Sales Associates in the stores. Imagine having to listen to the same Christmas music for almost 2 months! This year, however, I’ve put up my small table top Christmas tree already. Every time I walk by it, I am cheered by the tiny white snowmen decorations that my daughter and I made over 18 years ago. At night the twinkly lights brighten that corner of the room. It is peaceful. I have several reasons for putting up this tree so early. First, it is a calming reminder that this final journey with a loved one is down their path to a peaceful place. The tree is also a reminder that the greatest contribution I can give others right now …

Windows – Watching a Fall Snow Storm

The first snow storm of the winter season, except it is supposed to be Fall… Oh, the weather outside is frightful! But furnace heat is delightful. With the roads closed we can’t go, Stop the wind, stop the cold, stop the snow! – Margy, with help from the Christmas Carol ‘Let it Snow’ – Here are some other Window posts I’ve done and a Gallery of Window Photos I’ve taken: Reflections in a Window Seeing Through Windows and Doors Paths – Water on a Window Cleaning Windows This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Windows (again). Has the weather been unseasonably anything in your part of the world in the past few months?

The Sad, Silent Coffee Machine

Eldest daughter and her family have been staying with us, on and off, for the past month.  This has not created any space continuum inconvenience to The Car Guy and I – The Red House is more than large enough (because it is the same house we raised a squabble of teens in). Two extra adults and two teenagers  – we left it to them to jostle for prime real estate to set up their internet command stations. Our kitchen is spacious. It is more than capable of handling the extra cooks. The biggest difference was that the fridge filled and emptied on a daily, rather than weekly basis. Oh, and the dishwasher was often pressed into service twice a day. But the workhorse, no, the single most essential appliance in the house, was the Coffee Machine. These people are fueled by liquid caffeine. This coffee falls into your stomach, and straightway there is a general commotion… From that moment on, everything becomes agitated. Ideas quick-march into motion like battalions of a grand army to …

Muskrat swimming

The Elemental Muskrat – Reshaping the Banks of Their Watery World

One evening I watched some Muskrats ‘working like beavers’ at a friends farm. The muskrat is a largish rodent that looks like a stocky rat. It seems harmless enough, but has the ability to reshape the banks of any body of water it decides to call home. In this photo, you can see a cut in the bank where one of its underground dens has perhaps collapsed. If they dug bank burrows under the windmill on the other side of the dugout, it might eventually cause a big problem! Muskrats primarily eat a wide variety of plants. This pair were transporting sweet clover – doesn’t it almost looked like a bridal bouquet!? I really was disappointed when I downloaded my muskrat photos and looked at them on my computer. The early evening light wasn’t optimal for capturing detail with a zoom lens. I fancied the photos up with a few filters, but all in all, I’d say they are good examples of what ELJAYGEE calls  Second Best Shots… This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Elemental. …

A Satisfying Day at the ‘Gamma Dogs’ House

We recently became ‘Grandparents’ to a puppy, though the term ‘puppy’ seems odd for a dog that never was very small and is growing really quickly. Our daughter and her husband are taking their puppy, Ghost, to puppy classes and are making good progress in establishing themselves as the ‘Alpha Dogs’! This training is quickly forgotten, however, in the excitement of a day here at our rural Red House. We joke that I am so far down in the dog’s ‘hierarchy of obedience’ alphabet that I am the ‘Gamma Dog’. “So many smells. I wonder if any of them are dog approved food. The ‘Alpha Dog Lady’ sure didn’t like the dead gopher I found here last week.” “Sniffing, running, digging, rolling! People – I need a bowl of water!” “And I’m done. Could someone carry me to the car?” This week’s WordPress.com Photo Challenge is Satisfaction. Are you a dog owner? Or – do you just enjoy a dog when it visits, then get to send it home with the owners?

Would Grandma Approve?

A Collage of Doilies. What would Grandma think if she saw some of her handiwork hanging on the wall!? My previous post about Doilies is at Preserving and Using Grandma’s Doilies. 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. Post 580

I Don’t Want Your Squirrels

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 …

Anticipating a Better Picture – Over the Air Television

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 …

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.” That surprised me. The chicken, (more accurately a Portuguese Good Luck Rooster, …

The Quippery

Mysterious Baskets and Magic Gas Tanks

The Car Guy says we have a mysterious laundry basket at our house too. On the flip side, I have a car with a magic gas tank! When the tank is almost empty, I just put the car in the garage, and the next time I drive it, the tank is full again! Have you experienced any inexplicable events like this? Post 550

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 …

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! Post 525

inside church

Man vs Nature – Ornate Designs

It is a WordPress Photo Challenge and the topic is Ornate. Man has challenged Mother Nature. Mother Nature presented this work by Jack Frost who embellished this Campanula flower with spikes of white crystals. Man replied with this intricate metal scroll work on carved wood at Residenz Wurzburg in Germany. 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. Man said “Go big or go home” and presented the lavish decoration of the inside of Zwiefalten Abbey in Germany. 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. Post 519