Saturday, August 19

News Update

Another week has passed and we have spent part of it on the shore of the North Saskatchewan, then several days on the bank of the Souris, and ended the week on the bank of the Wascana—all in the middle of the prairies! The weather has been very nice in support of our various activities. We drove from PA down to Regina on Sunday evening, moving in with Erin & Kristian once again—thanks! On Monday, we drove down to Weyburn to celebrate the 50th reunion of the class of '67. We were the under-classmates of these folks and it was great to see them again and catch up on their stories. Dave & Heather did a great job of organizing the activities and preparing the menu. I even managed some golf at the Weyburn Golf Club—home course of Graham DeLaet. It is somewhat improved from my recollections of five decades ago, and I enjoyed the round with Brian and Waverly. We returned to Regina and closed out the week here. The markets were in turmoil of Trump and his support of the white supremacists, and all ended the week in the red. I feel blessed to have had a good week in such circumstances and am on quota for the month so far. Wendy and I helped in a support-role for the reunion, and then she took the lead in preparing a birthday supper for Erin on Friday. It was a keto feast! The Riders won their game last Sunday! They have this week off. The Jays are playing a bit better, but need to go on a winning streak to get back in the playoff picture.

The Baileys are running a little behind schedule, but they are now moved out of the apartment and all their stuff is in the house with very little rhyme or reason to its placement. Now they need to renovate and organize, and we're heading that way to complicate the issue and provide something in the way of assistance. In the meantime, Erica is laid up with a very painful knee. So this weekend she's taking a break sitting it out with her legs up. Liam has continued to work on renovations, while Eric/A call contractors and suppliers and get various quotes. Haaken is settling in at the Baileys in Victoria. He met with his school this week and got fully registered for classes. He's now applying for student loans.

Happy Birthday Erin!
Erin and Kristian did the daycare transitions with Alicia while we were in Weyburn then we took over for Thursday and Friday. It was Erin's birthday on Friday; Wendy supervised a feast of roasted vegies, chicken fettuccini alfredo and two kinds of homemade ice cream: peanut butter, and blueberry. It was delicious, and all keto-friendly, although the peanut butter ice cream was pushing the envelope! Erin has the next week off; she's looking forward to that.

Travis & Joanna are back to holding down the fort in Thunder Bay while Gemma and Andrew are back at their summer jobs. Some contracts are coming in, and they continue to complete those and push them out the door.

And that's about enough for this week. 

Saturday, August 12

News Update

Another week has passed and we have completed our short sojourn in Thunder Bay, and settled on the shore of the North Saskatchewan River at the top of the prairies. Actually, we're not that far from the South Saskatchewan either, as it's just east of here that the two join together before continuing their run toward Hudson's Bay. We tried to tidy as many things up at home as possible and get the lawns and weeds under control during our week at home, now it's back onto Travis's neck! I was able to get the batteries reassembled for the cordless tools. We managed to get the table saw and many of my tools into the Santa Fe for the trip to Prince Albert. Wendy is sure it expressed relief when we unloaded this evening. We drove as far as Winnipeg on Friday, where we enjoyed supper with Kelly, Cassie and Thomas, and an overnight stay with Tom & Mariette—thank you! The markets continued to roar forward to start the week, but then there was a roar of a different kind as one tin-horn despot fired back at another, and the markets took a nose dive for the rest of the week—sigh! I earned a full weekly quota on Monday, but proceeded to lose it all during the down days. The Riders play tomorrow—Go Riders, Go! The Jays continue to play some promising games, and some discouraging ones. They are having a frustrating season.

Haaken and Erica headed to Calgary on Monday where she attended training while Haaken hung out in the city. They continued westward to take Haaken to Victoria to prepare for school. He is very happy about starting his program at Victoria College of Art and we are hopeful this gets him closer to his dream of working in animation. Liam and Eric have been left behind in Prince Albert to pack and prepare for moving day to the new house. Moving Day was today; Erica is thankful to have successfully missed that! Liam has been working on the house. He's completed removing the rest of the linoleum upstairs in the bedrooms and hallway. The hallway wasn't as difficult as they had feared. And then he built a stand for his drum set in the basement. He's quite the handy guy!

Erin has been home alone all week with Sadie, however she has been in regular contact with Kristian while he travels with us. We plan to return him to her tomorrow. Kristian has caught up with one old friend in Thunder Bay, and also managed some local site-seeing including Ouimet Canyon and the Terry Fox Monument.

Travis and Joanna joined Gemma and Andrew in Toronto for most of the week. They returned on Thursday evening in time to collect the animals before we took off on Friday morning. Trav was over early on Friday to get the big printer printing money, and to bid us farewell. Thanks for taking care of the place where we sometimes live!

And that's enough for this week. 

Saturday, August 5

News Update

Another week has passed and we have returned to the shore of Lake Superior far from the prairies! This has given us a break from the overheated prairies; we are enjoying plenty of green down here as the rains have been plentiful. In fact, we're enjoying too much green; I have taken up the battle against the high weeds and long lawns! We have a lot to do in the week we're scheduled to be home. I have ordered new sub-C batteries and plan to rebuild one of the batteries for my cordless tools. I have already rebuilt the other one, using the best 15 of the 30 sub-C batteries that I already had. This is testing my soldering skills! I have disassembled the table saw so I can fit it in the Santa Fe for the trip to Prince Albert. It remains to be seen whether I'll actually take it in the car, or if we'll rent a small trailer for the trip. There are many other tools I wish to have for that project, so we'll see how much will fit, and then make further decisions. We left Regina on Wednesday, driving over to Winnipeg, where we enjoyed an evening with Dean, Kelly, Cassie and Tom. We completed the drive on Thursday, arriving here in the early evening. I've managed to get both lawns cut between the showers, and pulled some of the weeds. I got the oil changed in the car, so that part is ready to go. The markets were a bit green this week, with all indices gaining a bit of value. I had a great week, with more than two weekly quotas gained, so that helps. The Jays continue to play mediocre ball—they did have a nice win tonight! The Riders returned from their win over TO last week to visit BC, and they found out it's a lot tougher in the Western Division!

The Baileys are all back under one roof for a week! There is a lot to be done. Liam has been really helpful in packing and taking apart bookshelves during the day. Then, both boys have been loading up the CRV with boxes and helping Eric take each load over to the new house. The renovations continue in consultation with the plumber and the window guy. Now they are conferring with their expert panel—we got the email! Erica returned to work this week. She definitely gets tired by the end of the day, but reports that each day is a bit better, with more energy, and less pain.

Kristian is travelling with us, so Erin's left to her own devices. She has taken up decorating, and has posted pictures onto her newly painted walls. Looks good!
Over the coach potato! 

The light grey wall!

Travis and Joanna are relieved to be relieved of yard duties, but it's only for a short time, then they're back on assignment. They were over this evening to mark my birthday and enjoy yet another peanut butter ice cream cake! This time I made it with crunchy peanut butter, and I think that was even better. They are off in the morning, so I'm on taxi duty to get them to the airport before 8am. Have a good trip guys, and thanks for your care of the place over the last two months. 

And that's about enough for this week. 

Saturday, July 29

News Update

Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Wascana in the middle of the prairies. The weather has continued to be very hot, and there are heating warnings posted each day. I did get out for golfing on Wednesday morning, but mostly we just stayed indoors. The golf continues to be a bit better, but now I'm no longer satisfied with mid-eighties! Wendy has continued to push the paint program at Erin's and, today, she completed the main level which was her objective for this trip. We're preparing to head east next week, so we've been trying to complete our various projects. I've had two electrical surprises, so those jobs are on hiatus while I study each situation further. An electronic ballast seems to have failed in Dad's shop, but continuity tests were positive, so why is the light not working? At Erin's I'm planning to add another light and another switch to her basement lighting, turning a three-way, into a four-way. Among other things, I still need to buy some 14/3 wire, and a four-way switch, but there are a lot of ways to wire a three-way, so I decided I would investigate that first and see what the previous homeowner did when he installed it. My research indicated that there were only 9 ways to wire a three-way circuit, but it didn't take too much digging to discover that this guy may have #10! Following the lead from the downstairs switch box led me into the ceiling and a hidden junction box! Always there are surprises! The markets continued to be no good, very bad and ugly! The TSX was red for June, and remains red for the year. I not only failed to make quota, I lost money for the month—that won't do! Baby needs new shoes! The Blue Jays continue to falter their way through the season in last place. However, the Riders put up an inspiring performance tonight to earn a win over Toronto—yay Riders! 

Eric and Erica continued their sojourn in Bonn, where Erica convalesced and healed from her surgery. Finally, she got her stitches out, her next surgeries scheduled, and headed back to Canada. They landed in Saskatoon this evening, and are planning to pick up Haaken and drive down for a brief visit around my birthday celebration tomorrow. This will also allow them to pick up Liam who has been staying at Erin's place. 

Erin and Kristian have enjoyed hosting us, along with Liam for another week. Erin is not looking forward to all our departures, along with Kristian, next week. Her newly painted place will be vacant except for Sadie! Kristian and Liam got haircuts this week; I need one, but the prices are too high here. I need my senior and my volume discounts! The boys have done a bit of bike riding and playing catch, but it's been just too hot, especially by the time they drag out of bed! 

Travis, Joanna and crew are keeping relatively busy in Thunder Bay. Joanna and Gemma had a bunch of weddings to decorate for last weekend. The weather has been warm and wet down there, so the lawns have been keeping them busy as well. Trav is doing off-season maintenance of his programming, spin-offs and assorted websites. He continues to get some contracts for his various businesses. Gemma and Andrew also continue with their summer jobs. 

And that's about it for this week. 

Saturday, July 22

News Update

Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Wascana in the middle of the prairies. The weather was very comfortable early in the week, but has warmed to difficult levels once again. I was away to Dauphin, Thursday through Saturday, and escaped some of the hot weather. We are continuing our stay with Dad, while enjoying his hospitality—thanks! We got to celebrate David's 65th birthday with him this week—first birthday I've seen celebrated around a Saskatoon pie! The work at Erin's is mostly on hiatus, but we intend to get back to that next week. Bernard and Alicia returned from their holiday tour this evening, so we have relocated to Erin's basement. Golf featured prominently in my activities this week. I had a round with Rich and Dale on Tuesday—that was a lot of fun! On Thursday, I drove over to Dauphin for the annual golf outing with my old contacts from Dauphin days. We played two rounds on Friday, and they played another two rounds on Saturday, but I skipped out on the Saturday play, and headed back to Regina. It was raining Saturday morning, and I'd already had more than enough exercise on my gimpy leg. The markets were horrible again, and I continue to suffer losses. Wendy did some painting at Erin's, but mostly she's been working around Dad's place, watering the garden daily, and assisting him in the shop with his woodworking projects. I did some electrical repairs in the shop, but more remain to be done as two of the fluorescent fixtures have failed. New ballasts are prohibitively expensive, so I've replaced the one fixture, and am considering upgrading the other one to LED tubes as they don't require a ballast. The sad-sack Jays seem unable to win a series these days, which prevents any progress in their division. The Riders played Calgary tonight, and were overmatched at this point in the rebuilding efforts. Go Riders! 

Eric and Erica spent the week in Europe. Her surgery was completed; she has now been discharged from the hospital, but her recovery and rehabilitation will continue for some time. She is looking toward scheduling her second surgery of the series; that won't be for some months it seems. Liam has been staying with us in Regina. Haaken is holding down the fort in PA. 

Kristian has also spent many days with us this week. He, Liam and I got out for some golf practice one day. Both grandsons demonstrated considerable proficiency at hitting the ball. I hope both will continue to take an interest in it. 

Travis and Joanna keep busy with their various work efforts, and also in taking care of our house and yard, as well as their house and yard. The rains have been plentiful in TBay, so this has not been a small assignment. Thanks again. We look toward returning to TBay in August and taking over these tasks for a short time before our next trip! LOL

And that's about enough for this week. 

Thursday, July 20

Golf post-DVTs

As the year began, I was unable to walk without pain, and feared my golfing days were behind me. I had developed Deep Vein Thromboses (DVTs) in December 2016, and even with gritted teeth was unable to walk more than 50 metres at a time. I began treatment with a blood thinner in January, and my doctor encouraged me to push my leg recovery as hard as I wished. She assured me that the Rivaroxaban would protect me against further damage from the clots, and left me with the watch words, "Elevate or Activate!" So, Wendy and I began a program of walking and, later, cycling to push the circulation in my leg. 

It was not easy, as the failure to circulate blood efficiently left my calf muscle, in particular, screaming for oxygen. The leg achieved ominous discolouration and swelling each day, but partially receded each night. My range gradually improved, and by May I had achieved over 5km of continuous walking which was my target for a round of golf. In June, we headed west, and I tried my first golf in Winnipeg, managing to walk 9 holes with few complaints and lots of swings! Then, situated in Regina, I managed 18 holes on an executive length course. My leg complained some, and the golf was just as poor, but I was encouraged. I have kept it up, playing one round a week, along with practice and a par 3 course with Kristian, and hallelujah, today I'm in Dauphin, preparing for my favourite golf event of the year with my friends from my Dauphin days! Many good golfers are playing the Open this week, so I feel I will be able to perform adequately against this lesser field!! 

I feel very blessed by the improvement in my mobility, and I'm now hoping for my golf game to pick up as well! 

Saturday, July 15

News Update

Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Wascana in the middle of the prairies. The weather has continued to be very hot; several storms have thrashed their ways across the plains, and some places have received heavy deluges, hail and even tornadoes. We have seen none of the above here in Regina, but would enjoy seeing some rain if it should develop. I got out golfing on Tuesday with Garnet and Dale. While there were some positive signs, and my leg held up just fine, the score remained solidly in the 90's. I also got out to practice on Thursday, and was joined by a coach who stopped by while I was on the range and offered a few tips. (That should add a few strokes to my score!) On Friday, we drove up to Saskatoon to see Eric and Erica off to Europe, and to pick up Liam who is staying in Regina while they're gone. Wendy has continued painting at Erin's as time permits, and also spends extra time learning and using new recipes in our keto diet plan—very tasty! We're staying at Dad's and enjoying the air-conditioned protection from the heat. Thanks! The markets have remained troubled, but I did have three green days, and a positive week. TSX remains red for the month and the year. The Jays had most of the week off during the All-Star break, but have begun the second half with a series in Detroit—one win, one loss so far. The Riders have the bye this week; they should be rested and ready for a big challenge in Calgary next week. 

The Baileys have made some progress on demolition in the new house. They are down to the hardwood on the stairs and in the master bedroom; it looks pretty good! After a bit more work, they should have some nice looking floors. They've also torn down the t-bar in the dining and living rooms; this revealed some interesting looking electrical developments! The work will be on hiatus for the next two weeks while they're away to Europe for Erica's first lipedema surgery. Air travel often has its own tensions; I'll let Erica describe the opening issues of their trip: "Today, Eric and I head to Germany for surgery. We started with a bit of excitement. Though the line was fairly short at security, we were still in line when pre-boarding was called—no problem. We were close to the front and it usually takes awhile to get through all the various classes of elite and super elite status people, people with young children, etc. Except—no, we are on WestJet. So, very soon general boarding is called as I place my items in the plastic bin, pull out my laptop and complete the rest of the routine. Good thing this is a small airport. Eric and I are four people from the metal detector when final boarding is called. It's then we discover the bottleneck. There is one security person (yes, one) working the metal detector and he's currently doing a pat down, so nobody can continue through. I'm only mildly comforted by the murmuring around me indicating there are several of us on the flight. Finally the pat down is over and a few more people make it through before another beep! and the line comes to a halt. Thankfully another security person is pulled from somewhere and the line starts moving. Finally Eric goes through and collects his bags. Then me and beep! I look at the security guy and he reassures me it's just a random selection, I don't have any metal. Before he finishes talking I head for the scan machine and assume the position. He does the scan. Apparently I have questionable areas on my hips and between my knees. I want to tell him it's only fat! He decides to scan again, still the scanner says there is a problem. (I know! This is why I'm going to Germany for surgery, assuming I haven't missed my flight due to this comedy of errors!) At this point I notice Eric waiting for me. I tell him to go hold the plane while I wait for the pat down by the single female security guard on duty, who also happens to be waaaaay at the beginning of the security process. I'm just about to tell the nearest security guard to pat away when I see her running down. I pass the pat down and turn to get my stuff, but it's behind the plexiglass partition! I guess random means the full meal deal as someone has to test my bag for residues. Only nobody is manning the residue testing station. I turn to one of the security guys and say, "I passed the pat down, can I go?" He finds someone to check my bags and finally I'm free. I power walk as fast as I can possibly power walk with these legs of mine and arrive to hear the agent explaining to Eric and some other passenger that they are not holding the plane any longer. I fish out my ID and make it into my seat. Exciting! Hopefully the rest of the trip will be less eventful. (For the record—50 minutes to get through security and the security area was only a quarter full! Geez people, get a system!)" Haaken is at home in PA, while Liam waits out the duration here in Regina.

Kristian has spent most of the week with us, even choosing to have sleepovers for several nights. There is a wedding in Shawn's family today, Shawn is a groomsman, so Erin is in charge of the children's preparation and wedding participation—busy times! I managed to get the new fan installed in Kristian's room. Of course, the original light fixture installation was not up to holding a fan, so I had to install some backing to make a more substantial fitting. Always there are surprises!

Travis and Joanna have been occupied this week with the Staal Brothers golf tournament. It is a fund-raiser for their foundation, and an event on the CPGA tour. So, they also got to hob-nob with the celebrities and the golf pros who are on hand. They are struggling to keep the lawns mowed between the ample rains they've been experiencing in TBay. Thanks for your work! Gemma and Andrew continue their summer jobs, but Gemma had a break to enjoy the removal of her wisdom teeth—sorry about that!

And that's about it for this week.