A New Bridge For The Park (Red Deer, Alberta)

We had excitement in our neighbourhood today, a new bridge was installed just around the corner from home. Of course having a five year old boy who is intrigued with construction, we just had to check it out.

blog bridge 1Its always fun to take a look at the diggers, what they are up to and what they have done.

blog bridge 2As we neared the bridge we were pleasantly surprised by the choice of style. A nod to modern while keeping the traditional white of the bridge that has been located at this spot for decades.

blog bridge 4Whoever chose the final decision for the bridge has made a great design choice. It looks beautiful, but also has higher railings and closer together slats which making crossing with children a little bit safer.

blog bridge 3The slight curve to the bridge is going to add a bit more fun for those riding bikes in the park too. (Note to self: remind the kids to slow down!)

blog bridge 5We are pretty thrilled with this new improvement to our neighbourhood. This bridge we walk over everyday. Now it isn’t just functional, but also quite a nice design to look at.


(iPhone photography by Debra Hunter)






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Red Deer Westerner Days Parade – Realm of Thieving White Trash

Three of our children pointing to dirt left behind from the theft of our planter that was stolen by an attendee of the Red Deer Westerner Parade.

Three of our children pointing to dirt left behind from the theft of our planter that was stolen by an attendee of the Red Deer Westerner Parade.

The Red Deer Westerner Parade is the dreaded event of the year in our neighbourhood. Our neighbourhood, yes the area where people actually live, is infested each year by disrespectful parade goers. People park in our driveways, across our driveways, and on our lawns. They box us in so we cannot get out of our parking spots. They leave their garbage behind and walk all over our yards. The traffic jam leaving our neighbourhood this year took 30-45 minutes to clear. Our neighbourhood is used as a parking lot, yet has very few exit routes; if there had been an emergency it would be an absolute disaster. This is a yearly occurrence that I have witnessed for over two decades. It is truly awful.

What is even worse is that our whole neighbourhood is subjected to this horror all in the name of commercialism. The Red Deer Westerner Parade is nothing but a walking billboard and a way to push the people of Red Deer to attend the Westerner so that the Westerner can of course make a lot of money . Three years ago was the last time we went. We lasted 15 minutes. All the parade consisted of were ads. Junk mail on wheels…..mixed with an atmosphere of gagging smoke and f-bombs in the crowd. Classy. Well actually pretty reflective of present day Red Deer if we are to be honest.

This is the crowd that is dropped on our Woodlea neighbourhood , a place where people actually LIVE, each year. But our neighbourhood doesn’t count, it never counts, the City, or the Westerner organization would never dream of running a parade adjacent to the heavenly blessed areas known as suburbia, but destroying our neighbourhood is fine.They simply don’t care about how this parade impacts our properties and our lives.

Our children standing in front of the mate to the planter that was stolen during the Red Deer Westerner Parade by a parade goer.

Our children standing in front of the mate to the planter that was stolen during the Red Deer Westerner Parade by a parade goer.

For years the  Red Deer Westerner Parade has made no sense. The Westerner grounds moved from the center of downtown in 1982, 33 years ago, but they did not move the Westerner parade. Prior to the 1980’s the parade used to form at the old fair grounds located in Parkvale (an area in the downtown area), snake through downtown, then return to the fairgrounds. At that time it somewhat made sense. 33 years later the Westerner is miles and miles away, there is NO connection to the downtown area, and they are still forming the parade in the same spot….well kind of…..it is now in front of the arena, skateboard park and tennis bubble, and behind a seniors housing complex that was built on the old fairgrounds (three decades ago). The parade route, we noticed, has shrunk over the years, probably to accommodate traffic and downtown businesses. Clearly the concept of the parade no longer fits current day downtown Red Deer. Traffic and businesses count, they can’t be inconvenienced. They are special. Neighbourhoods where people live DON’T count. The parade route has been altered for these reasons, yet they continue to leave the route impacting our neighbourhood and our home.

How pathetic of a human being do you have to be to steal a planter of vegetables? Scum human being or typical resident of Red Deer, Alberta?

How pathetic of a human being do you have to be to steal a planter of vegetables? Scum human being or typical resident of Red Deer, Alberta?

This year, however, has topped other years. This year we actually had property STOLEN by parade goers. The planter was there before the parade, the planter was gone after the parade. We had a planter stolen. A planter that measured 16 inches across, 14 inches high and full of soaking wet soil. This was a planter at the side of our house. The dirt from moving the planter is still on the sidewalk. This was a planter that would have taken considerable strength to move and take space in a vehicle as well. This is a deliberate theft. The parade goer trespassed and stole.

This was an ordinary planter, but was full of a tomato and lettuce that we started from seed back in February. Our children watched it grow. Watered it. Cared for it. Hoped to eat it. Now it is gone. Stolen.

The Westerner doesn’t care.

The City of Red Deer doesn’t care.

They don’t care what happens to our neighbourhood, our home or our property. As long as the Westerner and the City of Red Deer can financially capitalize on events such as the Westerner Parade they simply don’t care what happens in our neighbourhood.

They are greedy, selfish and don’t care.

Why is is ALWAYS the historic neighbourhoods that are horribly disrespected? Why don’t we count? They would NEVER dream of doing this to suburbia. Inflicting situations like this on our RESIDENTIAL neighbourhood is simply unfair. Inflicting situations on a neighbourhood that encourage thefts is unfair. It is time things change. Our neighbourhood IS a neighbourhood. This is where we LIVE. It is time we get the same respect that other areas of the city receive. It is time to change the parade route and keep the thieving white trash out of our neighbourhood. After all, nowhere else in the city is expected to endure this level of invasion and disrespect.


Apple Blossoms

Our neighbourhood is in bloom with pink and white blossoms everywhere. This selection of images were all taken on a short stroll of about 200 feet. As you can imagine our neighbourhood is pretty picturesque this time of year.

(please click on the above images to view full size)

Cleaning Up The Park – A “Green Deer” Event

park clean up

Saturday was a dull and windy day, but even the weather didn’t deter a group of our neighbours from taking part in an organized clean up of the Woodlea Park. Thanks to Peter McGee who organized the event, 20-30 people showed up to pick up trash and make the park once again clean.

park clean up The whole park was cleaned up from end to end, into the woods and up the toboggan hill.

The woods were particularly disgusting. It appears the high school students from the school across the street feel it is perfectly acceptable to throw all their lunch garbage into the woods by our homes. We collected garbage bag full after garbage bag full of food wrappers and fast food containers. This was really unimpressive.

park clean up The parking lot was also tackled as there was a ton of garbage lying around in this area.

park clean up We found a ton of garbage under this tree, literally a pile. Under the pile of garbage we found a mangled fence. My husband noticed the tag on it and said “Let’s lift it up and maybe it says who it belongs to….”

park clean up Ironic, huh?

park clean up We finished leaving behind a better and cleaner park.

park clean up We filled up bags and bags with garbage. There was a huge amount of trash. It is pretty unacceptable that people still think that in this era of environmental awareness that it is okay to litter.

blog clean up 4Here is the great group of people who took time out of their busy lives to make our neighbourhood a better place. Well done everyone! The park looks great.


If you are interested in participating in “Green Deer” and leaving Red Deer better than you found it the link to the City of Red Deer’s information can be found HERE.


What March 30th looks like….

woodlea march 30 2014

The street just as we turn the corner to our house.

I have to admit I can’t quite believe winter is still here. Every time I checked the weather today it indicated the temperature with windchill was -18C. How can this be? The snow in front of our house is still past my knees. The kids are fed up of snowshoeing and winter boots and winter coats and hats and mitts. My daughter wants to go for a “real walk” wearing “real shoes”. My son wants to move to the BC coast and have rain instead.

We went to Tim Hortons today and as we passed the drive-thru line everyone looked miserable. Everyone looked fed up. Everyone looked done with winter.

Coming home we passed a few neighbours. They were shoveling snow……again……or should I say hunched over their snow shovels shaking their heads. Even those with snowblowers are depressed.

It is time for it to stop snowing. It is time to warm up. It is time for spring.

Living In Red Deer, Alberta

blog window 1Today I was going to post a lovely post about snowshoeing, but it didn’t happen. What happened instead is what you see in the picture above. Enough said.

blog window 2

Then I was going to put up a ranting post, but I decided “Less is More”. So I have decided to present just a few concise facts.

blog window 3

Living in Red Deer – My Year in Review

– 1   incident when I walked into our garage to find two guys in the garage casing the place.

1   smashed window on our van (today).

– 2   garage break-ins and thefts.

3   separate bullying incidents, with three separate children (aged 5, 9 & 10) in the span of three months in the same school.
(Evidently I have exceeded my “bullying limit” and the school has stopped responding to my emails in attempt to find a resolution to the latest event.)

Now let me share an irony. We moved to Red Deer from a bedroom community across the River Mersey from Liverpool in the U.K., and worked in Liverpool. One of the reasons we moved was an improved lifestyle. No one takes a move like this lightly, immigration is a hassle, it’s costly, and it is darn hard work starting completely from scratch. Liverpool, when we lived there was the land of car break-ins; you took your radio with you when you parked your car, you put a club lock on your steering wheel when parked so no one would nick your car. You have alarms on EVERY house and car. You convert your interior door knobs to be locking ones just in case some one broke in, this made it harder for thieves to steal every single thing in your house. Shops are all metal shuttered when closed due to break-ins,the streets resembling a war torn country. But that only slowed down the thefts, then they just started driving vehicles into the buildings to get the job done.

Now here is the thing, we have had MORE criminal activity against our household and vehicle in the past year in Red Deer than we EVER faced in Liverpool. Ironic ? Depressing? Frustrating? Pathetic? You choose.

Is this an improved lifestyle?……………….No.

Is this a policing issue? ………………………No.

Is the a societal issue?………………………..Yep.

Quite honestly I could make my millions by developing a “jerk counter” and selling them in Red Deer, because there are an awful lot of jerks in this city anymore.

Anyways, enough said, well done Red Deer, you’ve outdone yourself. Liverpool, U.K. (and area) is now a safer place to be than Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. (And trust me, any Brit reading this is right now shaking their head and saying “HOLY CRAP”….well in Liverpool they are saying something else but I certainly can’t write that here! LOL!)

Sometimes Good Things Happen – Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

A long time ago I wrote a blog post regarding the skating rink, or lack there of, in our neighborhood. Long time readers of the blog may remember how I wrote of how our little historic neighborhood, in the heart of Red Deer, had been stripped of our little outdoor rink, the resulting fuss that the community raised, the newspaper interviews, the television coverage, and in the end, the return of a snow bank rink.

Well today a wonderful thing happened. I drove past the park where the rink was last winter and believe it or not the rink was up WITH BOARDS! Now this is huge. We get our rink again and we get END BOARDS.

Woodlea skating rink on October 20, 2013. All ready for winter to come.

Woodlea skating rink on October 20, 2013. All ready for winter to come.

Now anyone reading this in a country that doesn’t succumb to snow and ice for at least six months of the year may not understand how momentous this is, but for our neighborhood this is a great thing. Our kids get to skate within blocks of home any time they wish. The boys can now play hockey and when they shoot at the goal and miss (which happens 99.999999% of the time!) the puck will hit the backboard and bounce back instead of burying itself in a snow bank never to be found. Hide and seek is a fun game but not when it involves looking for a puck in snow that is three feet deep, especially when all the direction you get from your little hockey players is “I think it went somewhere over there Mom! Or was it over there.” And trust me, an orange puck doesn’t make it any easier……..we tried that too.

woodlea skating rink

A local school group skating one afternoon at the Woodlea skating rink in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.

Our little skating rink is great for our neighborhood, but it is also great for the schools in our area that draw students from throughout the city. Last year on several occasions I encountered different schools using this park area. They skated and tobogganed. It was great to see.

The City of Red Deer has done a great thing re-installing our rink. I was happy with the snow bank rink last year, but having actual boards is going to make for a great winter for those who love to shoot a puck.

A big “THANK YOU” to those who made the decision to return the rink to our neighborhood. We really appreciate it. It is going to be a great winter.

Moose on the Loose

These images were taken about 10 minutes ago as my son’s had to abandon their badminton game due to a rather large visitor! What luck to see such a big animal up close. He also had the courtesy to trim my crab apple tree for me.