SUMMER IS HERE AND ALBERTA IS NUMBER 1!!
Summer is officially here! I actually have washed all the windows, they are free of two or three years of gooey maple sap. In frustration, as much as it sickened me to do, I cut down this tree! Maybe I can go four or five years before having to wash them again lol!
An old high school buddy of mine, Rick O'Donnell, forwarded me an article written by Lisa Corbella of the CALGARY HERALD entitiled Quebec and the Fairy Godmother. In the article she pretends to be the Fairy Godmother and grants Quebec its wish for closing down the Alberta Oil Sands/Tar Sands Then she proceeds to outline the ramifications not only for Alberta and Quebec but for the rest of Canada. I shared the article on Facebook yesterday in case any of you would like to read it. It is indeed worth the read!!
Rick asked if I had any comments--for all of you that know me that was an open invitation lol! If, indeed, the figures she quotes in her article are accurate, the time has come that we as Albertans stand up and stop apologizing for who we are! Alberta has been traditionally a "Red Neck" province, but from what I see is that we are nothing more than "tame house cats"! BC, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec and even the Maritime Provinces are far more "Red Neck"! The old adage "the squeaky wheel gets the grease" holds true. These provinces need and Alberta provides! Corbella hints strongly about the premise that Albertans should look after Albertans, and I am beginning to think she has a very valid point. It is time to speak up and say we are proud of Alberta and proud of what we contribute, not only to Canada as a whole, but to the world. That does not mean we should ignore worldwide concerns, but we need to educate Canada and the rest of the world that what we do is done responsibly. Perhaps we should be targeting countries who show no concern for the rest of the world except to amass money and acquire weapons of mass destruction. It is time for all the provinces to pull together and promote Canada as a strong unified country! I, for one, am proud to be Albertan, secondly to be Canadian and we owe no one an apology for what we do!
A MEGA FRIDAY STORM!!!!
June 12th will be remembered and talked about for quite some time I am sure! First, we would like to indicate how sad we feel for all those who have sustained damage. While I drove down First Street SE and SW on Saturday, it almost appeared like mini bombs had been detonated in some yards and down the boulevards. Driving around some more, I clearly observed that the waive of destruction was wide spread. Y and I were fortunate as we received relatively little damage, one small branch off our "majestic cottonwood". Saamis Memorial Funeral Chapel, Crematorium and Reception Centre fared about the same, an odd branch here or there. However, Saamis Prairie View Cemetery did not do as well. The pictures attached are of some of the damage incurred at the cemetery. Secondly, we want to thank all the people who have expressed their words and acts of kindness. Thirdly, we ask that families be patient as the clean-up will be taking awhile. We are waiting on the insurance people and then on the tree cutting people, who, you can guess, have been inundated with service calls. Preliminary clean-up has begun, but until the damage has been assessed we cannot do as much as we would like and as fast as we would like. So, we again thank you for your patience concerning this.
Turning to a more humorous side of the storm. Y and I were hosting the staff summer barbecue at our house, I had taken the day off in order to clean the yard and set up the chairs, tables etc.--most of you know that routine. We had a short in the electrical outdoor lights and pond area earlier in the week and the electricians were still there trying to get things operational before people started arriving. I had just finished hosing the driveway to rid it of the "horrid cotton" and it started to rain. It came down in torrents, the electricians ran for cover in the carport and I commented--"Well that was a futile job, Mother Nature, is redoing it for me!" No sooner had we uttered a laugh, the hail hit then the winds!! At which point, I decided to go in, pour myself a drink, relax on the verandah and watch the show--all the work I had clearly done earlier was being completely UNDONE!!!. The wind tossed our younger trees around like they were young saplings. The storm did not last but a few minutes--not much damage--over turned umbrella, a reasonable sized branch and several twig like branches littered the yard. The electricians finished up and were horrified that now nothing worked at all--that is when we discovered no power!!! Nearly 50 people were coming and NO POWER! But not to worry, it will be back on in minutes. Little did we guess it would not come on for nearly eight hours!! In the meantime two of my sons, Jhor, and JR (as well as Margaret, his wife) and a friend, Phil Clarke, arrived at the house by 4. They had the yard cleaned, set up and ready for the guests by 4:45. Our thanks to them all!!!! The staff and their families started arriving--still no power. Finally, Y said, "You better have a Plan B and it is time to enact it!" So, we started baking the potatoes on the barbecue, once they were done they were kept warm in the chaffing dishes, then we did the same for the mushrooms and shrimp. Steaks were the last to go on! Fortunately all the salads and desserts were done ahead of time, thanks to Y!!! All was good, but one thing I did notice is that the absence of 'white noise' was almost deafening! Indeed, this will be a day to remember!!!
THE MAJESTIC COTTONWOOD!
Cottonwood, a type of poplar I believe, is indigenous to Medicine Hat and many other cities on the prairies. We have a mammoth one in our yard--the trunk's diameter, I am sure, is in excess of four feet, maybe even five feet and it cascades over our yard at a height of about forty plus feet. For eleven months out of the year we love this tree, we marvel at its strength, its bark and its size. For the most part, she (and a she, she is) is a well behaved tree. It provides shade and shelter and does not send out shoots all over the lawn like most poplars are famous for doing. Even in the fall, when she drops her leaves, she does it relatively quickly giving us ample time to clean up her golden deposits before winter sets its course. The boys and I would often jest that we were raking up gold, but we could only wish lol!
Y on the other hand marvels at her, but she does have some issues concerning her behavior! (Perhaps, they are too much alike lol!!) The main issue consumes mainly the month of June How our beloved tree has escaped with her life each year is beyond my grasp of understanding???? She,'the tree' (better clarify which she lol), first of all sends down these "sticky things" that adhere to everything--especially bare or stockinged feet, only to release themselves freely on the hardwood floors, rugs, footstools, etc. The conflict is building! Y. waits and waits to put out her bedding out plants in hopes "the tree" will have shed her cotton! We know it's coming--the question is--WHEN? Each year we look up and access the situation and each year the tree looks like it has hardly any cotton pods so it is safe to plant!!!. "The tree" watches Y's every move-- NO COTTON! Y's pots and flowers look wonderful for about one day--THEN "the tree", in her excitement, releases the cotton. Honestly, it is like a ticker tape parade or a winter blizzard!!! It blankets everything--all Y's flowers, the grass, the lawn furniture, the patios--I mean everything! The cotton adheres to the leaves of the flowers sucking out all their moisture. Y is frantic! She battles back with the hose, but it is almost to no avail!!! I am sure "the tree" is just celebrating Y's victory of getting everything planted, but Y does not see it that way---no-siree!! My buddy, Garth Helle from Poplar Mechanics Tree Cutting, severed a huge branch that over hung the house. It was an endeavor that nobody thought possible--surely it would crash into the house!!! Garth pulled it off without a hitch!!! However, I notice Y has his number out, during the month of June!!!!
Will "the tree" survive another year? Of course it will--for three reasons: It is a historical part of Medicine Hat, its good behavior eleven months out of the year is reason enough to be forgiven and it provides such wonderful shade during the hot summers--by the way allowing Y's flowers to blossom incredibly and not be scorched by the hot prairie sun and wind. NOTE: The pictures attached are of our "Beloved Cottonwood" "long may she reign over us!"
* Please see my facebook page for photos!