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! 

Saturday, December 31

Happy New Year!

Another year has passed and we've enjoyed a remarkable journey along the way! We mourn the passing of loved ones who graduated to a higher existence during this year. It has been a remarkable treat for us to spend time with you along life's pathway. We are thankful for the blessings of being with so many precious friends at various times and in various places! We wish all people a peaceful and healthful 2017! We have spent this week in Regina. The weather has been mild, but we've been hit by a number of dumps of snow. I've managed to handle the shovel and snowblower as necessary, so it has not been too much of a struggle. Dad has continued to make great progress, and is mostly getting around with his crutches now. This is more convenient for him as the wheelchair makes maneuvering tedious sometimes. Wendy has provided great care for us all. Kristian has spent the week with us, so we've enjoyed time with him and extra time with Erin as she often joined us after work. The markets were only open for three days here, but they were very bad, no good days, so it's just as well. I did not manage to make quota for December or the year, but at least we gained more than we took out, so we're okay so far. The NHL season ended the year with the Penguins securing an overtime win, while the Oilers suffered an overtime loss. Both continue to do well, so I'm encouraged. The Jayhawks are retooling to make up for the loss of their starting centre, but their winning streak continues as they've moved into conference play. Rock Chalk! The World Junior Hockey Championships are underway in eastern Canada; we've been watching quite a bit of hockey as a result. The preliminaries are over, and the playoffs begin tomorrow. Canada has advanced to the medal round. I was also delighted to see Denmark advance to the medal round! 

The Baileys spent most of the holidays on Vancouver Island, and began the trip home today. They enjoyed Christmas with the Bailey family of Victoria. It was a good and relaxing day punctuated by good fellowship, turkey and ham! Eric/A celebrated their 23rd Anniversary on Tuesday taking in Passengers (movie) and dinner out at Montana's. They also scored a set of motorcycle bags on sale to add to their travelling utilities. They rounded out the week with an encounter at Victoria Escape Games. They tried to solve the puzzles, but ended up being killed by poison gas! They wish to give it another try, as it was a lot of fun—I guess, except for the dying part!
Time for another run! 

Erin was back at work for Wednesday through Friday, but still managed to spend time each evening with us, so that was great. Shawn has been suffering with back issues, but assures us that he's making progress on that, even while continuing to work! Astrid and Liam were also under the weather for part of the week, but seem much recovered today. Kristian got out sledding and skating several times this week. 

Trav, Joanna and crew are holding down the fort in Thunder Bay. Trav facetimed me one day to show me the snowfall that was accumulating and get some help with the snowblower. I hope it worked well for them, and that they can avoid too much snowfall. We're surely thankful to have them taking care of things while we're away. It gives us much freedom in our scheduling! Thanks! 

And that's about enough for this week. 

Saturday, December 24

Merry Christmas!

Digital Cosmetics courtesy of Travis! 

Merry Christmas! We are spending the festive season on the shore of Lake Wascana in Regina. We drove up here on Sunday, and have had a busy week here. The weather has been very nice, even above zero several days. It has turned colder this weekend, and we even got some fresh snow today. We drove over to Caronport on Tuesday to pick up Liam to begin his holidays. On Tuesday evening, it was Kristian's Christmas Concert at school; we enjoyed it a great deal. On Wednesday evening, we had our Christmas celebration with the Baileys, as they were heading west on Thursday. We took care of Kristian on Thursday and Friday as he was off school, and Erin was still working. The big news of the week here was that Dad was released from William Booth, and is now back home and getting on just fine here. It was a special Christmas present for all of us to have him home. On Friday morning, I was up early (4am) to drive Bern, Alicia and Logan to the airport and the beginning of their trip to Mexico. They arrived there Friday evening and are renewing acquaintances there—Feliz Navidad! Today has been fairly quiet, but Wendy has begun preparations for Christmas dinner that we're expecting tomorrow afternoon. The markets have been troubled this week. After a rally on Monday, they pretty much ran down the rest of the week. I was blessed with a good gain, and stand at quota so far this month, but only have three trading days left this year due to the market holidays on Monday and Tuesday next week. Kansas Jayhawks suffered a big loss as their young 7' centre experienced a season-ending injury. Still, they have continued their winning streak—Rock Chalk! The NHL is on Christmas break; Pittsburgh and Edmonton both sit one point out of first in their respective conferences. 

Kristian and group signing the ASL for their song!

Travis & Joanna are completing preparations and closing up shop for a holiday break. They were down to Minneapolis last weekend for a hockey tournament, and that was a good experience for all, even though they did not win the tournament. We enjoyed celebrating Christmas with them last week. Working life around everyone's schedules is complicated, but we're fortunate to have flexible schedules ourselves. 

And that's about enough for this week! 

Saturday, December 17

News Update

Pretty much healed up—still no hair! 
We've had a cold week here on the shore of Lake Superior in my hometown. The cold weather is set to move out this weekend, and along with mild temperatures, they are predicting snow, so, they can at least have a white Christmas here. I'm sure Travis would cheerfully skip that! We're set to leave tomorrow, heading west, so it will be left to Trav and crew to take care of the place and keep the snow cleared. The markets were confusing this week. We've known for some time that there was going to be a rate increase by the US Feds, but somehow investors were still able to act surprised and all indices took a dive! I was able to clear a small gain, but not up to quota. Only two weeks are left in the year, and there are two market holidays after Christmas, so I will need to work harder! I was back to my doctor on Wednesday. My uric acid levels have dropped nicely, so she has reduced my dosage of allopurinol. The pathology report is not back from my surgery, so I'll have to keep waiting on that. In the meantime, I rely on the surgeon's analysis that it was squamous cell carcinoma and that he got all of it! My teams continue to do well in hockey, although Edmonton has fallen back a bit. Pittsburgh in at the top of their division, and the top of the league, although they dropped one tonight to the Leafs! The Jayhawks continue to thrive in NCAA basketball, rattling off another couple of wins this week. 

Erica started the week running Haaken back to Regina for his exams. He wrote Film Studies on Tuesday, and Math today. English and History exams are set for next Tuesday. He is looking forward to the break. Next semester he is only taking three courses, and plans to pick up 2 more over the summer. Liam finished classes this week. He turned in his assignments one day early, with one gift-wrapped for his teacher—literally! Erica picked him up Thursday night so he could make it to the specialist appointment on Friday in Saskatoon. Erica has not seen much of PA this week! The Baileys are planning to see Rogue One this weekend with friends in PA. Erica is dressing as Mon Mothma—that requires a white sheet with rope accents! There's no Han Solo in this one, so Eric is trying to figure out his costume. It appears the rebels all dress like Han Solo, so maybe he won't have to make much of an effort! 

Erin and Kristian have been busy with Christmas activities and preparations. Kristian has been shopping for gifts for his teachers. We look forward to seeing them soon! It has been a difficult week for Shawn; his mother is very ill in hospital and has now been diagnosed with cancer. We have not heard about any treatment options yet. It certainly adds pressure and emotion to a season many already find difficult.

Trav & Joanna have been extra busy trying to complete as many pre-Christmas projects and get the orders delivered. The whole crew is off to Minneapolis this weekend where Trav's hockey team has a tournament and the rest are enjoying the event and the shopping. We had Christmas with them last Sunday—thanks guys! This weekend we're watching over their house, and taking care of the bird and the dog—coulda done without the bird! 

That's about enough for this week! 

Saturday, December 10

News Update

A heart tattoo will clean this up! 
Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Superior in my hometown. The weather has turned colder, but we're still waiting for the snow. I got my stitches out on Friday, but there's still a bit of healing left to accomplish. I hope to get the pathology results from my own doctor next Wednesday. When I discussed it with the surgeon on Friday, he was pretty sure it was squamous cell carcinoma, which he's been consistently calling it, so, we'll see. I've been suffering with a cold this week, and it's not loosening its grip on me yet. We remain out of renovation mode, just enjoying living in the house for now. I did add a wireless doorbell for Travis to his office downstairs. The markets are back into rally mode, and I had a good week; I'm back on quota for the month. Wendy has continued to pile up the Christmas baking; I can hardly wait to get at it! I've been watching the National in curling this week. My guy, Kevin Koe, made the playoffs, but lost out. It'll be Reid Carruthers vs Brad Jacobs in the final tomorrow. On the women's side it'll be the Swiss team, Silvana Tirinzoni vs Kerri Einarson. Hockey situations have improved as Oilers and Penguins are back atop their divisions, but there are several other teams challenging them. 

Haaken completed his coursework, and rode home on the bus. He's been studying and preparing for exams which start next week. Liam's toe is improving. He's working through a bunch of assignments due at semester end. Eric continues with work, volunteer boards and busyness. He's feeling a little over committed. Friends are looking for ways to get him kicked off boards, but, so far, they've been unsuccessful! Erica continues to enjoy her work with Deloitte. There are many additional events to attend this time of year. She has been working on a proposal for work; now we're waiting to see if they win the contract. 

Kristian has been working very diligently at his school while he tries to convince his mom that he should get a special Christmas present. I hope he realizes what he's capable of doing all the time and keeps it up as the year progresses. He is having renewed problems evidenced by redness in his eye; we certainly hope that clears up quickly. Haaken has completed classes and is preparing for exams from home in PA. Erin has her work schedule for the holiday period, so we'll try to work our plans around that! Shawn's mom is not doing well, and is in the hospital. Erin is helping out where she can. 

Trav & Joanna are very busy with hockey team pictures and production related to that. This week they took photos of their 87th team of the season! We are planning our Christmas celebration with them tomorrow, featuring the traditional Chinese food dinner! During the week, we moved the treadmill over to the new house. That was quite an effort, but Gemma is now enjoying being able to work out. We're also celebrating Andrew's birthday tomorrow. 

And that's about it for this week.