Posted by: When Grief Group Isn't An Option | October 31, 2016

CARETAKING at Purcell Mountain Lodge


My bride and I had been to Purcell Mountain Lodge about 8 or 10 years ago. We LOVED our winter weekend. At the time, we heard that the lodge used caretakers in the off-season to – you guessed it – take care of the lodge. Now we’re here, all by ourselves, and we still LOVE it.

Arrival Day: Monday, October 17


Mark Adams was our pilot. He gave excellent instructions about how to safely get into the helicopter, how to open and close the doors, how to put on and put away the safety belt, told us about the head sets, and reminded us to keep anything we carried below waist level. As you can see from the picture above, skis go in the carry box but so do soft-sided carry bags. We are asked to leave the coolers and hard suitcases at home.

The “banana box” is the carrying container of choice. (So popular – because of the numerous lodges in the area – that Golden grocery stores are often ‘out of stock.’ There’s a side compartment on the side of the helicopter that can handle 5 such boxes. A number can be found at the lodge – some in the tool room and some under the lodge near the wood storage area.

Purcell people know what’s is going to the lodge and what is leaving the lodge – no flight is ever left empty. e.g. supplies coming up, garbage and recycling going down. Alpine staff have no idea which is which SO a labeling system has been devised. Anything going out should be tagged with orange flagging tape – and labeled.


Friday, October 21, 2016

  • Minus 4.2 and clear
  • caretaking-at-purcell-026
  • Our three favourites were Scrabble (the Deluxe set with a cool scoring book in the drawer), cribbage and the harder and more challenging than it looks Chinese checkers. (Chinese Checkers was invented in the USA)
  •  Baked bread and energy bars for our stay here

Saturday, October 22, 2016

  • Minus 2.9, very light snow at 8:00 a.m., overcast but became sunny for the rest of the day
  • caretaking-at-purcell-042  caretaking-at-purcell-041 caretaking-at-purcell-046
  •   caretaking-at-purcell-045   caretaking-at-purcell-044
  • caretaking-at-purcell-067
  • I would highly recommend a look at these two books in particular as they give a history of the area. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Minus 5.8, overcast, very light snow for a bit in the morning, flat light til early p.m. then got brighter

Monday, October 24, 2016

Minus 2.3, clear

  • Tuesday, October 25, 2016

    • 0 degrees

    Wednesday, October 26, 2016

    • caretaking-at-purcell-066

    Thursday, October 27, 2016

    • Minus 0.4

    Friday, October 28, 2016

    • Minus 1.7

    Saturday, October 29, 2016

    • Minus 3.7
    • Worked on knitting and wood carving

    Monday, October 31, 2016

    • minus 2.7
    • monday-oct-31-001monday-oct-31-002

    Tuesday, November 1, 2016

    • Minus 4 degrees and snowing. It blew a lot during the night and continued to snow for much of the day

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

    • minus 1.5 degrees

    Thursday, November 3, 2016

    • 0.8 degrees

    Friday, November 4, 2016

    • minus2.0
Posted by: When Grief Group Isn't An Option | August 10, 2016

House Concert

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 7.52.18 PM

13 spots remaining

Hello relative, friend, neighbour

We’re doing it again . . . and this time with a major artist: WiL. The WiL Mimnaugh Trio will perform in our living room (seating for up to 50) on the evening of Tuesday, September 13. They’ll do two sets (all one performance), 7:00 – 8:15 p.m. and 8:40 – 10 p.m.

We will provide the snacks but ask that you bring the beverage of your choice. Tickets are $25 per person. We’re expecting this concert to sell out quickly and experience has shown that it’s best to ask for payment up front, sooooo use PayPal or an e-transfer (or a cheque or cash if that doesn’t work for you. Last time we had a few last minute cancellations which was unfortunate for the performers who do this for a living) I will keep a running account on the number of seats sold and post it on my blog (

Feel free to bring friends or neighbours – just provide names when you get back to me.

Here’s some info on WiL:

William Mimnaugh (aka WiL) is known by many for his guitar-string-breaking, adrenalin packed, live performances but the Quebec born, Calgary raised singer-songwriter is also garnering international attention from a string of songs including ‘Roam’ that feature in Travel Alberta’s award winning media campaign called ‘Remember To Breathe’. His diverse style of writing blends elements of country, rock, folk, blues and straight up pop to create songs that are catchy but not overstated; songs that span a wider musical landscape like those found on his latest album ‘El Paseo’, an album which garnered a nod for Solo Roots Album of the Year at 2015’s WCMA’s. The live arena, however, is where WiL elevates his artistry to a whole other level. As such, his concerts have been coined ‘legendary’, affording him the opportunity to share the stage with such musically diverse artists as Feist, Matt Andersen, Burton Cummings, Ray LaMontagne to name a few. Whether speaking to his masterful passionate string breaking live performance or writing music for film, WiL is in his element – he was simply born to make music.


Janet and I look forward to hearing from you.

Jock and Janet

Jock at 403-357-4895, Janet at 403-358-8837

Youtube Selections

  1. Look Around Live In Studio:
  2. A Whoo Hoo – Official Video:
  3. Make Make – Lyric Video:
  4. Honey Pie Live at Duke Saloon:
Posted by: When Grief Group Isn't An Option | April 19, 2016


Sig - profile pic

Sigmund Brouwer

Reader of the Day #73 Sigmund Brouwer

Sigmund is a Red Deer native and a true inspiration – especially to the Reading College students every July (where he donates his time). I love his books. Every one I’ve read (and I think he’s written over 130) has been a memorable read – from his kids’ books to the adult novels; he has a unique way of capturing one’s interest from the very beginning and adding lots of clever twists and turns.

When I asked him to comment for READER OF THE DAY, Sig said, “I’m an ebook convert. I use the Kindle app to read on my iPhone while waiting in line, on my mini iPad on the couch, and my Kindle reader in bed. I love that my reading progress is synced on all the devices. I read incessantly and omnivorously. Probably 4 books a week, often more. My reading list over the last two weeks has jumped from non-fiction on Vimy Ridge to historical fiction to spy fiction back to non-fiction about Cro-Magnons versus Neanderthals. Currently reading I AM PILGRIM, and it’s on my top ten list for the last year.”

Sigmund’s books on Amazon:

Sigmund’s Rock and Roll Literacy site:

Wikipedia says: Sigmund Brouwer (born 1959) is an author with books published by mainstream and evangelical publishers. He has written books across many genres, from children’s picture books to scientific thrillers, and more.

One of six children born to a family with Dutch heritage, Brouwer is a native of Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. He is married to a Christian singer Cindy Morgan and has two daughters.

Brouwer is perhaps most noted for his work with Hank Hanegraaff in the controversial Last Disciple series, released in 2005 and 2006. It is a fictional series set in the “end times” of the 1st century AD, narrated from a Partial-Preterist viewpoint. Brouwer is also the author of the Mars Diaries science fiction series for young adults.

Sigmund Brouwer has nearly 3 million copies of his books in print.[1]


Thief of Glory

Justine McQueen

Dead Man's Switch

Posted by: When Grief Group Isn't An Option | April 17, 2016


Melissa Koster

Reader of the Day #72 Melissa Koster

Melissa is the Assistant Pro at the Innisfail Golf course. When I asked her if she was a reader, her answer was immediate – “You bet.” Jan has golfed with Melissa and knows she can read putts but she also reads books. I asked what she was reading at the moment, and she said, “The Oath by Frank Peretti.” She went on to list a handful of other books Peretti has written: This Present Darkness, Piercing the Darkness, Monster and more.

Frank Edward Peretti (born January 13, 1951) is a New York Times best-selling author of Christian fiction, whose novels primarily focus on the supernatural. To date, his works have sold over 15 million copies worldwide. Peretti is best known for his novels This Present Darkness (1986) and The Oath (1995). Peretti has held ministry credentials with the Assemblies of God, and formerly played the banjo in a bluegrass band called Northern Cross. He now lives in northern Idaho with his wife, Barbara.


Posted by: When Grief Group Isn't An Option | April 14, 2016


Avery 2 IMG_2344

Reader of the Day #71 Avery Bissonette

Avery is my 7-year-old step-granddaughter and a reader of renown. Avery has grown up “off the grid” in a cabin near Telkwa, BC – no running water, a wood stove, one propane light in the cabin, no TV . . . but lots and lots of books. In the early years, both her mom and dad read to her constantly and, much sooner than most, she was reading on her own.

When I asked her mom to describe what Avery is reading now and what she usually reads, Heather said this:

What she’s reading: The Sea Wolves, Living Wild in the Great Bear Rainforest by Ian Macalister.

What she normally reads: books about animals, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Magic Animal Friends, The Day the Crayons Quit.

Jock’s note: Books in a series like the Wimpy Kid and Animal Friends are guaranteed winners.

The Sea Wolves: Living Wild in the Great Rain Forest

The Sea Wolves sets out to disprove the notion of “the Big Bad Wolf,” especially as it is applied to coastal wolves—a unique strain of wolf that lives in the rainforest along the Pacific coast of Canada. Genetically distinct from their inland cousins and from wolves in any other part of the world, coastal wolves can swim like otters and fish like the bears with whom they share the rainforest. Smaller than the gray wolves that live on the other side of the Coast Mountains, these wolves are highly social and fiercely intelligent creatures.

Living in the isolated wilderness of the Great Bear Rainforest, coastal wolves have also enjoyed a unique relationship with man. The First Nations people, who have shared their territory for thousands of years, do not see them as a nuisance species but instead have long offered the wolf a place of respect and admiration within their culture.

Illustrated with almost one hundred of Ian McAllister’s magnificent photographs, The Sea Wolves presents a strong case for the importance of preserving the Great Bear Rainforest for the wolves, the bears and the other unique creatures that live there.

Sea Wolves

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Magical Animal Friends

The Day the Crayons Quit

Posted by: When Grief Group Isn't An Option | April 13, 2016


Jillian reading to Wil IMG_1105

Reader of the Day #70 Jillian Mackenzie

*** I recently posted (in error) only pictures for Jillian’s READER OF THE DAY entry. Oops! Here’s the text and the pictures.

I love reading and wish I did it more. I have been reading for 30 years! I was fortunate to learn how to read from my Auntie Olga before kindergarten started. She instilled a love of reading in me at an early age. I mostly read fiction novels. My favourite book is “The Power of One” by Bryce Courtney. Lately, I have been reading mostly children’s books with my son and “The Avalanche Handbook” for work.

This spring and summer I am looking forward to reading some novels and many more children’s books. Reading for me has been a great way to relax and also an interesting way to learn about history, nature and everything in between. My dad has also been a significant reading role model for me. Thanks Dad for helping me to love reading!

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 6.58.38 AM

Wonder Weeks IMG_1116


Mud Puddle IMG_1109


Bee book IMG_1110


Avalanche 1 IMG_1128


Avalanche 2 IMG_1129

Posted by: When Grief Group Isn't An Option | April 3, 2016


Justin IMG_1088

Reader of the Day #69 Justin Engbers

Justin is usually known as the cook at Kim’s Riverview Cafe but his family knows him as “The Phone Guy.” Justin tells me he does all of his reading on the phone . . . and it sounds like he reads everything: world and local news, politics, sports, the stock market, and so on. When is he on the phone? On and off all day. Why? He has an inquiring mind and it gives him something to talk about with both family and friends.

As Yogi Berra said, “You can hear a lot just by listening.” And I’ve heard and learned a lot by asking people about their reading. Most of my news comes from listening to the CBC, but after hearing what Justin had to say, I’ve downloaded Google News to my own phone and will try checking it out as another source.

Posted by: When Grief Group Isn't An Option | April 2, 2016


Dr. Roger Rudyk IMG_1072.jpg

Reader of the Day #68 Roger Rudyk

Dr. Roger Rudyk and I see eye to eye; he’s my optometrist. When I went for my not-as-regular-as-it-should-be eye exam, we chatted about reading. Much of the time, Roger reads what he calls ‘scientific’ literature. (see first pic . . . and this one looks well read). At other times, he says he reads history and biographies.

He’s currently reading about Russia’s Vladimir Putin; recently he read about Napoleon Bonaparte. Roger also spoke of reading about the sinking of the RMS Lusitania in WWI.

Roger's Eye Manual IMG_1073

Posted by: When Grief Group Isn't An Option | April 1, 2016


Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 9.38.21 AM

READER OF THE DAY #67 Robert Reed

Or as Robert suggested – Reeder of the Day. Robert has been a good friend ever since our G.W. Smith Elementary days when we worked on a Readers’ Theatre project. We don’t spend half enough time together but when we do, it’s always ‘golden.’

When I asked him to share some thoughts, he said:

My first memory of loving to read would be the excitement of signing out (from the Athabasca public library) a blue hard-covered Thornton Burgess epic (Peter Rabbit, Sammy Jay, Reddy Fox). My two all-time favorite novels are Trinity (Leon Uris) and Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett). I am now reading almost exclusively with a Kobo e-reader. Reading provides me with opportunities to:

learn how others view our world

acquire new knowledge

travel to other times and lands

escape from the real world.

Thornton Burgess

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 6.36.40 AM

In 1910, writer/naturalist Thornton W. Burgess wrote his first book, Old Mother West Wind. It contained sixteen stories about animals including Reddy Fox, Peter Rabbit, Johnny Chuck, Jerry Muskrat, Bobby Coon, Little Joe Otter, Buster Bear and many other characters who would go on with their adventures in the dozens of sequels that followed. Burgess in 1934 said that he had written over 11,000 stories since OMWW’s publication. Harrison Cadys charming illustrations also contributed greatly to the overwhelming popularity of the series.

Posted by: When Grief Group Isn't An Option | March 31, 2016


Lynn Fish IMG_1061

Reader of the Day #66 Lynn Fish

Lynn is a retired teacher who is a regular attendee at the Thursday Cafe Vera Coffee Gathering. It is at these meetings that the exchange of books or discussion of books takes place – and right out in public.

Lynn does all of her reading on an iPad . . . as of today, her brand new iPad. Because she suffers from an eye affliction, the iPad allows her to enlarge the print so it’s readable. She gets all of her eBooks from Apple books. She tells me this service allows her to acquire current best sellers and well . . . everything. A current read is “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi.

Lynn, thanks to her mom, started to read at an early age. Mom consistently ensured that she and her sister had books that were appropriate to their reading levels; at just the right time it was Winnie the Pooh, then The Wizard of Oz, then (and I could even hear her smiling) Anne of Green Gables.

For some time, in her adult life, she spent a great deal of time reading British mysteries. She says now she reads books that have more of a philosophical bent and lots of non-fiction. One of the best ever is Diary of a Country Priest by George Bernanos but the very best are the poems of T.S. Eliot. Lynn says, “He is the most accomplished writer, a great thinker!”

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »