Saturday, April 29

News Update

Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Superior in my hometown. The weather has been terrible all week, but has turned nice for the weekend. That's two weekends in a row; don't know what to make of that! We had freezing rain both Wednesday and Thursday, so the streets were terrible, and it took some time yesterday to chip off the ice from the vehicle. It was only today that we got out for our first extended walk of the week. Golf courses that opened two weeks ago are closed again, sigh! Wendy has been painting downstairs this week. Along with a new batch of baseboard, she's also dressing up closet and bedroom doors. We finally got the plumber in to replace the main water line valve, so we're pretty much set up to get back to development of the kitchenette. Wendy bought the cupboards this week, so it feels like we're making progress. We've been listening to some podcasts and studying the ketogenic way of eating. We've decided to give that a try when we get back from BC. The markets started the week great, but then Trump happened. His farcical tax proposal, along with his protectionist threats, turned investors into a tailspin, and the markets headed downward. That cost me a few thousand, so while I ended the week in the green, I am below quota for the month—maybe next month! We continue our search for a newer vehicle; we currently have three under close consideration, but we leave Wednesday for BC, so we'll put this on the back burner for now. We're into the second round in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Six of my eight picks came through to the second round. Now, I've picked: Caps, Rangers in the East, and Oilers and Predators in the West. I'd really love to see the Pens and Oilers in the Cup final, but my head has over-ruled my heart! The Champions Cup is on in curling and my guy, Kevin Koe, is in the semi-final tonight.

Eric's Birthday Uke!
The Baileys celebrated Eric's birthday with dinner and a movie! Liam finished his second semester on Thursday and wrote his first of two exams. He'll complete exams on Monday and then return home for the third semester. His goal is to get healthy and work with his brother on a comic or movie. Stay tuned for more on that. Haaken met with his employment consultant people this week and he has secured a volunteer position with the food bank. It isn't a paying gig but it is good work experience nonetheless. Erica received a response from the Minister of Health regarding her request for support in her fight with Lipedema. The response was a no, so she will put together a reply with more facts and figures for him to consider, sigh!

Erin and Kristian had a good health week. She has an appointment set for Monday to review the results from her recent tests. She's afraid this intervention will call for better eating habits, and more exercise!

Travis, Joanna and Andrew for over for supper yesterday. The ice days meant that Gemma and Andrew has a short week of school. Puckshots is pretty quiet, but orders for Bucket Decals have already begun for the next season, so Trav is printing sets of those.

And that's about enough for this week. 

Saturday, April 22

News Update

Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Superior in my hometown. Cool, rainy weather marked most of the week, but it turned nice yesterday, and it's beautiful again today. You know something is messed up when the weather turns nice for the weekend! Some golf courses were open last weekend, but I haven't been out to play, just a bit of practice. The rain kept us from our walks as well, but we did get out yesterday and today. Wendy has been working on painting all week. We've also spent some considerable time and effort trying to find a new vehicle. We have not succeeded on that quest yet, but are starting to narrow the search. Our ideal remains the Santa Fe, but we have expanded our list of suitable substitutes: Tucson, Sorento, Sportage, CR-V, RAV4, Murano. We want to find a newer, and, more importantly, lower mileage replacement. The markets have remained troubled mainly by geo-political events, but also by poorer economic data in the US. At least, we experienced some gains this week, although all US indices remain red for the month. I had a good week, but still remain below quota for the month. The sports calendar is hectic. The first round of NHL playoffs often has three games scheduled one after the other in an evening! However, a few series have ended, and the pressure is easing on the over-stimulated fans! It was a shame to see Calgary and Montreal lose out, but we still have three Canadian teams in the race. The remainder of the first round will end in the next few days, then, I'll survey the carnage and make my picks for round two. I've already lost two teams from the first round. Niklas Edin of Sweden won the Players Championship to cement his tally of three Curling Slams. 

The Baileys got back from Victoria on the weekend, and assumed an almost normal lifestyle for this week! Liam is home from school for the week, so the family enjoyed all together time! Erica is participating in a conference on Lipedema, and we've been taking in many of the sessions on-line as well. 

Erin and Kristian had a good week—uneventful can be a relief! Kristian was off school and enjoyed the week at the Y. Erin doesn't have the results of her heart monitor, but at least she's feeling well. 

Trav & Joanna hosted us for Easter Brunch, and a celebration of Gemma's birthday on Sunday. Puckshots is enjoying a bit of a hiatus at the end of the local hockey season. They're hoping to expand their baseball team business this year. In the interim, Trav is working on the websites and trying not to pull his hair out over the annual politics of Thunder Bay Minor Hockey! It is not known yet whether his team will be awarded a franchise for next season! Maybe it's time for a year off! 

And that's about it for this week. 

Saturday, April 15

News Update

Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Superior in my hometown. The weather has been beautiful, but the tarps are still on the greens—soon, I hope! We've managed to get out for some nice bike rides as well as our walks. I have a new record for walking—4km. Wendy comes along to encourage me, and to be able to go home and get the car if I run out of gas! The swelling really has not changed so far as I observe. We look forward to finding out if the vascular surgeon will have any new ideas or options. The markets have continued their downward bleed ever since the end of February. I have had another difficult week and am in the red for the month now. The geo-political turmoil stirred up over the bombing of Syria and Afghanistan didn't help, but the main issue is that no one has confidence in what the Trumpster will do next. The sports calendar remains full. NHL playoffs have begun, and my picks are in. I have Pens, Sens, Habs and Caps in the East, with Ducks, Oilers, Hawks and Blues in the West. Baseball is through a second week, and the Jays have only managed one win this week as well, sigh! Curling features the Players Championship in Toronto; Koe lost out in the playoffs today. Gushue is looking very strong in this one as well; he won the world championship last Sunday, and is into the semi-final here. The Masters ended with a surprisingly wonderful result—congratulations to Sergio Garcia! We enjoyed our Good Friday observance with our church group last evening, and look forward to Easter celebrations tomorrow—He is risen, indeed!

The Baileys spent the week in Victoria, visiting with family and celebrating Jelsing's life. There were many good stories and several were even true! Mike Koops gave a very moving recounting of the impact Jelsing had on his life as an adoptive-father figure. "Laughter through tears" is an apt phrase to describe the service. The service prompted some good conversations with the boys as they considered the impact they hope to have in their lives. Haaken took advantage of the visit to Victoria and had a meeting with the Victoria School of Art and Aura's brother, John, who works in Animation. They also enjoyed whale-watching as a family and afternoon tea at the Royal Victoria. The whale watching was amazing as the orcas felt very comfortable coming closer to the boats and we witnessed some breaches. The afternoon tea was surprisingly enjoyable and not nearly as proper as one might expect. There was much laughter and enjoying each others' company. They headed east on Good Friday and expect to land back in PA tonight.

Erin and Kristian have continued their health struggles. Both are seeing some improvement, but Erin is still suffering too much. However, they are at least recovered enough to enjoy some company. They enjoyed the final day of bowling today. They're hosting the Easter meal with Shawn, Astrid and Liam this evening.

Trav has been batching all week and taking care of the kids as Joanna has been visiting family in Toronto. All seem to have survived and Joanna returned Friday evening to complete the rescue. Gemma celebrated her 17th birthday today. We're planning to join them for some additional celebrations of that tomorrow!

And that's about enough for this week. 

Saturday, April 8

News Update

Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Superior in my hometown. The first ships of the season have already come and gone; it was an early Spring for the seaway. The weather has continued to be beautiful, and we've enjoyed getting out for walks and bike rides. I have not managed to increase my old record of 3.5 km, but I will keep trying. I was back to the doctor this week, but that was just to get my Shingles vaccination. I've had that once, and didn't enjoy it. This decreases the likelihood of another outbreak, and the price was right! I have completed my teeth cleaning program. Markets have continued to be troubled; all US indices are in the red for the month, and TSX is under 1% green. We had jobs data that was surprisingly good, while US had surprisingly poor results, so that didn't help. Still, I didn't manage to make quota, so I'll have to work smarter next week! It has been a busy week in sports with the World Curling Championships, the opening of the Baseball season, and the Masters Golf tournament. Brad Gushue has represented us well, and is in the Gold Medal game tomorrow in curling against Sweden. The Jays have started the season poorly, winning only one game this week. There are a lot of prominent contenders at the Masters, so tomorrow should be exciting to watch. Jordan Spieth looks like the guy to beat at this point, but I'll be cheering for hard luck Sergio. College basketball ended on Monday with UNC winning it as I predicted. Sorry to see Gonzaga fall short, all the same. The NHL regular season ends this weekend, and the last playoff spot was determined tonight. Way to go Leafs! 

The Baileys are on the way to Victoria this weekend. Eric's dad funeral is set for Tuesday, so it's an emotional trip. The picked up Liam at Caronport after school on Friday and headed west. We wish them a good trip, and a good family gathering. 

Erin and Kristian have had a terrible, no good, very bad week on the health front. Kristian had a doctor's appointment, and was prescribed additional medications. It seems he is allergic to one of the medications, or to the combination. In any case, he is reacting with hives, and coughing. He was back to the doctor on Thursday who withdrew previous medications and added new ones! Erin was to the doctor early in the week as well to investigate her rapid heart beat. Then, she picked up the cold from Kristian and has been suffering all week. Kristian had bowling today, and bowled three fine games, each about 20 pins above his average—well done buddy! 

Travis and Joanna had another busy week, and that's a good thing. They were all over here for supper on Wednesday evening. We enjoyed that. Joanna took Wendy for lunch and shopping on Thursday. This weekend, Joanna is off to Toronto to visit her folks. Gemma and Andrew continue to do well at school. 

And that's about it for this week. 

Saturday, April 1

News Update

Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Superior in my hometown. The weather has been lovely, and we've been getting out to enjoy it. I was to see my doctor on Tuesday; she was both concerned and encouraging—I like that! She has ordered an angiogram to get an update on what is going on in my leg, and has referred me to a vascular surgeon who will analyze the angio, and advise us on options for further treatment if necessary. I have upped my walk game to 3.5 km. That represented forty minutes of continuous walking at a rate of 5.25 km/h—encouraging. Given that there are frequent rests during a round of golf, I'm feeling that I could make 18 holes for sure. We've been getting our teeth cleaned at the community college; Wendy has completed her sessions, but I still have one more. The markets have been troubled lately, and the DOW was in the red for the month. However, we've been getting improved economic data here, and the TSX has ignored the uncertainty in the US to provide me with quota for the month, and for the first quarter of the year. The sports calendar eased a bit this week, but heats up again beginning today as World Curling Championships have begun. Brad Gushue will represent us well, I'm sure. He started off with a win over Switzerland. The pressure is on him to duplicate the work of Rachel Homan and bring us another world championship. She won the gold last Sunday with a win over Russia. I guess March Madness is over, but the Final Four remains to play out in college basketball. I have two picks still alive as action begins, but I have picked neither of them to advance, and now both probably will! Anyway, with KU gone, I'm cheering for Gonzaga, but picking North Carolina to win it all. NHL teams have only a handful of games left and still some playoff spots are not settled. The Oilers clinched a spot this week, so both of my favourites are in. Sentimental favourite Toronto looks like it is going to make it as well. The Masters opens next week; I always view that as the real beginning of the golf season.
Update: Gonzaga and UNC won, and play championship game on Monday. 

The Baileys suffered a loss as Eric's dad, Jelsing, passed on today. We haven't heard the schedule of arrangements for his funeral. Wendy was able to get some advice from a local woman who has been suffering with Celiacs for years, and has passed that information along in case it may benefit Liam. 

Erin has been suffering lately with a racing heartbeat—this is not good. We hope she will get some answers over this issue quickly. Kristian continues antibiotic treatment for his eye issues, but the antibiotics bring their own side-effects. He had parent-teacher interview day on Friday; he had picture day in his bowling league today. 

Travis and Joanna have been busy all week as official photographers for the Bantam AAA Provincial Championships. They were still able to enjoy the hockey a little, but neither we nor their children have seen much of them otherwise! Gemma is now a fully licensed driver; she's been operating the school taxi this week. 

And that's about enough for this week. 

Saturday, March 25

News Update

Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Superior in my hometown. The weather has generally been fine, but we did get a snow shower on Thursday. It melted on Friday. We've been getting out for walks, and I've topped out at 2.2km now—progress! I think that my leg is a bit better. I was to the walk-in clinic on Monday. The doctor here was about as encouraging as the specialist in Regina, i.e. not! I have an appointment with my own doctor next week; I hope she will have some better ideas of how to improve the situation. The markets have remained troubled all month so far; investors can't handle uncertainty, and the new American administration just bubbles uncertainty. With the failure of their healthcare bill on Friday, I can only hope that folks have settled down before Monday. Anyway, I had a good week as my bus company had a good earnings report and made some nice gains. The busy sports calendar has been playing out. Pittsburgh has secured a playoff berth, and Edmonton remains near the top of their division in the NHL. In Women's World Curling, Rachel Homan has secured a spot in the Gold Medal game where they'll play Russia tomorrow evening in China—sometime overnight here! Good thing we have PVR! March Madness continues in basketball with the Final Four being determined this weekend. My Jayhawks made it to the Elite Eight, but put up a rough effort tonight and fell to Oregon. Rock Chalk is retired until next year!

Erica has completed 3 weeks of CDT. She has an appointment for a fitting of compression hose next Thursday. So, she has to keep wrapping her legs until the compression hose arrives. She did it by herself once last week and, including a rest period from one leg to the next, it took 2 hours to remove, wind and wrap again—Ufda! Eric returned home on Tuesday. His Dad is still in hospital. On the return trip, Eric's shoulder seized up and he's been struggling with the pain ever since. Haaken has posted some videos. He won't tell us where. But it's out there—somewhere. Liam has been practising with his worship team! The Baileys are looking forward to having him home to show off his drumming skills. 

Erin and Kristian have had a full week. Erin has been called for jury duty, but she's fighting that. There are strong emotions with the passing of Shawn's mother early Tuesday morning. Kristian had a good review of developments with his eyes at his doctor appointment. He will continue with medication until his next appointment in another four months. Kristian had league bowling again this morning, but that's the end of regular league play, so he's into the playoffs now for the next two Saturdays. 

Trav & Joanna remain fairly busy. This weekend they have the photographic assignment for the Montreal Canadien Oldtimers visit to Thunder Bay. Down in the office the printer keeps chugging stuff out. They had an issue with the new dishwasher, but Trav was able to Youtube his way out of that! 

And that's about enough for this week. 

Saturday, March 18

News Update

Another week has passed and we have returned to the shore of Lake Superior and my hometown! We took our farewells in Regina over the weekend, and on Monday. Then, we drove to Winnipeg on Tuesday where we luxuriated under the care of Tom & Mariette. Supper, pleasant visitation, a good sleep and oatmeal for breakfast set us up for a good drive on to Thunder Bay on Wednesday! We fought the wind on Tuesday, but conditions were ideal on Wednesday and we're glad to be home again. The weather has clearly been great here and the snow was gone. The fairways were pretty clear, but covered in water. It'll be a while. Then, we got a slushy dump last night just to remind us that we still live in Canada. I caught up with my barber on Thursday. I tried to get in to the walk-in clinic to check on the progress of my leg, however, it was too busy, and I decided not to wait. I tried again this morning, but once again, it was busy and I was impatient! They could not find any notice of my records being transferred from Regina, so I will go again on Monday and make sure I get in. My leg has seemed to improve with the trip, and, at least in the morning, looks better than it has since all this DVT business started. However, my attempt to get in a good walk failed on Thursday, and I could only manage a few hundred metres. Otherwise, we've been taking it easy, and catching up on our accumulation of mail. That mostly falls to Wendy—we both enjoy that fact! The markets were difficult once again, and I was penalized with a red week. This put me behind quota for this month, so I'll need more success the rest of the way. Sports have continued to occupy a lot of attention here. The week opened as the Brier ended; Jacobs fell to McEwen in the battle for the bronze, while Gushue beat Koe for gold. It was a great week of curling, and St Johns did itself proud in hosting it. This week the curling world is divided between the Grand Slam event for the men, and now the World Championship has begun for the women. Rachel Homan started off with a win over China. Then, there are the playoff races heating up in the NHL, and also that little thing called March Madness in basketball. Kansas won their first game easily, but face a tough Michigan State team tomorrow—Rock Chalk boys! 

Eric's dad is in the hospital. The doctors have concluded that he had a heart attack. Complicating matters is he also has some sort of infection, and there is fluid in his chest. Along with his other conditions, that makes it difficult for the doctors to treat any one thing. If they fight the infection, it is bad for his heart. If they treat his heart too aggressively, something else will go wrong. So they are slowly trying to treat everything a little bit. Eric and his brother Neil flew out to Victoria early Thursday morning to be with the family and visit with his dad. Erica has a potential surgery date in July in Germany for her Lipedema. This would be the first surgery of, likely, four. The CDT is helping; her legs are smaller and the fluid is being released. There is nothing they can do for the diseased fat cells that remain, and with menopause coming (another hormonal change), there is a chance that she will go through another bout of fat cell duplication and growth. She recommends changing the name of this disease from Lipedema to Fat Cancer or at least Fat Tumours, because really, that's what it is. Anyway, the purpose of the surgery is to remove as many of the diseased fat cells as possible through lymphatic-sparing liposuction. They can't get them all, and it doesn't stop the ones that remain from replicating, but with less to work with, the surgery may be successful in slowing down the progression significantly. They've been treating Lipedema in Germany for decades. We don't seem to even know about it in Canada. Erica has been digging and following up on leads from people on message boards and Facebook groups but has not found a surgeon in Canada who does Lipedema surgery. There are doctors in the US who do, but they are much more expensive. She is very seriously considering taking this next step. She needs to consult further with her doctor first—who had at least heard of Lipedema before, and thought there was a surgical option. Haaken had another meeting with his support group looking for work. We continue to hope that he will find something suitable. He is also working on his animation and has submitted some projects. No one has been allowed to see them—very secretive. Liam continues to do well in school. He still struggles with his celiac issues. We are advised that this could continue for some months. One contact advised that her daughter took about a year to really recover and start to feel 'normal' again. He needs to find an alternative to iron pills, as he can't seem to keep them down! Oh, and Erica turned 43 today! Good thing we're not aging that quickly!

Thank you again to Erin and Kristian for hosting us for so long. It was a great time staying there. Kristian celebrated our departure with a new quad-copter drone. We look forward to seeing how he has learned to fly it. Kristian had two days off school this week, but was not feeling well, so Erin stayed home with him on Friday. He had bowling league this morning, but he slept in! That won't advance his average, but it will probably help him overcome his illness.

Travis and Joanna were busy early in the week getting some jobs completed and out the door. Then, they brought Minnie over to visit us as they drove down to Minneapolis to collect Gemma and Andrew after their Florida vacation. They all got back tonight. We're grateful for their safe travel.

And that's about enough for this week.