Monday 28 February 2022

I kept forgetting to post this . . .

This has been in my draft folder for the last two years. For some reason I never got around to posting this.

Mosside Church south of Westlock, Alberta. There is nothing of note at Mosside, Alberta these days. This church is just a a mile or two away from what once was Mosside.

I have never seen a stove set up like the one in the last photo.

Friday 25 February 2022

Lilydale School 1912 - 1963

South of Maidstone, Saskatchewan. The building beside it is the teacherage. Very well preserved. I took photos from the road as I did not feel like walking through snowdrifts.

You can see the old water pump in front of the teacher's residence.

Tuesday 22 February 2022


This last weekend was a long weekend. Had some plans for a trip that I did not take.

I had a few destinations in mind. Places were too cold, or under snowfall warnings. One place had a blizzard warning.

I ended up staying home and doing some household stuff. If nothing else I saved money. 

Monday 21 February 2022

When the bears take over

I had this place noted and drove here on Saturday. Not overly cold out. There was some wind and your could tell it recently snowed and drifted as the backroads were recently plowed. There is no sign identifying the long abandoned school. It is south of Lashburn, Saskatchewan.

Someone decorated it and placed bears around the building. I wish I would have been here last year as it would have made a good Christmas post

Friday 18 February 2022

Friday afternoon linkage

Please read:

Metropolitan School 1908 - 1956

A friend tipped me to this. Located south of Kinsella, Alberta. Wonderful old one room school. I could not get a shot of the front due to a row of trees about ten feet from the front door. It was also icy and windy so I did not walk up to the door. I could see from a distance that there was a padlock.

Insulbrick on the outside of the school. Someone or some association is taking good care of it.

Thursday 17 February 2022

The last teacher post

The second, and last post, that I will write about a memorable teacher.

I lived in a small town and had Jimmy Vallance for Grade Eleven and Twelve English as well as History. I really disliked school but he was one of the teachers that made it bearable.

Jimmy Vallance was a Scot who moved to Canada many years ago who taught in Sparwood, British Columbia where I lived at the time. Later on he taught down the highway in Fernie where he lived. He has long since retired.

I looked forward to his classes. He was a good teacher, principled, possessed a sharp wit, and was entertaining. I asked him once why he left Scotland for Canada. He told me in Canada he could own land and have his own space, something that would be hard to do in Scotland. He was free to do more here.

Practically all the teachers I had in school have a socialist bent and he was no exception. What was notable is that whenever any kind of political discussion came up he would tell us not to be sheep and decide for ourselves. The subject schedule was a little strange in my school and sometimes on a Friday I would have him for two periods back to back. When pet peeves were requested for the yearbook I, in jest, wrote "Double Vallance on a Friday".  He must have been on the yearbook committee because he stopped me in the hall and proclaimed that "So, you don't like two periods of me on a Friday?" Truth be known I enjoyed his classes and told him I was kidding. Once in an English assignment I used the words "abject penury" together and he walked to my desk and said "You think you have a command of the English language do you?" and walked back to his desk.

My actual last name is a very common Scottish name. Once I asked him if Vallance was actually Scottish since I hardly ran across anyone with the last name Vallance but there were many people that had my last name. He looked at me and said "The Vallances many years ago were working on great things while yours were spending time still up in the trees fornicating and painting their backsides blue. That is why there are more of you." Damn funny the way he said it and totally unexpected.

I once tried to look him up when I was passing through Fernie years ago. I ran out of time trying to track down contact information. The good teachers stay with you.

Wednesday 16 February 2022

The Lone Tree Post Once Again

Somewhere along Highway 36 north of Hanna, Alberta.

Playing with black and white again.

Tuesday 15 February 2022

Minor obsessions

I have posted this before back in 2016. Someone I know, who I exchanged some information, asked me out of the blue where it was. I trade information with a very small group of people. I remembered the general vicinity of where it was, I just could not remember exactly where it was. I could not find the location in my notes anywhere. I messaged the person the area where it is. Last weekend it bothered me enough that I drove a bit over two hours from my home to confirm where it was, took a photo when I was there, and sent the person the location.

I really have to start taking better notes.

Monday 14 February 2022


There are times on this blog that I get some wonderful comments. A lot of times I put up posts that I do not think much about them afterward. Sometimes others discover those posts and it can be quite interesting. I received a comment on this post:

"I stumbled across this webpage and my breath was taken away! The two graves under the tree belong to my great great grandparents. The next day, I took my laptop to my 82 year old mother's house and said, "I have something to show you," and when I opened the page for her to see, her eyes grew wide with shock. "My grandfather planted that tree!" she whispered! "Oh my goodness, that's my great Baba and Gedo." What a wonderful impact your photo has had on us all. Thank you so much."

The commenter is anonymous. If they ever read my current posts I want them to know how much I enjoyed their comment.

Trying something different

There are a few people that I follow on Instagram who do some great black and white photography. Some of them can take a black and white photo of something simple and mundane and make it interesting. I try it on occasion to see if I can do the same thing.

This was something I tried when I spotted these bins on the backroads of Alberta.

Saturday 12 February 2022

Between Leduc and Drayton Valley, Alberta . . .

Westbound to Drayton Valley this morning to visit mom. Mainly uneventful until I get to about here:

53.211331, -114.769496

There was a tanker in front of me. I pulled out just before the passing lane started and floored it. I cheated on the passing lane because it is a damn short passing lane, less than five hundred metres for a two lane passing lane on my side. In my rearview mirror I saw a white Ford truck and thought "That couldn't possibly be a . . . "

Passed the truck. Got to the top of the hill. The white Ford truck passed the tanker. I got a little further down the highway and then I got lit up. Goddamn.

I pulled over and parked here:

53.208319, -114.806112

Turned off the car. Reached into the glove box, grabbed the envelope where I store my insurance and registration and added my license, rolled down the window and waited for him to come up to my door.

I got asked if I knew why I got pulled over. Told him I had a good idea. He asked if I had been drinking. I said no (I am sure there are some people who drink before ten in the morning, I am not one of them). Then I got asked if I had smoked any marijuana. I laughed. He said he could smell an odour like it from my car. I laughed again. I told him he could test me.

The reason I laughed would only made sense to me in this case. My father was a strict and sometimes very scary individual when I was a kid. He had some definite rules regarding certain things and I was terrified of trying any illegal drugs because of it. Being an adult I never felt any desire to try any. Not because of any kind of moral attitude, I kind of believe if I did at this stage of my life dad would come back from the great beyond to make my life miserable. I do not care if anyone else indulges, that is their business. If the officer thinks that is what he is smelling when he pulled me over I might need to clean the inside of my car.

The RCMP officer, a young guy, took my information back to his truck and ran me through the computer. I am always polite when this happens, no need to make a situation worse. He came back, asked me if I knew I pulled out and passed over a double solid line. I said yes, but offered an explanation. I pulled out to pass just before the passing lane started because it is a damn short passing line up a small hill. I threw in that I was on my weekly visit to my mother who needs my care. I thought it couldn’t hurt.

He said "No ticket today" and I thanked him.

Sometimes you get a break.

I got to mom’s a little late. I told her that I was temporarily detained by our nation's finest.

Friday 11 February 2022

Thursday 10 February 2022

Deer in the Meadow

Deer grazing in a meadow near Jedburgh, Saskatchewan.

I always enjoy seeing the wildlife.

- Michael Truman

Wednesday 9 February 2022


Oliver says "Hello" from Rock Glen, Saskatchewan.

- Michael Truman

Tuesday 8 February 2022

Quick note

Some comments are immediately being marked as spam, even though I have never marked those commenter's comments as spam, and I have not been seeing them. Trying to get that fixed.

Still having an issue trying to comment on some blogs. Hopefully that gets fixed.

Still standing

Out of curiosity I took a quick Sunday trip to Up-To-Date School in a rural area northeast of Stettler, Alberta. Some of the old school names are creative and interesting. Science Mound School, another former one room school is not too far from this one. I had been here a couple of years ago and it was in bad shape then. I fully expected to see that it had collapsed. I was surprised to see that it was still standing and in pretty much the same shape as my last visit.

We are experiencing a warm spell. Sunday was 9C above. It rained on Saturday. Backroads are not dry and I have no desire to get stuck anywhere. I would rather it be warmer than a lot colder.

Monday 7 February 2022

Menzie, Manitoba


The town of Menzie, Manitoba consists of only a few houses these days. It is near Riding Mountain National Park and I visited the town in 2016.

It has a small Ukrainian church, as well as this Ukrainian National Home - presumably defunct now.

Menzie was the home of two small National Grain elevators.

They were closed in 1973 and demolished in 1981.

Steve Boyko

Sunday 6 February 2022

Thank you Mrs. Robinson

I disliked school. I did have a few great teachers. I never did anything bad in school although I did have a conversation with the principal once for being noticeably late forty times.

In Grade Twelve there was a Calculus course offered in my school as an elective. I had taken math in Grade Eleven and enjoyed it. The teacher was Heidi Robinson. I needed an elective for Grade Twelve and she was going to be teaching it. There were few electives in my small town school and I figured an academic subject could not hurt.

The good teachers stay with you, as well as a few of the bad ones. She was one of the great ones and I learned a lot in that course and I understood the material. 

After high school I took courses at a community college with the aim to transfer those to a university to complete a degree. One of the core courses for my desired program was Calculus that I had to take in my first year. The instructor was really bad (I remember her name but I will not mention it after all these years) however it was almost a carbon copy of what I took in Grade Twelve so I did really well.

I never saw Mrs. Robinson after high school but if I ever did run across her I would thank her. I never did use Calculus for anything practical and would have a hard time remembering how to do any of it now.

I did take a Linear Algebra course twice. I did not not fail it. At one institution it was a two credit course. When I transferred to a different institution they did not accept the course as it was a three credit course there, and they did not recognize the course I took. I had to take it again and it ended up being the exact same course. I enjoyed that one as well.

I liked school once I was out of grade school and I did get a degree.

Saturday 5 February 2022

One of the quieter Canadian protests

Spotted in a field along Highway 39 between Thorsby and Drayton Valley, Alberta.

Friday 4 February 2022

Something's Missing

Spotted near Assiniboia, Saskatchewan.

- Michael Truman

Thursday 3 February 2022

Abandoned House near Fox Valley

A beautiful fall day this past November . . . and a perfect day for a road trip.  

This old abandoned two-storey house is near Fox Valley, Saskatchewan. The brilliant blue sky and golden prairie set it off "just right."

- Michael Truman

Wednesday 2 February 2022

Afternoon linkage

I have been here several times. Glen has an interesting post on this place:

Admirable Admiral – Glen's Travels (

Summer in Leduc County, Alberta

Whatever prognostication the groundhog delivers this is what I am looking forward to.

Tuesday 1 February 2022

Random abandoned Alberta

About twenty minutes from where I work.

The truck referenced in yesterday's post

I thought I should post it.