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Armchair Travels
Posted On 07/25/2018 00:44:30

Years ago, my Dad did a lot of traveling with his widowed sister, and they were in many places in the world. He wasn't much for taking pictures until after my Mom passed away because she is the one who carried a Kodak box camera. When my Dad retired, his company gave him a movie camera, a 35 mm camera, 2 projectors, and a screen (you can tell that his work was with the "government"), so he decided to learn how to use "that stuff"!

He moved into a Seniors' Residence so he wouldn't have to worry about his property when he was traveling, and he took lots of pictures. Many were not that great at first, but when he got back home, he would sort through his slides, put them in order, and put them in trays that fit his projector. Next, he would make arrangements with the Staff to have use of the Social Room, then put a notice on the bulletin board that there would be an evening of ‘Armchair Travels’, with date and time included. On the designated evening, he would set up the screen, put on a pot of coffee, and entertain many of the residents with his pictures of the latest travel adventure. 

I have often been asked by new friends here on the hill to tell them a bit about where I live, especially if they have never visited Canada. I often refer to myself as “… living in the Foothills of the Rocky Mountain!”, so I decided to change my page to a ‘Summer in the Rockies’ theme. Some of the pictures included were taken by myself as we traveled, and the others were found online, included two videos. I will keep the theme for the summer, and if I have spurred a bit of interest, drop by and have a look. The Rockies are a magnet of many International visitors every year.

How’s this for doing some ‘self-advertising”? 

Tags: Vacation Tourists Photos

The Irony of Life
Posted On 07/17/2018 23:37:06

There are times that a topic for a Blog pops in my mind in the middle of the night when I should be sleeping. That’s what happened a couple of days ago, after a news release in our area, that involved a long time friend of mine. It brought back memories of long ago, and how we’ve kept in touch as much as possible.

When I was just four years old, my maternal grandfather gave me a piano and also paid for my first year of piano lessons. My parents were so very pleased with the gift and made every possible effort to get me to the lessons. We lived on a farm, and the piano teacher lived on a dairy farm about 8 miles from us. There were two teenage boys in that family who worked very hard, carrying large pails of milk from the barn to the separator in the pump house. I remember asking if they would be my brothers because I didn’t have any. It was at least good for a laugh. 

Years later, when we moved to our present location, I received an invitation to attend the 60th wedding anniversary of my piano teacher and I again met my two “almost brothers”. I learned that both of them were world-renowned ophthalmologists, Dr. Hervey Gimbel in Loma Linda, California, and Dr. Howard Gimbel in Calgary. Adding to the wonder of learning about them, an ophthalmologist from Venezuela, who came to live with us while waiting for his accreditation, told us that he always used Gimbel instruments in surgery, developed by Dr. Howard.

Back to the news release this week, this is the beginning of the announcement:

“After a 54-year surgical career, Dr. Howard Gimbel is set to change his focus to teaching and mentoring as he prepares to undergo a procedure to remove a cancerous tumor.

Gimbel, 84, said a mild symptom brought him to a doctor and led to the discovery of a tumor beside his left eye. Since radiation or chemotherapy are not possible in this case, removing the tumor will also require removal of the eye. Without binocular vision, he will no longer be able to perform surgeries.” …

Considering the irony of the situation, I know he’s not done yet. 

Tags: Medical Friendships New News

It's All About The Stampede
Posted On 07/06/2018 21:45:01

Today is the start of the 106th annual Calgary Exhibition and Stampede. It is now a 10-day event, starting with a huge parade. My parents would take me downtown to watch the parade, and a visit to the Exhibition. In elementary school, my teacher emphasized handwriting and would select some of our examples to compete in the Exhibition. I remember the first time I went to an afternoon Infield Rodeo event with my Dad. He knew a lot about the life of a cowboy because he had been a cattle driver before he married my mom.

We did the same thing when our children were growing up. We would make the annual trek to the downtown core, carrying folding chairs, umbrellas, lunch bags, camera, sunglasses, and a portable radio (so we could listen to the radio commentators. The parade started at 9 a.m., and we needed to go early to find a spot on the parade route for our chairs so we could be in the front row. It was fun but I looked forward to the day the kids could go with their friends if they were still interested.

Pancake Breakfasts are still well attended. They can be found in residential communities, on 8th Ave. downtown, and on the Fairgrounds. I just read that it is estimated that about 200,000 pancakes are served during the 10 days, and some even include bacon and eggs. I can do that at home too!

We haven’t personally attended any events for years. It’s much better watching the parade on TV, dragging snacks from the kitchen, and no “road apples” or “horse pucky” to scrape off my shoes! 

Drop by my page when you have time; Calgary Stampede is now my theme.

Tags: Parade Rodeo Family Fun Hoses

Yesterday's Travel Conversation
Posted On 06/30/2018 15:15:58

We were on a road trip yesterday, enjoying the green fields on our way to the town where hubby and I met and lived 56 years ago. We were looking forward to spending the day with our dear friends who we met the same year that we were married. We have traveled thousands of miles together with them over the years, most of them in a vehicle with wheels (… and once on a cruise), and we are STILL friends.

Hubby and I wondered if much of it was a result of a wall hanging in our kitchen where we see it every day. Sometimes the reminder doesn’t work but we’ve tried to learn to say ‘I’m sorry’ and admit when we could be wrong, even though we thought we were right. In the end, it really doesn’t matter what happened in the past… deal with it and then forget it!


I wonder how it would work in our public life. There is so much animosity these days, in the little things and big things. It would be much harder in the “big” issues, but it may work there too.

Tags: Travel Opinions Quotes

Bargain Hunting is a hobby!
Posted On 06/23/2018 23:11:59

If you have visited me on my profile page, you will have learned that hubby and I enjoy Garage Sales (often called Boot Sales in England), and any other place that offers a bargain. This month there has been a myriad of Community Garage Sales in our town, as well as in the city. We love to chat with people, love to discover something that we didn’t know we needed, and items that are just too cheap for us NOT to buy them.

In one of the new districts in the town where we shop, there were over 50 garage sales, and it kept us busy for several hours. It seems that the new districts are the place to shop, where families have just moved into their new home, and some of the stuff that they brought with them just don’t fit in with the new décor, or they have something newer and better to replace an item that is still like new. Some people just have too much money!

At one particular home, I chatted with the lady of the house who was so excited about her new home. Looking at the many items that she had for sale, I noticed a Kurig Coffee Maker on the lawn that I knew was the latest model. It included a carafe to make a pot of coffee, not just one cup at a time. I had looked at them online, but there was no way I was going to spend over $300.00 (including shipping) on a machine to make coffee. I asked her if she wanted to sell it, and if so, why was she selling it. It appeared to be used very little, if at all, because most of the items were still in the original packaging. Yes, it was for sale because they found something that was a better fit on their bar. Her asking price was $30.00 cash.

Guess who has a new coffee maker in her kitchen?

Tags: Needs Wants Bargains Stuff

Where Have I Been?
Posted On 06/15/2018 00:44:58

I’ve been asked several times, “Where are you? Have you left The Hill?” The short answer is ‘NO’! I just went incognito for almost three months, not by choice but by circumstances. Further explanation now would be too complicated and I would risk being scolded for talking too much. If you have read any of the blogs I have written in the A-Z Alphabet Challenge, you will understand what I’m talking about.

I am so pleased to see new (to me) bloggers, and I will be back to read them on the weekend. I love to hear stories from others here on The Hill, and have tried to encourage others to participate. There are guidelines, but they are not hard to follow. Basically, write your own story, and don’t copy and paste something that you have read online.

So… I’m posting to let long-time and new friends know that I have survived the crazy Canadian winter, we have better Internet service, I’m relatively healthy for a person my age, and I still text with one pointing finger, and post messages with eight fingers and two thumbs.

Now I have to go and update my page. Drop by when you have time and leave a few words of greeting, and, if possible, without a ‘manufactured’ graphic.

Tags: Opinion Comment Friends

Z - Zeros, Zoos, and Zucchini
Posted On 03/26/2018 08:48:51

It has been quite the start to the year os 2018. Conflict, disasters, social issues, and slumping economy have grabbed our attention. But I am not going to delve in any of those topics. There are better things to talk about.>There has been a lot of talk in our area about Zeros… at least in the weather. There has been so much snow, that the city doesn’t know what to do with it.

Transportation has been difficult at times, but most days, workers did manage to get to their jobs. What about the zeros, you ask? If the temperature would at least get to “zero”, it would help the situation. However, are they talking about 0ºC or 0ºF? If it is 0⁰C, it is 32ºF, but if it is 0⁰F, it is -17.78ºC. Sometimes it is just easier to stick your nose outside to find out how cold it isZoos have been in the news in our area this month. It is all about four panda bears, who have arrived at their new home in the Calgary Zoo. The adult bears are on loan from China, and the two cubs were born in the Toronto Zoo. The bears cannot be visited immediately by the public at the Panda Passage at the Zoo, as they are in quarantine until May. However, I have a problem with all this ‘fuss’! Do you have any idea how much our city spent in preparation for these bears, who will be with us for five years? The Panda Passage exhibit itself costs $14.5 million, as it was built specifically to meet the pandas’ every need, as well as appeal to the public (as reported by CTV News). There is so much need in our city and country, unemployment, immigration, seniors and veterans, and yet four bears will have all their needs met and the public will approve the expenditure and be pleased.

Even though I am not a gardener,and don’t even pretend to be one, I do enjoy zucchini that arrive at our place from a gardening friend who has run out of ideas of what to do with all the excess zucchini from their gardens. There are dozens of ways to enjoy this vegetable; pasta dishes, soups, fritters, baked fries, salads, muffins and cakes. My very favorite is a loaf that does well in the freezer, and a ready treat with coffee for unexpected guests.

Tags: Weather Animals Gardening

Y - Yak, Yakima and Yakking! Surprize!
Posted On 03/08/2018 21:08:14

Little did I know, that when I was first introduced to Yak, I would be explaining it in a Blog, but here I am. Whenever we drive to Washington to visit our daughter and family, we would drive through a small picturesque town in southern British Columbia. We often stopped at the two antique shops there, just in case there was something there that we didn’t know we needed! Several years after our first visit, a school chum of mine (when we both lived on farms), moved with her partner to Yak. Her partner was a trucker, and there was lots of work in the forest industry. Shortly after their move, my friend was involved in a very serious highway traffic accident, and she spent months in the hospital. Now, when we travel through the town, my mind is not on antique shops but my friend who survived and is now living in a Seniors’ complex abou 80 km. from our home.

Yakima is a city in Washington, located in the fertile Yakima Valley. It is a “must stop” location because of the fresh apples that we can buy. Precision Fruit and Antiques was our favorite place to stop; sort of “killing two birds with one stone”, if you’ve heard that expression. Honeycrisp is our absolute favorite apple; it is crisp and noticeably sweet.

Now I come to ‘yakking’! That’s what I do much of the time! If I can’t talk to friends, I type with eight fingers and two thumbs. My husband has said many times… “How can you do that much ‘yakking’ on the phone?” and I have to remind him that I (we) have so many friends in many places around the world, and I like to keep in touch with them. If I’ve been on the phone for over an hour, he assumes that it is just to one person. When he learns that it was several friends, he then wants to hear the news that I learned over that time. I try to avoid the question (because of his teasing) by saying, “No much!!” and hoping he will drop it, but he comes back immediately with “Not much? With all that yakking, you are telling me that didn’t learn much? Ah..hhm?!!”

Tags: Travel Friends Habits

X - From X to Xyster
Posted On 02/27/2018 06:30:53

In my opinion, the last three letters of the English alphabet are the most difficult in this challenge. In previous challenges, I have used common words like xylophone x-ray and xylitol. What’s left? To get some idea, I went to Google, and typed ‘words that start with x’! I was amazed at the huge list of words, most I can’t even pronounce.

Did you know that the first word that starts with ‘x’ is X? I didn’t either! Here is the definition: X - to represent the signature of a person who cannot write; to indicate a particular point on a map, diagram, etc.; or as a symbol for a kiss in letters, etc.

The last word in the long list of ‘x’ words is xyster. A xyster is a surgical instrument for scraping bones. I wonder if they used one of them in surgery when I broke my foot off? Perhaps they had to scrape a spot to attached the steal plate that holds two bones together? If they did, everything has gone well, and I’m still walking without the assistance of a cane or walker.

Many of the words in the list were medical terms, and the middle word in the list is xeroderma.  I don’t remember having to learn many ‘x’ words in my nursing training. Perhaps they are newer terms that have been invented in the last 50 years. The word means any abnormal dryness of the skin as the result of diminished secretions from the sweator sebaceous glands.

How did I ever manage to live this long without knowing these facts?

Tags: Medical Words

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