March 2015

 

March 1st    ONE YEAR RETIREMENT ANNIVERSARY ! 

Jackie's Retirement Feb 13th 2014

Jackie’s & Larry Retirement March 1st 2014

Wow ! A special day today and my bride isn’t here to celebrate with me. Today is Jackie’s and I’s one year of retirement anniversary.They say time flies. Let me tell you it more than flies it is a sonic boom. Retirement is the best thing to happen to a person. I am absolutely positive that everyone that tries it will agree. I believe that working too long for ego, for money, for prestige, for worry is a waste of the short time we have here on this earth. No  management , no customers, no clock to watch, no having to get up to go to work, no stress, no fatty business lunches, no business travel, no timeline to meet,no reports, no anticipation of a two week vacation once  a year,and the freedom to do what you want and when you want. You hear some thoughts of people  being bored as they lose the mental stimulation of business or they lose their sense of identity due to a job title loss or direction their life is going.I am here to tell you FALSE. It is called freedom. Freedom to chose. Freedom to experience.It is called redefining senior living. I am not experiencing retirement anything like someone did 20 years ago.We have experienced  so many great times the past year it has been amazing. Here is a list of some of the highlights:

  1. Spending our first and second long stay over winter in Phoenix
  2. Having the time to spend with family and friends. Heritage Park,Callaway Park, Sedona,Tombstone, Calling Lake,Sylvan Lake,Midnapore Lake,Cow Lake,Travers Lake,Fish Lake.
  3. Renovation after renovation with no timeline. ( except the condo where Jackie rushed me) Jess’s place, Victoria’s place,our condo, Mom’s place
  4. Moving parents- moved Peter twice and my Mom once to retirement homes.
  5. Camping with friends- May golf long weekend, Invermere Valley golf week, Kootnenay Lake week golfing and camping,September golf long weekend,fishing trips, Sturgeon fishing in BC,Ft MacLeod camping, Buffalo Jump, Prairie Oasis camping,Cow Lake Camping,Callaway Camping,Lost Lemon Camping,Birch Grove Camping,
  6. Numerous tourist spots in Arizona  with family and friends.
  7. NYC stay, Quebec City stay, and 10 day New England/Maritime’s Princess Cruise.
  8. Golf , Golf ,Golf
  9. Spending the extra time with Jackson .Getting to see concerts, skating, swimming,Canada Day,Christmas play,Tommy Play etc
  10. Concerts both in Canada and Mesa- Santana, Rod Stewart, Barbara Streisand,Shania Twain, Tim McGraw,
  11. Health and wellness better than ever for Jackie & I.

” PENNYWISE MINI TIP”

TRUST . One of the biggest concerns some people have is money which keeps them working.Here is some information to help ease those worries so you can make a decision. One full year has passed and when I did our budget I was pleasantly surprised..  Our total assets actually increased by 22K March 2015 vs March 2014. We did have 3 months of Jackie’s contract work that helped substantially and the TSX has been very very kind with close today at  15234 and on March 1st 2014 at  14212. So after spending a full year of living we are sitting with more money than we started with. As long as the TSX remains constant and raises everything is good. Interest and equity increases and cautious spending are the backbone to having enough money to last. You are richer than you think if you unshackle yourself from work and trust it will work out. As long as you did your pre-planning you will be ok. Retired not rich is better than working rich. Part time income can be a huge advantage as we know from last year. Earning 20K from part time work is like having an extra 400k in the bank earning interest.Stop worrying, be happy and enjoy life by joining the grey train riding thru retirement bliss.

Sort of weird being here by myself. Slept in until 8:30am after watching TV late. As today was supposed to be a cool wintry day here in Mesa I didn’t book any golf.It was supposed to be down to 65 -70 degrees above with scattered showers. No rain and spots of sunshine happened all day. Bad weatherman!

I really like the look of our table I finished today.

I really like the look of our table I finished today.

I finished off another project I was working on. I really like the look of my slate looking side table for our back deck. I better watch out or the Mexican gov’t could come looking for me as I am taking away all of their tile work. I had one spot were the table was welded under the platform where I have one raised tile. I couldn’t cut a tile in half of it’s thickness so it is raised a bit but only adds to the Mexican rustic look.

Then off to another project . I really like the difference this little change made.You can mix contemporary design with classic but you can’t mix classic with Mexican or desert design. I think it looks fantastic .  .

Now that looks better! AFTER

Now that looks better!
AFTER

Improved art  BEFORE

Improved art
BEFORE

Now onto my next project the outside BBQ kitchen that will have the BBQ a fridge counter and a large door access for our garbage and recycle bins. It will be done with slate looking porcelain tiles and an acrylic stucco exterior. I am looking at a 32″wide by 108″long by 48″ high backsplash unit.After a lot of research I am going to make it completely with steel studs. Just need to find the right kind as Home Depot only has the non structural 25 gauge and I need the 20 gauge ones. I will find them.  This is a labor intensive job that will take quite a few days to complete. But I have no timeline to schedule when to finish or start. I have been researching the construction and accessories so when that is done the work may begin.I will use painted access doors as the Stainless ones are a way to much.I am positive it will look great.

Busy project day and now just watching golf on TV after having a wonderful chicken dinner. Life is good !  Tomorrow I am off to help a neighbor that has an electrical issue. The breaker keeps kicking off. It is a matter of rationale deduction after a quick quiz as it is must likely a short happening. Did you install any new pictures or screw anything into the wall ?  Did you recently have a difficult time pulling out an extension cord or remember tripping over and pulling on a cord that was plugged in ? Anything new that you just recently plugged in ? How old is the breaker ?  Did you hear any  popping or see a dimming of the lights ?  First try a new breaker if nothing comes of the questions. If it still kicks off each receptacle and light fixture has to be removed to see if a wire has come loose or is touching the side of the box. It is a matter of deduction. There are only three things that cause a breaker to trip. Overloading the circuit,short circuit or ground fault.If  I can’t find anything then we need to call in an electrician. .

Thought of the Day

You need to be as mentally prepared for retirement as financially prepared.TRUST

Time to retire Retire well Understand your needs Spend wisely  Thoroughly enjoy !!

March 2nd 

Rain is pouring down as was the forecast. A large storm cell over Phoenix is expected to bring heavy rain today. The streets are filled with water and I can see the need for the new eaves trough that are going to be installed. It is a way cooler than normal only averaging today at 48 degrees and a little cooler tomorrow but up to the 80’s on Wednesday. So a catch up day. I completed the budget, I sent a resume to apply for an alternate course marshall job. If successful should be fun once or twice a week and free golf at a different course. I watched the final round of the Honda Classic which made me feel very good. Ian Poulter put 5 balls into the water on the final round. Not only Ian but numerous golfers were making the most mistakes I have seen on a PGA tournament.

Went for a drive to the new Campers World store here in Mesa. Awesome store. It is like a candy store for RVer’s.  I signed up for the Good Sam Road Side assistance. AMA is $159 for the RV Plus and the matching with even better benefits was on sale for $59.99. The only benefit we lose that I liked was the 10% off hotels. But we gain a discount at Flying J,Pilot and campgrounds. Time will tell if it is as good or not.

Tonight I will hit the pool and hot tub in the cool rain.

Thought of the Day 

Never be afraid to try something new. Remember amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic.

March 3rd

I spent a good hour swimming in the pool and sitting in the hot tub last night. It was really very very very nice as it was sprinkling and the water had a lot of vapors rising up from it. The hot tubs felt especially warm with the colder air. A wonderful night. Got home and watched a bit of TV and worked on doing the research for the outdoor kitchen. Put the first coat of sealer on my slate table and slate surround on the back deck and then got ready for golf. I booked at the golf course we will have Jackie’s Bank of Nova Scotia Pensioners tournament at. Thought I would get a leg up. It is a difficult course with everything slanting toward water and too much water on the right side. I haven’t comfortably fixed  my slice as of yet. I golfed with three older guys, two from Great Falls and a local guy. First hole they started off great but had their struggles. I golfed very well ending the game with a 84 and that is with having a snowman (8)on one hole.  I will have one more attempt at this course before tournament date.The weather man lied a bit as we were to have a cooler day ( 70 above) but no rain. We had 5 holes at least that were very wet. Fun day though with the guys. My cart buddy was a muscle car enthusiast so we had a lot of talking about that until he told me he just bought a Z4 Beamer. I tried to throw him out but he hung on. I ask how could a Chevy man betray his country and saddle up to a German made car. ( the Z4 is really a car made for girls, but I didn’t want to tell him that) He owed 56 Chevies and numerous C4 and C6 Corvettes and now a Z4.  He just remarried is why!! Fun Day !  Thursday the trough guys are coming so I may golf again tomorrow and work on the platform for the kitchen on Thursday.

imagesI had contact with a old friend from my high school today via email. Teddy Johnson and I had quite a lot of fun and got into a little bit of trouble in high school especially at the dances. He is heading up the committee for our 40th year reunion this September. I am sure I will recognize most people but there are always those you knew well but just don’t recognize or remember.The most difficult ones are those that conquered their anorexia. Or those that had a full head of long beautiful hair like myself and it decided to grow out of one’s ears and nose instead now.  I have to say that going to Memorial Composite in Stony Plain was one of those special times in my life.Spending time in Jim Kruse’s garage,having a blast with Darrel Desault,  going to our school dances ( can’t believe I remember going LOL, you may not also Teddy LOL ) , driving around with Tim Weir with all of the “stuff” we needed,having a topless girl dance on the roof of my car right in front of the principle’s office ( had to do a lot of sweet talking to Mr Kruger not to get kicked out) skipping school and going to a special “hill” just about everyday with Clancy Livingston and a few guests,having a girl roll ( destroyed) my car over a steep cliff and the four of us( Jim,Lori, and I forget the other girls name, Cathy I believe) just being bruised a bit, 10 days later I rolled my new car myself on the highway near Winterburn,bootlegging beer from the Stony Hotel for a few girls and one of them just about overdosing and spilled my name to the assistant principle Stan Woloshyn( another event that took a lot of sweet talking),sneaking 8 people into the drive in theater in Armand Begin’s Mom’s station wagon,being in Grade 12 and taking Art 10 as Grade 10 girls were a little naive, having a neck choking and hair pulling incident with Mr Bill Woloshyn,and  having a bat grabbing incident with Mr Radke. Fun times. Quite surprising I lived through them. Very surprising of no suspension. It was a time to remember. I look back today a little in disbelieve that was me.Odd how things change. Thanks Jackie !

Thought of the Day 

Change is the law of life. Those who look back at the past or present are sure to miss the future.What’s done is done. What’s gone is gone.One of life’s lessons is always move on. It’s ok to look back at fond memories but keep moving forward.

March 4th

A back to a regular Phoenix weather day. Bright sun and warm. Put another coat of sealer on my slate. Trimmed the trees a bit as they are growing fast and filling in as spring is coming. Played around a bit doing different things around the house, worked on a material list for the BBQ kitchen and relaxed outside on the patio. Readied up for golf. Dressed all up as if it wasn’t a good day golfing at least I would look darn good. Ended up with a family. A guy &  wife and their son. Matt the son rode with me. First hole they all started off hot. Matt being 20 years old was an awesome golfer. As I fight the slice and back off on club speed now my distance has been only averaging about 230 to 260. He was one of these 300 yard hitters with a draw each time. Takes me a bit to adjust as NO ONE used to out drive me but now every game people are out driving me. I will never say age but it must have a  affect. Only sliced once today even though ever time on the tee I was scared. Ended up with a 85 due to one triple and to many missed 4ft putts. Matt had an 81. His step Mom ( his Dad married a lady 15 years younger than him) was a great golfer and a very nice lady. UNTIL she ended up not getting out of a sand trap. She became a mad woman with words that most guys don’t use on the course. Then back to the nice lady again. It was the first time Matt beat his Dad so we had a fun time picking on him. It was quite funny seeing the wife protect her husband with gimmes and encouragement. We finished in 4 hrs 15 mins which was great. Got home and made myself a good supper and now just watching TV , will go the pool again and ready myself for a work day all day.

Thought of the Day 

You know what they say about hormonal women. If it wasn’t for their mood swings they wouldn’t get any exercise at all. 

March 5th

Another wonderful day in paradise. 75 degrees and bright sun. I was up fairly early and worked all day until 7pm with a few interruptions that were quite refreshing and entertaining. Had a coffee in the morning with Bob on his deck for a quite a while. Then drove to pick up my privacy screens. Worked on getting them installed. Had to change a few of my brackets as the screens don’t sit flush with the screws on the wrong side. That took a while and I had to sweat a bit in the full sun. Managed to even cut my finger on the sharp aluminum.Finished the screens and I like it. It will be like our private oasis in the backyard to get the full sun. Once

Prairie Oasis

Prairie Oasis

the  decorative grass and Palm tree , boxwood grow ,it will look awesome. I may add another screen or find some kind of taller plant in the corner on my new slate bench to fill in the space.

Another coat of sealer , trimmed the side bush a bit and then off to get a bit of material for my BBQ kitchen.

Started working on this knowing it is a long project with the base part being the hardest. I dug the pier blocks into the ground. Went through the gravel and they are resting on a mixture of rock and desert sand which is more like cement. I don’t believe I should get any movement  as we have no freeze thaw cycle and the desert clay is very tough. Easy enough to shim if needed.My idea to have the base with 3/4 PWF plywood then cover with hardibacker board to water proof and burn proof it. I will then start to use metal studs and cover with hardibacker. First time with metal so I haven’t decided to buy a metal blade and use the chop saw or snip each piece. It will interesting to figure out the hows to working with metal and understanding the correct way to screw them

Day One of the Outdoor BBQ kitchen

Day One of the Outdoor BBQ kitchen

together.I could finish the walls in one day with wood but I think this metal will take a way longer. To support weight I am going to need to build a “wall” so I have the steel stud on the vertical as unlike wood there is no strength on the horizontal.

I then had the neighbor from across the street bring me a cool glass of white wine and we sat at the patio for while talking about a lot of things. 5 o’clock somewhere you know. Back to work and a little later another neighbor stopped by for a visit and to discuss ideas on a wood project he was working on.You got to love the friendly people here. Everyone  is here  as Presidents or CEO’s some as janitors and farmers and now everyone just as retired and everyone feeling like a member of our community. It may be because the sun is always shining or no one is stressed but it is awesome.

I worked until 6:30 and then it was a little to dark to work on.

Thought of the Day

The secret to a great BBQ is to drink plenty of sauce… yeah, after a few drinks pretty much anything tastes great!

March 6th

Had a wonderful late swim as the evening was quite warm. The hot tubs felt extra hot and worked great at relaxing muscles. You can’t be a contractor of sorts and play golf as the muscles have a tendency to stiffen up.The hot water felt great after bending all day. Got home and watched a TV movie which I have seen before but as it is a funny movie I watched it again. Something about Mary is a funny movie. Lasted until midnight.

Up about 8:30 and started to work. Doing certain things without a second pair of hands presents it’s challenges but does make the mind think.Went to the Home Depot to pick up the studs and track etc. Always difficult if you can’t find an “expert” in the aisle you are in. Finally got the studs ( maybe a few short but I wanted to wait to see how everything goes. Screwed and glued the base to complete it. I managed to only use one sheet 3/4 PWF but I have a couple of seams which don’t really matter as there is a stud for them to sit on. Lunch and then tackle the unknown. It was a BLOOD BATH using the steel studs.  First time and not knowing what you are doing

Day 2 Blood Bath day

Day 2 Blood Bath day

is sure a learning experience.Cut my hands, slashed my leg and even tonight they are a little painful. Had blood running down my legs and fingers.Slowly as you work with the product you find out easier ways to do things. I love wood but after completing the back wall in steel it is very rigid.You have to get past a few things . If you think about it the studs aren’t intended to be weight load carrying as is 80 percent of the walls in our houses. So if your cut isn’t 100% straight or a screw makes the vertical stud a bit short and you have a gap it doesn’t matter as no weight will be carried. It is a skeleton that becomes very strong with a covering. So after everything I am liking the steel but know I could have double the amount of work done if I used wood. Worked until about 6pm and then I was tired. I didn’t feel like cooking so cheated and had fast food tonight. Calories were burnt today to cover it. So not much else happened. I had a few visitors that stopped in to talk and  look and Denis helped me for about hour later in the afternoon.I think I will work tomorrow again but golf on Sunday before picking up Jackie. Good thing  there is no rule against letting me on the course with scabs on my hands, and gouges on my legs and arms. Never mind the issue of a scab being pulled while golfing. LOL  Perhaps it was the full moon being at issue.

Thought of the Day

Look at your cuts, your bruises, or even your scabs you gave yourself. Each one is a battle with yourself that you lost.

March 7th

What a beautiful day. Outside having breakfast at 9 am and it was already 65 above. It was pure sun today hitting 85 degrees. Where I was working was great as I have a lot of tree cover and any breeze comes right thru at me. Makes for a very comfortable day but even still I drank at least 8 bottles of water plus glasses of water and a diet Pepsi. Luckily I had a quite a few stops with neighbors stopping in to visit and supervise. Today went quite well with the steel getting the bulk of it done. I think one

Day 3 of the outside BBQ Kitchen

Day 3 of the outside BBQ Kitchen

more day of steel and and should be ready for the next step. The garbage storage bin area is done. The BBQ section is done. All that is left is a pony wall for the counter around the BBQ and the front header of the fridge. But I have decided as all of this work makes my back sore so I will golf on Sunday before picking up Jackie and work a bit on Monday on it and then ready for the golf tournament on Tuesday. Things are going quite well overall and as I work and figure out the hows of weight load on horizontal beams and butterfly cuts on the ends it make it interesting. Need to pickup the stainless steel fridge from Walmart as I found one for  $149. and is the perfect size. A wonderful but tiring day again. But a fun day !!

Thought of the Day

If Plan A didn’t work don’t worry the alphabet has 25 more letters. Stay cool

March 8th 

What a way to live. This entire week is supposed to be 80 to 85 degrees and sunny. Up early this morning to get ready for golf.  Had my breakfast outside as it is getting pretty nice out by 8:30 in the morning. Went a little early to the golf course to drive a few on the range. I think I have it figured out. I was paired up with a Frito-Lay Chip quality control guy. Very nice gentleman the same age as myself. We had a fun time as a twosome but this guy wouldn’t shut up. He talked for 4 hours straight even when I was trying to concentrate on shooting. I now know a lot about the makings of a potato chip. One example – You all know how we complain about the bag of chips being all air and no chips.  Well this is by design. Every bag is weighed with the same amount of potato chips. Then they seal the bag as air is pumped into it. The air acts as a cushion so we don’t get squished chips. Ingenious. Now with the air they are adding nitrogen which extends the life of the chips. This is only one detail, I could tell quite a few more. I do know that other than the fat content in chips they are safe to eat and have a lot of quality controls. I didn’t have one slice today. A few pull lefts, few pull rights and two drips but no slicing which was wonderful. Only scored a 85 due to a triple on a par three and two lost balls in the water on a long par 5. I did have a great day golfing. It seemed we were waiting for a lot of the holes but we still finished in 4 hours 15 mins. Whipped home had a beer on the deck with Pat & Bob along with Merv then headed up the airport. The airport traffic was incredible .With Nascar and baseball spring training happening a lot of extra people sure were hitting town. Very very nice to have Jackie back home. I would have run with open arms just like in the movies but it was to busy. Tomorrow another steel day and hopefully installing hardiboard backer.

Thought of the Day

It is very important do know when to shut up. You should not be afraid of silence.

March 9th 

85 degrees again today. This is the life. I wish others could experience this life. No cold, no snow, full sunny days, relaxing, swimming and enjoying doing things. I am so glad we decided to quit working when we did as we are having the time of our lives everyday. Miss the people at home, especially Jackson but the trade off is nice.  Plan today is to put another 8 hours into my BBQ kitchen. Moved a few studs ( luxury of dealing with steel) and started to apply the cement board. These sheets of cement board are heavy. I managed to get the bin section just about completed. I went to the local Mobile Home Depot and ordered my stainless steel looking double door system for the bin section. A little pricier than I wanted but will look good. Then I checked our Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Lowes and could not find the size of fridge I wanted with a stainless front. I will need to order on line and build the stud walls based on the internet specs.  My right elbow is extremely sore ( tennis elbow) from using the drill. To go thru the cement board and into the steel studs you really have to push hard and it gets to the elbow.  Worked the full day ( when I say worked I mean “doing something enjoyable” ) . Chopped off the wheels and legs to level the BBQ. The whole unit is starting to look good. Have a lot of great comments from passers by.

Finished up my work had a great supper and readied ourselves to watch the final

The Bachelor Show

The Bachelor Show

episode of the Bachelor.  He picked the right girl and I am sure this combination is going to be a stay together couple. The only thing that could come up is as she is a career woman and she has to give that up.

Thought of the Day

Finding the right person to marry -The right person will not be negative, selfish, wishy washy, silent, embarrassing, critical, or a slob. I found the right person.

March 10th

The earliest we have been up since coming to Mesa this year. Alarm went off at 6:30 to get ready for the Bank Of Nova Scotia Pensioners Annual Golf Tournament. Amazing this tournament had 54 participates golfing in it. That gives you an idea of the quantity of Canadians down here. To have at least 30 plus ex Bankers all here is incredible. Played a tough course for hackers, took quite a while and it turned out to be a fun time. I didn’t golf well. Played ok but lost at least 4 to 5 balls into the water as there was water on both side of the fairways. I hate having an ok game now but it is what it is. Next time.  Got home and started my search for a fridge as I will work tomorrow on the kitchen. Sitting outside at 85 degrees in the shade it is a wonderful thing. I lost a few bucks on the par 3’s also as John won a buck on each getting closer to the pin. $#@%. One of these days.

Thought of the Day 

Life is a gamble, at terrible odds. If it was a bet you wouldn’t take it.

March 11th & 12th

Two wonderful 85 degree days. You got to love Arizona. Home Depot supply and install arrived right on time with two wonderful young energetic workers.  In no time they had the old vinyl trough taken down. That stuff was warped, installed with the drip cap behind instead of over the trough and shrank up to inch. The new trough went up very quickly. I had a small section in the back near the Arizona room that needed trough that these guys helped me with. I will say again, the service you receive in the United States is amazing compared to what we get in Canada. In Arizona they don’t have a minimum wage so the wages are low and these people really appreciate their  jobs. The trough looks great and I know will help the neighbor out with his water issue as we are at least 1ft higher.( for the 5 days a year it rains,LOL)

Picked up more material for the kitchen and set forth another full day of steel studding. I have most of the tricks figured out for headers, joists etc. Takes a bit of trial and error . I don’t mind the steel except that steel is more difficult to keep everything plumb and square. Checked every where for level and we are sitting pretty good. I have a small outage of approx a little less than a 1/4″ out from angle side to side. N0 will be able to see it and it will not affect anything except when hanging the cement board it needs to be gently adjusted. Luckily I had my standard visitors stopping in for a chat which is like having a coffee break at real work but this is a little better as it is an excuse to rest a bit. After working all day we sat on the patio with Pat & Bob having a few beers talking. Funny listening to stories of when each of us were young and what we did. It is staying so nice and warm out even at 9 at night.

Up and at it in the morning. A trip to the Depot to pick up some more product. Finished off all of the steel unless I need to move or change something. Worked on checking and

Day 5. doubling checking fit plumb and level.

Day 5. doubling checking fit plumb and level.

fitting to make sure everything is going to work ( internet sizing on the fridge though) Placed the BBQ and discovered a mistake. I measured and re measured but the lid of the BBQ is outside of the base and puts me out a 1/4″ so I can’t fit tiles between the BBQ and wall. Two choices, I can remove one side of cement board and more it over and put the board on the fridge side or try to use a sheet of aluminum to deflect the heat. I will figure out that tomorrow but leaning towards the taking the sheet out. Cut the vent hole with the angle grinder which worked well. Used up the wheel real fast. Went over to Fred’s to find the tool to remove the wheel and talked and had a beer with his brother Tim.  Funny thing Tim removed the wheel with hands. ( still need the tool to tighten) But funny. He is here for Nascar.  Whipped to Harbour Freight and picked up some wheels.  Great place. I bought a pair of special vise grips for steel studs  for $4.99. Amazing.  I have most of the sheets cut except for the backslash which I will do first thing. It is a little difficult making sure Jackie isn’t on the phone when I start up the machinery. Electrical  work comes tomorrow. I think I will keep it simple with a switch, a plug and one light receptacle for low voltage lights. I will use these as hi- light lites. Hardest part is making sure the boxes are water tight and making it work with steel studs.

Yahoo, went to the mailbox tonight around 9:30pm and it is like having another birthday. I received three new birthday cards from my Mom, Victoria,Jackson & Corey and Audrey & Michael. I wonder if I can convince Jackie it is my birthday again. Nudge !Nudge ! Wink !Wink . It only took a month and 1/2 to get the cards. I better let them I received them.

Had an email from an old friend  Gary White from Regal Building Materials and we have set up a golf game with Gary, Letty Lynn, Jackie and I for this Sunday. Perhaps supper after golf at a authentic Mexican restaurant.We will be golfing at a course that struggled financially until a new owner bought them and did a 3.9 million renovation to the course. It is now a nice course except no driving range.  It will be nice to see them again. I may get a chance to play with Gary a couple of times as I understand he is staying here for quite a while this time.

Thought of the Day 

Working with a golf slice, steel studs, stucco, screening  —I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma. 

March 13th FRIDAY THE 13TH

How was everyone’s day? Anything scary or weird happen ? It is Friday the 13th. Tonight is the annual going away dance as the community starts to head back home from snowbirding.  Tonight was also Fish Friday at Fat Willy’s . I give their burgers and other meals a strong recommendation but not their fish, I guess cooking so much fish it is hard to get it right. So no more fish but still love Fat Willy’s. Elbow still is very sore and I hurt my back with some lifting but I worked a good 7 hours on the outdoor kitchen. It is wired for two receptacles and a low voltage monitor and lights. It’s going to be tricky drilling the holes thru the tiles for the lights. Just about finished the cabinet until the drill lost power and I had no battery left charged. So quit.  Just about finished the cement board. Next time I should have it completed and ready to tile. That’s when it will start coming together. It is a fun project but very time consuming. I may golf as the park’s annual garage sale is on.

I have some great pictures. First Peter, Jackie’s Dad was able to maneuver  himself to see Elbow Falls when Jackie was in Calgary. Great to see him making the effort to do something

Peter visiting Elbow Falls

Peter visiting Elbow Falls

and being able to accomplish it. Elbow is a great tourist spot near Calgary where we have a wonderful smaller waterfall with a path near it to watch and hear it. Lot’s of visitors and they even have lot’s of picnic tables there. It is a nice place to take someone for a picnic or just a drive and stop to see something quite nice. Great for Peter  to get out.

Second is a picture of  Audrey, Jackie’s Mom. She is having a great time in Wales and visiting her relatives in England. Audrey may have only been to England 5 times in 30 years so now that she goes to Wales each year for the winter with her new husband she get’s to see her brothers and sister much more frequently. This picture is taken in Whitby.   If you are ever in England this is a place to go. First as the picture shows “look at the size of the  fish and chips”. This is FRESH fish caught right there and cooked particularly well and fresh. They are famous for their fresh fish & chips. Whitby is also home to the Abbey Ruins where the  Bram Stoker’s Dracula movie was filmed. You have to climb a very steep incline at least 100 steps from the ocean( German Ocean)  floor to the top of the cliff. It is also home to a

Craven's

Craven’s

famous Capt Cook statue.  They never said if they went across the swing bridge on the River Esk but it is supposed to be a tourist stop. Neat place and the best fish and chips guaranteed. This is a picture of Jackie’s ( right side) Uncle Malcom, Audrey, Uncle Alan ( left side ) Aunt Jean, and Aunt Carol.

One thing for sure is I bet I didn’t have to even say taken in England. This clan just says ENGLISH in big letters. They are very very nice people that treated us unbelievable when we were there.  I am sure Audrey and Michael had a great visit with them.

Larry & Anita also booked another weekend this summer at Park Lake with Rob & Sharon and Jackie & I. Should be a fun time as the guys and wife’s are a great group. Nice thing is I will also be there to watch out for Larry’s shoes in case he loses them again. Perhaps I will bring an extra pair of slippers just in case. Park Lake according to the internet has a wonderful campground and beach and is close for everyone. Summer is filling up fast.

I also heard back from my contact to become a golf Marshall this year. I am meeting him in April when I get back to see if this works out. Could be fun doing this once or twice a week for a few hours to get free golf. Love being retired !!

Thought of the Day

Family is like Chocolate. Mostly sweet with a few nuts. Spend lots of time with those you love, as one of these days you will say either ” I wish I had or I am glad I did “

March 14th 

The traffic in front of our house today was very very busy. The entire community was out looking for bargains. We had a community yard sale on every block today. Jackie was up and out with our neighbor Pat at 8:30am as they needed to get out quick before all of

Jackie after a hard day of shopping !

Jackie after a hard day of shopping !

the good deals were gone.  Notice Jackie relaxing after a hectic day. The lamp in the background ( very nice lamp) was one of her finds for $4.00.  I love the lamp plus a few other knick knacks she picked up.

I worked for most of the day again on the kitchen. I am in the middle of reassembly on part of it as I had a design change to make the BBQ tank have an easier access and to make it look even better. It is looking good, all wired, all covered with board other than the BBQ spot. I will cut a few pieces tomorrow before golf to get it closer to tiling stage. Jackie was directed to a wonderful Mexican Tile store that I will use to buy the

Mexican tile

Mexican tile

backsplash from. How can you not love the designs.  Using this as an accent tile will look great. Can’t wait to get to this stage. Monday I will pick up the tile.

The weather for the next 5 to 7 days is hitting 100 degrees. The weather network says low 90’s but the local news tonite said we will be hitting over 100 for the next three days for sure. It is 9:30pm right now and still is 78 degrees. ( 26 C)   We decided tonight to go to a movie. We were torn between the Imitation Game  or American Sniper and chose the first one. Imitation Game  is a great movie. For a non action movie to engage it’s audeince for the whole movie is fantastic. When it was over no one wanted to leave.  GO TO THIS MOVIE. It is worth the money. Not to spoil it but it about a secret group of code busters for the English that

Amazing show !

Amazing show !

broke the German code and it was kept a secret for 50 years.  It is based on the true story of the gay man in Britain , his amazing mind and the way they discovered a way to break the code. Thanks to this man we are all not talking German.Won’t say anymore other than what we do as a human race  to each other is unbelievable.  Medical castration, Lobotomies,Shock Treatment, Mandated Sterilization etc just due to misunderstanding and not fully understanding the implications and side effects. It is a good thing our society is becoming more receptive to change. I can understand why people refuse the flu shot, vaccinations,Lipitor etc as we really don’t have the longevity science behind these or understand the future implications. Great Movie.

I'll drink to that

I’ll drink to that

Got ready for the big St Patty’s Day parade and events of the day that will be coming up. House is decorated and I am not even Irish. But I like the Shepard’s Pie, Stew and the luck of hanging a four leaf clover up. The Irish are a fun loving group.  Will for sure go to the pub to have a green one !

Victoria, for what ever reason as a first tattoo had a

Beautiful Flowering Hibiscus flower

Beautiful Flowering Hibiscus flower

Hibiscus flower  put on her ankle . I don’t need no stinking tat as I have the real thing !! LOL  This flower this year is doing amazing and looks beautiful. Numerous people stop and take close up pictures of the flowers. It is right across the street from us .

Thought of the Day 

I am a master of logic and a powerfully convincing debater. In fact against my better judgement , I can talk myself out of doing anything.

March 15th & 16th

Warm weather has hit. As I said everyday  is wonderful.  We relaxed a bit as Sundays, are meant as. Phoned the girls first talking to Victoria ,Corey and Jackson. Disguised my voice to fool Jackson which was quite funny. He couldn’t figure out what was going on. He didn’t want to talk much as Corey had him all set up for hockey and a game of cowboys & Indians. ( Can I say that ? I did capitalize it)  Calgary has had such nice weather I even got a notice of two golf courses opening with temp greens . March !!  But snow was hitting them again on Sunday.  We then talked to Jessica & Penny to see how they were doing. They were celebrating Nellie’s birthday and just laying around as is usual for them on Sundays also.  So wonderful to have breakfast outside in the warmth and lunch also. Got ready to meet my good friend Gary White and his wife Letty Lynn. Gary is just one of those nice men and it has was always a pleasure to deal with him for the last 25 years in Calgary. Mix a nice guy with a smart business person that easily builds great relationships and you have a winner. Gary is one of those hardware guys from a way back as he was with Western Canada Hardware while I was with Sterling Dist in the 70’s.We should have opened a hardware store !  Met Gary & Letty  at the San Marcos Golf Course where I got a super deal from GolfNow at $39.00 a person with a cart.  I started with a birdie and thought ok today is the day but reality set in again. All four of us golfed relatively well. It turned out the designer of this course had zero imagination. Every hole had a large bunkers on both sides of the green on every hole. Needless to say the sand is what killed the score. I ended with a 91 and AGAIN Gary beat me with a 87.  Both Jackie and Letty I thought played quite well and ended up with a 110. After a wonderful day, laughing ( maybe some cursing under our breath) golfing and enjoying the day we decided to go out for supper. Our favorite Mexican restaurant Rancho Tai Rosa in Mesa had  a fire about a year ago but just reopened with new owners and call it Rosa’s. Drove there and were very surprised to see it closed on  Sunday night. Hopefully not a open and quick close due to money issues or health issues as the building is amazing and the atmosphere is wonderful. Will try it again. So we headed to AppleBee’s which was perfect. The food was great and we had a great time over food and drinks. After supper we went to Gary’s condo which was close by. Very very nice place right on the golf course and designed perfect for company coming with a bedroom at each end of the main living room. Hopefully we will be able to have another game or two with Gary and or Gary & Letty as we had a very enjoyable day with them. Got up early to start work as I wanted to make sure I wasn’t using any tools that Fred or Mel needed while they were here. I have another 4 weeks they are here only one week. It’s getting closer and a little delayed as I went thru a design change but is looking great.They have been busy since coming getting Mel’s place all fixed up and Fred arranging for the BIG reno this fall. This will be fun project to do. They came over for a short visit before heading to the block party tonight but we have made arrangements to meet at 9 am to go shopping for reno stuff  for the  fall then to the patio for green beer and food early afternoon. This will be a walk home night although Jackie will be coming after her work so we can catch a ride with her. Patty’s parade at 1pm if we get a a chance to see it. Had a short visit with Pat & Bob tonight on their deck outside again.

Lazyboy

Lazyboy

Bob is thoroughly enjoying his new Lazyman chair Pat bought for him.

Thought of the Day

I am ready for St Patty's Day

I am ready for St Patty’s Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 17th It’s Here St Patty’s Day 

Up early to get ready for Fred to pick me up as we are shopping for fall renovation material for him. I have a spot in Tempe to stop at also to pick up a door. I may have a few spelling mistakes tonight.

Funny story, I normally use Jackie as my cleaner upper or as a extra pair of hands on my projects but as she is working she has not been able to do so. With her clean ups she inevitably puts things were I can’t find them. I lost my tape measure and searched and searched for it. Jackie came out to ask what I am doing and helped me look for it. 5 minutes in I look down and there it is in my hand, extracted out about a foot even.  I won’t hear the end of that for a while.

We got the kitchen cupboards all ready for order placement for Fred at the Home Depot. We also picked up the samples of flooring for Fred to take to Terry to choose one from and all of the credit info so his contractor can pick it up when needed. Ordered my access door for my BBQ kitchen and did a few odds and ends.We got the car a needed oil change and stopped into Long John’s for a quick fish lunch. Ended up coming back with perfect timing to watch the parade and then head to the patio.

Love the shirt

Love the shirt.

We arrived first before any others on the deck and started drinking cold green beer. Then the people started to arrive. We had a few chicken wings to hold us over and more green beer.  We waited until Jackie was done work to order supper. We arrived at 2:30 on the deck and at first each Pitcher of

I am not Irish so I can't officially wear GREEN. But Jackie thought this hat made a statement

I am not Irish so I can’t officially wear GREEN. But Jackie thought this hat made a statement

The annual St Patty's Day parade !!

The annual St Patty’s Day parade !!

Green Beer only lasted 1/2hr. Then we slowed a bit. Fat Willy’s unfortunately did not help us with our Patty’s celebration. They had Irish food on the menu ( why when they wouldn’t let us eat on the patio that food) and they were forcing people inside to eat at the buffet. So not happy with the staff on Patty’s Day at Fat Willys. Ended up having good old american pub burgers which are always great even though they weren’t Irish. I think we lasted from 2:30 pm to about 9 pm drinking that green beer. Getting the bill though I was disappointed in the number of jugs. 3 people drinking and we only had 5 pitchers at 2 glasses each per pitcher. Which is only 10 glasses per

Doesn't ever one love Green Beer and an excuse to drink it.

Doesn’t ever one love Green Beer and an excuse to drink it.

person but they were about 16 ounce glasses. Plus a few other drinks. We then headed to Fred’s back Oasis to soak in the warmth and have a couple of rums. FUN PATTYS DAY. We didn’t get drunk as it was light beer but we were very full. Funny thing is I didn’t have to go the washroom very many times as I must have sweated it out as the temp was 96 degrees in the sun 92 in the shade.

Went to bed feeling like I needed water and felt the same when I got up.

The story about St Patrick is neat as he was from Britain and was according to the Confessio of Patrick, at 16, captured by Irish pirates from his home in Britain , and taken as a slave to Ireland, where he lived for six years before escaping and returning to his family. After becoming a cleric, he returned to northern and western Ireland. In later life, he served as an ordained bishop, but little is known about the places where he worked. By the seventh century, he had already come to be revered as the patron saint of Ireland.

Saint Patrick’s Day  is observed on 17 March, which is said to be the date of his death. Most people love the day as it is regarded as the perfect opportunity to drink and have fun like the Irish only know how to.

Thought of the Day

Remember God created whisky so the Irish wouldn’t rule the world.

March 18th

Good thing it was light beer. Felt pretty good. Fred & Mel arrived like clock work this morning to help me again today with the wiring and some finishing touches making it ready for tile. Fred did a wonderful job with the creation and bringing to fruition the wiring plan. It is like a puzzle with us standing in the aisle way at the Depot lifting and turning pieces to see how they would work out. Everything worked like a charm. I have to figure some way to pay back Fred for all of his help  . It was also nice have Mel along as three hands can get a lot more done . We worked until about 5 pm. The boys went home to have chicken as they didn’t want to waste it and some wine. We had chicken also to cook up for them  but they wanted to use their’s up.Still turned out good for everyone as no one wasted food. Drove to the Mobile Depot to pick up my special order Mill doors and price out the back deck privacy screens for Mel. A full day of work and luckily a little cloudy today so the heat was down which was nice. It is work but it is FUN WORK when it is for yourself and at your leisure. My new Stainless Steel Fridge arrived and we dry fitted it in. I love it but already I am receiving snide remarks on it’s size. “you can’t even fit a full case of beer in that thing” ” what is in that thing , one beer ” . Just remember size really doesn’t really matter. I will have enough beer in that fridge to work out just fine. Just the tiling , door install and final hi-lite lights wiring and I will be done and I can sit back and drink my one cold beer out of my micro fridge.

Had our supper and headed to the tile place. Jackie & I bought a 20 x 20 porcelain tile

Tile for our BBQ kitchen with a matte black counter

Tile for our BBQ kitchen with a matte black counter

with a slate look. It will make the unit stand out, not be subdued but will look fantastic.

Had a mass shooting today in Mesa with one person not making it. It is amazing the violence in the world. You look at this suspect and say what was the court system thinking to ever let him out. Some people just are ill. Luckily it was a long ways away from us. Again it isn’t the  guns it is the person pulling the trigger.

“MY RANT”

What are the mall designers thinking ? How can a professional design and not think logically ? Most of these are experienced engineers.  How many of you have had this happen. You go to a Safeway store and with a full cart trying to put your groceries in the car and the cart starts rolling away. You go to a Home Depot with a ton of 2 x 4’s on a cart to load and it starts rolling away. You go to a tile store with 500 lbs of tiles and the cart starts rolling away . You are parked in a lot and you see a wild cart rolling down the parking lot and hit a car. It’s a simple fix, either have flat lots nearer the store and worry about water run off further way or make sure all stores have brakes on their carts, “BUT THAT’S JUST ME”

Thought of the Day.

One cold beer maybe the dream of many a young lad all over the world. And guess who has the fridge with that one cold beer in it. 

March 19th 

Had a lot of rain last night but nice out this morning but a little cooler at 80 degrees. I covered up my kitchen last night due to the exposed wiring and the cement board. Everyone uses this product for outdoor kitchens which is odd as it is as I discovered not waterproof. It can wick up water and stays moist for a while but the integrity of the board doesn’t decline. So next step is to install a trex board along the bottom to act as a ledger

Day 7 ?   Starting to look good now. Only a few more days

Day 7 ? Starting to look good now. Only a few more days

board as the tiles weight a tonne and this will support the weight load rather than just screws into metal studs.The ledger board will be screwed into the pressure treated flooring base so will hold the weight perfect.  I will then paint on a water proofing product called RedGard which highly thought of. I want the kitchen to last 20 years without cracking grout or tiles every year. The only concern I know have is the counter top as I used only 1/2 cement board ( can’t use plywood substrate due to being combustible). I am hoping this is strong enough to have no flex. I only have about 6 inches between supporting studs on the back and about 12 inches in the centre so I think I am ok. It’s starting to look good now and can’t wait for the next step.  Leaving in a few minutes for our block party which is always nice to see everyone together. I roasted a chicken in the oven and stuffed a full lemon punched with holes in its arse so I will see how my Lemon Chicken the odd fashioned way turns out. It turned out fantastic. Between the lemon and pepper it tastes great and moist. I think

Our Game of "baseball" And no injuries.

Our Game of “baseball” And no injuries.

only two couples out of the entire block were missing.  Being such an athletic group we played an intense game of “baseball” which was fun and our side the “odd” side of the street won easily.  ( game similar to the washer game for most).  These folks know how to have a potluck. The food was incredible with such a variation it was amazing. The only thing is it would have been nice if the party lasted longer. It breaks up  to early all of the time. Ended up going home, stopped and had a beer with Fred & Mel who were cooking supper and then a couple more beer with Pat & Bob on their deck.

Another great day in paradise. Best thing is I  got invited to a scramble golf tournament in Sundre from Ray Laberge an old friend and business associate( Totem) in May. This will be fun as I get to play with Ray and not have the fear of losing another $100.00 to him. He took too many $100 bills from me over the years in our annual golf match. Looking forward to seeing him again and having fun. I am sure I will know quite a few of the participates as a lot of the people will be from the building industry.

Thought of the Day  

Nothing is more fun than hanging with an old friend and saying remember when ?

March 20th

Critter Getter was here to spray our house. They treat the ground  around the house with a spray for crickets, scorpions etc. They use a small spray and go around the entire house inside by the baseboards as this is the last defense. He also goes into the crawl space basement and “bombs” it to kill and give protection. This stuff helps with the termites but doesn’t stop them completely as it only soaks down 2″ and subterranean termites go down about 6 inches into the soil. There is a Arizona saying either you have them or will have them. One of those urban legends things as I haven’t heard of anyone having them. Besides like the flu shot if everyone falls for the termite bill there will no way a termite will walk past a mile of houses to find me unprotected. There is a new version from Mexican now in California so you can assume here also that one colony can devour an entire house in 2 years.

Thinset and fibreglass meshing all done.

Thinset and fibreglass meshing all done.

Started working again on the kitchen. Bought the Redgard and fiberglass mesh and started using the thinset with the mesh to cover all of the seams.My idea is with the mesh, thinset ( basically a mortar with adhesive properties and being somewhat flexible with polymer added) and the flexible waterproofing of Red Gard  I should have a water tight structure ( except around the BBQ opening and fridge) with no cracking grout or tiles. Took all day doing this but it is done and looks good. Tomorrow the Redgard stuff. I also lined up a golf game for Sunday which will be nice.  Just another beautiful day today not to hot or cool. Around 82 or so.  I had to take another picture of

Isn't this combo of tree amazing.

Isn’t this combo of tree amazing.

our neighbors tree as the desert being spring is flowering and beautiful. Think we will just stay home tonite and watch a movie. I am sure after a hectic week Jackie will want to relax.

Thought of the Day 

Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it. I see it all the time where someone says “just another hour and I will head home, just another year and I will retire, just another mile and I will stop to see the sights etc. People wait all week for Friday, all year for summer, and all life for happiness when it is just there if you would just stop to enjoy it . Don’t wait.

March 21st Officially the First Day of Spring 

The Alberta weather for the most part this winter was pretty mild. Golf courses are open the earliest I have ever seen . One has to remember that the months with the most snow accumulation in Alberta are March and April so perhaps a couple of wet snow dumps still may happen. Last night the sky was so dark, except when lite up with a lighting bolt and the wind was out a bit. I don’t like that as I need two more days before my kitchen will be water proofed. All of my work yesterday will have been destroyed if it got wet. Fingers crossed. A little wind, a little lightning in the sky but that was all. Up and at  it starting with the water proof membrane procedure. Put the primer coat on which was little messy. Pink. Got the first coat on and it turned red in a reasonable amount of time.

Water proofing done

Water proofing done

About an 1 hour or so. Put my final coat on. It is supposed to be the thickness of a credit card but I believe mine is the thickness of a fat piece of paper. I am comfortable with that as each gallon is $50. It rarely rains here and the stuff is made for interior baths and showers so we should be fine. In the time waiting for the paint to dry ( we all know what that feels like) I trimmed all of the trees in the front and back as I  had a few shooters raising plus the growth is fast right now with it being spring. A full days work. Tonight we will have a good pasta supper and relax. Large Rigatoni with garlic & herb sauce with added tomatoes, celery, and onion. Awesome tasting. If I would have added Italian sausage it would have rivaled Olive Garden. Eating on deck at 6:30 and 80 degrees is very nice.I may need to go to the pool to get a tan as I have a great farmers tan ( arms, face and legs). I think I will ride golfing tomorrow instead of walk as it is going to be 85 degrees and walking at that temp wrecks the game. I am hoping for a great game tomorrow.

Thought of the Day 

The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender. Hands up and wave the flag as the best part of your life awaits you.

March 22nd

Well the second day of spring here is wonderful unlike certain other cities ( Edmonton). It was 75 degrees at 9am to have breakfast outside. Edmonton got 7-9 inches of snow and two more days still coming of it. ( but winter snowfall warning is lifted)  Always happens in March & April but it still fun to look at when you are not there. I ‘ll take the hot weather here even though it means today riding instead of walking as the sun is very hot . Returned a few things to Home Depot today left  and received $75.00 and bought a few more things I needed at $72.00. So a good day.

“PENNYWISE TIP”

How to get cheap flight-

  1. Cheapest Days – Tuesday,Wednesday and Saturdays are normally the cheapest days to fly
  2. Most expensive is Fridays and Sundays ( business trips make up a huge portion of these)
  3. Cheapest times- dawn,red-eye or overnight flights and often flights around dinner hour.
  4. Best times to shop- Tuesday at 3pm eastern time.
  5. Best Time Frame to shop- Domestic- 3 months to 30 days , International 5 months to 1 1/2 months before departure.
  6. Connecting flights with multiple stops are usually discounted
  7. Bigger Airports particular hubs often have cheaper flights
  8. Shop one passenger at a time– Airline reservation systems require when booking two tickets they both have to be the same price.  You can 50% here sometimes. Only catch is if the plane is full you may not get a seat together. But it is only 1 – 3 hours anyways.

Now off to golf and hoping for a great game. We ended up with a nice couple from the local area. He was an ex-cop and she was lawyer and like they kidded about. He caught the crooks and she let them go. No bedroom talk about work in their family. Jackie and I both played relatively well scoring an 85 and a 100. Both with a few to many mistakes again. Numerous occasions of putting for a birdie and ending up with a boogie or par.  Super warm and a lot of fun today. Sitting on our deck at 9 pm at 75 degrees enjoying the night. I had our place sprayed for bugs but the crickets are still loud. ( but wonderful sounding)  . Had  a good laugh to myself as I sent a message to my Edmonton friends as they received 9 inches of snow last night and are expecting more days o. I rather enjoy the dig. LOL

Thought of the Day

Golf is a day spent in a round of strenuous idleness

March 23rd & 24th

Everyday 85 degrees or more. The sun isn’t setting now till 7 pm is nice as we can get a twilight time and finish very easily. Jackie hard at it in her “office” working all day long. When I enter it seems everything you do is so loud. You put ice cubes in your glass it sounds loud. You wait to flush the toilet if she on the phone etc. But it really isn’t that bad. Nice to have a quick lunch together on the patio. Both days of at least 6-8 hours of working on the kitchen. We picked 20 x 20 tiles. A mistake. Very hard to work with, had two tiles slip down on one corner a bit in the back, you get lippage where ever there is absolute flat and difficult to cut.Even with a huge tile rental from Home Depot it was difficult getting 100% straight cuts. The tiles themselves are not the exact size which even makes it worse. I know of a couple blatant errors but grout can hide a plethora of errors and most people will not know. Bugs me though !!  I have all of the tile cut now and will install them tomorrow.  So getting closer as grouting won’t take long.  I am getting a little tired of this project now. LOL. Working on something this big is so much easier and goes so much faster with a couple of people. Having Fred & Mel for a couple of days sure helped. No pictures yet until I get the tile complete.

Monday night we went to Fat Willy’s our favorite place fro burgers and beer. Pat & Bob joined us . We had three pitchers of beer between the two of us. Jackie had one glass. It was the first time in a long long time I felt a little oozy from beer. But that is a lot of beer. Went to bed and slept like a bear. Had to have water again beside the bed. LOL  Great burgers !  Pat unfortunately had a tennis accident and fell and broke her wrist so she had the cook cut her burger into quarters so she could eat one handed. She has a “cast” and sling on it.

Favorite Beer and Burger Place $6.00

Favorite Beer and Burger Place $6.00

 

After Willy’s we came home and had an ice cream sandwich on Bob & Pat’s deck.  It is wonderful to spend so much time outside.  Have had a lot of visitors checking out my work. ( I like to complete it before inspection LOL)  Had a nice visit with Denis & Anita as they left to back to Winnipeg this morning. We are seeing a lot of people leaving . Even the course has shut down it’s shotgun starts which is good as we can now golf more often on our home course. My new access door arrived today so I have all of my parts other than I can’t find a waterproof “in use” plastic cover. I may have to order on line again as I need one for our new plug in as we keep the lamp plugged in and would just be more convenient. Spring break must be on for some people as I notice a lot of grand kids around lately. Had to drive to our tile store ( 30 mins) away and realized that the rush hours here in Phoenix starts at 3 pm. The freeway was busy and has the stop and speed crashes just like the Deerfoot.

At the Home Depot when I first rented and returned the cutter a pregnant young girl helped me. I didn’t want her to lift anything so I did it myself but those large cutters are heavy and twinged my back.I kept telling her DO NOT LIFT.  Surprised the Depot lets  her attempt to do this kind of work.

Thought of Day 

It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires a great deal of strength to decide what to do.

March 25th

Last time I say how nice it is this year in Phoenix. From now on it will not be under 85 degrees and if cloudy may dip all of the way down to 80 degrees. Jackie worked all day today while I continued on my kitchen for another 8 hours. All of the tiling is done except for my small hi lite hand painted Mexican tiles. I will install these and then grout the entire unit. As Jackie can’t get away to the store we will pick up the tile on Saturday.  In between there is a golf game, a pizza get-together on the 1800 block with the golfing ladies, and a Friday evening supper event at our house to hear about our neighbors “once in a lifetime” cruise trip they took. If the world  settles down, to take a world trip with the stops they had, would be a dream.  A fairly uneventful day and most of the week as I have been very busy and Jackie has worked very hard. But the evenings and the breaks outside are wonderful to take. Tomorrow is the big day. !!

Thought of the Day 

  •  It is harder to have two babies than one baby, even if that one baby is horrible. Very true, it is impossible to have one child more work than having two kids the same age
  • Having two children close together in age is NOT the same as having twins.  True again, as each kid would then be at a different stage in their development so two close together is most likely more difficult.
  • There is always a good twin and an evil twin in every pair.  True again, it’s just that they switch every half hour.
  • They are natural companions! Friends for life! They can play together! THEY’LL BE BEST FRIENDS!  True again as our girls can attest to.

March 26th   Victoria and Jessica’s  Birthday Day

Happy Happy Birthday Victoria & Jessica

Happy Happy Birthday Victoria & Jessica

Time flies. Here we are again celebrating our girls birthday. Shhh they are 32 years old. It doesn’t seem possible but it is true. We have been very lucky to have two special girls. I guess you could say even unique people. We are very proud of them and their accomplishments already in life. Both have excellent managerial jobs and seem to enjoy their work. Each will have one baby. Each is their person. As identical twins when they were younger we used to have to add an extra hour shopping time as everyone wanted to see them. They were very very pretty babies. Here is to them having a wonderful wonderful day. I think companies should look at, as an employee incentive  to give everyone their birthday off.  We wish you the very best today and hope all of your birthday wishes come true ! Here are a few pictures of them growing up.

3  months old

3 months old

They started off at 4 lbs each and we feed them like mad. Look how fast they grew. We had to switch them off whole milk relatively quick.

31 years old

31 years old

20 years old

20 years old

7 years old

7 years old

Here are my three beautiful women in my life.  I maybe biased but they sure seem to have my  good looking gene in them.

 

 

 

Here they are having fun at a bar. I knew I should have said beer is bad !! They were such good girls until they hit 18 then it never stopped. LOL

 

 

 

Jackie used to have as much fun as them dressing them up.

As kids I never let them win. They had to work to beat me ( the odd time yes I did lose only because they became so good) but I believe that creates a spirit of wanting to accomplish something that lends itself to them “trying harder” everyday today.

Thought of the Day 

We didn’t know we were making memories we were just having fun !

Jackie had her golfing league today with the girls which she really enjoys. They are such a nice group of women. After golfing the organizer Dianne had everyone including their husbands over for a pizza and drink party. It was a lot fun getting to meet everyone and they put on a great party. This is the life !!  As I previously stated , this is why we bought into a resort rather than a condo or smaller home community. These people in this resort are so friendly and  social it is amazing. I could find a happy hour party everyday if I

1800 Block Golfing Party

1800 Block Golfing Party

wanted to. Nice !

I picked up a short piece of trough to direct the water away from my kitchen but next year will move it to look better rather than have it under my fridge. I have not been able to locate a trim kit yet for my fridge so going to plan C for now. I cleaned up a lot of the tools and placed them in the shed ( trying to figure out exact location for them), cleaned up around the patio and even managed to have enough room to fit our power carts in my garbage bin doors along with the bins.  Relaxed a bit today and planned a golf outing based on the weather as the coolest day next week is 94 degrees.

In the store today and i bought a bottle of Hawaiian Punch ( my old kid’s favorite was Tahiti Treat)  not as good as Treat but still very refreshing. AND it is diet and has half the sugar that Ginger Ale or Coke has. Win win except for the red lips.

March 27th 

You know how I said you learn something new everyday. What I was taught yesterday is unbelievable.As humans there is no other word than anal. Everyone knows we have coffee cups and tea cups and beer mugs etc. What a waste as each liquid could be used in the same container. But did you know based on the type of wine there is a specific glass for each kind. Now that is extreme. Doesn’t matter color or anything but the type of wine. It’s so the wine can flavor itself and the aroma is trapped longer etc. There are

Assassin really !

Asinine  really !

people without clean water in this world and here in North American we are making a different shape glass for each type of wine and if you are a wine connoisseur  you should know which glass for which type.

I went and returned my access door and ordered the correct one and a trim kit for the fridge. The descriptions are always so vague so hopefully it will work for me. It is stainless steel also so I will be trying to cut it to size and not discolor it. I am hoping for three sided but it may be only the sides and not the top. That will work though but would prefer the top bar also.I picked up the grout to start that process as soon as I can. Hopefully I can finish

805 party

805 party

it on Saturday.  Relaxed a bit and then readied a few things for our neighbor get together. Ian & Gail along with Bob & Pat came over for supper and a chance to get together to hear about Ian & Gail’s 30 day cruise. To make supper and not be stuck in the kitchen while having guests we made Cottage Pie and put it into the oven. The guests brought a great salad and an amazing peach pie. The meal was good. We had a lot of laughs and talked about numerous things but the most interesting for me is about the cruise and

Ian & Gail in front of the Taj Mahal

Ian & Gail in front of the Taj Mahal

some of the places they visited. Some hi-lite spots were the Taj Mahal, Jakarta,Dubai,Abu Dhabi, and South Africa. They stayed at a deluxe lodging and went on “Jeep” safari’s to see some amazing animals. To take a mix cruise  of Asia and Africa would be amazing. If the world does

Leopard ( isn't this amazing)

Leopard ( isn’t this amazing)

calm down a bit it would be a great adventure.Their cruise ship even had a pirate attack drill for the crew and guests to practice before sailing. The ship they chose was on the smaller size compared to the ships we have been on but the ratio of guest to staff is much higher. It may not have all of the amenities but sounded wonderful. The one thing that will stick in our minds is not to drink Camel milk. Ian told us a story and what to be careful of. I will remember. I would love to see the pictures of the native people from some of the countries  as that is what is so interesting. The culture and way of life each nation has is amazing.Gail who loves horses befriended the camels easily. She didn’t want to ride them which I can understand.( smelly) It

Gail and her favorite camel .

Gail and her favorite camel .

seems the females are quite nice while the male camels can be trouble. Perhaps the females as passive aggressive and know their milk will cause those humans issues.Both Ian and Bob are the types that remember the smaller details of places, history, events or places visited. Unfortunately Jackie and I enjoy the moment but for what ever reason nothing really gets ingrained.

I am somewhat tentative to take a trip like this with the political upheaval, the tribal wars and the  disease out breaks in that part of the world but I know it would be a trip of a lifetime.I hope to hear more about the trip.

Thought of the Day

Quote from the Dalia Lama  “Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.”  Interesting thing about travel it is the ONLY thing you can spend money on that makes you richer.

March 28th 

Another wonderful Saturday day. Off to the Mexican Tile Store to pick out our backsplash tiles and accent tiles. I love the look we ended up with and will show pictures after it is all grouted. Looks fantastic. Jackie helped me all day butter the tiles and place them on the backsplash and accent corner. Tedious chore with a lot of cutting and wiggling around. We had to include some bevel edge tiles as the selection was very limited but it only adds to the overall rustic Mexican look. A couple of people stopped by and commented on their looks. We managed to pick a few tiles that our neighbor wanted also.  After working all day we had a great visit with Tracy & Ralph which are staying at Fred & Terry’s place. Had a few beer , laughs and talked about a lot of things . Just before they arrived we had our warmed up Cottage Pie which tasted fantastic the second day also. I will try to get up early and finish off the grouting before going golfing tomorrow. Hopefully. LOL. If not another day. LOL

Thought of the Day 

My favorite kind of pain is when my stomach hurts from laughing.

March 29th

Wiring the lights today on the BBQ kitchen. Hope to get all of the connections done before we go golfing today. It will be a hot one inside the cavity of the kitchen working on this. This took a WAY longer than expected. It was matter of deduction. I couldn’t get any lights to work. Was it the transformer, wiring, cables, bulbs?  So I started working backwards. Tested all of the wiring and discovered one of the pins to the transformer was not connected fully and the female end didn’t allow power to pass. Hard wired it for a test. One light worked so I knew I had power, Then worked and reconnected each light. Finally finished and I have all 5 lights working perfect and tonight they look great. Plugged in the fridge and filled it with beer so is is all set. ( 18 beer fit in my fridge)  Talked to Penny, Jessica, Victoria, Corey and Jackson in Lethbridge , looked at their new cargo trailer and heard about all of the haircuts on each of them. Here is  a picture of

3 year old Jackson with a a new haircut

3 year old Jackson with a a new haircut

Jackson with his new haircut. Talking to Jackson we said we will be coming home soon. His response “hurry up”. A few shelves, bins, a ramp and hooks and an interior light package from Princess Auto and the cargo trailer will be the best thing to have as a carpenter. It will be perfect for organizing, security, protecting the tools from damage and saving a huge amount of time loading and unloading.

FINALLY !  the Alberta people are starting to act normal. 3 of the 4 Wildrose defectors did not win their nomination bid in their riding. What I like especially is they were smart enough to NOT let Danielle Smith win. BUT it is the old PC party politics blocking them as they knew they would not win their riding in a public vote which is a smart move on their part. The PC party basically screwed them, eliminated the opposition ( for the time being) and played underhanded politics. Imagine the way they are feeling moving over to the PC party and now not having a job when in most cases they would have won their riding easily as a WR. Karma is a wonderful thing.  My hope is that the replacement PC in each of these ridings loses to the new Wildrose candidate. Wildrose is attracting some very good candidates again so my hope is the general public sees what is going on and reacts by pushing the PC’s out. If the voters are smart ( we are Alberta, and Edmonton) so that is pushing it but hopefully this time the vote won’t be wasted on NDP, GREEN, LIB and let’s vote on a strong govt and opposition. The split vote with too many parties is a killer.

Thought of the Day 

A vote for any party other than the PC or Wildrose Party in this years Alberta Provincial Election is a WASTED vote. Love the fact you are a participant but sometimes you need to pick your battles to win. The fringe parties especially this time have no hope in winning so lets for a change ( 40 yrs) have a good government and opposition. Just look at the difference a new party can make to a Province. ( Saskatchewan). The defection of some members to the PC was good thing as it showed us the party had a few members we wouldn’t want to govern. Let’s give the good members a chance and vote WILDROSE !

March 30th& 31st  

Today was the day that the kitchen was all coming together, Grouting which I thought I would done fairly fast turned out to be a long chore. The actual grouting didn’t take long but the haze on the cleaning up was a chore and half. This whole process took all day. Wipe on wipe off. It turned looking exceptional in my mind. I love the rustic Mexican look and the design works well. Jackie worked all day but did get help out near the end which was very helpful. I am impressed with the looks.  The lights look great. Hopefully it will last for many years to come. Today I cleaned up ( pain in the ass with black grout trying to get all of the tools nice and clean.  I bought grey caulk that really is white ( darn) but filled in any gaps well. Only one spot on the back of the BBQ where can get in but I will make a small tarp to throw over it when we aren’t home or not using it. Just waiting for my stainless steel doors and trim to show up to be done. I will move the post next year ( fall or spring). Worked for half the day on my end of month budget.First month where we spent more money than planned and it is all contributed to my BBQ kitchen. Going into the project I figured I could make this 5k kitchen for around 1K to 1.2K. It ended up costing me close to 2.6K. There was over $6oo dollars on tile alone. $130 for fridge,$500 for stainless,$800 for structure, $150 electrical plus all of the odds and ends. Never mind the 4 weeks of labor it. We golfed with a nice guy and his kid with Jackie again breaking 100. I had a good game with 85 but due to the slope in the greens ended up with another 85. Very hot day and had to drink a lot of water. Monday night after working all day we went with Pat & Bob to Fat Willy’s for burger night which again was fantastic. I dumped a few things in the garbage today, tried to extra clean the tools and put most of them away. Cooking a chicken dish in the slow cooker tonight ( first time) so will see how that turns out.

FUNNIEST thing!  Jessica and Penny were expecting a baby girl as per the ultrasound. Everyone was happy and we would welcome a baby girl into the family. Well yesterday a new ultrasound discovered something referred to as a PENIS. It turns out the first tech didn’t do his job very well  and in fact they are having a boy. Jackson is very happy, they are a little shocked and a lot of presents will have to be returned. LOL . So we will have two boy grand kids not one of each. Like Jess said it is sort of sad but and then happy again right away as everything is perfect.

Thought of the Day 

An opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance.

8 thoughts on “March 2015

  1. Victoria

    Your St. Paddy’s Day looked like a lot of fun and I love the picture of you with the green head band. haha I am eagerly awaiting pictures of the finished outdoor kitchen. I bet it will look amazing.

    Reply
  2. Jessica

    I love the Irish four leaf clover you put up outside of you place! Don’t have too many green beers tomorrow!;)

    I like how you said it is Tor who has the hibiscus flower tattoo hehehe let’s just go with that for all intensive purposes (Tor actually got the gecko, we both randomly chose from a book lol no reason or rhyme hahaha) wait til you see my new one 😉 lol eeck I know how much you LOVE them hahahah

    Ps I really like the Mexican tile you are wanting to get. That’ll look awesome!!!!

    Happy st Patricks tomorrow!

    Love and miss you!

    Reply
    1. larrywi Post author

      That’s funny. Your Mom and I were going back and forth who had the gecko and who had the flower. I will make a retraction tomorrow. I most likely would have some tattoo’s myself if I was young but a way past that now. No different from long hair and a beard except they are permanent. You may not like them as much when you are older. In the meantime wear them now with pride and hope that your skin retains it elasticity. LOL

      Reply
  3. Victoria

    Wow, your outdoor kitchen is looking pretty awesome!!!! Hope the electrical goes well today. Hey, hear anything back about that golf Marshall position? And I am glad you finally got your Birthday Card. 😉

    Reply
    1. larrywi Post author

      Kitchen electrical went well. I am using low voltage hilites and receptacles for blender etc and fridge. One more day and tiling will begin. Thank you very much for the card. Jacksons writing is amazing. The course wants to meet with me when I get back so I take that as positive. Love you

      Reply

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