December 2015

December 1st   Merry Christmas Everyone !

Let's not forget the real meaning of Christmas

Let’s not forget the real meaning of Christmas

First order of business is to correct a billing from Viewpoint. They have accidentally charged an item on my bill that is not ours. I am waiting for a phone call or email to confirm the correction.I love it when people really want to help and work with you to get something corrected.

I also love the fact the farmers are standing up against the government. I can only image the concern they have and hopefully they can change the legislation so it works for everyone and not tie a farmers hand behind his back due to constrictions and rules. Amazing to me how a government without consultation can draft a bill especially when the ministers are still wet behind the ears. It’s a new era. It didn’t take long for Trudeau to take advantage of his position. We the Canadian Tax payer are paying for his two nannies. Yes he needs them with the duties BUT everyone else pays for their own daycare, why not him ? Again unbelievable.

I took a far amount of clothing down to Mesa in November so now am struggling to find something to wear to a couple of functions we have coming up. I refuse to wear a suit and tie as I am a way past that stage ( and the fact the 4 or so suits I have are a way to large for me now) and I having taken some of my “dress” clothes to Mesa. I sound like a girl ” What will I wear ? ” LOL

Loaded my 2016 header page on the blog as I like to make sure to get it right before the time and ensure the parent page and listings go in order. Took quite a while the first time but I have this down fairly well now.

Look at this piece of art work. Do I have too much time on my hands ?

Look at this piece of art work. Do I have too much time on my hands ?

Next order of business was to do a bit of Christmas shopping. I think I am allergic to shopping. I can work all day or walk a full round of golf with no pain but in a store after 15 minutes my back hurts and my head hurts. I hate aimlessly walking around to find something to buy. Now I have to find a present they will like and priced right. I spent 4 hours and came home with two things. I need help from Jackie. I am a hunter not a gatherer. LOL  I did wrap up everything I picked up.   The day went quickly again. As long as I get a few things done each day that is good but I am sure looking forward to sitting outside on my deck in warmth and swimming in the pool each night. We will have close to 2 weeks with our family there to entertain which is going to be awesome and then relax.  Funny how in your dreams you think of things. I was thinking of things to do in Arizona with the kids. We will golf, sit on the deck and have cold beer, go to the western town of Rawhide, go to San Tan Flats out door BBQ, swim in the pool, go to the Mesa market, Rocking R Ranch, and perhaps the Splash Park. A must is Fat Willy’s deck in the sun.

Thought of the Day 

We are all going to have so much fun on vacation we will need plastic surgery to remove the smiles on our faces. What i do like about my new job is I get 6 months vacation twice a year.

December 2nd

Today will be kitchen day. I need to make short bread cookies for Christmas so I will hunt down the ingredients and start on that.  I have tried these before ( my favorite cookie at Christmas) and have failed twice. The seem to flatten out when cooked and look horrible but still taste good so I am on a mission to make them work today. I think I will try a different recipe then what i got from my Mom and sister as perhaps some ingredient is missing or step.  You will see final result if they work out.

A weakness of mine has been discovered. I do not like to fail. I usually won’t play a game if I don’t think I have a chance to win. I usually won’t do something if I believe I can’t do it well. Let someone else do it or pay someone to do it. So ” From this day forward Dec 2, 2015 a declaration has been made that I, Larry Willard of Calgary, Alberta will never attempt to make perfect shortbread cookies again” 


spread shortbread

spread shortbread

Today was attempt number three. They taste fantastic but are still not right. What started off looking like A size breast turned out to a flattened DD breast looking cookie. What is the purpose of shaping the cookie if it spreads. So I now know I will be content buying the shortbread from Sobey’s and feel ok about it. Checking on the internet it is  ridiculous the reasons they give for the failure.They spread because your butter was to warm (not) they spread because your butter has to much water content ( What) they spread because you allowed to much air in the dough ( what) How are you to know what is right !!!!  Darn I hate to give up !!  Where’s my frozen Pillsbury oatmeal dough. I know that works. LOL

Larry G sent me a picture today of my favorite dog ( his little Maggie) checking out the buck in the backyard of his place. He has had an amazing amount of wildlife trip on by. If it wasn’t maggieillegal to shoot in the city Larry could have smoked a lot of jerky from this guy.  Great place to  live with those views all of the time. I am sure Maggie enjoyed the entertainment also plus she has a job t o protect her property. LOL

December 3rd

The world sure is becoming a violent place. Another mass shooting in the States. It is becoming a way way to common.

Lot’s of turmoil with Russia and Turkey spatting. ISIS continuing their agenda. Politicians going nuts. I feel bad for the younger kids coming into all of this. You would think as a people we would be smarter.

Incredibly beautiful weather for December with us maybe hitting 8 degrees again today. My first order of business was unplugging the shower drain. Not to blame anyone but Jackie does have long hair and I don’t. LOL   Totally plugged again which took a bit of work to correct. Hopefully will last for while. I think Drano every couple of weeks or so maybe the maintenance solution.

My shortbread cookies are sure good except for them not keeping shape. The store bought ones are just as good though. The oatmeal raisin frozen dough ones I baked were also very good. Sometimes homemade just isn’t the way to go. You know what I mean.

December 4th

Typical of what is happening all over Alberta right now. My membership, any new members fees and cut backs due to the brilliant move of raising the minimum wage that is affecting my home course. Our golf course hires a lot of summer help at the min wage.Someone has to pay and guess who. The average Joe. We are going to see this happen everywhere, your Subway lunch will increase, our Big Mac will increase, every business that counts on new workers to survive and so on. We would have LOST our shorts if we had to pay min when we owned our sub franchise. Simple math we had 8 staff. $10 per hour vr now $15 per hours = 8x40hrs x 10 per hour= $3200   8x40hrs x 15 =$4800  66% increase. Great way to stimulate the economy by giving extra money to the minimum wage earners and making everyone else have to pay for it. Hit a certain price point in any retail business and the business looses sales and closes. Alberta is going to be in rough shape.

With Bill 6 when it  passes it will again drive a underground economy. Farmers will be paying cash to hired hands to get around the stupidity and risking a law suit. Waiver forms will be the norm. I don’t want to dwell on the NDP government but they are the worst we have ever had. Not to be transparent and consultative before ramming things in is amazing. Why don’t leaders get it ? People need to be reminded the NDP only had 40.6% of the vote and the PC and WRP combined had 52% of the vote. Split votes are always dangerous. I have never marched before but if the farmers, if the oil workers, if the coal mines, if the Alberta tax payer, if the oil companies,  want, i will march if I know about it. I think it is time for more Albertan’s  to speak out !

A Great Canadain Company Ps buy shares

A Great Canadain Company

We had the Scotia Bankers Pensioners Christmas party to go to this afternoon which was an excellent event. Over 300 pensioners in attendance for a get together, small dialogue from a senior VP and an excellent Christmas dinner . Plus the fun of talking to like people in a group. The VP stated the BNS made 7.2 billion dollars profit last year and was happy with the overall shape the bank is in. Not bad but it doesn’t help the negative feelings about service charges for people. LOL  I just wish their share pricing would go up. It is great company that looks after it’s people and recognizes the hard work and loyalty of former staff members. Very nice to see and a fun afternoon with great food, free bar and the allowing everyone to enjoy each others company.Our table had 7 people at it and everyone was less than 65 and 4 less than 60 retired. There were a lot of younger pensioners in the group around that 55-60 age. These are the financial guys and they have it right by retiring early and enjoying themselves. Listening to some of the stories of their lives it is so great to see. YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE AND YOU SHOULD ENJOY IT WHILE YOU CAN. Now the BNS does have a pension plan for their employees which could help the younger ones retire early but they still had to make the decision . One of the group who I knew golfed 135 times this year. Nice event. I think we will have a couple of visitors from the event visiting us in Mesa.

Thought of the Day 

Words of wisdom for those still working : Treat each evening and weekend as little slices of retirement because no one is guaranteed a lengthy one at the end of their career

December 5, 6 and 7th

Mary' party

Mary’ party

A weekend get together before we leave to go south with our

Mary place

Mary place

family in Edmonton. Saturday evening and night we had a get together at Mary’s place. It was an excellent gathering with Alfred, Mary, Graham, Garrett, Mariz, Darlene, Jim, Mom, Jackie, Victoria, Jackson , Corey, Shawn and I all together to enjoy a great meal, some gift exchanges and conversation. It was a very pleasant night and much appreciated as we had originally planned to go to a restaurant. You can’t converse as well or relax. And Mary’s place was spacious enough to accommodate everyone nicely.And great that Garrett and Graham were there also. Lucky also that Victoria was in town to see her in-laws so as they say timing is everything. Jackson was extremely well behaved considering it wasn’t until 11 pm we left. Victoria slept over and Darlene’s place and Jackie & I slept over at Mom’s. Mom removed here big clock which was excellent as the click click is very loud. We had a very good sleep. Jim & Darlene came over to Mom’s place for a nice lunch and visit. Always fun to have a get together with family. I laughed inside to myself though as not one person mentioned the NDP as Jim & Darlene ( medical union) are avid NDP supporters.( getting lonelier by the day) I am on the absolute opposite side of the spectrum on so many issues. I like to intelligently argue and never ever get upset with a person taking the opposite side as it only makes it more interesting. But some people can’t argue without anger and insults. I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion even if it is wrong and I rather enjoy the friendly banter. Maybe next time.

We then headed to Boston Pizza to meet up with David, Erin and Kristen. Another great Christmas visit and I am positive Kristen appreciated the gift card of gas from her Grandpa and the Tim’s one from us. A university kid needs these types of things. David is liking his new position with Atco and luckily he wasn’t one of the 400 to be laid off.  They are doing well as is Kristen and it was a great visit.

Headed home with easy traffic and clear lights in the night. Boy some people have bright lights.

Visited the BNS branch to figure out my debit charge. They are correct. That is easier to type then say. LOL   My change applying a repeat transaction caused the difference of verbiage so now I know. Fixed up my Viewpoint account which was amusing as the desk had promised it to be fixed on Dec 1st and during our conversation today the lady goes ” I am fixing it and sending it as we speak”   6 days later but at least it is done , I hope.

Sent my form into Turner Valley Golf course as I decided to change to a restricted member as we are never home on weekends and it was $400 bucks less. Glad I bought my membership a few years back as the fee continues to climb which is great. The yearly fees though haven’t dramatically increased so that is good. If I do want to golf on a weekend I will hit Heatherglen Golf course where I marshall.

Took pictures of all of the instruments to run the cd, dvd, radio, TV and satellite dish in the motor home. I need to learn about the system and figure out a way to see about a inexpensive way to get make it work.

Shopped in a empty mid day grocery store again which was nice.

We have a fairly busy schedule coming up the next 10 days before we leave. Christmas party, supper with Alan & Maryann,supper with Jeff & Wendy, Christmas supper with Peter and family, Lunch with the JELD-WEN guys, lunch with a banker friend, and busy with birthdays as Keith Harry turns ancient, Alan Huggett celebrates pre senior years, Melissa Welsh ( i cant say her age ) and Anita Geddes birthday ( we know how old Larry is so we pretty much can guess ) coming up also. Then before the month ends Arnie Henning turns a real special age.

Interesting News tonight. Oil at the lowest since 2009 $37 bucks, TSX drops huge 350 points plus and just hovering over 13000, NDP back pedal and adjust Bill 6 , 60% of Albertan’s do NOT like the NDP climate change plan, and the dollar drops to 74 cents. Good news on Bill 6 and seeing Albertan’s starting to smarten up but other than that pretty sad sad news.

Thoughts of the Day  ( slack day so two thoughts lol ) 

One trick to argue correctly is if you can’t convince them, confuse them. It usually works. 

You know with all of the negativity in the world at least Charlie Sheen has something positive to offer.

December 8th 

My cousin just lost her husband. They were a very happily married long term couple. He got an infection ( could have been from a cut in the skin)and it got into his blood system, caused a heart attack and he passed away. This is a 57 year old guy that had a lot of life left that one simple incident changed a lot of peoples lives dramatically. My poor cousin has had a difficult time with losing a lot of people close to her. She lost her father, two brothers, a son and now her husband.I pray she receives a lot of help and a few blessings in the near future.

I find a lot of people that are nearing retirement age are very similar to teenagers and believe nothing will happen to them. You should think again. If you are in your 50’s  make sure you have a updated will & testament, a designated power of attorney, a living will and medical power of attorney. If you were to become incapacitated or died today would your beneficiaries know where to find and to just name a few the following:

  • Will
  • Letter of instruction
  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage certificates
  • Citizenship papers
  • Divorce/separation papers
  • Adoption papers
  • Social security numbers/cards
  • Passports (numbers and expiration dates)
  • Driver’s licenses (number, expiration dates)
  • Military records
  • Names/address/telephone numbers of healthcare professionals
  • Healthcare proxies/living wills
  • Medications (dosages, name of prescribing physicians, pharmacy, address/telephone
  • Address and phone numbers of hospitals of choice
  • Medicare numbers
  • Medicaid numbers (caseworker numbers, address/telephone)
  • Social worker or caseworker names and contact information
  • Passwords, web sites, and other digital information
  • Income sources (retirement and/or disability benefits, Social Security, etc.)
  • Financial assets (institution names, account numbers, address/telephone, form of ownership, current value) of cash, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, money market funds, retirement and pension plans, IRAs, annuities, life insurance
  • Real Estate (property addresses, location of deeds, form of ownership, current value)
  • Other assets (location of items/titles/documents/form of ownership, current value) including automobiles, boats, inheritances, precious gems, collectibles, household items, hidden valuables/items in storage, loans to family members/friends
  • Liabilities (Creditor institutions, address/telephone, approximate debt) of mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, notes, IOUs, other).
  • Trust documents

What about their digital records. Facebook,Linkin, Twitter,banking, google accounts etc all have to be eliminated or the footprint remains out there for ever.  THINK about it !

Alright the Flames have official landed in last place in the NHL.  Only three wins out of second place in our division though. The teams are just to close now and the league should look a different system other than the cap. Equality isn’t always the most entertaining. To have 30 mediocre teams doesn’t create rivalry or excitement.   A first round pick is supposed to be  the reward for finishing last and help elevate the team. Look at Edmonton this does not work. It only creates skilled boys trying to play with men and getting crushed, hurt continuously and not helping the team get any better.

Wonderful weather for December !!  I hope it stays like this until December 21st and then the arctic front can drop, the snow can pile high and the winds blow to let everyone know winter is here. Did that sound mean as I will be sitting on my deck in Mesa with a cold drink in the warmth.?  Think of it as motivation to join me as soon as possible. LOL

I was reading a bit on quantum physics this morning and found it very interesting as i was doing some research on a conversation I had with my sister and brother-in law about diamonds.  I do like it when science and religion can agree. According to the First Law of Thermodynamics, nothing in the Universe (i.e., matter or energy) can pop into existence from nothing. All of the scientific evidence points to that conclusion. So, the Universe could not have popped into existence before the alleged “big bang” . Therefore, God must have created the Universe. If you think about ( forget quantum physics) how can something ever start from nothing. If you are still considering the big bang theory ” where did the energy come from to create this ?”  One interesting verse in the bible states ” avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge” (1 Timothy 6:20).  Interesting stuff, amazing to see the connection on creation that both sides have to agree on and especially considering the time of year it is.

Thought of the Day 

Let’s make this Christmas the best ever by helping out each other. There is a saying “No one ever becomes poor by giving”  Yes you could go broke but the wealth of the feeling of helping is priceless. I dare everyone to donate at every box from now until Dec 25th. Not a lot even just a buck of two. 

December 8th 

“Pennywise Tips”

I found the best retirement calculator on the web that is free. It is based on the USA system so the social security is different but everything else is wonderful.  On the “start” you choose your death age, your current age and investment dollars. On the tabs above you can adjust just about everything. You can change the spending habits ( you should as no one will spend inflation adjusted the same each year) your return, investment percentages etc. It will give you close to 115 different scenario’s based on previous market  years and conditions. I like it and I am sure everyone will find it informative and interesting. Fool around on each page and submit to give a idea on what it does for you. They use 3% inflation which is a little high historically.  Give it a try !

Getting colder !  Dull and drab outside today with the possibility of snow. The TSX drops are scary. Such huge drops hurt the investments and could be the start of another round of recession similar to 2008/09.   The dollar really hurts on purchasing anything in the USA.

I phoned to renew my Good Sam membership as i dropped AMA a couple of years ago as they were getting very expensive and Good Sam being a much much larger company gave me an offer close to half price with a lot better benefits than AMA offered. If memory serves me correct my AMA RV Plus membership was about $150 a year with not even close coverage

Try them out I am positive you will be happy with the service, pricing and benefits.

Try them out I am positive you will be happy with the service, pricing and benefits.

as far as towing distance etc goes. Talking to the agent and during the conversation my being from Canada had to come up. They have a program to help with the exchange for their Canadian customers. My renewal card said $89.95 a year but they had a deal on for $79.95. After discussing it I made a deal with the agent  for $128.00 for 2 years plus 4 months. They had another promo on if you buy a year they give 2 months extra free and if you committed to a longer time another special discount plus a Canadian incentive. So all said and done I saved a lot of money. $150 a year or $12.50 a month at AMA compared to $128 for 2 year plus  4 months which is  $ 4.57 a month. That is huge plus the benefits. Includes all owned vehicles, all dependents, no preset mileage ( AMA is 160kms) and the discounts available at hotel, service stations, campgrounds, hotel etc. As I have said before the American customer service is far better than ours in most industries.

I decided to go for the one or two day beard growth look that is in right now. Beards and shadows are considered cool and sexy today. I was away before my time as I had a beard from the age of 18 to about 45 when I switched to a goatee. With the grey now it may give me that bum on the street look but it may also emit a look of a higher level of testosterone that could be considered attractive. If not I could try Old Spice. LOL  I will see how it goes. If nothing else the whisker rub to Jackson will be better.

First time the government has screwed up my registration that I do on line. I am missing one vehicles sticker and registration. One missing envelope that I will need to go the service center to correct. I have the receipt so don’t expect any issues. Applied the stickers I have.

A wild mini snow storm passed thru today. One moment green grass  the next white but it melting now and should be gone in a hour. Quite a blizzard though.

Had some older bananas laying around so made another bread cake. I love Banana bread and this time with almonds crushed into it. It cooked faster than normal today for some reason but turned out perfect. I think Carrot cake will be my next experiment.

Thought of the Day 

Real men wear aprons 

Getting as little cheeky in the kitchen

Get’n as little cheeky in the kitchen




December 9 -10th

Only 8 more days till we leave. First time since retiring I have found very little to do. I am sort of glad we go south as I swim, golf, gym, walk or just relax outside and read. Not bored yet as I still have things going on but enjoy other things a little more.

This picture reminded me that Keith Harry’s birthday is today also. Keith removed his pants more than anyone I know to show off his ass. He was away ahead of his time.  A huge risk putting this on the net as my aspirations for President of the Republic of Alberta maybe squashed by the politically left.The year 1957 was a great year for certain things. Man is Keith getting old. I am sure glad I take my special anti aging pills. I tried to find an old picture of Keith but with all of the computer transfers etc the oldest one I could find a digital shot of was from our wedding 35 years ago. His hair had already started to be cut shorter as it was only collar length. But very curly. Below is one of my favorites as it shows his new hair style with a part right in the middle just like when he was young but just wider and showing his support for his second favorite hockey team the Flames.  Speaking of Flames I sure hope he is careful blowing out the candles as his mustache or hair could be easily twinged with his slower reaction time now.

<y favorite picture.

Happy Birthday OLD FART

Received my first cheque from my LIRA account ( locked in RRSP). These locked in RRSP’S are weird with a lot of rules. I like the fact we took advantage of unlocking the 50% like we were allowed when I received it from JELD-WEN. i think they make too many rules governing our own money in their efforts to maintain tax dollars. Timing is good as rather than remove money from a RRSP this forced amount will help out. It is a difficult thing to see your money leave your account and knowing you have no way to add to the with account with a paycheck. Add the TSX reduction it hurts. I am still happy overall with my calculations but need a little TSX help and interest rising help to feel 100% sure of the longevity of it. My overall plan is working , Jackie working contract for the last while has been a huge boost , our spending is little higher than I want but my calculations and assumptions for growth, spending and longevity seem to be on track. There is a saying timing is everything. Can you imagine how nice it must have been to retire with interest rates at 10 % or 15 % which was only 20 years ago. They retired very nicely. Very happy we our decision to leave when we did.

  1. Jeep washed.
  2. Cleaned inside and out.
  3. Delivered cheque to the bank
  4. Grocery shopping
  5. Cleaned up a bit
  6. Transferred money around for upcoming trip
  7. Read a bit
  8. Watched the Voice eliminations
Christmas party

Christmas party

Went to Peter’s Christmas party tonight. I do NOT WANT to get old.  They had both the assisted living and memory sections together.  I do NOT WANT to get old. They needed a separate room for all of the walkers. If I was a parking valet and got paid I would be rich with the quantity. I do NOT WANT to get old. Sitting at our table was a very nice old woman. If anyone remembers the movie 50 First Dates i lived it tonight. I was asked to hoof, shake a leg, dance, jig, dance at the start of every song.  I do NOT WANT to get old.. As soon as the music started she asked me again and then again. She had dementia so I didn’t feel real bad as she only thought she was turned down once. I can’t go to these things anymore.  I do NOT WANT to get old. They put on a nice function, fun watching them chase all of the old people around ( chase maybe a wrong word). Great food and even drinks for them. I have to say this. These workers deserve and should be paid more than most jobs. They are amazing, patient, compassionate and caring beyond belief. I think we should all appreciate what these workers go thru and have to deal with and pay them accordingly. I do NOT WANT to get old.

Thought of the Day 

In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it ‘Christmas’ and went to church; the Jews called it ‘Hanukkah’ and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say ‘Merry Christmas!’ or ‘Happy Hanukkah!’ or (to the atheists) ‘Look out for the wall!

December 11th 

Picked up Jackson at daycare today as he wasn’t feeling well. He has a bad cold and cough as do his parents. Victoria left early as she is sick herself and picked him up from me. Colds suck especially when you are young.

I don’t think there has ever been the disdain and maybe even hate for a government like against the NDP in Alberta. They literally destroyed a provinces economy and have zero hope of ever getting re-elected. Some damage though will not be repairable. Unions have a large say due to the numbers but the majority of the vote still comes from the grass root voter such as farmers, oil patch workers, miners, etc. The voter population average age is still older so the younger do-gooder, environmentalists, socialists vote will be out numbered.

Here is just another example of a frustrated voter. Some of his facts are a little off on the percentages but only by a bit but the overall concept and description is reality.I have often said it amazes me how people can be addicted to smoking or drinking, how some one can give up their life for a odd cause ( Jones town, ISIS) or how  some one can be brainwashed into believing a socialist party is good for us.  NDP supporters in their delusional state see the amending of BIll 6 as a “open to dialogue” government. Please.  How many voters would love a chance to take back their vote.

Very well written, not abusive, not vulgar…just an honest essay from an honest Albertan who feels like most of the rest of us…. We voted out of anger, to get rid of a bloated, entrenched, corrupt government…and the only viable opposition (Daniell Smith) crossed the floor to join this corrupt provincial government and really angered the voters of Alberta. Then we get this…..thing….that somebody tries to call a governing party…that is really a bunch of socialists jamming unpleasant “stuff” down the throats of the unsuspecting citizens of this great province…. Please Ms. Notley…..quit kicking us when we are down…quit treating us like your private piggybank…we simply cannot afford it. Enough already…..are you getting the message yet?????
Ken Christensen wrote on Notley’s FB Page…
Dear Ms. Notley:
I have to give you credit for one thing Rachel.
You fooled Albertans? Unfortunately, Alberta has now elected a dictator.
Are you listening Rachel???
Shame on you for:
-Taxing Albertans to death
-Driving away the oil industry
-Destroying the coal industry
-Destroying the way of life of the farming industry
-Making it harder and harder for seniors to live on a fixed income
and continue to live in their homes.
-Creating uncertainty for young singles and families
-Creating uncertainty for investment.
-Forcing people to leave Alberta for a better life
-Disguising a sales tax with a carbon tax
-Not answering questions asked by the opposition and the media.
-Calling Alberta the embarrassing cousin
-Not putting Albertans first
-Not standing up for Alberta
-Actually believing we are responsible for climate change and
believing taxation with stop it.
-Trying to make yourself look good on the world stage while the
people of your province are worried, suffering and unemployed
-Kicking us while we are down.
Tax increases this year in Alberta:
Corporate Tax: Up 20% from 10% to 12%
Personal Tax: Flat tax of 10% across the board abolished, replaced
with a 5 bracket system topping out at a 50% increase from 10% to 15%
Fuel Tax: Raised in March from 9 cents to 13 cents per litre(44%),
will increase an additional 4.7 cents to 17.7 cents per litre(36%) in
January 2016 for a grand total of a 97% increase from January 2015.
Traffic Fines: Up 35%
Vehicle Registration: Up 12%
Natural Gas: Up $400 – $500 per household per year in January 2016.
Tobacco Tax: Increased $5 per carton in March, increased an
additional $5 per carton in October.
Alcohol Tax: 5% increase in March, 5% increase in October.
Additionally, any brewer outside of Alberta will have to pay a tax levy based
on their production volume (Muskoka Brewery saw their
tax rate increase 212.5% and subsequently pulled their products out of Alberta).
Good for local brewers, bad if you like Steam Whistle, Mill St., Heineken, etc.
All of this on the back of a $6.5 billion deficit, 63,500 job losses,
a 6.6% unemployment rate, and a $40 barrel of oil.
You never campaigned on a $3 billion carbon tax in the election.
If you did, you would have lost. Why was this not debated in the legislature?
Now you think you can just steamroll it onto an already devastated economy.
How about a referendum to see what Albertans think about this?
Oh, there will be some winners — public unions will have a bonanza.
Lobbyists will be jetting in from Toronto and Vancouver to sell every green scheme imaginable.
But for most Albertans, it’s higher taxes, higher energy prices,
less take-home pay, and thousands of fewer jobs. Who do you work for?
The way I see it is you are working for lobbyists, unions and activists, not the average Albertan.

Pile it on Rachel. The more taxes, debt, the more horrible bills just means
you’re definitely not going to get re elected.

You’re a horrible premier.

I refuse to even refer to you as such. You embarrass me.
You embarrass the province. I don’t care what party you’re for,
a premier has a responsibility to the residents. You’re a horrible
leader and I hope my home is still salvageable by the time your
four years of economic and social destruction is over.
You will go down in history as the worst and most hated premier
and the premier who brought Alberta to it knees. What a legacy!!
Are you proud of yourself?
This is “NOT” the Alberta way as you are stating on your advertisements.
Who are you trying to convince?
Please, stop this madness.

On a side note it is now 99% sure Alberta will be in a recession Jan/Feb of 2016. It will be the worst recession Alberta has seen since the early 80’s. Biggest difference then to now is the bank rate. We had 15% mortgages compared to 3% today. Northern Alberta will be hit the worse and Southern Alberta will have already had the numerous layoffs at the head office level and the trickle down effect will be happening. Here are some facts:

Total value of MLS (multiple listing sales) home sales, down -15.1%

Total value of motor vehicle sales, down -13.7%

Total value of manufacturing sales, down -11.6%

Number of housing starts, down -24.2 %

Number of building permits, down -8.2%

Number of job vacancies, down -35%

It is going to get worse.!  Irving Oil in the east is calling all  east coasters back as they have jobs for them, BC is building a huge natural gas plant and loading station to ship there gas that will hire thousands and Sask has happy farmers and is still at 24% oil drilling utilization.


You got to love the IRISH! irish

A car full of Irish nuns is sitting at a traffic light in downtown Dublin, when a bunch of rowdy drunks pull up alongside of them.

“Hey, show us yer tits, ya bloody penguins!” shouts one of the drunks.
Quite shocked, Mother Superior turns to Sister Mary Immaculata and says, “I don’t think they know who we are; show them your cross.”

Sister Mary Immaculata rolls down her window and shouts, “Piss off, ya fookin’ little wankers, before I come over there and rip yer balls off!”

Sister Mary Immaculata then rolls up her window, looks back at Mother Superior, quite innocently, and asks, “Did that sound cross enough?

Speaking about the Irish. I was golfing with this guy at Turner Valley and he had a Irish logo on his hat. I asked him if he was Irish. He got a little angry and with his accent says to me. ” What’s the matter with you boy ? That is a four leaf clover not a Shamrock”. I had to admit I didn’t realize they weren’t  the same thing. We had a fun time laughing over it. That was a company logo on his hat. I tried to get a reasoning behind the Irish being considered so lucky if the Shamrock was missing a leaf ?  Didn’t quite get it. Only comment was one of the biggest company in the world is missing a bite out of the apple in it’s logo and they are doing ok.  See you learn something new everyday

August just received his passport. They had to break the rules as you aren’t allowed to smileaugust in a passport picture but he is so conditioned with having to smile for his pictures all of the time they couldn’t stop him from smiling so allowed. His first trip coming up in just over a week. I think he will love the warmth , no wind, and all of friendly people around us.

Now that is a cute kid !!

Wham the TSX gets hit hard AGAIN today. Thousands of dollars leave your account at every hit. Thousands !!  We moved it a little safer last time but may need to look at it again as the markets are just to volatile .

December 12th

Had a great supper with Alan & Maryann last night at this Italian restaurant BOCCE. Very nice place, great atmosphere, but very difficult to find parking. It was a fun evening talking about different things and of course people. LOL  Yes I know it sounds like a place where you should bring your own balls to play Bocce but it was only a food stop not a play stop. They make all of their our dough, cut their meat etc which is great and a little more authentic. Later in the evening they had a DJ come in which in my opinion isn’t the best thing to do. He only played loud techno music which is sort of like torture.  I guess as we are in yuppie village the young crowds like that but I would have preferred soft Italian music which would have added to the ambiance. The food was good. The portions very large. Now they may try for the authentic Italian taste but I prefer the Americanized Italian. I prefer thick pizza over thin crust with very little cheese or sauce and I prefer say the Smokey Mountain Spaghetti at Boston Pizza ten times better then pretend to be authentic Italian. If anyone has ate at Formosa Pizza they sell the same type of pizzas. I prefer deep dish Chicago. It’s like the difference between authentic Chinese and our delicious Western Chinese food.   So the food was very good and plenty but just not my favorite are far as tasty goes. I think of Caesers as Italian due to the tomato aspect ( I know it is Canadian) and Boccce served their drinks in the tallest thinnest glasses I have ever seen. More of a wine glass than cocktail. A fun night and we were very very appreciative of the fact they paid and I have no idea why. The bill came when I was a the bathroom or it would have been different. I prefer splitting rather owing a future return.  We did finalize that they will come with us on a European River Cruise in 2017 for my 60th birthday.When I say that I cringe but then stop and think “wait 50% of my friends are over that and the balance are just about there” It just sounds old. I will start to plan this by saving, and researching. Our plan would be to stop and visit Jackie’s Mom and Michael in Wales for a couple days and then head over to Europe to do the river cruise. Whenever I go anywhere that it is along distance away I prefer to stay as long as possible. One week or even two  weeks is just too short of time  to spend considering flying 8 hours and not make it a worthwhile trip. Our last Europe trip was 4 weeks in 2010. I am looking forward to this as it will be a major trip and a lot of fun. I would like to see Belgium, Germany, Holland, and France if possible depending on the stop and start points.We will see where Alan and Maryann would like to see and make a final decision. We have a fantastic travel agent that we have used every time and will use her again. Finds the best price, adjusts as needed and is on the ball as far as insurance, which rooms are the best, dining selections and pre board and departure timing. I do most things on line myself but prefer using her for travel and she has never disappointed. Well once, but it was our first time and she didn’t know we refuse to stay in budget hotels. We are on holidays !!  I always thought they agents would be more money but after a lot of research that is just not true. They find the best deal and if they have to match the line direct price they give you on board credits to still make the deal better for you. It’s a win win

Did a few things around the house today. Vacuumed, cleaned, did my banking and opened a new saving account nicknamed ” New Floor” as I start to save each month to replace the carpet in our condo dining and living rooms as it is 8 years old now and starting to wear in the heavy traffic areas. When I have saved the amount needed I will get it done. We do not have a square wall  in our condo as we are a corner unit and have a curved front wall, a angled bedroom wall and angled hallway walls. This makes the flooring a lot more difficult as it would require laying backwards to fill in certain areas and as it has to be a floating floor some types would be very difficult.

I have four days in a row with more than normal food quantity intakes so I will need to be careful. Italian, Chinese, Sunday Supper and than Chili’s one day rest and then Boston Pizza. I will need to run on the treadmill to not break my threshold number. Lots of visits which are fun. It is always nice to visit with people over drinks and food. It’s too bad we are all guilty of waiting to the last moment to fit them in before Christmas.

I discovered last night Jackie had different plans than I though and we aren’t leaving until the 19th. Darn I hate to be wrong and one more day to wait. I know last year the one more day we waited caused us to be in storm that we would have missed had if left when I thought then. LOL   Being retired I guess there is no real hurry but it would be better to be in Mesa before Jessica and Penny arrive by plane.

What see out of our window right now.

What we see out of our window right now.

The guys are outside our condo working like mad on the decks right now. Two years so far and $16K out of my pocket maybe we can use it when we get back.

We had Jeff & Wendy over for a Christmas get together which was great. Cheated and instead of cooking we brought in Chinese food. The Mighty Mango restaurant in Midnapore is one of the best Chinese places around so we had them deliver it. We ordered what we thought was enough and it turned out  to be enough for 8 people. The pack each container which is great. Meal was wonderful. Always fun with Jeff & Wendy. Talked,discussed our current state of affairs with our two weak governments, looked at pictures of past vacations and had great general conversations. We then watched the Flames win another game as they are the hottest team in the league right now and only 2 points out of being in second place in their division. Always fun to watch a good game and especially when you win !  It’s too bad the .005 and .008 limits are enforced so strictly around Christmas. MY personal belief is we need something other than blood alcohol levels. I know for a FACT that after having 6 beer that I could perform a driving skill or any skill test a lot lot better than 50% of the drivers on the road at any given time. I hate DRUNK drivers and believe the penalty needs to be a way stronger. Something like 5 years no license and if in a accident repayment by a wage garnishment for the full amount and if death or incapacitated arises treat it as manslaughter. BUT i disagree with the determination of being drunk. .005 is stupid and .008 is dumb. The one drink per hour rule is supposed to be a simple guideline. I really like that you can now phone 911 for a drunk driver on the road you see.

Joke of the Day 

Cop pulls over a man for suspected drunk driving.  Cop ” Have you been drinking ?”  Man ” No way” Cop” Papers ?” Man” Scissors I win ” 

December 13th 

Cleaned up, Jackie worked on the computer with Michael’s stuff , and I did a bit of research on few things. Went out and bought groceries and getting ready for evening with Peter for Christmas. Jackson with Tor & Cor may come if they aren’t still sick as we don’t want Peter to catch anything. Worked out good as we have a ton of left over Chinese food to eat up.

I am not minding my new look as it only takes about 2 seconds now to shave the neck and just my cheeks.  And perhaps some one may even offer me money when I am standing at the door way of a business.

Peter tonight was excellent. One of his best days in a long time as it was much easier to have a conversation with him. He was quite alert and with a good sense of humor which was great. Victoria, Corey and Jackson joined us for the night for a pre-Christmas get together. Victoria & Corey  liked their gift from Peter. Peter got all of the Grandkids the same thing which they all will like. I can’t divulge as it is not Christmas yet. We had our dinner for 4 left overs which feed another 5 adults and we still have left overs for Corey to take to work the next day.  We watched a great Christmas movie about Santa Claus with the Dean Cain in it. Great Christmas movie. Great night.

December 14th 

Up and at it after having my smoothie and HGTV fix. Researched hotels in Great Falls for our first stop when heading south as we are leaving Friday night. Should be about 5 hours if the weather is decent. Ready myself to head to see the JELD-WEN people for lunch. A great meal and gathering . Lots of fun to hear the stories. Loads of changes. The guys are all still excited and having a good time working which is a huge plus. I shake my head at some things but keep it to myself as it really isn’t my place anymore to comment or let them know my feelings. I can say this though. I am so glad to be out of the rat race and my timing couldn’t have been better. That part worked out perfect when I see and hear what is happening. I do enjoy hearing and seeing the guys and middle aged lady still working there. Fun lunch and nice to do it twice a year and I am looking forward to spring doing it again. Great bunch of people.

Booked our hotel and received a super deal. I checked all of my regular sites, Expedia, Kayak , etc and ended up getting the best deal by far directly from the hotel. Holiday Inn which has free breakfast , free airport shuttle and parking while the girls are visiting us for $84.00 . Most online pricing was around $130 to 140 mark. Saved nicely !

Potentially booked a golf cart that fits 6-8 people to be delivered to our house and just have to wait for a return phone call to confirm. This will come in handy if we need to whip to the golf course when the girls go out to shop etc. Even taking everyone to the pool when it is cooler out at night will come in handy. I have two other companies to phone if the one doesn’t work out.

Thought of the Day

It’s not the stress itself that kills us it’d our reaction to it !  Remember timing is everything.  

December 15th

A day where I have nothing urgent to do. Too late to start anything and we are leaving in 3 sleeps. Did a bit of updating on my system. Sent out a birthday wish which I always have fun doing. For some reason I like to make fun/tease the people I know and like especially about them becoming so aged.  Good thing they have a good sense of humor. Moved stuff around in the Wrangler and threw out some unneeded stuff and old wax etc. Still waiting for my golf cart confirmation unfortunately.  Stayed up last last night watching the news as there is a lot of weird stuff happening in the world right now. Saw the TSX take a small step forward today. Thought I would jump on these environmentalist’s band wagon and bought some stock in a company that supplies the silver for solar panels. Stock should rise nicely with all of the attention solar power is getting. We will see. Found a great camping trip for this summer that I will expand on and find a RV enthusiast to come along with us. Will be a great fun week.

December 16th

Received about 4 inches of snow last night. Winter is here ! I hate winter.

Jackson was a Deer for the play

Jackson was a Deer for the play

Up early as Jackson had his school Christmas play this morning starting at 9 am. This are always fun to watch and the one great thing

The perfect Santa this year

The perfect Santa this year

about being retired is we get the chance to do this. This years play was called “The Christmas Tree” and was about a tree wanting to become a Christmas tree. The play had kids dressed up as bunnies, deer, birds, playing boys and trees. Jackson was one of the three deer this year. A whitetail Deer. I said if you see anyone in camouflage to run quickly. They sang about 5 songs but at this age every song is sung with the same tune. Oh Christmas Tree being the only song that stands out. The kids always have fun. Every kid had running noses and coughs. The fun of having small children. Great play, great singing, good treats and a wonderful Santa this year made the play a fun morning.

Last years we had a bad Santa

Last years we had a bad Santa

Last year was a bad Santa so nice to see the change.


We have a lunch appointment with a old friend from Scotia Bank which will be fun to see him and talk about what all is going on. And it is at my second favorite place Boston Pizza. Too many lunches, a way to many snacks and treats this week. Oh well it is Christmas.

Notes for today:

  1. Cal Wenzel Shane Homes owner and Major Nenshi  agreed to a out of court settlement on their upcoming court case.and it cost Cal $10,000 in court costs.In the agreement,
  2.  Nenshi:
    • retracts and apologizes for statements he made about Wenzel on April 24 , 2013 and on CBC Calgary’s morning radio show, the Calgary Eyeopener, on Oct. 9, 2013
    • agrees that as a result of subsequent information, he “understands, appreciates and states” that Wenzel’s actions in the 2010 election did not violate election laws
    • agrees that he did not intend to suggest Wenzel is the head of a criminal organization

    For his part, Wenzel:

    • regrets any statements and any harm done to Nenshi’s reputation.
    • agrees that Nenshi has raised legitimate concerns that lawsuits against politicians can have a ‘chilling effect’ and that this was never his intent.
  3. How dumb are people. People cant’ explain why there is such a hostile social media attack against Notley. It is easy. When you have the worst Premier in history, doing incredible damage to Alberta in the form of debt, driving out businesses, destroying our coal production, handicapping our farmers , dramatically reducing the profit margin with min wages increase, raising taxes on everything, raises sin taxes, adding demerits for driving it causes people to get upset. In other parts of the world it would cause a revolution. Keep it up and that may happen here. Perhaps our new weed laws will calm everyone down.
  4. Record cool temperature for Phoenix as we there this weekend.What happened to the global warming.?
  5. Tsx comes back a bit and hopefully more before year end.
  6. Three accidents in 6 blocks  to get the school this morning. I go back to mandatory driving exams every 5 years.

We watched the finale of the Voice last night. Jordon Smith is a great singer but I don’t believe he will have the  public backing to have a career for the long term in the business. He does not have one specialty and goes in between every genre. It is difficult to find an audience that way. He is like the male Adele though. Some great other singers also but the vote is the vote.

Boy ! is Phoenix busy at Christmas time. Our Enclave only fits 7 people ( could fit 8 if one sat between the captains chairs but then we still don’t have  enough room for the stroller etc. and one unstrapped person) so I was looking at rental cars. It’s like they raise the pricing at Christmas and especially when it is for a week. Tried a used rental place but they are struggling with enough cars. I then thought a two seated  4 passenger golf cart would be great to run around the park in or if the girls are out shopping we could use to go to Fat Willy’s etc. I tried 8 different places and they are all out of carts. I think I am going to pre-book our Rawhide tickets to make sure. Our “vacation” with the girls includes – Fat Willy’s Burger Night, Christmas Dinner on the deck, Movie on Boxing Day, Rawhide town, San Tan Flats for a smores cookout and a golf outing or two . We have the girls for 8 full days and we have about 3/4 of them filled so far. We will see what else they want to do.

I ordered some unique gifts today for a few people to arrive before Christmas in Phoenix which is excellent.

Thought of the Day 

I just wrote a letter to Santa. I asked him to give me a clearer definition of “naughty.”      Have you heard about Adolph, the brown-nosed reindeer?    He can run as fast as Rudolph, he just can’t stop as fast.

December 17th 

We will travelling starting tomorrow with a full car and loads of people. I most likely will not post until we arrive in Phoenix on Sunday or Monday. Then I will load pictures and stories of our trip across the country with Jackson along.

I think I have everything covered:

Parked Cherokee underground and disconnected the battery cable, water plants and have a caretaker arranged to water and check on the place, passport, money, credit cards, luggage etc all ready. Gifts we bought here along, close curtains, sunglasses along, meds packed and we should be all set.

First time every where I had two viewers from China log on to my site. I guess they are thinking retirement also. Or a communist attack to gain access to vital Canadian/Albertan politics . LOL

I was just looking at some of my stocks before year end to get rid of the losers and I see if i made some good choices other than one. I dumped my Orvana Mineral stock at .63 cents . It was as high as 3.90 but today sits at .15 cents. That one didn’t work out but I got out better than if I would have waited. I dumped my Agruim shares when they were under a hostile take over at $93. and today it is at $128. Should have kept that one.  Dropped Shoppers before the takeover of Loblaws but bought Loblaws so did great there. A couple of stocks have more than doubled and a couple have dropped that I have to look at before year end. I think I will stay with SLW as with the solar push this stock HAS to go up.  But you just never know.

Thought of the Day

Funny as you get older your Christmas list gets smaller and smaller as you realize the things you want the most money can’t buy. That’s deep LOL 

December 18th – 21st

The first day I knew it was going to be an easy day as we where only heading to Great Falls. 5 hours of driving is very easy. We left during a snowy day but as soon as we left the city the roads were great.  We left Calgary around 3;30 pm or just after. We had a little longer than normal wait at the border and arrived in Great Falls around 9 pm. We had stopped in Lethbridge for supper. Our last stop at a Tim’s for a few months. I bought some coffee for the coffee maker to have a closeness to Tim’s for a while.

Arrived at our hotel ( super deal) and Victoria,Corey and Jackson had just got back from swimming in the pool and had ordered room service. The first night we had Jackson’s sound machine on. Sort of like Chinese torture trying to sleep. Luckily Jackie got up and turned it off. Not the perfect sleep but just fine. Very very little noise or movement from the Waldie’s. In the morning we had a super breakfast in the diner. You can’t beat a big breakfast and we

Sleeping Jackson missing all of the scenery . LOL

Sleeping Jackson missing all of the scenery . LOL

Three hours of driving thru the pass in wintry conditions

Three hours of driving thru the pass in wintry conditions

hit the road about 9 am. Unfortunately we hit a snow storm. For over three hours we were only able to do about 50 – 60 kms per hour. You don’t get far on the road that way so I drove a little longer than normal. Jackson all of the time was fantastic not once being the one that had to pee or whine. He was perfect on the road. A 4 year old sitting for 14 hours straight is amazing. We had a small supper stop at a Sourdough Bake shop which was wonderful. Other than that stop it was all driving.  I was able to get to Washington which is just outside St George. A brand new Holiday Inn which was amazing for $106 a night including a hot breakfast. Great deal. Good sleep, the machine was set low and everyone was a little tired. Next day perfect weather for the most part. Gas stops and a lunch break in Kingman where we got out as we knew we would hit Mesa late afternoon. Carls Jr which was the first time for all of us was excellent.

Arrived in Mesa and headed out for groceries including a turkey. Groceries here now are not a lot cheaper than Calgary anymore with the exchange.  Fixed up the house, got the beds ready etc and then off the pool as Jackson wanted some excitement. Too bad Mesa is having a cool spell but the water was warm, wet and still fun. Just a little cool walking home wet. Day highs are only hitting 16. I like the 20’s but that won’t stop us.  I actually hurt myself in the pool. Doing a cannonball jump off the side I hit my knee on the bottom of the pool. Who would have thought 4 ft of water isn’t enough. Scabs on the knee as you have to bend them every time hurt. LOL Showed off to Jackson the lights in the park which are excellent and I would say better than Candy Cane Lane.

Great sleep. dropped off Tor to visit with her boss, picked up a Christmas tree and washed

Christmas Decorating

Christmas Decorating

the car.























The tree both Corey and I thought was only 3 ft tall turned out to be 6 ft tall. After we all finished decorating it ( $50 total ) it looks great as our tree away from home. The fibre optic angel on the top was the most expensive thing. We let Jackson do most of the picking with us hinting towards colors. Our Angel is blue and our balls are blue. Fun, cheap and great looking. Amazing how fast men can shop, and get the perfect item at the right price.Tor, Cor and Jackson just took off to shoot water guns at the pool.

December 22nd

Up early this morning as we had booked a tee time at Apache Golf Club. This is a great

Corey & I golfing

Corey & I golfing

course and I really liked it. The group on a whole golfed very well.  Victoria and Jackie had some great drives and their short game was very good. Corey drove the best I have seen him with

Golfing. Mesa is getting hit with a cooler than average spell.

Golfing. Mesa is getting hit with a cooler than average spell.

the majority of them being straight and hitting out at least 220 yards. I was very happy with my drives with no slices. The Marshall gave us a snap on windshield which was great to protect Jackson from the cold. It was the coolest I have seen Mesa but we still had a lot of fun golfing. I think we hit 13 or 14 degrees only with a small breeze and a light mist. But we were golfing in December so who can complain. Amazing how the outside fresh air can tire you out. This was the first golf course that I have EVER been to that does not allow outside food on t he course so we couldn’t bring our packed cooler with us. Too bad and sort of dumb.

After golfing we had to pick up a few more things at the mall. Jackson ( and Corey & I) had  a

Jackson on his tiger. Best thing I have seen at a mall

Jackson on his tiger. Best thing I have seen at a mall

great time.  They had a riding animal for the kids which was amazing. $ 5 for 5 minutes and you drove it around the mall. Luckily Jackson hit no one. He had a blast. Off to the next adventure which was a carousel. Again Jackson picked out the tiger to ride on. He had a lot of fun. Corey had him in the line up for the reverse bungee but right at the last moment he felt it was to scary . All of this time the girls were shopping. The guys stopped for a ice cream cone and carried on looking for things to do. I picked up Jackie’s gift and we were done.

Stopped at the Home Depot as Corey & Tor needed to pick up something.

Headed home and turned our lunch sandwiches into grilled cheese and ham sandwiches which was great.

After supper and feeling a little tired we decided to hit the pool and hot tub. The water blasters we bought are amazing. They can spray at least thirty feet. We had epic water battles. I liked the warmth of the hot tub the best. Jackson could have gone on forever.

Drove around the park a bit to look at the lights which as I said before are unbelievable. We watched a Christmas show on TV and then hit the sack tired.

Thought of the Day 

Nice to have the best neighbors/friends ever !

December 23rd 

Slept in today. Jackson watched his IPAD for while this morning. Had our breakfast then went over to Bob & Pats to turn on the heat for the girls tonight and picked up some Christmas treats  that Pat had made. Very nice neighbors.  Unpacked a few things we had delivered and took the boxes to the dump. Jackie and Victoria went to the gym while we did our few things. We are picking up Jess, Pen and August this afternoon so will drive two vehicles to get everyone including luggage in. Fred had left his truck and keys for us which was extremely generous and very very useful for any trips we need as a whole family.

We decided while waiting for Jessica, Penny and August to arrive we would go to Golfland and play mini golf and laser tag. This is an amazing place and huge. We picked up our clubs

A grand mini golf experience

A grand mini golf experience

and played a course which is great. They have three full courses with the most unique holes you could imagine. I don’t think I have to tell anyone  who won . We all had a blast even Jackson which thought it was the best thing ever. He had a great game and hit the ball very well. Everyone enjoyed the event and the surrounds were amazing.

Next off to the Laser Tag course. The best course I have played. They do need to buy some smaller vests as they only have one size and Jackson found it to be very heavy. And it was. We had a blast. I don’t think I need to tell anyone who won. Great course, we had lots of people in the event, the guns worked perfect and the operators controlled the wild ones.

Then off to the machines. Jackson against Corey on a motorbike. Victoria helped Jackson and they won. Lots of games to play and won enough tickets to get some small prizes.

Then off to pick up the girls.

We decided to pick up a pizza as it was getting late and we were all hungry. Great pizza and only $12.00 for a large meat lovers which is fantastic. We all enjoyed it very much.

Jessica Pie Face

Jessica Pie Face

After supper we decided to bring out the Pie Face game on Jackson’s request. This is a fun game. He tried it once but after

Waiting for the pie to hit

Waiting for the pie to hit

seeing others get hit with the whipped cream in the face he backed out continuing on.

Later Jackson went to bed and we pulled out the cards to play “cards of humanity” . It is a fun game with some very funny saying to use. Certain people do pick the oddest one to win instead of the one that made sense and still was funny. Jackie won and most would say she isn’t the funniest one of us all when you get all of the kids together.But she did win so we all have to concede to her.

December 24th  CHRISTMAS EVE 

Tis the Season !

Tis the Season !

The girls and everyone gathered in the kitchen for a scrambled egg and hash brown breakfast. Everyone had a good sleep and was ready for the big day. Jackson was so excited. The girls had a great sleep at Bob & Pats. The funniest comment from them was “you should use the toilet paper that Bob & Pat have . It is like heaven.”  Everyone ate up, cleaned up and then we had Penny’s Mom, sister and kids come over for a visit. We had a lot of fun talking and laughing about every

Mom's and Auggie

Mom’s and Auggie

things. Wonderful well behaved children.  We had treats, they exchanged presents and then on to the pool in 18 degree weather Christmas evewe had lunch. Jackson had to go to the pool as it was very warm out hitting 18 degrees today. Everyone went to check it out

Santa ?

Santa ?

Tor being Santa on Christmas Eve

Tor being Santa on Christmas Eve

and enjoy the warmth. Loads of fun. Booked our golf game for Monday and made plans for a meet time at San Tan Flats tonight.

Had a great time visiting, watched a Hallmark movie and put out the Christmas socks. We will go out for supper ( steak and ribs) at the BBQ place where we can cook Smores and have a campfire.

I love Christmas eve. The socks below we had to order as Jessica had lost her original one and we needed two more to put up. Ordered this on line  and they were great quality.

New socks

New sock

They also arrived right on time which was great. Everyone now has a personal Christmas sock.

The weatherman today did get a little screwed up as it became very sunny and warm today when they had originally thought trace rain and clouds.

The next door neighbor also allowed Jackson to pick a orange from his tree. These things were huge. We cut them up and they are also amazingly sweet.

We tried to sign up for the train ride around the park to see all of the  lights but it was completely full every night so we will make a drive by in our cars tonight.

As a society we do need to make more time to put the emphasis on the real meaning of Christmas. I always liked the saying.  The magic of Christmas is not in the presents but in his presence.


Thought of  the Day

This just in :

Christmas is cancelled . Apparently you told Santa you were good this year and he died laughing. 

December 25th   Merry Christmas Everyone !!!

Christmas Present opening

Christmas Present opening

I think next time some one says Happy Holidays I am going to say ” Don’t you mean Merry Christmas ”  I dislike how we are just allowing this to happen.

Jackson opening presents

Jackson opening presents

Anyway I hope everyone has a great day. We had a wonderful Christmas Eve.  We had planned to go to San Tan Flat and even after phoning to confirm they were open we arrived and they were CLOSED. So we had to come up with a plan B fast and decided to go to the Texas Roadhouse.I was afraid that Jackie & Corey may become hangry. I will say it was packed. First, this was the first time for Jessica, Victoria, Corey,Jackie and I to be eating out on Christmas Eve. Wow do a lot of people do this. We met Penny’s Mom, sister, and kids there. A group of 10 + takes a while to get seated. It took us an

Present opening

Present opening

hour but the food was more than worth the wait.  The food here

Jackson & August with new PJ's

Jackson & August with new PJ’s

was amazing. And wouldn’t you know it. The table beside had to complain. I will say our service and food was exceptional. They thought their’s wasn’t. They got a free meal from the manager. And they took the left overs home with them. Not to be prejudiced but this whole family  was massively over weight. I think they only wanted a free meal.

After a great meal we went over to Heidi’d place ( Penny’s sister) and had a fire in the backyard. She had a beautiful home and an incredible backyard. It was a great evening. We

Jess & August

Jess & August

backyard christmasreturned and sat around playing games,talking and then headed to bed around midnight. We did all of our Christmas stuff quietly .

We were very lucky this year as Jackson did not wake up until 8:30 am. It was nice not to have to get up to early. Jackson was so well behaved and we waited for everyone to get up and then we started on our socks and tree presents. Everyone as usual was spoiled especially the kids.

Won’t remember all of them , but Jackson received Lego sets, fishing rod, Spiderman wrist spraying, and lots of great clothes. We had ear ring gifts, butt raising pants, sweat pants, one piece suits, super Lego sets, shaving kit, Tim’s cards etc.

Just sitting around resting, getting ready to start cooking the turkey and having a spice rum and coke. The kids are keeping us entertained playing with their toys. Jackie is being Grammy with August and the girls are just relaxing.

It was and is a great Christmas and very enjoyable. Turkey dinner tonight, relax, perhaps swimming and  watching the kids. Tomorrow movie day.

Thought of the Day 

The best gifts under the tree : the presence of family all wrapped up with each other.

December 26th  Boxing Day 

We stayed up quite late playing cards of humanity again. It is quite a funny game but players have a tendency to pick the grossest or obscure card as a winner rather than the one that really does fit the question.Needless to say I didn’t win as my logical mind could not grasp the concept of NOT picking the BEST choice. It is a lot of fun with a group of humorous people. Jackson has been staying up to 11 pm every night. And very well behaved. Rum and eggnog and beer help the laugh factor of the game.

daddyWe all went to the movie “Daddy’s Home” . This was one of the funniest movie’s I have seen. Some comedy movie has laugh sections but this one had you laughing in just about every seen. Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg are a great combination. We all thought the entire movie was hilarious yet looking at the professional reviews they panned it. Goes to show you what they know. Go see it it is very well done. Funniest show in a long time.

Our lunch for the day was popcorn, pop and treats. Great meal !!   Between rides back and forth to places Jackson kept catching up on his sleep.

Jackson tired and sleeping in between events

Jackson tired and sleeping in between events

We relaxed and watched another movie at home. It was a cool day only hitting about 12 degrees so we didn’t go to the pool today. We played the “dice” game for hours. It was a very very close game with everyone trying to “get” out. Each of us had 50 to 350 points away from winning and going around the table a few times. Finally Corey lucked out and won the game.

Tried to find the World Junior hockey games on but the USA likes football too much. No channel here carried it. Watched my phone to look at the NHL games as our division is a tight one and any night a team can go from last to second.

Our little August has been amazing. Probably the most well behaved baby I have seen. It is funny to watch with

Jackie & August

Jackie & August

this many women around. The poor guy NEVER gets to be by himself. He doesn’t get to cry, and if he is awake panic could set in as he has to sleep. The kid is the cutest kid. Everything in his mouth. Drool constantly running from mouth.  We have been very lucky with how well both of them have behaved.

Thought of the Day 

Is that a helicopter i hear ?

 December 27th 

Everyone slept in and didn’t get up until 9:30am. We all got ready and off to Rawhide today. Later today Cor & Tor are going to visit a friend that is on town.

Penny got a text from her Mom saying she tried out the kids Hoverboard. It didn’t go well as she fell and hit the back of her head. That could hurt. And she is not a young chick anymore. You get a little older and accidents during sports happen. Just ask Jenny ( baseball in face), Margy ( hoverboard accident) Wendy ( curling hit on the back of head) Jeff ( torn ligaments from skating fall) Jim ( free fall from ladder) and me ( lost golf ball in water)

After breakfast we headed to the Mesa Swap Meet. The girls love this place. Jackson got a shirt, Corey bought a RV outdoor carpet and Penny & jessica bought a cow’s skull with long horns. The meet wasn’t as busy as we expected which was nice.

Rawhide was awesome. It is the perfect family gathering place. Petting Zoo, climbing wall,

Great place

Great place

train rides, stage coach rides, gun fights, great western shopping and food venues.

The climbing wall was excellent.

The climbing wall was excellent.

Everyone had a great time and we spent the entire afternoon there. Victoria and Corey had a race up the pole with Tor winning but had a few advantages. She started early and took the easier section. Corey gave it a battle and we thought he would catch her but he stumbled

Rawhide steak house

Rawhide steak house

midway and she took the race. The Steakhouse had smoked meat as its specialty.We ordered the family feast for four and could only eat half of it. HUGE portions. Great meat, beans, coleslaw etc.  They had bull testicles, and rattlesnake on the menu. They also had two challenges.  Eat 3 pounds of beef in 45 minutes and get it free or eat 8 chicken wings and get a certificate. 6 people have met the challenges of the meat but only one on the chicken wings. We asked for a sample of the sauce and YES it was HOT !!!!. I couldn’t do the wing thing. Within their contract you can’t have milk or ranch as a side when eating them.

Getting home the kids decided to go Scottsdale town to visit a friend. Downtown Old Scottsdale is neat and looks great at night with the lights. Party time. It will be interesting what time they make it back. They decided to use Uber for the  ride home which worked out great and at half price compared to a taxi. And I didn’t have drive a 1/2hr at 2 am in the morning.

Thought of the Day 

A journey of 1000 miles begins with a cash advance.

December 28th

Last full day of the kids being here . Time goes by quickly. We had another good breakfast and readied ourselves for a great golf game. Another nice day hitting at least 16 degrees. Penny decided to visit her sister and kids while we golfed and meet us later for supper.  The 5 of hit the golf course. Taking so much time off golf really does hurt. It was one of my worst games in a long long  time. Taking 3 over on par 3’s kills you. For the second time in 10 years Corey beat me.  He played very well which was great to see. This works out perfect as next game I have a one stroke advantage to win $5.00. Most likely May long weekend. It was a fun day golfing with the kids. Jackson did his ride along just perfectly again. We golfed with a Lethbridge school principle who’s 4 children all teach school in Lethbridge. As he said it was a prefect career for the enjoyment and the above average pension benefit he now enjoys, He bought here last year after 35 years of teaching. After golfing we hit Fat Willy’s for the $6 burger night and the $8 jugs of beer. These burgers are one of the better burgers I have had. Everyone enjoyed the meal. Penny met us at the restaurant. I was disappointed as with Jackie, Jessica, Penny, Corey and I  we could only finish 4 jugs. Light weights that think they can drink. They haven’t had a session with my friends. After our meal we decided to hit the pool as it was the last night. The pools seemed warmer than usual. We had a great time and spent a long time there in the pool. Jackson loves the pool. I am sure thata will be his biggest regret about leaving here. The kids readied themselves up for their trip home. I took a run to the grocery store to pick up enough food for a big breakfast again and took over an hour as I had to visit three different store to get what I needed. I started at Safeway but 5 minutes in a heard a store announcement stating the doors were being locked. I rushed like a mad man to get the most important things. At the till I said to the clerk. Wow you guys close earlier here as Safeway in Canada is open to 11pm. She says what are you talking about we are open to midnight. Turns out the announcement comes at 9 pm to warn customers that there are only one set of doors open. The other are all locked as a safety measure. Great to discover when my transaction is done. Off tot he QT but they had nothing so headed to Fry’s which was still open and had everything I needed.  One hour but success. We sat around and talked a bit and then everyone headed to bed.

December 29th

Everyone had a wonderful big breakfast earlier than normal. All of the suitcases were packed ( all a way over weight, one of them 23 lbs over) and the kids were ready to head to the airport. Loaded up and headed out in the two vehicles. All loaded and set to fly back. Jackie and I went home and relaxed. I think I may have even caught a quick nap. Very unusual. We had a great fun time with everyone for the last week or so. It was our first Christmas away from home for everyone and it was a fun yet different time. I believe they also felt the same. Relaxed and just rested today. Tomorrow will be a long hard work day getting everything fixed up.

Dec 30 & 31st  New Years Eve 

Spent 7 hours trimming trees. The trick is not to let them get so big. They were 12 ft high and had 1 1/2″ branches to cut. On top of a 12 ft ladder and pulling hard on a rope lope shear is rather precarious. First tree as it is a little shorter wasn’t bad. The second tree is rather spindly so it was easy. But in the future if not cut back now for one year of ugly it will be nightmare. The third tree the difficult one. At least 15 ft or more and huge branches to cut. This tree took most of the day to try to shape it . With such thick branches to cut it is very difficult up so high and to get at. Having that one broken bicep is a pain in the ass as it starts to shake and then cramp on me. Holding a heavy rope lope extended 15 ft away from

And this is just the cut offs

And this is just the cut offs

you isn’t easy.This tree also has huge thrones on it and it is about 10 ft across making it quite difficult to work on. I finished

One of  two piles this being the small one but with larger limbs

One of two piles this being the small one but with larger limbs

the tree finally and worked on the back one. It is a bougainvillea and is shame to cut off some of the beautiful red leaves but needed to control it’s size. This plant is downright mean with 3 inch thorns.

Cleaned up and piled it all in the driveway to take to the dump on Monday as it it is closed on Jan 1st.  The pile of cut branches was at least 8 ft or more. Washed the patio as it had a lot of bird poop on it and used the blower to clean out the tree bottoms and pad. Looks pretty good. There are two trees left but I didn’t do them as I don’t know the system they want on those. Fell asleep pretty easy as I was tired.

We actually slept in until 9 :30 in the morning. Tired , cool, and dark makes for a good sleep. Tackled the trees across the street today as they were huge. Luckily a neighbor came to help which is appreciated as it isn’t the easiest of work. It took the two of us close to 3 hours to trim them. During the trim I ran into a cactus with my leg and I felt a warm feeling in my foot. I look down and blood is streaming out of my pant leg onto my foot and sandal. Pouring out. Those aspirin sure to thin the blood. Jackie helped fix me up. Turns out the thorn stabbed deep enough to hit a large vein and I hemorrhaged under the skin  . Now I have a big black bump filled with blood under my skin at the puncture. Such is the risks of a working guy. LOL  One damaged very sore puncture leg, the opposite very sore scabbed over knee from hitting the bottom of the pool in my cannon ball attempt, and two very sore forearms scratched up big time from all of the thorns.

Cleaned off the back deck, watered  down the deck, pulled out my dead palm tree and finished for the day.

We were just about to start loading the truck as the dump is only open on Monday from 9- 11 am and we have two loads for sure that will be piled high and Tim arrived. Good timing on his part as his truck isn’t running right and he needed to borrow Fred’s truck to do a few things and pick his wife up at the airport.. 5 minutes later and it would have been piled high. Plan is just to leave the piles on the street until Sunday and hopefully Tim returns the truck to load the first load. Timing is everything. The thorns do get meaner as the dry out. Ouch !!

New Years Eve and this battered crippled guy and his lovely partner are heading to Olive Garden. I will make sure Jackie has something in her purse to eat so she doesn’t get hangry as I am sure it will be a hour wait or more.

Happy News Eve everyone. I hope you all have fun tonight. I hope you all have a wonderful great fun filled 2016 coming up and anything negative in the past years is erased and forgotten.

Best to Everyone in 2016.

Best to Everyone in 2016.