Saturday, July 14, 2012


Calgary is a great city.  It was the first large city I knew as a kid growing up on the farm in Acme.  I remember going to Cowtown with my folks.  Dad used to deliver some eggs to the Modern Cafe on 8th Ave. and we would often eat there... my favourite meal was liver and onions.

There is no Modern Cafe today... probably it went the way of most of those old buildings and a high rise now occupies that whole block.

Our first trip downtown Calgary this past week was to the Glenbow Museum where we spent a delightful couple of hours.  It was interesting that they were able to find 20 pieces of art that were displayed in that first Calgary Stampede in 1912.  The Stampede gave Charlie Russell a good start, as he sold 13 of his 20 pieces on exhibition that week.  How cool is that?

But the most amazing "ART" is the architecture of the high rises.  We think this is the Marriott Hotel.

Poking up behind the Bank of Montreal is the Bow... owned and occupied by Encana and their companies.  It is now the tallest building in Calgary.

There isn't a flat or straight wall on the exterior of this skyscraper.  What a beautiful work of art.

Marilyn works in Fifth Avenue Place... and in its windows we see the reflection of the Bow Valley Square.

Fifth Avenue Square is two towers of 34 floors.  What a pretty, clean look.

This is Bow Valley Square... which is four towers.

Another angle of Bow Valley Square.

It was so cool to drive around downtown Calgary with the sunroof open... Marilyn was driving our rental car and I shot most of these skyscrapers thru the sunroof.  This gives new meaning to "drive-by shooting."

The next photo has the same buildings identified.
Counter clockwise from top left is the TransCanada Building... below it is Fifth Avenue Place... then behind it is the previously highest tower, used to be PetroCan... now Suncor.  Top left is Bow Valley Square.

This is the Bow (Encana) and Petro Canada.  As you can probably see, many of these huge skyscrapers are occupied by the oil and gas industry.

 The Glenbow Museum is in the Convention Cente.

The Calgary Tower can be seen between buildings from time to time.  It was a little tricky to catch this from a moving car!

I don't know the names of all of these buildings, but I have included them anyway.

Marilyn thinks the building on the right above with the sloped top is Ariva... a residential tower.

More residential towers.

Some of these residential towers are a little older... but without a doubt would command high rents for this prime location.

This is Marilyn's home in the Parkhill District... and she has just finished repainting the interior... really beautiful colours!  We got to help in re-hanging some of her art collection.

Just down the street we think is the smallest house in Calgary.

Isn't it a cutie?  I think it is less than 400 square feet.

Then just around the corner is pretty unique house that the community calls "the Ark."  It has been the subject of much controversy.

There is an interesting story about the vacant lot to the right of the Ark.  The previous owners were so upset about what was being built next door they sold their house to some one who moved it next door to Marilyn... there is just one house between her and the move-on.

On the street behind where Marilyn lives is this old school... built 100 years ago.  In the circle in the centre gable it says 1912.  It has been converted into a beautiful residence.

Only a block or so north and west of Marilyn's is a bluff that overlooks the city.  Here you can see how close she is to where she works...and the two tallest skyscrapers in Cowtown.  They make the Calgary tower look not so tall... once the tallest... it now has been outdone again and again.

We had thought we might walk to the stampede grounds... This is the Saddledome, where we enjoyed the Beach Boys concert.  When Marilyn thought about walking home after the concert, we decided to take the car.

This shows where the Stampede Grounds are in relation to the downtown district.  The Saddledome is on the right.

What a pretty residential building.  It looks like it is pretty close to the Elbow River.

From the bluff on Park hill is a walk/stairway that lets you walk into the city.  What a great place to live!

I welcome any comments from anyone who can help me with the names of any buildings in this blog.

"When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment.  I want to give that world to someone else.  Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower.  I want them to see it whether they want to or not." -Georgia O'Keefe

Friday, July 13, 2012

Stampede Day... the Beach Boys

As we are coming home from about 5 days in Calgary, we are still basking in the memories of the Beach Boys 50th anniversary tour.

Shirley is tired of hearing me singing, "Help, help me, Rhonda... help, help me, Rhonda."  You know what it's like to get a catchy tune stuck in your brain and can't get rid of it?

It has been a long time since I've enjoyed a concert so thoroughly.

It was almost as much fun to watch the people as the concert.  For sure Shirley and sister Marilyn totally enjoyed this event.

Shirley posted a more detailed story on the Beach Boys and their three hour concert. Click here to check it out.

It was fun to go back to a part of our old stomping grounds... I was born in the Calgary General.  A lot has changed thru the years... But Calgary hospitality is still the same.

Cowtown is full of cowboy art and sculptures... and they milk the cowboy angle every chance they can. Shirley posed for this photo just inside the entrance to the Stampede Grounds.

We headed first off to the livestock barns to check out the award winning animals. We love the heavy horses.

Occasionally we had good luck and an owner or manager would open the gate so we could touch and get a better photo.

What beautiful horses!

Some of the largest horses were over 2,000 pounds... and 18 plus hands high.

This is the son of Rambo... one of the most famous bucking bulls in the Calgary Stampede.

This may be as close as Shirley will ever get to sitting on a bucking  bull!  She really wanted to have her picture taken here.

The Veterinary School had an interesting display with a couple of model cows to show how to check if a cow is pregnant.  One of these has a baby calf... and these women are checking to find which one.  Looks like fun, eh?

Here is a really cool way to get an overview of the Calgary Stampede grounds.  Wish we would have had time to do this ride.

Shirley bought a lottery ticket on this Dream Home... so she is sure she holds the winning ticket!  So many people were touring the home... the line was so long and it looked so crowded we elected to pass on the walk thru.

She told me that as a teenager she always wanted to buy a ticket on the Stampede Dream home... but she never had the money to do it.  She wanted to win the home and give it to her folks.  Now she has the money to buy a ticket... but the it's too late to give it to her folks.

We intentionally planned to have our last meal of the day on the Stampede grounds... and the choices were endless.  We started out with french fries smothered in gravy and catchup.

It isn't every day that you can find a place to get deep fried Oreos... or cheesecake.  It was amazingly delicious!  We also had deep fried veggies.  We all shared... so we all got a taste of everything with minimal damage.

We ended our meal with something a little healthier.  Marilyn is buying a tasty corn on the cob... and for desert we had a fruit smoothie.

That day In Calgary was a day we will always remember.

"God gave us memories that we might have roses in December." -J.M. Barrie, Courage, 1922

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Life Without Shirley Ann

Yesterday we were pretty socked in here most of the day... but I did a little walk around and took a few current photos to share.

You can hardly see the huge "Tree House" tree in the centre of the photo... however the clouds lifted in the afternoon and I went for a long walk.

I spent most of Friday framing the dormer windows with wide cedar boards... which meant building a simple scaffold so I could work with ease that high up.  Can't finish the siding without having these windows framed first.

This morning at 6 AM I was up and out putting another coat of white paint on the new frames I installed on Friday.  As I was doing this I was thinking how much these window frames are like picture frames... with the most wonderful view in all the Gulf Islands!

By noon I expect to have theT & G cedar V-groove installed in the soffit over these windows.

The tiger lilies were a blaze of glory.

My favorite lily is this pure yellow one.

The California poppies.

If Shirley were here, I am sure she would have been picking some of these wonderful roses and put them on the table in a vase.

When she left this was a great bouquet on the dining room table... but this picture shows my life without Shirley Ann.

"A picture is worth a thousand words."