Saturday, February 18

News Update

Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Wascana in the middle of the prairies. The weather has been beautiful with lots of melting all week. I've been enjoying getting out for walks, but my leg is not getting good circulation, so it tires quickly; I estimate I can make 500m now. Wendy spent a couple of days over with Dad while Alicia worked; I went along with her some of the time. Otherwise, she keeps checking out as many of the local stores as she can, and drags me along when I'm having a weak moment! I had my followup with an internist on Wednesday over my DVT. It was not very encouraging. He said the clots should be dissolved by the end of the three-month prescription, but he extended it to six months anyway. He noted that full circulation might not come back ever, and that I will remain at risk for further clots. I have now completed my first three weeks into my prescription of Rivaroxaban. The doctor assured me that the blood clots would be gone at the end of three months. However, he noted that scarification of the sites often occurs, and that such scarification may prevent circulation from ever getting back to normal. He noted that the long delay in getting to a doctor with this was a negative factor on my chances of complete remediation. If only someone had suggested back in December that I should go to a doctor!! Mea culpa: I have no one to blame for this but myself. My daughter insisted I get to the doctor back in December. She is wagging her finger at me once again, sigh! The markets turned upward this week until Friday. I hope they were just holding their cash ahead of the long weekend, and not reacting to the train-wreck of a presser by Die Twittermaus! In any case, I had a good week despite losing some dough on Friday. Sports watching is coming into busy season. The Scotties started today; it's almost full-time just keeping up with that. NHL is getting down to serious season and the playoff hunt is heating up. Edmonton and Pittsburgh have improved to second place in their respective divisions. March Madness is just around the corner in basketball. My Jayhawks won two tough games this week by staging unbelievable comebacks. Rock Chalk boys! 

Eric, Erica had busy weeks. Eric has completed revisions on his final paper, and has received word that he has completed this course. Another course on the way to supervisor status. Erica is in busy season, so she's had some later evenings. She also had another appointment with her doctor; they now have a course of treatment on the lipedema. She will start a round of comprehensive decompression therapy in March to bring down the edema aspect of her lipedema. After that she will begin wearing compression garments. Liam had been sick this week, but recovered enough for Youth Quake, a youth rally at school. He comes home tomorrow for a week long break. Haaken continues to help around the house, and work with the Association for Community Living in search of work. He has also submitted some of his work to various studios. 

Erin and Kristian continue to host us, and we are thankful for that. Kristian recovered quickly after his illness on the weekend. He had a follow-up with the ophthalmologist on Monday. He approved of how Kristian's eyes were improving, but wants him to continue as a patient. Of course it was Valentine's this week, and Erin scored several bouquets, while Kristian enjoyed lots of treats from school. This morning was bowling league, and Kristian raised his average once again. 

Travis and Joanna are doing well. Trav's team lost the final in Superior last Sunday, but it served as a good preparation for the City Championships coming soon. On Monday, when they went over to the office at our house, they were delighted to find that the neighbours had cleared the driveway! It's nice to have folks like that around. It's nice to have Trav & Joanna looking after the place as well. 

And that's about enough for this week.

Saturday, February 11

News Update

Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Wascana in the middle of the prairie. We had a cold snap mid-week, but we're back looking at melting temperatures once again this weekend. My leg does not appear to be improving. I'm scheduled to see the specialist on Wednesday, so I look forward to an explanation of what I should be expecting—I hope it's not what I'm experiencing! I had a great week in the markets as the TSX rose to a new record high, finally surpassing September 2014. It has been a long 2.5 years of going sideways. And already we have pundits calling for a "correction", sigh! Wendy spent a couple of days over at her Dad's as Alicia was working—both were subbing! I got to go along one of the days. Kristian had a school holiday on Friday, but spent it being sick! That's no way to spend any day, and especially not a holiday. As a result, he and Erin did not come along with us to Caronport on Friday evening to see Liam in the school play. That was a nice outing, featuring a good job on Our Miss Brooks by the cast and crew. We got to enjoy it in special seats, complete with treats, and accompanied by Eric and Erica. Sports continues to make its way through the set schedules. Curling lineups are set for Scotties and Brier—that will consume some time in the next month! NHL hockey is pressing up to trade deadline, so the excited pundits are demanding our attention to every potential lineup change! Pittsburgh and Edmonton both hold down playoff positions, but only as third place teams in their respective divisions. NCAA Basketball moves ever closer to March Madness; this week Kansas was installed as the top seed in their bracket. However after two scrappy wins this week, over teams they should have beaten easily, it remains to be seen whether they will remain there. 

Eric completed all assignments as expected, and now works on edits and adjustments. Haaken is working through his assisted employment program. Erica's work progresses as usual. On Friday they drove down to Caronport to enjoy Liam's play with us. They subsequently took Liam to Moose Jaw to celebrate his performance, and still later returned him to Caronport and drove back home! Craziness abounds! 
Liam, with Our Miss Brooks!

Erin has been managing the department at work as her boss has been on medical leave, and only making sporadic visits to the shop. Kristian had a bad return with his eye infection, so he started the week in emergency, and is now back on antibiotics and hot compresses to his eyes. Then, on Friday he came down with fever and coughing. He's feeling quite a bit better today. 

We enjoyed a FaceTime visit with Trav, Joanna and Gemma the other night. Gemma aced her driver's exam, achieved her driver's licence, and is now licensed to drive! Trav and Gemma travelled with the hockey team to Superior, Wisconsin this weekend. The guys are 3-0 in preliminary action and are in the semi-final tomorrow. 

And that's about it for this week. 

Saturday, February 4

News Update

Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Wascana in the middle of the prairie! The weather was very nice at the start of the week, but it has turned colder again. Uncle Bordie, Howard and Diane have remained here until today, so we've enjoyed extra visiting with them to make up for not getting to see them in BC. I'm on medication for the clots in my leg, but I haven't noted any particular improvement yet—soon, I hope! This weekend we celebrated both Liam and Haaken's birthdays. Liam's birthday was today, and we enjoyed a special supper, birthday cake, a movie and a bowling adventure with them. We plan to celebrate Haaken's birthday tomorrow with a dinner out. We've enjoyed another week with Erin and Kristian—thanks for hosting us! The markets have been crazy again this week, but a final month of Obama's jobs' numbers turned Friday into a big payoff and almost got me to quota for the week. I've been getting promising results paper-trading a new strategy, but I'm not ready to pull the trigger and put any money into it just yet. The NHL has returned to action after the all-star break, and Pittsburgh has returned strongly to action, while Edmonton has dropped a couple. The Jayhawks won a big game against Baylor early in the week, and then inexplicably dropped a game to Iowa State today. C'mon guys—Rock, chalk! 

As mentioned, the Baileys were here to celebrate Liam's birthday. He has been practicing for his school play that hits the boards next week, so he has practices this weekend as well. It was a struggle to fit in his birthday celebrations! The performance is next weekend, and we hope to take in the Friday evening showing. Haaken continues with his program for employment assistance. He is also helping out with cooking supper, and has been putting together pitches for stories. Eric is down to crunch time on his counselling supervision course. All assignments are due early this month, so there's a bit of extra pressure there. Erica is in busy season at work as well, and is working some evenings. What a fun life! 

Erin keeps busy with Kristian's schedule of school and bowling, and then there's her house guests to manage as well. Kristian is having eye issues again, so he's on medication for that. He has bowling league each Saturday morning, and bowling practice on Monday evenings. He's enjoying it, and beat his average each game again this morning. 

Trav & Joanna and crew are taking care of things at home. His team lost the championship game in the tournament last weekend. They continue to play well, and even better in tournaments. Gemma and Andrew are into second semester at school. 

And that's about it for this week! 

Saturday, January 28

News Update

Another week has passed, and, we are, once again, sojourning on the shore of Lake Wascana in the middle of the prairie. We started the week in the Okanagan as we enjoyed our visit with John. He is struggling through his new life circumstances, and we have no way of really understanding all of what he is going through. However, we were also able to have our good times together, and gain the sense that he is, indeed, working through things. We completed our visit there in a luncheon at the seniors' complex in Winfield. It was a good meal, as always, and also reminiscent of our last visit with Marion as it also featured a meal there! Thanks for a good week, John! We drove as far as Canmore on Tuesday. We visited with Gary and Barb on Wednesday, and then continued on to Medicine Hat where we stayed with Jim and Carol—no wait a minute, I'm living in the past—we stayed at a motel. On Thursday, we stopped in at Caronport and Moose Jaw, where we coffeed with Grace, Kris and Paul, and finally completed the trip to Regina. We have moved into Erin's basement and are enjoying having some time with them. Thanks for hosting us! Erica was here when we arrived, so we even got in a brief visit with her. I finally responded to Erin's urging and went to the doctor about my sore leg on Friday morning. One event led into another and eventually I found myself in Emergency at the Pasqua Hospital where they confirmed a diagnosis of DVT, and put me on blood-thinning Rivaroxaban for the next three months. Since the symptoms first appeared before Christmas, it has become clear I've been living in denial and at risk for the last month. Thankfully, things are okay, and I'm on the road to healing. Markets continue to be troubled, but the TSX showed another small gain while US indices were up over 1%. I am on quota for the month with two trading days left. NHL teams are off for All-Star weekend; Penguins are 7 points out of the lead in their division, while the Oilers are tied for first place in theirs. My Jayhawks went down to a discouraging defeat in WV on Tuesday, but put up a thrilling comeback win at Kentucky today. Rock Chalk, boys! 

Erica visited with Erin and Kristian while working on a audit in Regina most of the week; she headed home on Friday in their newly repaired CRV. Haaken met with the employment support program for Autism; he has another meeting this week. He is working through his options and immediate plans at home in Prince Albert. Liam enjoyed another edition of Grandma's care package that we dropped off for him in Caronport. He is continuing his preparations for his play that hits the boards in February. Eric continued his work in Prince Albert. 

Erin continues her family-hosting business. Erica was there part of the week and now we have moved in! Kristian had Friday off school, so we took care of him. He was ill this morning, and did not make it to his regular bowling league games. He seems to be getting better by this evening. 

Travis and Joanna remain in contact via text, phone or FaceTime. They've had some decent weather there, but plenty enough of winter to suit their fancy. Gemma and Andrew are doing fine, relaxing as they have completed exams and a new semester is beginning. Work is going well, and Trav's hockey team is progressing well—this week they're 4-0 and into the semi-final tomorrow. 

And that's about enough for this week. 

Saturday, January 21

News Update

Another week has passed, and we have moved on once again. This time we're situated on the shore of Lake Okanagan, far from the middle of the prairies! We left Regina on Tuesday, driving north and west to Sylvan Lake where we were graciously hosted by Jim and Carol. Thanks folks! On Wednesday we drove out to the Okanagan to visit John. The trip was terrible, easily the worst trip I've taken through the mountains. We were stopped several times while the crews cleared avalanches and plowed clearance on the highway. It was a long day on slushy roads; we took 12 hours to make 700 km. However, we finally made it and are enjoying our time with John here on the lake. We've also managed to fit in a couple of visits and meals with Warren and Evelyn—thanks for some great eating and reminiscing! We also managed a trip over to Salmon Arm today where we caught up with Lyndon and Janelle, and even more eating! It's been a good and useful time with lots of catching-up and not-a-few tears. The markets have continued their volatility in these troubled times as investors try to figure out what Die Tweetermaus will do. All US indices were red for the week, and the TSX was only moderately green as we are reluctant to make any move without big brother coming along. I managed a small gain, but nowhere close to my expectations or needs for the week. The NHL season plods along, and my teams (Oilers, Penguins) are just back of the lead in their respective conferences. The Jayhawks remain at #2, but reeled off two more wins this week. Now they head into a tougher part of the schedule and will need to be at their best—Rock Chalk, Jayhawks! 

The Baileys are playing to a full house once again. Haaken moved back home, where he is putting together a plan for next steps toward his dream of becoming an animator. We look forward to seeing those next steps. Liam is home for the weekend and a final appointment about his toe. It is now healed and though he will never be a foot model with his partially removed nail, he is enjoying the lack of pain. They have both vehicles back in running order. The CRV was repaired and ready for pick up in Edmonton on Monday, and since friends were driving up on Tuesday, they were able to coordinate to get to Edmonton and bring it home. Erica had a consultation with a specialist in the US who confirmed she likely has Lipedema and is starting to get Lymphedema in her legs and arms. She has further appointments with a therapist in Prince Albert and a doctor in Saskatoon. Treatment options include compression therapy, manual lymphatic drainage massage, wearing compression garments, anti-inflammatory eating, and surgery. 

Erin and Kristian have the place to themselves at least briefly, as Haaken has completed his paperwork at the university and moved home. They worked through some issues at school for Kristian and progress seems to have been made. 

Trav & Joanna have returned from Punta Cana and are enjoying winter in Thunder Bay! They keep in touch via text and FaceTime. We are thankful to have them there taking care of things, so we can travel without that concern. Thanks guys! 

And that's about enough for this week. 

Saturday, January 14

News Update

Elvin and the Women of his family!
Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Wascana in the middle of the prairie. It's been cold most of the week, but the weather has broken and we're looking toward above zero temperatures and melting off the roads. I finally got the lab report from my surgery on Tuesday. It was a squamous cell carcinoma, and the surgeon reasserted his confidence that he had got it all, and that no further therapies were needed. On Wednesday, we had the bittersweet experience of attending the memorial service for cousin Elvin. It was good to catch up with many relatives and friends, as we remarked on a life effectively lived. The markets started off well, but a wild press conference by Herr Tweetermaus turned investors twitchy, and the DOW ended up losing value for the week. TSX was flat, but I had a good week, so I feel well-blessed. This marks the end of our time in Regina this trip, as we plan to head west next week. Wendy keeps busy taking care of us. Dad keeps busy with Crosswords, Sudoku and Jumbles! Hockey continues, and we've been able to help Dad cheer on his beloved Maple Leafs to a couple more victories this week. Pittsburgh and Edmonton have both fallen off the pace again. Let's get it going guys! KU won a couple more conference games this week, and I expect them to be raised to #1 this weekend; Rock Chalk, Jayhawks! 

Erica was in LaRonge and Saskatoon for work this week. She made a presentation to a school board conference and enjoyed that. Eric is in Saskatoon today playing card hockey in a league with his brother. Liam is hard at it in school. We delivered a care package to him on Wednesday. I hope he was able to protect it from the foragers in the dorm! Haaken is reconsidering the situation. He has decided the program at University in Regina was not suitable, so he's cancelled those classes. Now, he's reassessed long, medium and short term goals and next steps. Growing up is hard! They got the Jetta repaired—it need a new starter. The CRV remains in the shop getting repaired after being rear-ended in Edmonton. The Transit Authority has agreed to pay all related costs, including getting them back to Edmonton to pick it up when it's ready. 

Erin has also had car troubles that showed up with the cold weather. She got a new battery and a replacement cord for the block heater, and the car seems to be performing again. We attended Kristian's bowling league again this morning. He was able to beat his average again, but, of course, as you keep beating your average, it keeps getting harder! It's nice to see his enjoyment of the game as well as the improvement in his performance. 

Travis and Joanna have spent the week at Punta Cana DR. We enjoyed their pictures of enjoying the tropical paradise. Now they're back to wintry reality in Thunder Bay, but hopefully re-energized to get back to work. For sure they are enjoying being reunited with family and animals! 

And that's about enough for this week. 

Saturday, January 7

News Update

Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Wascana in the middle of the prairie. The weather has turned cold, so it has made it uncomfortable for outdoor activities. Wendy did get out for skating with Kristian, but it was a short-lived outing. Dad continues to progress well, and is getting around nicely with his crutches now. He even does some experimentation with walking! Wendy keeps busy shopping and housekeeping so we all are well-cared for. The Markets got a late start due to the holiday, but were buoyed by continued strong economic data that pushed the DOW within a half-point of 20K. I was able to make quota, so a nice start to 2017. I have a couple new strategies in my paper-trading portfolios; we'll see how those work out. Bern, Alicia and Logan arrived early Thursday morning as they were all back to school and work Thursday. Today, we drove over to Moose Jaw for a visit with Elvin and Grace. As it turned out all the girls were home, so that was a special bonus for us. Elvin was failing quickly, and Karen informed us of his passing at 6:30 this evening! Our condolences to Grace and the families of the girls, as well as his many friends through his work with the Lions, and because of all the community involvement and development over a productive lifetime. The Junior Hockey World Championships were completed this week. USA beat Canada in overtime in the gold medal game. It was very entertaining even though we were cheering for the opposite outcome. We now return our attention to the regularly scheduled NHL season! Tonight, I watched my Jayhawks take Texas Tech down in a regular season game. 

The Baileys continue to live an "interesting" 2017. On their way home from Victoria, they decided to visit Edmonton and take in another viewing of Rogue One. However... the start of many a story, tall tale and poem! Erica feels a Dr. Seuss treatment of the week would be most appropriate. As they waited to make a left turn, a city bus decided not to wait! So, they had to work at finding transportation and repair solutions on a holiday in Edmonton. Eventually they made their way home in a rental van, leaving their CRV to an uncertain fate! The insurance company for the bus company soon informed them that they were accepting full blame for the accident, but demurred on accepting the full cost of such consequences! They were refusing to cover the rental van! So, Eric/A drove to Edmonton yesterday in two vehicles to return the van. This morning, their Jetta refused to start. They're staying another night in Edmonton! The rest of the week was pretty inconsequential, it seems! 

Erin has welcomed her boarder back, as Haaken started his second semester of university. Kristian was also back to school on Thursday, but we got in some more days with him before that occurrence. Friday night, Erin and Kristian hosted us for supper and a movie. Kristian and I also took the time to assemble their new trolley unit. This morning, Kristian had league bowling; we enjoyed watching that. He bested his average each of the three games. 

Trav didn't get a good start to the new year either. He separated ribs while coughing, and is still feeling pretty tender. That pain was eased by Andrew's operation of the snowblower, and by their current locale—Punta Cana, DR! We are officially no longer feeling sorry for him! Grandma has come up from TO to stay with Gemma and Andrew while Trav & Joanna laze in the sun! 

And that's about enough for this week!