The Real Price of Cheaper Oil

 

Recently, oil prices have taken a nosedive.  The price of a barrel of oil is half of what it was only 6 months ago.  I have ambivalent feelings about this when I think of the impact at the moment and in the future.

I like the lower price of gasoline as much as the next person.  Yesterday I topped up my gas tank, which I do when it gets to about half (a good practice in this frozen country).  It was only $15 and change!  A few short months ago it would have cost me $23 or so!  My pocketbook likes that.  Does that mean that I can afford to galavant all over the countryside just because it’s cheaper?  No, I don’t think so.  Why would I want to spew more polluting carbons into the atmosphere?

But I’m hoping, I’m REALLY hoping that the lower price of a barrel of oil will impact the production of oil in Canada.  Yes, OPEC – 1, Canada -0.  In fact, it already has.  The giant (mostly foreign owned) oil producers have already cut back, way back on production.  The ripple effect is being felt in the entire industry.  Unfortunately, those people who work in this oil industry are paying the price with losing their jobs.  I feel really sorry about that.   I know someone has to “take one for the team” and the “little guy” is it.

EEBeaversWM

photo by Marty

 

Something near and dear to my heart is the opposition to the Energy East Pipeline which is proposed to run from the Alberta oil sands across the county, right past my home (a couple kilometers away, and through the river that my home sits beside), to the east coast where it will be shipped overseas.  The plummet in the oil prices might be the death knell to the Energy East Pipeline project proposal because it may not be profitable.  Yeah!

With the cheap price of gasoline in North America now, does that mean that people will buy bigger vehicles (SUVs) and drive like there’s no tomorrow?  The sale of SUVs has never been more robust.  This is bad news for our environment.  With more carbons being spewed into the atmosphere, climate change will proceed more rapidly and we can expect more extreme weather.

There’s not much I can do about anything.  In fact, I can’t do a single thing about the price of a barrel of oil or Alberta oil or the Energy East pipeline or the increased production of SUVs.  I can simply choose to continue to respect our environment, drive my old Honda as little as possible, and use less oil products.

EEWM

Winter – Extended Edition

 

This week we celebrated the end of winter and the arrival of spring – officially anyway.  It’s hard to believe that ‘spring has sprung’ though.  This morning at 7 a.m., my outdoor thermometer read -20C degrees and the weatherman said it was going to reach a high of -8C.  Whoopie…..not.

Dripping Icicle

Dripping Icicle

There is still about 30-40 cms of snow in many spots around the property and 4 foot drifts.  We had finally been experiencing warmer, near normal, temperatures last week after the record-breaking coldest winter ever.  The snow began melting off the roof with 2 foot long dripping icicles hanging down.  The temperature was above zero during the day and below zero degrees celsius at night – perfect for maple sap running.  So last week, I tapped my maple trees to collect the sap for making maple syrup.  Now the little brother of the Polar Vortex has come calling and the sap has stopped running and the maple sap in frozen in the bottom of my jugs hanging on the trees!
My sister Betty shared photos over a month ago of temperate Vancouver Island, British Columbia where she lives: cherry tree blossoms, crocuses blooming, lush green grass.  The seasons here in Ontario seem to becoming 2+ weeks later.  What used to happen 30 years ago at this time of year, like the ice on the river breaking up, is later now.  The cold temperatures of January and February are now the bitter, unrelenting cold temperatures of February and March.

CrocusWM
The only thing to do is embrace the sunny albiet cold days with the promise that warmer days are just ahead. Soon we’ll be living with hot, humid weather and lots of mosquitoes!
The one thing that remains the same is that we celebrate my sister Betty’s birthday on the first full day of spring.  Happy Birthday Bet!

I Love Photos

 

I love taking pictures. I always have – I’ve been taking pictures for over 50 years. You’ve probably already noticed that I love to include lots of pictures in my blog.

OldCamerasWM
The very first photo I ever recall was a picture taken of me when I was 2 years old. I still have that picture. Back in the ’50s, photos were reserved for special occassions like weddings or vacations. Luckily my parents took photos of our every day lives as well so now I have cherished visual memories of those times. I can jog my memory by looking at pictures of skating and tobogganing in our backyard, Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Hamilton, down home, camping, etc.

 

1stAlbumWM

 

One of the first photos I took was of my pet turtles, Sam and Touché. I felt lucky that my Mom let me use the camera to capture those little reptiles that I loved. It didn’t stop there. I began to put those photos in my first photo album entitled “My Pets” which included pictures of our fish, turtles, dog, cats, cows, pigs, and horses (from down home). All photo albums back in the day were black “almost-legal-sized” pages of heavy construction-like paper. The photo collector would then place their photos on these pages with these little corners or tape or glue. I often wrote what the photo was about with a white crayon or coloured pencil – thank goodness because I would never have remembered all those pictures! I glued those pictures in my first album and they are still intact today. My second album was a compilation of my parents photos from my childhood and my own photos up until I got married. I used scotch tape to ‘secure’ these pictures in place but most of them have now fallen out. It will be another ‘retirement project’ for me to re-install all those pictures on their spots. Many of them I’ll remember where they go based on the white caption under the blank spot but others I’ll just have to guess at. Sadly, some of my pictures were damaged during a flood we had in the basement in the early 1980s.

TurtlesWM
Many albums have followed. I think I was inspired by my dear mother-in-law Florence who was an avid photographer and had dozens of photo albums, one for each year. Every time we would go to her house, I would get out the latest album and look at the pictures she took. I derived great pleasure from looking at all those photos and it’s one of my most cherished memories. Now I have dozens of photo albums for my children and grandchildren to look at. I have to admit that I have some work ahead of me in organizing the last few years of pictures – thousands of pictures. They are all stored on my computer and backed up on my external hard drive. I have to look through them and choose 200 for each of the last 3 years to be emailed to the photo lab to be printed off, then placed in each album. I prefer to look at an actual picture in a photo album than one on the computer. In addition, I want to reorganize my 1970s and 1980s albums which were haphazardly placed in recycled 3 ring binders. And of course, reinserting all those pictures that have fallen out of my original albums……

AlbumsWM
I love taking photos too. Who can resist capturing a lifetime in photographs.  Before I snap the picture, I look through my lens at the background as well as the image I want to capture. I really love to take scenery pictures with my family in them. I don’t own a big fancy camera, just an inexpensive 14 megapixel Kodak. It suits me for now because it fits right in my pocket or purse which is great when I’m travelling or simply in the yard. I have been considering learning more from my grown children about those fancy cameras that they use, where you can adjust the focus and all kinds of stuff. And speaking of my children, most of them are talented photographers themselves. Many road trips have required sudden pit stops to take a photo. But I believe that my family respects the art of picture taking and finds comfort in looking at pictures that are taken by different family members.
Photographs are a ‘trip’ in themselves: I don’t have to go to Bali or hike to the top of a British Columbia glacier because my children share their adventures with me through their photos. And I love that.

Tofino, B.C.

Tofino, B.C.

 

 

 

International Women’s Day

 

Today I celebrate International Women’s Day.  I honour all the women who are part of my life and I pay tribute to all the women who have influenced me in the past.  Some of these women include:

First and foremost, My Mom

My sisters Betty and Faye

My daughters Kristi and Nellie

My granddaughters Kalia, Olivia, J & H

My daughters-in-law Amanda, Jeannette, and Nici

My Grandmother “Mom”

My nieces Brodie, Jennifer, Kari, Kathryn, Terri, Melissa, Meg, Kate, Emily, Dana

All my darling cousins like Maureen, Carolyn, Verna, Dale, Jacklyn and all the rest – and their daughters and granddaughters

My sisters-in-law Janet, Cheryl, Amanda, Penny, Wanda, Debbie, Lynda, Wendy, Mimi, Holly

All my Aunts

My long-time friend Kristi

Cherished friends Sharon, Aleta, Andrea

My mother-in-law Florence

Lil

Good neighbours

High school friends who have reconnected

Wise women like Elsie Cressman, Ina May Gaskin, Margaret Mead, and Marian Thompson.

My friends in La Leche League and all the mothers I’ve been honoured to help over the years.

The women I assisted with the births of their babies while I was a Midwife – and all those baby girls, many of them now adults themselves

The women around the world who I will never even meet who have impacted my thoughts and actions over the years.

I apologize if I haven’t mentioned any lady in particular who has been part of my life.  You are still important to me.

Mum

 

 

 

Chris

 

June 1960 – March 2, 2008

1960

1960

 

1990

1990

 

1990

1990

 

1992

1992

 

1995

1995

 

1999

1999

 

2000

2000

 

2002

2002

 

2003

2003

 

2005

2005

 

2006

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2006

2006

 

Chris

Chris

 

 

 

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