And More Changes!

And More Changes!

For the last while I’ve been having problems with my oxygen. It’s complicated, but finally, as of this morning, it got “fixed”.

It goes like this. The cylinders were not filling properly part of the time. My setting is 3.5, and they turned it back to 3 so that the machine would work properly…but I didn’t! This has been going on for a couple of weeks or more. We had to supply a paper trail to prove what my setting was supposed to be.

Okay? Once we got the paper trail (via computer email and fax machines,) they brought me a different machine that would handle the higher number.. Clear? Maybe not? All I really know is that it makes a big difference in how I feel with my oxygen setting at the right level for my breathing.

Here I go again… wandering all over the place.Danielle, Louise, Quinn, Norma and Elsie

I have a niece who lives in Quesnel, B.C. About five hundred miles or so from Vancouver… in the Cariboo. We hadn’t seen each other for a few years, although we’ve kept in touch by phone or emails.

I got a call to let me know that she and three of her family were coming down and would come for a visit. I thought there might be some illness requiring a doctors appointment…but no, they came to visit me!

The first visit included Ra and Debbie, my son and daughter in law and was very special… Five generations were here! Of course I’m the oldest, then my niece, Elsie, her daughter, Louise, Louise’ daughter, Danielle, and Danielle’s daughter, Quinn…a sweet little miss who is four years old.

They stayed in a hotel down by the beach, and the second day just my niece and her daughter came, while mom and the little one got to play on the beach. And the third day, they all came in the morning, and left for Vancouver at noon, and flew home the next day.

I love them dearly, and this visit proved just how important family is.  Hard to hold back tears when you think that we might never see each other again. I feel so blessed that they came to see me this time.

As my son keeps telling me “You’re a lucky girl”!

Yes, I am!



It has been a rather hectic time around here lately… it seems that everything keeps changing.

As you probably remember, I live in an assisted living place. The care aides are provided by an outside company.  For whatever the reason management decided to change the company that supplies our ‘girls’.

The change-over was supposed to be almost unnoticable…..not so!

Schedules have changed…jobs that were done by one group are no longer part of their day. Special cleaning gals now come… what was part of the  cleaning program before is now not the cleaners job…” Care aides will have to do that!”

New employees have to learn what to do with my oxygen….and I have  to learn to be patient with their learning experience! (Boy, that’s a lot of learning in that sentence!)

I have an extractor (?) and then the cylinders are filled from that. The portable cylinders have to be filled again after my trips down for meals, or activities. New employees don’t know what to do with it, so more confusion….if the cylinder is not set in properly, the oxygen won’t fill. By the way, I’m on oxygen 24/7.

About a  month ago our chef that had been here for two years, gave her notice and went to a better job. She was hired for one job, but they kept adding more and more  work from the connected buildings.

They have hired a new, five star chef… and there are lots of changes going on in that area as well…for the good!

Care aides have to wear aprons and hair nets while serving our food. Hot food is being served hot in most cases…. and the chef is on the scene at all meals, except for her two days off…Sunday and Monday.

Like Trooper’s  Raise a Little Hell says “If  you don’t like what you’ve got why don’t you change it?” I’m trying!

My in home oxygen was set at 3.5… now someone has changed is to 3 and I am having more trouble with my breathing.

I will get it changed back, just have to wait for the lady that put me on the 3.5 to  get back to work, on Monday so she can prove that’s what I was on!

I realize that this is a very boring post…and…no pictures, either! Sorry in both cases.



It’s already September, 2014!

Time to get back to some sort of a routine.I love September…usually still beautiful weather, but minus the heat!

Most years, it means that kids go back to school… not this year in British Columbia.. Teachers strike.

I remember the first day of school for each of my three boys. Gary was so proud that he could now go with his two brothers!  And even more so when he could come home at lunch time and tell us “I got A in spelling!”1958-09-00 - Gary's going to school!

While the three of them were at school, we had gone out and bought a tape recorder, with only one tape. We hooked it up under the table and didn’t tell them it was there, and turned on all through lunch. When they had finished eating we played it back for them. Pretty funny!

I would like to have saved that first tape, but we only had the one, so it got used over and over. Ra used it to record his puppet shows, then all he had to do was operate the hand puppets when the show was on!!

We recorded one of our sing-a-long sessions…and my husband said he would never sing again after hearing himself on that tape! Instead, he would play the mouth organ…blues harp. He was really good at that.

Here I go off in another direction….want to follow?

You know, sometimes when you sit down to write the words just seem to flow through your fingers…. other times…nothing. Tonight is one of the ‘nothing’ times. So, I might as well go and do something else for this evening…might even watch some TV.

Another day….maybe it will get in the mood today.

One  of my friends at our assisted living place is a pretty good card customer of mine….she is always asking me if I could do smaller cards to minimize the postage on cards being mailed to Europe or Britain. And I have told her, each time, that I don’t do smaller cards.

Well, things have changed a bit.

There’s a table in the craft room down stairs… anything you don’t want, leave it and anyone that comes along can have it .

The other day there were two packets of different sized card stock, and envelopes…Guess who got them?I’m doing the smaller cards, but have to do each one by hand. Not putting them in the  computer, or I would have to set up a whole new system!

Doing these smaller cards by hand triggered a long lost memory! I remember when I was sixteen, seventeen doing cards by hand and I sold them for ten cents a piece or a dollar a dozen!…That’s how bad the money situation was back at that time.


1958:08:24 career, PNE Gate designed and built by HArryPNE.

I mentioned that the PNE was on now. (Pacific National Exhibition)

That was a very busy time for us as we built some of the booths. One customer wanted a ceiling put in their booth. I got a bright idea that we could use pea vine , tacked all around the sides and gathered to the middle.

We went back out after supper, and took the boys with us.

They got pretty tired while we were trying to get the ceiling in there… so we drew up some chairs, covered them with newspaper and they went to sleep….while we struggled on. It wouldn’t drape like we  thought it should, so had to take it all down and come up with a better idea. I don’t remember what the better idea was.

Another customer was a furniture store. (Not the one that wouldn’t pay us!) We got burlap and had it dyed black and fire proofed. I cut it and sewed it together for a large drape. Our house looked like a barber shop after a full day of cutting hair! We draped the back of the fairly large booth. Mickey cut “frames” out of plywood,and even though they were flat, with some painting they looked three dimensional.

He wired large branches into the three frames…and I made large flowers from some kind of foam, and wired them onto the branches…some leaves, as well. They looked pretty good. It was a very attractive looking booth.

The first year we put the paintings in the PNE we were on our own. We were set up across from a food court, and they had an organist playing there. He got to know our favorite songs. He would look over and see that we were tired, and starting to sag a bit, so he would come on really loud with “our” song, and it helped to get through very tiring days.

The following two years we went as part of a group. MIckey had a broken leg during one of these sessions, so I had to do all the “bull” work.

Before this time, while the boys were around six or seven, we would take them to the PNE. I made sandwiches to take so we could save on food. They had a pretty good time, even though they didn’t get to ride on the train that took you around the areas.

One year we had ‘seen everything’ and were heading for the exit gates. Ra found five dollars on the ground, and was so excited… he paid for all of us to go on that train. What he didn’t know… his dad  dropped the fiver for him to find!

The PNE runs from the middle of August until Labour Day, and then School starts. For the exhibiters, it is a long stretch… we were there from before ten in the morning when the buildings opened to the public….until late in the evening. I’m not sure, but I think it was ten at night.

When I was a kid, the PNE booths would give out small boxes of their samples… that was fun to collect them and then we could play ‘store’.

The PNE parade used to go through the main part of down town Vancouver, ending up at the PNE grounds. Even that has been changed!

My husband designed the view that greeted patrons as they came to the main gate one year…., and quite a few of the booths.



I had over 150 words typed, and hit the wrong button, so here I am, starting over again. Rather frustrating.

The PNE (Pacific National Exhibition) is now on, and will wind down in time for the start of another year of school at the end of the month. Trooper will be playing there on the 22nd.

It’s August! I’m sure you know that…but can you guess what I’ve been doing the past few days…including today?  Making Christmas cards! I have a nice order for some, and wanted to get them done while I feel pretty good…..they are done. Just need to get more envelopes for them…I’ve run out.

It is still very warm here….not complaining,,,,just acknowledging the fact.  I think my favourite time of the year is in the fall. Cooler, but not cold!

While I was watching TV I had a flash back…so come on along and read about it.tire

You have probably figured out that there wasn’t an abundance of money around in those days. True… but we never went hungry…always enough for good meals.

One summer we wanted to go to the Cariboo to visit my sister and brother-in-law, but our tires were not that great.

I phoned Firestone tires, asked for the manager, and said “This is your crazy call of the day”. Well, he didn’t think it was so crazy.

I offered to trade him paintings for tires! Two tires, two paintings! They had their choice. He thought it was a great idea, so we got new tires to go on our holiday! After that, we would get calls from them…”did we need tires?”…someone else wanted to trade for paintings. We didn’t have to ‘buy’ tires for a few years.

When the boys were fairly small we used to go for long walks,,,with Gary in his stroller.This one day a police car pulled up beside us and ordered us to get in…and he drove us home..He parked in front of our house and kind of herded us in so that the neighbours that were watching wondered what we had done.

The policeman came in and had coffee with us… he was my cousin! The boys got quite a thrill riding in the police car, and it was even better when they could talk Harry into a blurb of the siren. It was Harry’s route, so we saw him often when we were out walking, and he liked my coffee.

We walked to the grocery store…saved fifteen cents each way! Thirty cents sure doesn’t sound like very much these days, but back then it helped quite a lot. For thirty – nine cents you could get four tomatoes in a tube.

I wonder what part of  tomato thirty-nine cents would buy now!

Back Up

Back Up!

I’ve left out so much of when the boys were young…so I’ll try to get back to those years.

We moved quite a bit when we were first married…up until we had the three young ones, and we moved to Muirfield Drive where we stayed for thirty-five years! And my husband and I moved to Langley and were there another 20 years…and I’ve been here in White Rock for eight years (in December).

Muirfield was wonderful, but there were some disadvantages. Every family had an ‘oldest’ child, boy or girl. We had the “youngest oldest “ in our family.. That can be a disadvantage if there were any disputes.

One of our next door neighbours had two kids, the oldest being eight, when Ra was four. They got the first television in the area… an eight inch screen. The boy told Ra to ask his mom if he could go into their place to watch Captain Puget. Ra came running home, all excited to  see if he could go. Of course!.

When Ra got to the door, the boy said “You can’t come in! My little four year old was heart broken… and thats when we went out and bought a fifteen inch


We had a lot of the neighbourhood kids sitting along the  floor to watch shows, but one was not allowed to come in.!

I tried to have things for the boys to do. I went to a furniture store where they made teak furniture. I asked if I could get some of the cut offs  for my boys to make into jewelry. They gave me quite a bit. I had the findings, so they would make pendants that were really quite nice.

We spent a whole day tearing up newspaper…to make paper mache . I made home made paste and used that with the newspaper.  We used a small piece of material  over the top of  a pop bottle and made puppet heads on them.

The next stage was to paint the puppet heads… Gary was three, still sitting in his high chair, and he painted his all green!  I made clothes for them. Another interesting day for my boys.images

Ra was writing poetry at this early stage in his life…all three had fun with their dad, doing parodies on some of the songs of the day. Some of these were pretty  funny.

Now, with the hand puppets as the characters for the plays that Ra wrote he needed a place ‘to perform”. He recorded all the voices on the tape recorder, then did all the hand work as the tape played his story “back”.

His dad built a puppet stage for him, and every evening there was a puppet show at McGuires’. When parents started calling their kids to come in for the evening, the call back was ‘puppet show’ and the answer was always ‘okay’. Ra did all of the characters!

We had a Marionette that Mickey made. That’s the one you control with strings attached to it. His name was Johnny and the kids loved to see him trying to jump up on the chesterfield! He never did quite make it on his own. There was also a ‘giant’ marionette… both of them long gone. Might be at someone else’ home…who knows.

Mickey made toys for the boys…so did I. Mine were stuffed animals…his were boats, and all the buildings for the train set they got one Christmas.. Some of the toys were made after hours at the shop where he worked.

Ra was an avid reader. There was a mobile library that came to Bobolink Park ( used to be the bush that got cleared out.) Ra would pick out the books he wanted and they wouldn’t let him have them as he “wasn’t old enough” for those books.The principal of the school, Mr. Capon (?) wrote to them and Ra was to have any book he wanted! To this day, he is still an avid reader.

Sign Shop 2

Sign Shop 2

One time we were really busy with signs. Mickey was lettering shocards for a butcher shop… you know……..T bone steaks 39 cents lb.. etc. , and we got another job that required eight sheets of 4×8 plywood painted two coats in preparation, so we hired a guy to do them.

The first day he finally got one coat on the eight sheets, but every time he had to move one, he would stop Mickey to come and help him move the plywood…he was also very slow at what he was doing. He was being paid by the hour, and I did not like the way he was stalling. He took about twenty minutes to paint one sheet He was to come the next day for the second coat.

Before we went to bed I talked Mickey into getting the paint ready for the next day so the hired help could get an early start.

We went to bed at our usual time, and I waited, and waited… until Mickey went to sleep. Then I got up , dressed and headed for the basement. I painted one sheet in ten minutes, and moved the plywood without help…finished all eight sheets, cleaned up and went back to bed.

In the morning I had Mickey phone and tell the guy that he wasn’t needed! I was not only the ‘gofer’, but the plywood painter as well! I even went for the plywood, and the guys at the lumberyard would tie stuff on the roof of the car for me.

When we did Christmas windows, we both wore white coveralls. While Mickey was drawing the design on the window, I was painting a snow scene all across the front of the store window. I would go to the back of the store and get a can of water to wash brushes as we went. We had fun doing the windows, even though we were working quite hard to minimize the time we took in each store.. We did not want to cause any problems, getting in the way.

The boys were in school while we were doing windows, but if we weren’t home when school was out, they went to a neighbours until we did arrive. (Hi Bev and Linda!)silkscreen

I nearly forgot…another one of my jobs…runner for silkscreening…Take the newly created ‘thing’, and lay them out, one at a time, on the basement floor to dry…but if the job was bigger than that, at one point we had to take those now dry signs out to the back yard and lay them out there…then start over again in the basement.

One thing I refused to do…learn how to clean a silk screen! It was a very messy job. I think Danny got that job quite often.

And… I was still the main cook and bottle washer, although the boys had to help with the dishes.