Saturday, January 19

News Update

Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Superior in my hometown. The weather started off beautiful and mild, but has turned nasty cold this weekend. It was -35 this morning! Progress is being made on the kitchen renovations. Wendy is working on the painting, while I continue drywall repairs and try to stay ahead of her! I brought in the next sliding door project from the garage, and after sizing up the situation, decided to fir in the doorway a bit. Then, on to the corner bead and mud—a good taper will get that! I got the new LED pots installed in the bulkhead over the kitchen sink—worked out great! I hooked up the new dishwasher and ran it through a cycle—works fine. I have begun my Spanish class; it will be very challenging, but I'm enjoying it so far. The markets have continue to rally despite the chaos in the American administration, and I've had another good week. The curling event this week is the Continental Cup in Las Vegas. It's a bit more of a fun event involving six teams from North America against six teams from the rest of the World. We're used to winning these, but this week the World has the lead going into the final day of competition. In hockey, the Penguins are flying (see what I did there?), while the Leafs are falling (did it again!), and the Oilers have stopped slipping (wow, I'm hot!). My Jayhawks are struggling to find their identity and style post-Doke, and split their games this week. I expect them to fall further in the rankings from their current #7 standing. 

Eric and Erica are hunkering down in chilly Prince Albert. Erica started back to work, on a part-time basis. All seems to be progressing nicely with her recovery. Liam has resumed practice with his hip-hop dance group, and continues to look for work in the Moose Jaw area. Haaken picked up our clothing shipment, and declared it was fine! 

Erin and Kristian are facing the cold in Regina. Kristian had bowling this morning, and the rest of the week was more of the same old routines. He enjoyed receiving the shipment of his new Lego projects, and has them assembled. 
Lego arrives; Lego is built!

Travis and Joanna tried to escape 27° in Punta Cana this morning in order to get back to the -35° we're enjoying!
Trying to escape this!
West Jet cancelled their flight, so their trip home is delayed by a day. We've been ferrying Andrew to his Safety Course this week. Gemma and Andrew were both over for pizza supper this evening. The Keto Pizza was a hit, and the homemade ice cream seemed to slide down well also! Trav & Joanna have been holidaying all week, and have enjoyed it a great deal.

And that's about enough for this week. 

Saturday, January 12

News Update

Another week has passed and we have returned to the shore of Lake Superior and my hometown. We began the week in Regina enjoying spending time with Dad.
Bye, bye for now!
Bern, Alicia and Logan returned from Mexico early Tuesday morning, so after helping them settle back in, we headed east on Wednesday. We stopped overnight with Tom & Mariette in Winnipeg—thanks folks! We enjoyed catching up with them, a good sleep, and fine meals! We continued to Thunder Bay on Thursday. The roads were good all the way; we rolled into the driveway at 6pm, just as it was getting dark. We were greeted by piles of snow, and more coming down! This is clearly the most snow we've had here in some years. The next morning, I found Trav's car was in our driveway!
The latest snowfall covered Trav's car
It's taken a few days, but I've managed to clear the driveway, access the garage and cut a path to the back gate. I measured the pile of snow where it lay undisturbed on top of the hot tub—27 inches! We've caught up with business here. I picked up my text for the Spanish class which starts on Monday. I got a prescription from my clot doctor, and Wendy has refilled the larder. The craziness continues south of the border. That continues to rile the markets, but we've been rebounding pretty well, and I've had another good week. The feature in sports this week is the Canadian Open in curling. My guy, Kevin Koe has qualified once again, and thanks to my PVR, I've been able to enjoy watching that until he lost this evening. The Pens continue to win, Leafs had mixed results, and my Oilers scored an OT win, but they're only 3-7 in their last ten games, sigh! #7-Kansas won a couple of games this week, including a road win today. It was my first look at the new Jayhawks now that Doke has undergone surgery and is lost for the season. 

Eric and Erica made a road trip to Kenora and back this week. A former colleague of Erica's was being feted on her retirement, so they enjoyed celebrating with her. They also got to visit Greg and family in Kenora. Erica's medical situation continues to improve, and she was relieved of one of her vacuum pumps this week; she has received the go ahead to go back to work on Monday! Liam has returned to Moose Jaw where he is resuming RU practice and looking for work. 

We got to watch Kristian's bowling practice session Monday evening. We had picked him up after school, and gone to find him some new skates, then we took him to bowling. He has good coaching; it was good to watch the interaction and see him putting corrections in place. We stopped over at their place on Tuesday to complete some project work.
Installed chin-up bar for Kristian!

We returned home to find that Trav & Joanna had escaped! Their car was hidden beneath the snow in our driveway, while they were enjoying the salubrious climes of Punta Cana!
Not seeing any snow in Punta Cana! 
Captain of the Punta Cana Fan Club!
Gemma and Andrew were over here for supper tonight; it was good to catch up with them. They did not bring Minnie or Beaker—also good!

And that's about it for this week! 

Saturday, January 5

Happy New Year

We begin 2019 on the shore of Lake Wascana in the middle of the prairies. We had extremes of weather this week as we saw -29 early in the week, and +5 later. It has remained mild into this weekend. We remain at Dad's and are thankful for the continuing hospitality. We spent quite a bit of time this week on a difficult 1000 piece puzzle. We thought it would be easy to build the individual ginger bread cookies—we were wrong! 
Took most of the week! 
The markets opened the year with extremes as well—500 points up or down usually represent several months; this week it happened daily! And still Trump continues to say and do insane things. It is of some comfort that investors seem to be paying less and less attention, and finally, on Friday, strong economic data gave us a big win. I completed 2018 less than $100 in the green for the year—that won't cut it! I am relieved to have made quota this week to start the new year off right. There has been plenty of sports over the holiday period, and I can only keep up with some of it. The World Junior hockey has not gone well for us, and we didn't even get a medal. Finland beat the US for the gold, while Russia won the bronze over the Swiss. The Pens are on an eight-game winning streak in the NHL, Leafs continue to sit in good position in the standings despite not playing so well lately. The Oilers continue to struggle, sigh! There were lots of football games in both college and the NFL, but I don't pay much attention to that. The Jayhawks had another tough game on-the-road today, and couldn't even keep it close without Doke, their big man, who is out with an injury. They'll be dropped further in the rankings. 

Liam finished hanging the drywall this week and has started doing the mudding (a good taper will get that!). He is hoping to finish that this weekend before returning to Moose Jaw next week to look for work and to practise with RU at Caronport. Eric returned to work on Wednesday. Erica continues to heal, and is looking to get back to work in another week or so. 
Another new outfit!

We were disappointed not to have Kristian with us this week. He is suffering with a cold, so we thought it best he remain at home, and I travelled over there to stay with him. We managed to get two cabinets built and installed in the downstairs bathroom, and Sadie got out for her regular walks. Kristian is feeling better now and got out for skating and sledding with Grandma on Friday, and for his league bowling this morning. Erin was also ill with flu-like symptoms and missed work on Monday. 
Kristian needs new skates!

Travis and Joanna have 'enjoyed' fighting the snow and the snow-plowers in Thunder Bay. The city plows placed a ridge of snow on our driveway, completely blocking them from getting in, so they hired someone to clear that away. I see there's another winter storm warning there this weekend, so perhaps we're still a bit too early to head home! They have also been busy trying to get all loose ends tied up before they head out on their winter vacay to Punta Cana! We'll look forward to seeing them when they get back from there. 

And that's enough for this week! 

Saturday, December 29

News Update

Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Wascana in the middle of the prairies. The weather has been pleasant here in Regina, although we hear of a big winter storm back in Thunder Bay. It's been a special week of family celebrations around the Christmas observance.
And Liam took the picture!
That was very special, and a lot of fun. Erin and Kristian are here already, while Eric, Erica and Liam came down from Prince Albert for the occasion. Dad and Erin hosted us all graciously. I got to reprise a few of my keto recipes, and even developed a new one for brown sauce for the Christmas pudding. We had a regulation Christmas feast featuring roast turkey and all the trimmings. Tonight, we finished off the last of the leftovers—too bad, I love turkey leftovers! Otherwise, it's been a quiet family week with three jigsaw puzzles completed.
1000 pieces mostly in place!
The markets had another big sell-off on Christmas Eve, but we've had a bit of recovery since then, and I'm nearly back to flat on the year despite the TSX being down 12.3%. The world junior hockey championships have begun which has taken a bit of our attention. Canada has won their first three games. The Pens and Leafs continue to play well in the NHL, although the Leafs played a stinker tonight. My Oilers have fallen out of playoff standing. C'mon Oil! The Jayhawks were dropped to #5 after their loss last week, but have followed up with an easy win today.

This week the Eric, Erica and Liam had a quick, but wonderful, trip down to Regina. They had to fit it between Erica's dressing changes so they could only be here a few days. They tried to make the most of them. It was good to spend time with them, and see that Erica is recovering well. On Thursday, they marked 25 years of marriage, and drove back to PA. They had hoped to have a Hootenanny to celebrate and maybe even a trip. But with Erica’s medical treatments, this has been put on hold for now. They did enjoy starting in on Netflix’s Occupied series. They’ve been invited to a NYE Murder Mystery Party so they are out looking for costumes today. Haaken reports that he had a good Christmas in Victoria; he is enjoying having a brown Christmas. 

Erin had some holidays this week, but was back to work part of the week also. Kristian spent most of the week over here. Today, Erin is not feeling well; we hope she's feeling better soon.
Another puzzle completed!
Travis and Joanna are leading the resistance back in TBay. This week, they had a snowstorm of biblical proportions, so it was a good thing that Travis was able to repair the snowblower. 
Rewind Repair—Successful!

And that's about enough for this week.

Saturday, December 22

News Update

Another week has passed, and we have migrated from the shore of Lake Superior to the shore of Lake Wascana in the middle of the prairies. We cleared away a few items on the kitchen renovation list, and then cleaned up to leave the place for the next few weeks.
Lower Cupboards
The weather has continued mild, with day time highs still running above zero back home, and close to zero here in Regina. We drove up to Winnipeg on Wednesday where we enjoyed a visit with Tom & Mariette and stayed overnight with Dean & Kelly—thanks folks! Then, we completed the drive on Thursday, and are now comfortably ensconced with Dad at 55 Laird. Bern, Alicia and Logan headed out Friday morning for a couple of weeks in Mexico. The markets have remained terrible. A prudent president doesn't dump the FED chief for no reason; a prudent president doesn't run up the deficit in good economic times; a prudent president doesn't start a trade war; a prudent president doesn't shut down the government. Trump did all four. The entire world is suffering for his foolishness. We didn't even get a Santa Claus rally this year. All North American stock indices are in the red for the year, and as of Thursday, I am, too. This will produce lower pension funds for us next year, so we'll be rearranging our lives in line with that. We are trying to keep up on the Toronto Maple Leafs while here with Dad, but join his chagrin as we take note of the frequent blackouts! Do they think we might decide to attend if they blackout the game! Anyway, the Leafs, Oilers and Pens are doing just fine, and entertaining us a lot. Over the Christmas break, we'll also be watching the World Junior Hockey Championship which is being played BC this year. Go Canada, Go! KU had an easy game early in the week, but finished on the road in Arizona against a ranked team, and their win streak ended! Rock Chalk all the same!

Liam found some work this week—in the back bedroom. They’ve slowly been renovating the house and the back bedroom has been in a state of partial insulation and drywall since the undocumented workers left! Liam finished up the insulation and a friend from church came over to help with the drywall. The inside wall remains, so he’ll have some work after Christmas. Liam had a specialist appointment on Friday. The iron transfusion has provided positive results. His iron and hemoglobin are both much improved. He has some more things to work on, but he is getting better and that is a relief. Haaken and Erica did battle with the CRA to change his address in their system. In order to change your address you can use their online system or you can phone in. To use the online system you need an account, for which you need a password that they will mail to you to your address on file or you can phone in to set up an email account. So, they needed to call, and Erica describes that fun! "When we called we were told that not only are all the agents busy, but queue was full, too, but we were welcome to use their online system—for which we needed an account, which is why we were calling, sigh! After 17 redials we got into the queue. Finally, we spoke with a person who needed to confirm Haaken’s identity with questions like: When was the last time you filed your tax return? What was the income you reported? Since I do that for him I tried to help, but that wasn’t allowed. Once we managed to get through that process, he was able to change his address and get a pass-code to setup his online account. Phew!" We're looking forward to spending some time with them over Christmas; the plan is for them to come down to Regina for a few days. They can only be away for short intervals between Erica's medical care appointments.

Erin, Kristian and Sadie greeted us on our arrival in Regina on Thursday evening. It was good to see them again. I stopped in on Friday to take Sadie for our traditional walk; she seemed to enjoy that also! Today, we got to watch Kristian bowl one game, then they cancelled the other two to hold a league Christmas party. He did bowl a good game, about 20 points above his average. We look forward to spending some good time with them over the next couple weeks while we're in town.

Travis, Joanna, Gemma and Andrew began the week with water issues. Water was dripping out of the bathroom fan downstairs! It took a bit of sleuthing, but we found the culprit—the flexible hot water connection hose in the upstairs bathroom had begun to leak! That was the same problem we had at our house last year! Anyway, we got it repaired and the floor/ceiling dried out, so we hope it works for them for another fifty years! They headed out to a few days in Minneapolis, so we got to take care of the house and pets while they were gone. They returned from Minneapolis on Thursday to take over home care duties. Thanks guys!

And that's about it for this week, Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 15

News Update

Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Superior in my hometown. The weather has been beautiful with day time highs rising above freezing under sunny skies. We've continued with a bit more renovation work before we head west next week. The base cupboards are all in place now, except for the island that I have yet to build. I completed the electrical in the kitchen this week, along with all the plumbing I can do while waiting for the countertops to arrive. Wendy bought the new kitchen sink, so that's ready to go. It's looking like it will turn out nicely. The markets were terrible once again this week as court cases agitated the already tense trade wars. The curling in Estevan ended with Brad Jacobs capturing the Canada Cup. This week they're playing in Newfoundland; Koe made the playoffs again, but lost the semi-final to an up and coming Scottish team, Bruce Mouat. He'll be playing another Scottish team in the final—Ross Paterson. Rachel Homan will face Kerri Einarson in the women's final. Improved play has moved both the Oilers and the Pens into playoff positions. The Leafs have slumped a bit recently, but they still hold down a playoff position. The Jayhawks have moved up to the #1 ranking in Basketball, and they won their games this week, but both games were plenty tense!

The Baileys scored a new Christmas tree, so they're ready to celebrate the season. 
Bailey's new tree with lights!

Erin and Kristian have the place looking very Christmasy.

Front Door
Kristian did an amazing project this week for school. He built a candy dispenser out of Lego, and he did a write-up and presentation to explain it.
Lego Vending Machine
League bowling did not go so well today, and he scored a good first game, but then suffered some drop off in games two and three. We're looking forward to watching him bowl next Saturday.

Trav and Joanna have continued the frantic pace getting as many things completed as possible before they take a break next week. They did almost 100 hockey teams with Puck Shots already this Fall, and the Bucket Decals printer has also been going steadily. This evening, they took us out to the Symphony Christmas show—that was great, thanks guys. Then, the whole crew came over to our place for our Christmas sharing since we'll be headed west before they get back from their break next week. 

And that's enough for this week.

Saturday, December 8

News Update

Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Superior in my hometown. We've settled back into life here. I feel that I've overcome my sniffles, but Wendy is continuing to struggle with a cold, and with her sore leg. She was back to the chiropractor this week, and is working on the assigned exercises from Dr. Barb. We've started back into the kitchen renos, and also continued with finishing touches downstairs. Wendy has redecorated the family room with her African collection—looks great!
Family Room

Family Room
I tore out the last of the old cupboards (the sink unit) and am working on plumbing and electrical for the new set up. The dishwasher is moving to a new location, and, of course, all the sink plumbing has to be redone. Wendy has me adding a number of plug-ins, and new lighting over the sink area. This involves fishing lines through finished walls and the ceiling—never a fun task!
Wiring and Plumbing work
We worked out two new recipes this week: Keto Ice Cream—Yummy!
Homemade Ice Cream!
Keto Bread—yummy, also!
New Bread Recipe
The markets have been bad, no good and terrible as The Tariff Man couldn't resist tweeting nonsense about the China trade wars. This was exacerbated by weak economic data from the US, and all indices produced big losses as they dropped to red on the year-to-date. It was a bad start to the month for me as well. Another Grand Slam event in curling with the Canadian Open out of Estevan. My guy, Kevin Koe, made the playoffs again. Today, he beat Brad Gushue by stealing the final three ends to advance to the final against Brad Jacobs—what a game! In hockey, the Leafs remain near the top of the standings and, finally, got Nylander back in the lineup. The Oilers and Pens have shown some improvement and are closer to playoff positions now. The Jayhawks won their games this week to remain undefeated, but did not play convincingly. Rock Chalk, Boys! 

Liam has completed his construction work for now and his RU practices are finished this week, so he'll heading home this weekend. It'll be nice to have him home for a bit! Haaken also starts his Christmas break this weekend, but he is staying in Victoria to avoid the cold and snow. Erica continues to heal and regain energy. Some days she has naps, but overall she is feeling better and the wounds are closing up little by little. She has blood-work and a follow-up appointment scheduled next week to check on her progress. Eric is finding life less hectic now that Erica is home. 

Kristian had a better day in league bowling this morning as he beat his average by 10 points per game. Well done, buddy! They have continued with Christmas decorations, adding to the tree and setting up other cozy areas. 
The Snow Family!

Travis and Joanna continue to be very busy trying to meet Christmas deadlines. They brought in extra help this weekend to try to get some bulk production out of the way.
Buncha Pics ready to go!
And that's about enough for this week!