Friday, October 28, 2016


As weeks go, this one has been a busy one for me.

The beginning of the week I finished and mailed out another large order of mug rugs, this time destined for Alberta.

In the meantime, the local message board downtown had an add for a job in the local pharmacy/gift shop.  I really wasn't looking for a job, but there have been a few things come to mind lately that would be so much easier to think about if the pension money went a bit further, so I sent off an application, knowing full well that although I have had retail experience - having that experience 30 yrs ago or more, didn't necessarily qualify me for much these days.

Tuesday I was called in for and interview, and I think it went quite well.

I came home from the interview on Tuesday, sat down for a cup of tea, looked around my living room and thought - yeah - I can't live with this anymore - I needed to do some serious cleaning after spending most of my summer outdoors - it really needed it!

So I began two solid days of washing, scrubbing, moving furniture ( love that part - just ask anyone).
I decided to change my sun room into a dining room.  Now that we eat almost every meal at the kitchen island, or in some cases ( shamefaced) in front of the TV during the evening news... the table in the kitchen has become a catch all for everything.    The move turned out great, and it will be nice to eat special meals with family and friends in this very warm and inviting room.

 The living room is looking so much better as well.

In my spare time,  I convinced Gary to help me build a rather large bird feeder for our winter feathered friends.  I had no pattern, and just scrap wood from a shelf in the cold room that we demolished, so we spent one afternoon out in the garage, building.  We added shingles to the roof after I took the picture and now it is being painted, but I think for 2 extreme amateur builders we did okay.

I started starching some of my Victorian ornaments for the Antique shop, and have designed a really funky new rug mug, that I cannot show you yet, because the person who is receiving it reads my blog and I want it to be a total surprise.

And today its grocery shopping day, trip to the lumber store for a post for the feeder, and cleaning the library for noon opening.

What a great week it's been - just the way I like it - interesting and productive!

The very best part of my week however was last evening.  I spent an hour and a half on Skype with my niece Alanna and her son Thomas who are at Ronald McDonald House in Vancouver BC while Thomas undergoes treatment for Leukemia.  If ever I was grateful for our world of technology and progress it was last evening.  How fortunate we are to have such wonderful tools to be able to connect with our loved ones.
Thomas is doing well, but next week starts his most aggressive treatment schedule so far.  This next round of chemo will be continue until February and it will be intense and they will be hitting his little body hard.  But last night I saw a normal 10 yr old child.  Playing video games, running down to the central kitchen for cup cakes, and at times snuggling close to his Mom as she visited with me.  Our prayers for Thomas are being answered, but many more are needed to get him and his family through this journey safely. This will be their life for another two and a half years to come.  
 I can't express how very proud I am of both of them, and Alanna's other two children Brayden and Kaelyn as well.  They are what family is and should be all about.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 27, 2016


Since I seem to be on a nostalgia kick these days, how about this picture that showed up on social media recently!

Takes me back to kindergarten and my first teacher ever, Miss Raferty!
She was the kindest soul, as I remember.  

But this picture - wow - I remember we each had our own little mat rolled up in our little coat cubicles at the end of the room.  She would turn out the lights - I think I  remember music - I'd be surprised if I wasn't singing along - and would spread out all over the floor and sleep.

Mine was in the era when girls dressed this way with skirts or dresses, and so yes - lying down panties showed.  This is exactly how it was.  

Some parents nowadays would have much to say about this and no doubt the the teacher and school system would have some explaining to do.

There was nothing wrong with this practise - just like there was nothing wrong with a lot of stuff that used to be done, but somehow our world and the new generation love to find fault with almost every innocent practise from the generations before them.  Not everything was bad, and I wish some people would quit suggesting it was!

How I got on to that rant from such a peaceful picture, I don't know.  But I do know kindergarten was special to me.  I met children in that classroom, who are still my friends today,  like my dear friend John S.  He married one of my best friends so we still see each other, and seeing this picture reminds me how very special that is.

Kindergarten in my generation was the special time when young children were first introduced to the world of learning.  It was exciting for children because it was something they had not done before.  We watched TV and played with our toys and our neighbourhood friends - learning was left for school.  
I hear so many young parents today say how bored their children are in kindergarten and it makes me sad.  Today's children enter school at what would have been a grade 3 level for my generation.  Is it better?   I am not an authority, but if you ask me - I'd say no.

We were little sponges, eager to learn, eager to please our teachers and our parents.  Nothing wrong with that.

These days are just a memory for me, but hopefully not for the young children of today.  We need to slow it down, and let children be children.  I hope that when they are my age they will have the same wonderful thoughts, feelings and memories of their early years.

I love how one picture can open up so many wonderful memories!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


 It seems "Write me an autograph" was a very well received post.  It scored high in readers, but even better than that I had one of the largest responses by my readers ever.  

It was enjoyed, and I even got some autographs.  I am glad that this post brought back pleasant memories for my readers... love when that happens.

Last night I was checking my emails before bedtime, and there was one from my nephew Scott, suggesting I try translating my Grandmothers German entry in my Mother's autograph book in Google translate.

So this morning as soon as I got up I headed down to the computer.

I don't think it is quite right yet, but this is what I have so far.

Here is Grandma's words in German:

libe Erna ( little Erna)  that I know for certain.

In allen deine Iaten las ich den Hichsten ruten der alles. kann und hoit er mus zu allen Dingen lolbs  anderen wohl gelingen dien selben geben Ratu. Iat

dein Mutter ( your Mother) 

Google translates it so:

Little Erna

In all thy actions I let the highest rods of all.  And may he give to the the other lolbs of others well to serve their mother.

Your Mother.

I feel like I am so close to finally learning what is said in this little verse.  Perhaps there is a reader who speaks German or understands it who could shed a little light on this.  Or perhaps there is someone who can use the translator better than I.  Maybe the words I copied that were written by Grandma were a slightly different dialect and someone here may know the correct word.

My thinking is the highest "rods "of all might be the highest God of all.  I believe Grandma would have written something along this line, as she was very faithful to her God and was a strong believer.

If you want to spend some time playing with this, I would be delighted for the help.  

In fact if someone can solve this puzzle , they will receive 2 mug rugs (style of their choice) as a gift from me.

There - the challenge is out...

and remember - 

When you get married and have two twins - don't come to me for safety pins!

Monday, October 24, 2016


When I moved my desk from the second floor attic to the basement a week or so ago, I had dumped the contents of my desk drawers on a pile on the floor.  They sat there for a bit, and when I was putting things back where they had previously been, I found two items that I rarely think of, in fact had completely forgotten that I still had.

When I was a child - about eight years old, My Aunt Margaret came for a visit from the States.  She came almost every year and she always brought something for everyone.  I remember her arrivals so vividly because she came by grey hound bus and we always were the ones that went to pick her up at the bus station.  In my eyes she was a movie star - she was always dressed in a dress with a matching jacket, with a hat and high heels, gloves, and a purse - when she stepped off the bus, my heart went into overdrive - because she was so elegant and beautiful.

One year she handed me this.

If you are my age or older you might remember or still have one of these little treasures in a box in your closet.  All young girls had one, and we carried them around or brought them out, especially when going visiting or when people came to visit us.  Everyone had their own special verse that they would write when asked.  Mine is filled with verses and ditties from school friends, cousins, aunts, from that time.

Here are a few of my favourites.  The first entry is usually from the person who gave you the book - so My Aunt Margaret's sentiment comes first.

a couple more that mean so much are from my parents and my Great Grandmother.

Here is one from a second cousin..

"Gather a line for every page, that she may read in her old age!"

The words of Aunt Margaret's sentiment are reading so true to me - and how fortunate am I to be able to pick this little book up and read all the lines written by so many people - many who are no longer here.

I suppose you could say that social medial is sort of a "cyber" autograph book  - but sadly it's pretty much gone after it's written.  No one is going to be able to pick it up and see what was written to them in 10 yrs, or 50 years or even 80 years!

Yes -  80 years - check this out!

My Mother's autograph book...

Her front page was from her cousin - who gave her the book  April 21, 1936!

She too had entries from her brothers and sisters, her cousins...

My Dad from their courting days... he wrote the same thing in hers as he did in mine!  And he signed it "Sunshine Joe"?   

My Grandmother - hers is in German - I so wish I knew what it said.

And here is something that really blows my mind - there is an entry from my Mother-in law.  Gary's grandparents lived beside my Aunt in Chicago in the 30's and my mother and his had met when they were children - through my Aunt in Chicago.  When they were writing in each other's autograph book as children - would they even have believed that someday their son and daughter would meet and fall in love and marry?  How special is this!

I believe this one is from her teacher...

And then the special ones from her sisters...

This is an example where the past outshines the present.  This activity should be brought back again.  Children of today will never have something like this to pick up and read in their "old age".  Does it matter you ask?

I believe it really does.  These two little books have brought both myself and my husband such pleasure reading the verses and imagining the people who wrote them these past few days.

Yes - it matters!

Thursday, October 20, 2016


So here we are, at my Uncle Alfred's farm, which now belongs to my cousin's son Aaron.  Things will no doubt change in the years to come.  I hope he keeps the barn as long as he can  - but just in case, I took some pretty great shots to be on the safe side.

The barn was my main focus this day.  It is a structure that has such meaning on any farm.  It has a life of it's own that is hard to describe, but if you ever saw a barn lit from within in the dark of night, you would understand why I say that.

So here is Grandpa's barn shot my way!

Whoever said age can't be beautiful has never seen this old barn up close and personal.

I never realized how pretty this windmill was until I pointed my camera at it.  Wonder if Grandpa put it there, or Uncle Alfred.

What do you see when you look in the window of this old barn?  I see progress!

Not the Hayloft, but the window above it.  I don't ever remember actually ever seeing a window in there though.  Will you look at that beautiful Manitoba summer sky!

My Grandfather's Threshing Machine.

 I Love this barn and I love this picture.  So many years it has stood here as a symbol of a hardworking family's heritage, commitment and future.  She may be old and weathered, but she still has some life to give to the next generation.  Long May She Stand!

Thanks for taking this day trip with me.  Hope you have enjoyed the day as much as I did.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


It struck me after I wrote yesterday's post - that a lot of very young children today would have no idea what a teeter totter is, if asked.  Progress?  I don't believe so - as a child it was one of my favourite places to be on the swing set - except of course for hanging upside down on those side cross bars of the swing set... we did that for hours!

I forgot to mention that one actually has to turn off the Glenella Road to get to Waldersee.  You turn right at the Junction of PTH 261 and PTH 260 ( the Plumas Road).  The Waldersee church is not even a mile down the Plumas Road.

The Plumas Road pretty much starts at Waldersee and travels south to HWY 16.  You pass Plumas long before you actually reach HWY 16, however.

On this day of my little "journey"  I travelled the Plumas road for a few miles, but turned off about 5 miles before I actually reached the town of Plumas.

My destination was my the farm that was my Grandparents home place, before it was passed down to my Uncle - better known to me all my life as my Uncle Alfred's farm.

If ever there is a place that calls my heart - it is and always will be, this place.

So much of my early youth, my teen years, and even my adult years has been spent right here.

I have so many cherished memories of time spent here with my family.  My cousins were the most important people in my young life, and growing up together and spending time with each other here on their home farm, formed bonds that still hold strong today.

I remember building forts in the bushes surrounding the farm yard; sitting in the barn loft playing with kittens; hunting for pigeon eggs so we could hurl them down onto the pigs backs from the loft.  Doing chores; watching baby animals being born;  plucking chickens; pulling weeds; hauling water, chop and oats; gathering eggs.  Riding bicycles, and lying in the ditches eating spits and reading romance books.

And later - learning to drive tractors, farm trucks and cars; baling hay in square bales, moving cattle, and even shooting a gun.  Going to town Saturday nights to hang out with my cousins friends, attending country dances and socials, and snowmobiling through frozen snow covered fields until three in the morning.

This is the yard that was my second home growing up. It was younger then  - but then so was I.

My Grandfather built this barn, and as barns were meant to be - it was the heart of the farm yard.  When I was a kid the doors were seldom closed in summer, and at any given time there were always animals staying in the stalls inside.  

As you can see the sun was bright this day of my journey, and the camera and I had a wonderful afternoon shooting some very special images of this very special place.

Tomorrow - those special images.....

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


I completely forgot to add 2 photos to yesterday's blog post.  I meant to include 2 pictures of the interior of the church at Waldersee.  It is a beautiful little country church - inside and out - and unlike city churches is open for visitors all the time.

Here are a couple of pictures of the inside.  The front/ Altar

The back of the church.


Yesterday we started on my journey down the Glenella Road.  I almost always have my camera with me when we head down any road around home, and for sure it was with me when I went on this little journey a few weeks ago.

Here are some of my favourite images of that day spent re-connecting with my past.  Hope you enjoy!

  Sept 2016 - The Glenella Road - facing West towards the Riding Mountains.

Sept 2016 - the North Narthex window of Christ Lutheran Church (The Waldersee Church).
A word about this church - My Great Grandfather helped build this church and he and his sibling's families attended here throughout the years - even to today descendents of these families ( my family) still attend this church regularly.

Sept 2016 - the Steeple and Cross at the top of the Waldersee Church.

Sept 2016 - Resident or Visitor? - Lively Resident, I believe!

Sept 2016 - Teeter-Totter from an old swing set near cemetery.

Sept 2016 - A marker on a young child's grave.

Next stop - The Plumas Road!

Monday, October 17, 2016


This is the Glenella Road - well actually it is PTH 261, but to folks in this neck of the woods is it known as the Glenella Rd.

It starts at HWY 5 and runs east.  I took this picture after turning east off Hwy 5 and driving over a mile or so down the gentle decline from  Hwy 5.   Behind me is the Riding Mountains...

  From the first picture on, the road flattens out and travels through farmlands rich in both grazing cattle and fields of crops of many kinds.

Glenella is a small town, about 20 minutes down that long road that seems to end nowhere.  It is a typical prairie town, just like the town I now live in.  In it, live hard working people of many origins.  It is the community close to where many of my extended family settled when they immigrated to Canada in the last century.

The day I took these pictures I wasn't going to Glenella - I was actually heading to Waldersee, where my Mother's family homesteaded.

Waldersee was not a town - but it was always a community, and to some extent still is today.

                                         At one time a one room schoolhouse held classes for the children.

A general store provided all the residents ever needed:

Except the word of God - which the Church gladly fulfilled:

Pretty much all that remains is the church.  Services are still held every Sunday, parishioners come from towns and farms all around to attend services at this church that has been part of their community for over a 100 years.

It was this Waldersee that I was coming to visit that day.  The church, and the cemetery behind it.

My Great Grandfather rests here:

As do my Maternal Grandparents:

As well as cousins, and many Beloved Aunts and Uncles.

I came to say hi,  I came to celebrate my past, my present, my heritage -  and I came to imagine my future, perhaps here in this gentle of places.

It's been quite a few years since I really spent time here - it was a good thing to do and I came away feeling connected to my past.  I am fortunate to have this place that reminds me of who I am, where I come from, the people who were a major part of my early life.  Each of them in their own way helped shape the person I became - and I am grateful for their influence in my life.

Tomorrow I will share some special images I took away we me that beautiful day!

Sunday, October 16, 2016


It's a gloomy almost raining day here in Western Manitoba today!  It's been cool, we have had some snow showers in the past week - thankfully it has melted on contact - we have a few sunny days, and now we are back to gloom.

I guess my mood reflects the weather.

I have been so busy working at the sewing machine for the past couple of weeks, and still have a long way to go until I can move on to something else, but that activity has given me endless me time - thinking time, mulling over time.

Maybe not such a good thing.

We just spent Thanksgiving with our son in Winnipeg, and I just celebrated my 61st birthday.  Neither a major hurdle in life, but a few things stuck out at me this past weekend, which really are bugging me.

I heard from over 90 friends and relatives on Facebook alone - not one of them being my 4 brothers.  I got cards, calls, and face to face birthday wishes - not one of them from my 4 brothers.

According to my youngest brother - who refuses to speak to me for reasons only he knows and understands - I just charm people into being my friends - according to him they are not really my friends!

No - I guess they are not.  Some are cousins, some were co-workers, some are family members of long-time friends, some are people I sang with in the choir at church, some are clergy I have known over the years.  Some are nieces, some are nephews.  Some are great nieces, some are great nephews.  Some are second cousins.  Some are new people I have met in my new community, some are friends of my husband- and some are people I have met on my travels through cyber space for over 13 years!

Sadly - they are not my brothers.

I trouble myself almost daily as to why that is.  It wasn't always this way.

There was a time that I was close with each and every one of my brothers.  Back when I was conditioned and content to listen to advice on how to live, where to live, who to live with...  back when I listened to advice on family, how to raise children, how to work, how to make money, how to buy a house... how to think, how to be!

It took me 59 years to speak up and stand up for myself - and now...

Well I guess this post goes nowhere from here -

Except to say that each and every person who has touched my life past and present - has a place in my heart... my 4 brothers included.  It's who I am.  I do collect people and I seldom really let go.  I don't  "House Clean" the chambers of my heart,  I try not to "Spring Clean" my friends, or family.

But I'll tell you one thing - hearing from so many people last week who took the time to say hi and wish me well, filled my heart with gratitude for the friends and family who DO communicate with me.

I am Blessed  - Truly Blessed!

Thank You all - from the bottom of my heart!