Saturday, December 3

News Update

My question!
Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Superior in my hometown. We started the week with torrential rainfall (78mm on Monday alone) that washed the snow away—pretty strange way to end November! I have continued to convalesce with my post-surgery healing process. It is going well; I was back to the surgeon on Thursday for a follow-up. He thinks it's healing well, and has scheduled me for next Friday to remove the stitches. I have an appointment with my own doctor on the 14th, at which time, I hope to get the pathology results. We haven't really gotten back into the renovation groove. I have contracted a plumber to arrange for the replacement of our main shut-off valve on the water mainline. He's promised to get that done before we have to leave for Regina. We've also begun clearing out some extra furniture downstairs. Today, we hauled a couch to the Restore. The markets have been bad this week, and while I completed November on quota, I am in the red for December so far. Wendy has been working on a few small cleanup projects. We've thought about getting back into drywalling, but even the thought makes us tired! The week began with the Grey Cup game and Ottawa surprised most of the country, including me, and especially Calgary, by winning the game! This week has been the Canada Cup of curling, so I've been busy keeping track of that. My guy, Kevin Koe, did not make the playoffs. It'll be Gushue vs Carruthers on the men's side, and Jones vs Homan on the women's side. The championship games go tomorrow. The Jayhawks are playing some decent basketball in this early season and I expect them to be elevated to #2 in the NCAA rankings. NHL play is starting to create more interest, although Oilers and Penguins have both fallen back a bit in their divisional standings. 

Eric and Liam made a trip to the podiatrist on Monday. Liam's toe has now been fixed! Eric returned him to school on Monday. Erica had a trip to Toronto for training at Deloitte University. She took the opportunity to take in the Raptors game against the 76ers; the Raptors put on a good show. Erica had a good seat to enjoy it. Haaken is almost finished semester classes. He finishes on Tuesday, and then he'll need to prepare for exams. This weekend they're back in Regina to pick up Liam for the follow-up appointment on his toe. These folks do not spend much time at home!

Erin scored a new iPhone as well. Hers is a rose-gold colour, and Wendy is looking forward to the hand-me-down! Kristian is enjoying his bowling practice and games. He also scored a coup in Math this week, as he showed initiative, did the extra work, and was rewarded with a high grade—congratulations Kristian! 

Trav & Joanna continue to be very busy—too busy! They're trying to get caught up with all the pre-Christmas business; it's a good problem to have! The whole crew had us over for a pizza/birthday celebration on Sunday for Trav's birthday—that was nice! They've also made it out for a couple of movie nights with the whole crew; Wendy joined them to see Moana! 

And that's about enough for this week. 

Saturday, November 26

News Update

El Question-O! 
Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Superior in my hometown. We completed our tour by driving back to Thunder Bay from Duluth. It is nice to be home, despite the snow. It's a far cry from a week ago when Wendy and I were golfing in Lawrence, and frankly, that was even nicer! Travis had the snowblower running, so he had the driveway blown out, however the arrival of the rain, snow, and cold weather meant we're still working to eliminate the build up. The weather has turned warmer, so we're making good progress on that! The big event of the week for me was surgery to remove a squamous cell carcinoma from my cheek. It's left me with a lovely bit of stitching, and my new name of El Question-O! Erica calls me Scarface! We're awaiting the pathology report, then, we'll see how it turns out. Wendy has been busy catching up on the household books, and this evening is busy decorating a cake for Trav's birthday. We also had a meeting with the loans officer at the bank, and have locked in our mortgage for the next five years at 2.44%. The markets have continued to react in fear to the uncertainty of the Trump election, and bonds are selling off badly. Of course, that money has to go somewhere, and I'm glad to see it moving into equities rather than gold! As a result, I've had another good week, and am on quota for the month so far. The Grey Cup game is tomorrow, and I'm picking Calgary to win. Edmonton let me down last week, so I didn't get my all-Alberta final. The NHL is a quarter through the season now, and I'm glad to see my Oilers at the top of their division. The Penguins are right up there in their division as well. College basketball is underway; it appears my Jayhawks have assembled a good team once again—we'll see once March rolls around. Wendy is back to swimming with Joanna; she only got one day in this week. 

Erica was in La Ronge for work this week. It's a nice little northern town in the Canadian Shield, and offered plenty of reminders of Yellowknife. A good week, but she's glad to get home. The apartment is being appraised by the landlord; they're not sure what that's all about, perhaps it's being sold! Eric spent a lot of time cleaning and organizing, so it's looking pretty good. Eric headed to Regina for the meeting of the SKMFT (Sask Marriage and Family Therapists). Liam has continued to cough, so he visited the doctor and has been diagnosed with bronchitis. He's come home with Eric for the weekend, and for a specialist appointment with the toe doctor over his problematic in-grown toenail, sigh! Haaken continues with his studies in Regina. All we hear from him is that everything is great! 

Of course, that's all we've been hearing from Kristian about his school, too. However, this week was report card and parent-teacher meetings, so we got an update! For sure there are areas that need improvement, so we'll look forward to that. Kristian has joined a bowling league. They play each Saturday, and also have a practice time on Monday after school. Erin is upgrading her cell phone and Wendy is eagerly awaiting benefitting from that upgrade as well! Tonight they're out with Shawn, Astrid and Liam for a movie—fun! 

Trav and Joanna are very busy with work. Gemma is almost complete her driving lessons, and ready to graduate to a driver's licence. We're scheduled for Trav's birthday celebration tomorrow, so we'll check out their house improvements as well. Lately, they've been trapping and removing little furry rodents in their house—didn't need that! Trav's team continues to do well in league play, winning 7-2 this week. Trav and Joanna have also upgraded their cell phones; I've benefited by Trav's cast-off of an iPhone 6+. It's great! 

And that's about enough for this week. 

Saturday, November 19

News Update

Another week has passed and we have returned to the shore of Lake Superior, however, we're in Duluth MN. We are still a fair distance from my hometown, however we are not far from Lake Wobegon, where the women are strong, the men are handsome, and all the children are above average! Wendy's dad continues to be in hospital. He has clearly been making progress with his rehab. He got his staples out this week as well, and the healing seems to be going well. However, some other health issues remain, and the doctors keep working on solutions. We hope they get some progress in those areas as well. It has been another full week. We enjoyed a fulsome family experience on Sunday including lots of eating and a family worship period. Most of the family then dispersed, but some of us remained for a couple more days. Tom, Viggo, Jonathan, Jennifer and I got out golfing on Monday at Waterview. That was fun, and my score of 87 is pretty reflective of my game these days. On Tuesday, Viggo arranged for a new windshield on the Sorento. Then, we packed up and headed north. We spent the rest of the week in Lawrence with Aunt Helen and Cousin Marti. I began a new experience which I am not enjoying—Oak Leaf Mites! Those nasty little guys attacked my neck leaving itchy welts, yikes! A Colorado Clipper brought the first winter storm (Argos, it's called Argos! They have names for winter storms now!) across our path and slowed our travel plans, so we didn't get away until this morning. We drove up to Duluth, running into snow just north of Minneapolis. Apparently, there is more snow awaiting us in TBay. We hope to complete the drive tomorrow. I managed another round of golf in Lawrence with Larry. That went pretty well also although I only hit one fairway! The markets continue to be volatile, but I had a great week, and am now on quota for the month. I haven't been keeping track of sports much while we've travelling. The Oilers are tied for first place in their division; the Penguins are one point out of first in their division. Both of my picks prevailed in the CFL semi-finals. I'm picking Calgary and Edmonton to win the division finals and set up an all-Alberta Grey Cup game. 

Eric/A and Liam made the drive-through trip to get to the family reunion last week. Then, starting Sunday afternoon, the returned home via another drive-through! A couple of long hauls there. I'm sure they're needing some extra rest this week. Liam is back at school, of course. Haaken continues with his university work in Regina. 

We were able to have a communal FaceTime chat with Erin and Kristian while we were at the reunion. It was good to visit with them. 

We used FaceTime to visit with Trav & Joanna as well. They keep busy with their work, but were not so pleased with the arrival of snow! We look forward to seeing them tomorrow. Trav's team prevailed to win their home tournament last weekend. Congrats all around! 

And that's about enough for this week. 

Saturday, November 12

News Update

Another week has passed, and we are far from our hometown on the shore of Lake Superior. We struggled to get a few final errands out of the way at Bern & Alicia's place. We headed south early Monday morning. We spent that night at Norfolk NE. On Tuesday, we continued to Stillwater OK where we enjoyed a reunion with Jack & Joanne Bayles, and watched the US election results with a measure of horror! We completed the trip to Rowlett TX on Wednesday and are enjoying the fellowship of family and friends here since then. The weather has been great, and I've got out golfing a couple of times. I played better than usual the first time (85), and about my usual (90) today. I even managed to work in a curling game one evening; it was an amazing experience: the hockey game ended; they flooded the ice; they installed hacks; a splash of pebble, et voilĂ , we are ready! The rocks are kept in a cooler, but it's not cool enough, so they leave melt-marks on the ice. The ice was terrible, but the enthusiasm for the game was heartening. It's been great to spend these days with family at my brother Viggo & Nancy's house. As usual, we've had too much to eat, along with many laughs and a few tears. The markets have been in turmoil, and I've had big winning days and big losing days, however, in the end, I had a good week and cleared more than a week's quota. Not too much happening on the part of the sports scene that I follow. NHL hockey continues in the early stages of its long, long season. College basketball dribbles toward the regular season—Rock Chalk, Jayhawks! CFL playoffs begin tomorrow with conference semi-finals in Hamilton and Vancouver—I'm picking Edmonton to prevail over Hamilton and BC to defeat Winnipeg. 

Eric, Erica and Liam also travelled down here for the reunion, but their trip was in no way straight-forward. They gathered in Regina to get a jump start on the trip only to discover that a passport was back in Prince Albert, so, it fell to Eric to round-trip PA before they could even start. They drove straight through, arriving here on Friday evening very tired. They seem quite a bit revived tonight as we gathered for an evening of feasting, visiting and singing. 

Erin & Kristian did not make this reunion as they took care of business and schooling. Haaken, also, remained in Regina to attend to his university coursework. We miss them! 

Travis, Joanna, Gemma and Andrew have likewise attended to their lives in Thunder Bay; we miss them, too. Joanna made a trip to Toronto to care for her mother through surgery. That seems to have gone well. We're relieved. Trav has posted another hockey game write-up! 

And that's about all I could handle this week! 

Saturday, November 5

News Update

Another week has passed and we're on the shore of Lake Wascana in the middle of the prairie. We completed the drive up from Thunder Bay on Sunday evening. We checked in at Erin's once we got to town, and then we checked into our lodgings at 55 Laird. Thank you Bern, Alicia and Logan for putting us up so well. The weather has been beautiful with daytime highs touching 20 degrees in the sunshine. I went by the golf course, but it was already closed for the season. We've spent most evenings over at Erin's to catch up with them, and Wendy has spent most days up at the hospital. Dad was admitted for further surgery to replace the prosthetic spike from his knee down into his tibia. That was done Tuesday, but it hasn't been all smooth sailing since then, either. The surgery seems to have gone well, but he's been working through the after-effects, including low hemoglobin, since. Bern and Alicia have kept me busy with a couple of projects. We've redone the flooring in dad's room and the hallways with laminate. I also added an electrical outlet for dad's keyboard. Wendy has been repairing drywall that was damaged in that effort, and also touching up a few other spots. It has been a no good, very bad start to the month on the markets as fear of Trump is holding sway and driving the markets down, so I had a red week. We certainly hope things improve after Tuesday! The Cubs came back from a 3-1 deficit to overcome the curse and win the world series for me! Now, we can have some other story for the reporters to rave about! The Riders played out the season tonight, falling to BC Lions to finish at 5-13—not the 9-9 I was hoping for! Oilers continue to impress in the young hockey season. Tonight we celebrated Rich's birthday around delicious bbq and saskatoon crisp! 

Eric was the featured speaker in North Battleford on Sunday, while I was doing the same in Brandon. Otherwise they seem to have spent a quiet week. Erica has been working on our mortgage renewal process—that seems ready to go now. Liam is home this weekend for an appointment with a specialist. He and Eric took in a Dr. Strange movie tonight. They are glad to find a gluten-free restaurant in Saskatoon for Liam—they've been there twice already. Haaken remains pretty quiet, but when he's asked, he says everything is great! 

It turns out our assumptions were incorrect—things were not going well for Erin. She was sick all last week, and missed a couple of days of work. She was still sick when we arrived on Sunday evening. However, she's getting better and did not miss any work this week. Kristian is doing well. He enjoyed a good haul of treats accompanied by Grandma on Monday evening. Their laptop hard drive failed, so I got that replaced with a used one for minimal cost. That's about the last repair I can rationalize on that 10-year old computer. 

Joanna readies the next target!
Travis, Joanna and crew are keeping things going in Thunder Bay. We hear from them from time to time. His hockey team won another, and seems to be developing well. He wrote up the latest game with a Hallowe'en Theme—what a fun coach! Meanwhile they continue to be busy and effective in their work. Gemma and Andrew are doing well also. 

And that's about it for this week! 

Saturday, October 29

News Update

Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Superior in my hometown, but we're not there! We headed west this morning, and made it as far as Brandon where we're enjoying a visit with Bonnie and Charlie! Along the way, we stopped in to greet Tom & Mariette and offer condolences and comfort over the loss of her brother this past week. Although brief, it was a nice visit—they're very busy with family activities around the memorial, as well as dealing with lots of feelings, memories and grief. It's been a busy week as we've finished up the bathroom project and tidied up whatever we could in anticipation of our being away for a few weeks. The weather has been mild, but a bit rainy, so we only got out to the driving range once. The markets continue to be troubled and I struggled to make any money this week—only one day left to make quota for the month! The Cubs are faltering in the World Series; Cleveland won again tonight to take a 3-1 lead. The Riders played their final game in the old Taylor Field; alas, they didn't close it out with a win. Hockey is beginning to capture more interest, as my old favourite, the Oilers, look rejuvenated. 

Erica was in Saskatoon this week for work. She was able to enjoy some good restaurants and reconnect with the city. It holds many memories from her university days. Eric had meetings on Friday, so he made his way down to Saskatoon on Thursday evening, and, since they were in Saskatoon, Liam found a ride up, and is home for the weekend. They enjoyed supper at Leyda's restaurant ( a gluten-free place) in Saskatoon before heading back to PA. Haaken decided he'd rather stay in Regina; he must really be enjoying it down there! Eric is preaching on Sunday. You can catch it live-streamed on-line

Erin and Kristian are doing just fine as far as we know, but we're headed there to find out for sure!! 

Trav and Joanna continue to be very busy with Puck Shots and Bucket Decals. Still they found time to take us out of supper last evening—thanks guys! They have their office downstairs, so they'll maintain stewardship over the house while we're away. That is a comfort to us. Trav's hockey team has now played five games. You can catch up on his write-ups in the blog

And that's all for this week. 

Saturday, October 22

News Update

Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Superior in my hometown. The weather was cooler this week, but still very nice, and I got out to the golf course twice with Wendy. Her game has improved so much this year; I wish I could say the same about mine! Work has continued on the downstairs bathroom and it's looking great. Wendy got the painting completed, so, I have been able to install the electrical and plumbing fixtures. I still need to complete the shower stall. Work has stalled in the kitchenette; it will wait for us to return after the family reunion in Dallas. Wendy has also had two days of babysitting this week. The markets have continued to be difficult, and all US indices remain in the red for the month, however at least this week they were all a bit green, and I had a good week making quota again. I am on pace for quota this month, so I hope that I can finish it off well. Baseball playoffs have moved on to the World Series. My Blue Jays failed to get their bats going, and lost to Cleveland in five games, so that's over. Chicago Cubs advanced over the Dodgers in the National League. All told, my picks won the two wild card games; three of four in the division series, and one of two in the championship series—that's a good percentage, but I'd give up all the others if only the Blue Jays could have moved forward! I am picking the Cubs to win it all, and also cheering for them to do so. I assess them as having the best manager (Maddon) in the game, but Francona is great as well, so it should be an entertaining battle. Go Cubbies! The Riders are playing out the string, and broke their winning streak to Montreal in a dreary, rain-soaked Taylor Field, today. 

Liam went to a student leadership conference where he had to carry a log for over one km! Not to sure what the point was, but I'm guessing there was one! He also got a new laptop this week as his old one (a hand-me-down) has been problematic. Not much news coming from Haaken, so we assume school continues to preoccupy his time. Eric/A have made some progress on the downsizing and reorganization front. They've gone through the Tupperware, and cut their investment there in half! Eric made some progress in reorganizing one of the boy's bedrooms into a music room. 

Look fierce—can't hit anything!
Kristian has lost another tooth, the stomach tooth on the other side. So, he has a matched set of gaps now! Armed with his new knowledge he bypassed the tooth fairy protocol and went straight to the banker to arrange financing on his Hallowe'en costume! Erin is feeling much improved, but still needs work to get her neck in better condition. 

Trav and Joanna are over here most days to work in the office downstairs. They also continue to move stuff to the new house bit by bit. They've also enjoyed visits from two grandmothers this week! Sunday, they were out to Nipigon to photograph 22 hockey teams! And the printer keeps spitting out more bucket decals—a licence to print money! 

And that's about enough for this week!