Thursday 30 November 2023

State of the blog address

The end of November is the anniversary date that I chose for this blog. It is as good a date as any.

As per usual, over the past year, some things that I wanted to accomplish got accomplished and other things remain. As with anyone and everyone life throws something unexpected at you.

December 22, 2022 I moved mom into a retirement home. Mom had to accept that she could no longer live on her own. I hired a guy to help me and we schlepped furniture and her belongings into her new place in -20C weather. In January, February, and March her place, with help from my sister, was cleaned up, cleaned out, and prepped for sale. Two to three times a week during the winter I drove an hour each way to check on her place. Eventually it sold this last August.

Mom’s memory gets incrementally worse as the months progress. She uses a walker, sometimes a wheelchair to get around. I manage her affairs and make sure her bills get paid. The staff there are wonderful and the food is good. I know the food is good as I have observed that mom has put on some weight. Mom never phones. I have left her with phone numbers, which she loses, and she has a phone in her unit. I think she has trouble using a phone so she does not bother. Both my sister and I phone her during the week and she has a visit from one of us at least once a week. Dealing with mom’s stuff over the last year threw a wrench into some of my plans. Life is not always about you, it is also about other people, and responsibilities. Other things come first.

This year was different. Early spring was dry with a number of wildfires in the province. Drayton Valley, where mom lives, was one of the places evacuated due to wildfires. After that we got rain. Lots of rain. Summer trips that I wanted to take to British Columbia were put off entirely due to wildfires there.

I bought a motorcycle in August. Well, to be more accurate, I bought another motorcycle. It barely got used due to the air quality being so poor due to smoke in the air from wildfires. Then when that dissipated it did not get ridden due to rain. I took it into the shop for new tires and a few minor fixes and they had it for three weeks. It still takes forever to get parts for anything. On the positive side it is however ready to go at a moment’s notice next spring.

I had some adventures this year. A few highlights were visiting the ghost town of Alamo in British CoIumbia and a hike into an abandoned mine in the same area. Most of the experiences were good. A few of my trips were planned, most were last minute as I was dealing with other responsibilities. A few places I would just return for the local craft beer, after all, people go on wine tours. Anyway, I have learned that if you want something to happen usually you have to be the person to make it happen.

Soon another year will be upon us. I have some plans, make sure you have some of your own.

Wednesday 29 November 2023

Tuesday 28 November 2023

Sunday 26 November 2023

One of the less valuable ranches

This is the second two bit ranch I have seen in Alberta. The other is near Alsike.

Friday 24 November 2023

Elevator Friday

Pincher Station, Alberta taken by Dale Redekopp.

Wednesday 22 November 2023

At the Centre of Things

Ran across this by chance . . . the geographical centre of North America.

Never imagined it would be in Rugby, North Dakota . . . but it is, and that's not a bad thing.

- Michael Truman

Tuesday 21 November 2023

Southwest of McAuley, Manitoba . . .

Internet sources say that this is the old abandoned train station from McAuley, Manitoba. Years ago someone had some grand plans for it. The building moved close the to Saskatchewan border and never got to its intended destination. It sits abandoned in a field.

I got a look at it from the road. Any closer shots will have to wait for another day as I did not feel like trudging through mud and snow.

Monday 20 November 2023

Abandoned Manitoba

St. George's Anglican Church 1892 - 1913. Also known as Copley Church.

When I was last here in March of 2022 there were big snowdrifts and I could only see it from the road. This time I got to see everything. For November 12, 2023 the weather could not have been much better.

The church in the extreme southwestern corner of Manitoba. You are very close to the Saskatchewan and North Dakota borders.

Old International truck.

I believe there are eleven burials here. There are only three that are marked in the small cemetery.

Thursday 16 November 2023

Wednesday 15 November 2023

Tuesday 14 November 2023

Kind of a test post

My trusty iPhone 7 Plus was retired last week. I would have kept using it forever except it decided it no longer wanted to hold a charge. I would have it fully charged and a short time later the battery would drop to ten percent, then one percent.

Over time the screen developed some cracks courtesy of me dropping it a few times. A few very small pieces of glass were missing from the screen. By now the screen was held together by the screen protector. It still worked, until it did not.

I did not want to get a new phone. Trouble is I needed one. It is the only phone that I have. I do all my banking on it. It also has a lot of other essential information on it. Due to my rapidly failing phone I gave up and bought a new iPhone 14 Plus. I stayed with Apple as I did not want to have to start using Android due. I have used an iPhone for so long I did not want to have to start with new apps and using something different.

I like the new phone. It is too damn expensive but I do like it. I thought I would try a photo and I think it takes a good picture.

The shot is on Highway 44 west of Mantario, Saskatchewan.


A lot o' bull in Maddock, North Dakota.

- Michael Truman

Monday 13 November 2023

Banana Belt

Melita, Manitoba was dubbed the “Banana Belt” as it has slightly warmer temperatures than the rest of Manitoba. No bananas are grown in Canada but they have been grown in Iceland. You can look it up.

I have zero interest in stopping to see the world’s biggest dragonfly, Easter egg, or whatever when I am passing through some town. This however was odd enough that I could not help but stop. A large banana on the prairie was too appealing.

Random abandoned Manitoba

Sunday 12 November 2023

Off on a quick road trip

Remembrance Day fell on a Saturday. I do not work on weekends. For some reason my employer closed on Monday for Remembrance Day. We may have closed as banks are closed on Monday.

Regardless, I decided not to question it and I took the opportunity to get out. My job was insanely busy. I got hit with some unexpected bills. I hesitated, however I might not get the chance to get out on a run this year. I decided to just go. The weather for November, especially this weekend, has been great.

Piling up miles, listening to hours of podcasts, making bad diet choices of Coke and potato chips helps me unwind. The hotel could have better internet. You cannot have it all.

Saturday 11 November 2023

Friday 10 November 2023

Elevator Friday

Near Rosemary, Alberta - Dale Redekopp.

Wednesday 8 November 2023

Tuesday 7 November 2023

No one does a church post like Michael Truman

Random Alberta November

Lyncot School 1916

This is about eight miles north of Stettler, Alberta just a little off the highway. I had driven past this for years without knowing it was there. It is up on a hill obscured by trees.

The sign at the side of the road says 1916. The school itself says 1917. Fieldstone schools in Alberta are rare, I think I have only encountered two. I am not sure if it is being used for anything these days.

Monday 6 November 2023

Nadeauville School

About sixteen miles north of Tompkins, Saskatchewan.

Saturday 4 November 2023

South of Seven Persons, Alberta

Red Rock Coulee where you find red spheroid rock formations on the prairie. I have been here in summer. It was interesting to see it in winter.