Sunday, March 25, 2018

Farming Valley School

It has been almost 2 weeks since my last post. I kept intending to post but then stuff happens. I also have not been out exploring much.

The topic of today's post is a school we visited in February. It is one that was on my list and has now been crossed off. Hooray. Welcome to Farming Valley School, located near Oyen in the SE part of Alberta.

This is a very distinctive school, the bell tower looks disproportionate to the rest of the building. Did it have a really BIG bell? I like it's odd shape. The inside appears to be used as storage by the owner. (The school is on private land and as a generally nice human, I don't knowingly trespass. We had permission to be here.) The school operated from 1913-1943, then again from 1949-1960. 1960 was late in terms of one room school houses. Lots of districts had already consolidated by then. I am not sure why the gap in dates from 1943-49. Was it due to the war? Lack of school age kids? I hope to find out more about this interesting school.

I have a junk drawer...this is a next level

This post was ready last week but I am just getting around to posting it now. Hope everyone had a nice weekend!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Wandering Close to Home

Something always seems to get in the way of exploring lately. Life, time, money, family stuff, etc etc. However, I was able to take advantage of the warmer weather by shoveling some of the built up snow and ice off my deck and doing a bunch of sanding and staining in prep for some upcoming markets.  While I was doing this, the kiddo played in the snow, building tunnels and paths and digging holes. Yes, we still have a ton of snow, enough to build tunnels that a child can disappear into.

I also had to head up the road to a the town about 10 min away. On the way back I took a roundabout way home and saw a few photo worthy places. I spotted a trifecta of my favourite things (not all in one place), an old truck, an old barn and an abandoned house. If I'd seen a school it would have been a complete day.

The old truck was just behind a fence off the side of a gravel road, I stepped into the ditch for a closer photo and ended up in snow over my knees. I was wearing boots but not boots that tall. Needless to say, I got snow in said boots. As I was on the side of the road emptying snow out of my boots a county peace officer happened to drive by, he turned on his lights and asked if I was OK. I had to laugh and tell him what I was doing. He left and I continued on my way home, wet feet and all.

Is there still snow where you are? Or perhaps spring flowers?

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Lonely in Loverna

Another place that I have always wanted to visit is Loverna. It is just over the border into Saskatchewan and has only a couple of residents left from what I understand. Census info from 2001 says 5 people live here, leaving it pretty close to earning ghost town status.

As with almost all prairie towns, Loverna came into existence in 1913 with the arrival of the railroad. To say the town boomed would be an understatement, several hundred people called Loverna home and there were several streets of thriving businesses. Today only a few buildings remain. There have been 2 fires over the decades that have destroyed many of the buildings. Markers placed along the streets tell what used to be there. There was hotels, a Chinese Laundry, Confectionery, Jewelry Store, Print Shop, Garages, Cafe, various other stores, hardware, insurance, gas station, churches, a Legion Hall, curling rink and more. It had everything! 

Today I snapped only a few pictures but definitely need more time to explore the rest of town, there was still quite a bit to see, including the curling rink which still exists. I think Spring might be a good time to snow (hopefully) and before the bugs. Those are pretty much the 2 seasons.

Canadian Legion Hall

United Church

Anglican Church

Loverna elevators, now residing in Alberta on private property.

Date unknown (could probably guess based on the truck)
Photo from

Saturday, March 3, 2018


My Grandpa, we call him Papa, is 96 today. He is a Husband, Brother, Uncle, Great-Grandfather, Grandfather, Father, and a WWII Veteran. He currently lives in a centre for Veterans in Calgary and has suffered from dementia for many years. He does not remember any of us but we remember him today and everyday. Happy Birthday Papa!

One Busy Mother, Except This Weekend.

January was long, February was busy, what will March bring? So far snow....a lot of snow. Almost a foot over the last 24 hours. Does shoveling snow count as cardio?

I was hoping to get out this weekend but the snow and road conditions have turned this into a Netflix and Clean the House kinda weekend. Any minute now I am going to start cleaning...

Here are some photos that I took in the Oyen area 3 weeks ago. No story, just some abandoned homesteads. I love this one, it still looks strong and sturdy:

The next homestead is looking a bit worse for wear and the barn has collapsed.

Besides being a mom, working part time, exploring, and blogging, I have decided this year I will devote more time to being healthier and to some creative projects. The main one being Ingrained Images. I take my photos, or ones someone gives me, and I transfer them to wood. It takes a bit of time but I love how they turn out. I recently dropped off some stock to a new store, and am working on restocking now for another store and some upcoming markets. I also took a beginner knitting class last weekend and am finding it very frustrating, I don't think knitting is for me but I will at least finish the class and hopefully have a hat at some point.

Here are some of my Ingrained Images!

I hope you enjoyed the photos and are enjoying your weekend, hopefully with less snow, unless you like the snow! What is everyone else doing this weekend?

I am on Instagram:
Photos @jennspix
Ingrained Images @ingrained_images