Saturday, June 17

News Update

Another week has passed and we have relocated to the shore of Lake Wascana in the middle of the prairie. We left on Monday morning, driving both vehicles and got as far as Winnipeg where we enjoyed the hospitality of Mike & Peggy. Wendy was driving the Sorento, and reports that the comfort of the well-known seats was agreeable to her tender back, so she experienced no pain. We enjoyed a day of rest on Tuesday. On Wednesday morning, I ventured on my first golf game of the year with Tom, Mike and Dean. We suffered through rain showers on two holes, but eventually completed 9 holes, although Tom's attempted recovery from a cold encouraged him to call an early break so as not to suffer a relapse. I was pleased to complete the half-round although my golfing was poor. I was getting some complaints from my leg by the eighth hole, but I'm going to keep trying. I did finally make one par, and scored 47. Wednesday afternoon, we headed for Brandon. We stopped for coffee in Portage where we enjoyed a visit with Dave & Anita, old friends from Yellowknife. We got to Charlie & Bonnie's in Brandon late, and proceeded to stay up later, finally hitting the hay at 3am. So, we slept in a bit, enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, and then continued to Regina where we settled in with Erin & Kristian. It is great to spend some time with them. This weekend featured the 100th Anniversary celebrations of the congregation here. We've enjoyed catching up with many friends (all old now!), and meeting some of their children and grandchildren! We've also enjoyed having time with our own children and grandchildren. What a great time! The markets have been terrible, no good and bad! TSX has pulled back into the red for the year once again, and I suffered losses this week as well. Pittsburg Penguins finished off Nashville in six games to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions—I was glad to see that! The Jays continue to struggle, and are not making headway in the standings. The Riders played their final preseason game, suffering a severe beating at the hands of the BC Lions. Now that the real season begins, they will need to play better—Go Riders, Go!

The Bailey's are also in Regina this weekend for the Church of Christ's 100th anniversary celebration. Erica and Haaken were born in Regina so it's a special homecoming for them! They have closed conditions on their house. The home inspection came back with a few items they need to take care of ASAP, but they are all things they knew about, so no big surprises. They have discovered that the banks have become much more strict since their last mortgage. Last time they even let them borrow the down payment—no problem. This time they had to provide two years income history, proof they have RRSPs for the down payment, and they even wanted the cash to be in the bank account before approval. It sure seemed like a big deal for a $95K house purchase! But they got final approval on Friday and were able to sign off on the conditions—Phew! Just two weeks until possession date for the house and two weeks after that Eric and Erica head to Germany for her first lipedema surgery. They are praying that everything goes well on both fronts and they welcome your prayers, too!

Erin, Kristian and Sadie were happy to welcome our arrival. We brought a new bicycle for Kristian, and he is eager to give it a try. Sadie is glad to have someone around to give her regular walks and frequent treats! Erin has agree to give the Keto diet a try while we're here and see how it goes for her.

Travis, Joanna and crew are holding down the fort in TBay. They operate the office out of our basement, so that part of our home care works out well. They will also be maintaining the yard and watering the indoor plants. Thanks guys! Gemma and Andrew are already getting quite a few hours at their summer jobs—good work by two responsible people. We're proud of them. Before we left, we enjoyed a night out for dinner with them on Sunday evening to honour Joanna's birthday.

And that's about it for this week. 

Saturday, June 10

News Update

We've enjoyed another week of beautiful weather here on Lake Superior in my hometown. Well, enjoyed may not be a word Wendy would choose—she's been suffering with back pains all week. Chiropractic treatments, painkillers and Epsom salt baths have brought some relief, but she's still no where close to par, and she only has vacuuming to blame! I've managed to get the yard ready to turn over to Travis and crew—they're looking forward to it! I was able to practice golf a few times, but still no play. My leg is feeling a bit better, so I keep looking forward with hope. We're heading to Regina next week, so perhaps some of my golf buddies there will carry me around. The markets were pretty much flat for the week, but I got some great payoffs, so I am ahead of quota, and I feel blessed. NHL playoff final series is near the conclusion and the Pens lead 3-2 in games, so it will end soon. The Jays continue to struggle under .500, so improvement is needed! The Riders started the CFL season with their first preseason game. They played their first pre-season game tonight, held the lead until under two minutes left—then kicked a late FG to tie it up! We'll see what Don, my Rider-Expert, says when I see him next weekend!

Headline news from the Baileys: they bought a house! They got a cute 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom house in Prince Albert. It is an older home, built in 1912, but it appears to have good bones. They will need to put some money and sweat into it, but in the end they feel it will work for them and doesn't require a huge mortgage. You can click on this link to see more details. Liam created an animation this week. He is using a drawing program to draw and animate on his computer. If they could only figure out how to get it saved as a video file, they could share it online, and we could all enjoy it!

Erin's Tomato Tree!
Erin and Kristian are closing out the school year, and things are going well. Sadie gets worried during thunderstorms. Erin got a tomato tree from Shawn. It's already producing, but she has nowhere to plant it!

Trav and Joanna are now getting quite a few photo-shoots for baseball teams. Trav is over here in the office most days designing and printing. Gemma and Andrew are also doing well in their work and school. Their classes end this week and then it's exam time.

And that's enough for this week. 

Saturday, June 3

News Update

Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Superior in my hometown. The weather has continued to be great, and I've managed some yard work and golf practice. Trav let me try out their new battery-powered lawnmower and it worked great! I completed both lawns with power to spare. I had really intended to try some golfing this week, but my leg was not feeling up to it when the opportunity arose, so I was limited to some golf practice only. We were back at the doctor on Thursday. She updated us on the angiogram results. It seems there are as many as five areas of blood clotting/blockages in my left leg. It is unclear whether these have amalgamated. Circulation in general has improved somewhat, but remains substandard and especially so for the lower leg. Clearly the Rivaroxaban did not do the job it was expected to do of dissolving all the clots, but it does seem to have done the job of keeping me safe from other damage that may come from such clots. She has extended my prescription for Rivaroxaban and is referring me to Dr. Lise Mozzon, an internist and haematology specialist to investigate the situation further. We finally completed all the hoops at the bank and lawyers, and picked up our Santa Fe on Wednesday. We're enjoying the new features. Wendy has been busy with cleaning and reorganizing, but seems to have aggravated her back, so that has slowed her down the last few days. We are continuing the lo-cal diet, and pretty much enjoying it. No pie or ice cream, but plenty tasty all the same. I managed to get some more drywalling done in the kitchenette, and we picked up the set of cupboards, but the countertop had been constructed too short, so it will have to be redone. The markets continue to struggle, and with the loss of 1.6% in May, the TSX is only up 1% for the year. However, I've been blessed with monthly quotas for all months except April so far this year, so I am thankful. Weakening US jobs data and Trump's protectionist rhetoric have rattled our markets. Baseball plays on into a third month, and the Jays have improved—yay Jays! Stanley Cup playoffs have reached the final series. Pittsburgh won the first two games, but Nashville fought back with a home victory tonight.

Liam is enjoying improved health after his blood upgrade; we hope he's on a sustained upswing now. The Baileys continue to investigate realty in PA. They've found nothing that ticks all the boxes, but there are more options. Haaken continues with his art and his volunteering.

Erin and Kristian are preparing for summer plans as they work through the final month of this school year. We'll try to fit ourselves in as well as we can. Kristian had his sports day this week. We enjoyed it with him last year; he got sunburned on his own this time! With the nicer weather they've been able to get out walking and roller-blading this week. Sounds like it fits in with Erin's new active life style as well.

Trav & Joanna have embarked on the Baseball photography season. We expect their introduction to these teams will expand their business with this sport as well. Bucket Decals continues to get orders from forward-looking hockey teams; it's good to have the business! Gemma and Andrew are both completing the school year, but have also begun work on summer jobs as time permits. This week Trav & Joanna bought sod, and extended their lawns. Now that they have their fancy dancy lawnmower, I guess they can handle it!

And that's about enough for this week. 

Saturday, May 27

News Update

Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Superior. The weather has been beautiful, and the dandelions are flourishing in my lawns! I gave them a special watering one day, and they're displaying the characteristics signs of suffering that I was hoping for! The lawns are doing well in the surplus of rains we've been enjoying this spring. I'm still considering my gardening options as our summer plans are not set yet. I was able to get out to the golf course a few times, and that's going a bit better. My leg hasn't changed much, but I have a follow-up appointment with my doctor set for next week. I hope some new options are being considered. We have completed financial and legal arrangements for funding the vehicle purchase, so we plan to pick that up next week. Wendy has completed her painting, so I need to get the new fascia applied to the garage. The TSX suffered another red week although the US indices were all in the green. I made some gains, not as much as needed, however, I am still on target for the month. So much for the old saw, "Sell in May and go away." Maybe it's the new witticism, "Even the blind pig finds the odd turnip!" NHL playoffs have worked through another round and both of my picks have moved on to the Cup Finals. I'll be cheering for Pittsburgh, and have also picked them to win, but it won't be easy over the mobile defence and great goaltending in Nashville. Baseball continues, and the Blue Jays are playing a bit better. This weekend they've taken a series from the high-flying Texas Rangers! Yay Jays!

The Baileys had another interesting week. Liam went in to top up his blood supply on Tuesday. Then he complained of chest pains, so back to the doctor only to find out that the pain is a good sign, or at least a normal sign. He had a bit more blood work and goes back next week. Work has been busy for Erica this week. It seems that all her files are coming due at once—she is pushing through. Eric, Erica and Liam continue to look at houses and debate whether or not they want that responsibility again. Where they are is fine, but with the four of them and only one shower—they often wish for more. And they don't have the space to host friends or visitors easily. Then again, they have the freedom to come and go and not worry about repairs. They are looking at another place today.

Erin had a very intriguing day on Tuesday. She was called for Jury Duty, and put in a long day of preliminaries for a three-person murder trial before finally being excused. Kristian is taking new interest in cycling, so we're planning to take along some more options for him when we travel west in June.

Travis & Joanna are planning and working on yard developments this spring. They're planning to replace a flowerbed in the back with some new sod. They got a new 40W battery-powered lawn mower this week. We'll be interested to see how it performs.

And that's enough for this week. 

Saturday, May 20

Happy May Long

Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Superior in my hometown. The weather has been fine, but rainy and not as warm as we'd like. The rhubarb is developing nicely, but not ready for picking yet. I may try to add another root to that part of the garden. Otherwise, I don't know what I'll be planting for garden as we plan to be away for a substantial part of the summer, again. Golf practice is not going well, the short game is okay, but the full swing has not been improved by my gimpy leg. I had an angiogram done on it this week, but it'll be a while before we get results from that. I hope they decide there's something that can be done to bring about some improvement. Our keto diet program is going well, the suggested menu is very tasty, and we're feeling pretty good about it. I finally screwed up my courage and cut the waterlines for the kitchenette. That worked out fine in the end, but I hadn't used the SharkBite connections before. After doing a bit of PEX on Erin's place last year, I wanted to try some plastic plumbing, and SharkBite doesn't require the big clamping tool. The markets had another difficult week as Trump Trauma continues. We really only had one really bad day, but it takes time to recover from those! All North American indices were red for the week, so I felt blessed to gain more than my quota and get back to quota for the month. NHL playoffs are continuing in closely fought semi-finals. Both series were tied 2-2 this evening when the Predators won and took a 3-2 lead over the Ducks. Jays continue to struggle in the opening months of the baseball season.

Liam's red blood count has dropped pretty low, so he's going for a couple of units of blood on Tuesday. Haaken has been working on animation videos which he posts on YouTube. He also continues to work at the food bank. He does bagging, portioning and cleaning. Liam is being a handymen around the house. A drawer fall out over a month ago and he has fixed it. Eric/A have been looking at a few fixer-uppers this week. Maybe they will become home owners again. Eric says, "Don't hold your breath, unless you are looking at some of these houses." This was literally true—one place they decided at the door wasn't the place for them—even if it was only $40K!

Erin is still waiting for an appointment with the specialist. Kristian is doing well; he got a haircut this week. I also got a haircut this week, but I'm sure he got about four times as many cut! Erin was called to jury duty on Tuesday, this intrigues her, but she doesn't want to get behind at work, or have to use up her vacation time. They are putting together plans for the summer for Kristian. We hope to figure prominently.

We enjoyed a hike out to the Cascades with Trav & Joanna, Andrew and Mini on Sunday afternoon. They keep picking up a few paying contracts. Joanna keeps working at her other jobs. Gemma is working after school and weekends, trying to build up her bank balance for a trip to Europe. Andrew has a summer job, but that hasn't started yet. They had us over for supper one evening, and cooked a keto-friendly meal for us. It was great, with the grated cauliflower rice substitute being the real hit. 

And that's enough for this week. 

Saturday, May 13

Happy Mother's Day!

Another week has passed, and we have returned to the shore of Lake Superior and my hometown. The weather has been beautiful, so we've been getting out for walks and cycling and even some golf practice. We returned from BC on Tuesday; it took us all day and then some to get here, and we arrived tired. So, we took it easy for a few days. We have started a ketogenic diet. We plan to keep to that until it's time to head west in June, and see how that goes. So, far it's been pretty tasty. Wendy has returned to her painting, and today launched into the fascia boards for the garage. The markets have been running downward again, and both TSX and the DOW are in the red for the month. Fortunately, I had an on-quota week, but I am still below quota for the month. The Stanley Cup playoffs have completed the second round; I did not do well prognosticating the latest results as I only picked one of the four winners. For the semi-finals, I am picking the Penguins and the Predators to prevail and move on to the finals. The Blue Jays are playing better, having won their last three series, but they're still not up to .500, so we're not planning the parade route yet!
Wendy's Mother's Day bouquet and gift! 
Eric is in Toronto this weekend for the Association of Family and Marriage Therapists conference. I'm not sure how the conference is going, but he got to enjoy watching the Jays win from a prime seat on the 3rd base line! Liam has been experimenting with gluten-free baking. A recipe that worked great in BC is falling flat in PA so he is trying to figure that out! Haaken has started a part time volunteer job with the Food Bank. It is good experience and a learning opportunity. Erica is also experimenting with a shift toward a Ketogenic diet to help with her Lipedema inflammation. It's too soon to make any conclusive declarations, but so far she's been feeling better at least!

Erin has accepted the referral to the specialist; we look forward to that being accomplished, and hope for some solutions. Kristian scored a lot of books at the school book fair, and is enjoying those. He has grand plans to fĂȘte his mother for Mother's Day—well done, my boy! Shawn is off to Winnipeg to bury his mother's ashes. I'm sure that will be another emotional time for him.

Trav and Joanna continuing in a slow season for their business, but Trav has revamped the websites and some orders are coming in. Joanna keeps up with her other jobs, so she's busy. Gemma and Andrew are in the closing months of school for the year, and are looking toward their summer work and activities.

And that's about enough for this week! 

Saturday, May 6

News Update

Our Lady Marion!
Another week has passed, and we find ourselves on the shore of Lake Okanagan is supernatural British Columbia. It is election season here in Insanity by the Sea, and we promise to vote early and vote often! We flew out here on Wednesday to attend to the Celebration of the Life our our sister-in-law, Marion. She was a grand lady, to be sure, and that was ably accentuated by the friends and family who gathered here to acknowledge that fact. We dearly miss her, of course, none so deeply as our brother John, her soul-mate of the last thirty-five years, along with her step-daughter, and her children, and their collective families. It was good to be gathered with them to commemorate her remarkable life. Otherwise the week has been mundane. The markets were just a touch to the red side here, but a bit green in the US, and I managed a gain for the week, but not up to quota. The sports calendar continues to unfold. Brad Jacobs beat my guy, Kevin Koe, in the final of the Champions Cup of curling. NHL Playoffs continue and are due to complete the second round in the coming week. All teams remain alive, but all series are down to do or die scenarios for someone. However, the main highlight of the week is certainly the time we've been able to spend and to share here with family and friends. All my siblings are here, but one, and it has been a sweet reunion. 

Erica continues her investigations and lobbying over the Lipedema disease. Even if it comes to little for her, she is determined to do her bit, so others may benefit in the future. Liam is home from school now with his two semesters completed. We look forward to reports of better health for him as he recovers at home. 

Erin got her results for the Holter Monitor. We did not find them encouraging as her heart rate is quite high, but she seem reassured. We hope she will be able to take advantage of the proffered referrals to other specialists who may be able to suggest a better way forward. 

Joanna has been away caring for her father in Toronto for part of the week, but is home again. Trav took us to the airport early Wednesday morning. Thank you, son. We look forward to getting home late Tuesday night. 

And that's enough for this week.