December 1st -3rd
Jackie with Atticus
Good thing he is born into a hairdressing family as he will need a first haircut rather quickly.
Been quite busy the last few days. I made a trade with Corey, our Grand Cherokee for his Dodge Dakota. I had a dealership just before I retired, fix EVERYTHING on the Jeep but it is four years ago now so hopefully it continues to be a reliable vehicle until Tor gets a job and they can go out and purchase a newer work truck.This small pickup will come in very handy for me to haul lumber, gravel etc for our country living and or any use Corey has coming up. It needs a lot of work so I started to look at parts. I found a few good sites. Rock Auto is awesome but mainly ships only to the USA so I will bring a lot of body parts back with me. For Canada I found Autopartsway which is good.Having said this I have parts coming in from Napa and Auto Value Village also that I will pick up tomorrow. I spent the whole day fixing, cleaning things. Exterior wash and wax. A lot of vacuuming as MDF dust is very fine. Wiping and wiping. Looks pretty good now. New signal lights and brake lights. New dome light. Engine degreaser and wash. Dab of silicone on weatherstripping. I have ordered so far. Power steering pump, steering pump pressure hose, power steering pulley,exhaust manifold gaskets, exhaust manifold grade 8 bolts. Tomorrow I will pick up a tee handle for the canopy and a trailer wiring 7 pin harness. I will look at auto wreckers for a new centre console arm rest and go to Canadian tire for seat covers. I will order in the US the new seat springs and replace them when I get back.
Took a load of garbage to the landfill. Filled with premium gas and added an octane booster. I will pick up a carpet cleaner aerosol and rub like mad and more vacuuming. Bought a new battery for it.
I know someone that will recognize this vehicle.
Weather looks good coming up so as soon as my parts arrive I will drive it up to Edmonton for my brother to fix the broken exhaust bolt. Being retired and limited funds I have asked for a favour as this job can take 1 hour or 10 hours and a garage wont quote it as a set price.
Watched a poor hockey game. Edmonton gets very lucky, Calgary had bad luck and two poor goalies for each team. We are still a mile ahead in the standings so ok but it is always nice to beat the Oilers.
Watched Tiger Woods play extremely well. I love the fact Ricky Fowler won and played amazing.
Thought of the Day
Give a man a truck and he is happy for a lifetime. Give a man a woman and he is happy for a night.
Ever have that feeling you have so much to do and not enough time to get it done. I think especially for working folks a break and that means from everything is a great thing. Christmas is always a tug of war and stress to be places, go places, see people, etc. Go for down time.
Received my calls from my auto guys. I have to say these auto part guys have customer service done right to inform me my parts were in. Both Napa and Auto phoned me to let me know my parts were in. Great service and it even got better when I headed to the Registry Office. They now have a auto check in model that sends you a text when it is your turn. If really busy you could leave and time it to be back in time. Great service thing. BUT why so many people when you can do most things on line. I had to renew my drivers license. 5 years ago my picture was at 235 pounds. Today at 193 pounds my face is small. LOL The clerk and I had a great laugh. They couldn’t add hair to my picture though.
Headed to Auto Value Parts to pick up my steering pump, ATF4 fluid, power steering pulley, and power steering pressure hose. Then off to Napa to pick up my exhaust gasket. Then off to Tower Dodge to get my exhaust manifold bolts. One short which I will pick up tomorrow. The NDP govt has one good bill they have presented and that is investigating the auto industry pricing practices. This needs to be done. 6 bolts cost me $84.00. That is RIDICULOUS ! Then off to Cap IT for a new T handle for the canopy. Next stop Canadian Tire where I picked up a great set of seat covers. Home for lunch and then to work on the truck.
First thing was the covers. I bought a thick memory foam cushion for the sagging seat as I was going to buy a new set of springs in the States. I decided to take a look at the seat closer.
I decided to remove it completely out of the truck and discovered the issue. There was only one spring left and the bracket for the others was broke. Looking at it I came up with a great idea. I whipped to the Depot to pick up 5 metal band clamps. $150 for a repair or $100 for a used auto wrecker one and my perfect fit $5.00
I fixed the seat and and it is like brand new. I thought about a plan and gave it a try. The seat feels amazing, I jumped on it a bit and if it lasts wonderful and if not I will still get the springs. Odd how 4 springs could just disappear. It seems this is a Dakota issue. I installed the seat covers which looks fantastic. ! And fit great !! Then to the T handle. Difficult getting the old one off. I had to re drill holes as the new one was different. I had to modify a bracket but in the end everything is perfect. These locks don’t make it 100 percent secure but will eliminate the quick dash and grab from teenagers. a real strong pull and hard pull you can break open the door on any of these units. I may install a secondary lock.
Worked until 8 pm on it. Tomorrow the fascia will be my project.
On our way back from Lethbridge we stopped at Sobey’s to pick up some groceries with Jackson. He wanted in the kiddies car. I had a blast and am sure the store was glad we were done shopping. I was doing 100 ft wheelies with Jackson in it. Running at full blast down the aisle ways. Only hit one end bunk so not bad. We had a blast !!
Phoned an auto wrecker for a grill. I can buy one from Rock Auto at 10% of the price. We really need to look at our pricing on a lot of things.
Thought of the Day
If something your doing or thinking isn’t fixing or improving the situation then it’s wasting your time.
I had a quick call from Dodge that my last bolt showed up. So I whipped to Tower to pick up my gold plated bolt
Next stop at Canadian Tire to return a special cushion i bought but as my seat is perfect I had to return it. Then off to Shell and started vacuuming again. I used an entire can of carpet soap. Turned into mud. LOL I worked and worked and they turned out pretty good. Once dry I will do another clean.
Next stop was PickNPull as they showed a couple of Dakota’s in stock. I checked them out and yes they had a chrome grill in good shape. Without proper tools it is was a PITA but I managed to get it out and a great price. Checked and both trucks had the centre console. I started to take it out when it hit me. These were consoles with a fold up seat to make your front seats into a bench Wouldn’t work. Picked up a new ashtray for it.
$35 and a couple hours later it looks good. Looks great !Hard to close as the bumper is a little higher than it is supposed to be. The bumpers on these units were gone and wrecked so I didn’t get one of these. I will keep looking and if nothing I will bring back from the States from Rock Auto.
Finished right a 6 pm so a good full day.
Thought of the Day
On most of my cars I spent a lot of money on exhaust systems. I always wondered why people would listen to music when there is so much better sounds to listen to. ( this is why the exhaust leak drives me crazy on the Dakota)
Went to the other Pick N Pull. Darn front end damaged. Console was the third seat kind again. I came home and removed the bottom bumper cover. Hammered the bumper as straight as possible and installed the new grille. When I removed the front bumper cover I discovered two things. First of all, good thing I did as in the accident when the bumper was pushed back it pinched off the tranny cooler line which I will get fixed. The bumper bracket actually bent the very end of the frame where it bolts on. This will take some strength to get it right. Torch heat and long leverage. It looks a little ugly right now but sometimes you have to look a little ugly to look good. LOL Lipstick you know.
My brother had his DNA tested and look. I AM MORE BRITISH THAN MOST PEOPLE BORN THERE ! Nice to see we are so true to our heritage with very few different ethnicity’s in our background.
To be 81% British ethnicity is amazing. No Viking’s or Roman’s fooled around with my family. Odd why my teeth are so good. ( except the two pulled LOL) I am impressed ! I do refer to myself only as Canadian though. One interesting thing is that my Grandmother and my wife both were born in Durham county in England. Could be genetic issues. LOL
Changed over the registration and insurance and all set to go. Off to Fountain Tire for a front end check as the tires had extreme wear on the insides only. As suspected issues. I knew my fix up budget would be blown. Turns out I required and i picked up the parts at Auto Village the following: Left side Upper and Lower Ball Joints, Right side Upper and Lower Ball Joints, Left and Right inner and outer tie rod ends, both CV boots and front shocks.
DODGE- I love Dodge products as their overall design, horsepower ( Hemi) and looks for a lot of models are excellent. During the 70’s they made some great cars. BUT THEY HAVE AN ISSUE WITH FRONT END SUSPENSION SYSTEMS. I put out over $8K into two complete fronts on my Ram and this Dakota is another example of poor design needing a complete frond end. These current ball joints only had 75k on them as Corey had them replaced in 2011. I am looking at maybe 2-3000 kms per year on this thing so should last me a long time.On the internet forums the Dakota is listed as a problem front end vehicle. Come on Dodge. Now having said that Dodge does sell for less than Ford and Chevy and perhaps the saying you get what you pay for is true. There are class action suits on Jeep and Ram front ends in the States. Having said that will not I stay away from Jeep or Dodge. NOT A CHANCE. They are great looking, powerful and have my loyalty even though I would love them to step up and correct the issues.
My budget for fixing up the Dakota has been thrown for a loop with the major front end expense but I am very pleased with the truck. Front bumpers on and a small amount of body work and we are set to have a great truck for many years of use. Love the Dakota’s size, towing capacity, looks, and will love the convenience of hauling stuff. It is amazing to me how some people think. They have a couple of repairs bills and for example lets use a bill for $400 bucks and then $500 two months later on their old car and they think it is costing them a fortune. The old car is paid for. Everything else is equal. Your monthly payment for 5 years is $500 for a new car or newer car ($6000 a year) You spent $1000 to repair your old car and drove it for another year before repairs again. The math just doesn’t make sense. Mileage does have to be considered as at some point everything is going to need replacement but for that it is 300,000 kms plus. Consider fixing up the old one for a bit. Let others have the big bills.
Played a few games while babysitting Jackson last night. He is such a kind kid. After beating me a few times he switches our BeyBlades and I win. ( he had the best one to start but felt bad winning)
Flames win again !
Trump causes more turmoil. If you are Canadian overseas make sure to wear Red & White as you don’t want to be mistaken for an American. People wanted a shake up and they are getting it. He just keeps pushing thru. Even though bad in most ways he also is very good in a lot of ways as he doesn’t follow the “politically right way” He may have coined the phase ” Have them by the short hairs” You have Putin, Kim and Trump as alpha males running the world doesn’t make it a safer place. Then you have Trudeau. Enough said.
Thought of the Day
Life is too short to worry about what others think. Have fun, drive your old car, and let them have something to gossip about. Enjoy the freedom of life, not the prison of life confined by wanting to impress someone.
Holy Man, the unbelievable has happened. Mr ( I say that loosely) Keith Harry is turning 60 years old. Yes this guy is OLD. I could make fun of all the things that he is experiencing but as I don’t have knowledge of these things, so I won’t. I haven’t shared my fountain of youth . I do worry about him as older men living vicariously through their towns sports teams and experiencing so many losses and disappointments can be prone to impotence, and along with that depression. I have known Keith now for 42 years and have had many many fun and interesting times with him. Here are some facts, events and things experienced:
- I won’t mention the hemorrhoid situation as you all have heard it before but I love the story.
- His driving right into his parents garage door
- Keith being my first friend to actually buy a Ford
- Keith towing my Corvette home and stumping my Dad with ” Body by Fischer, Powered by Ford”
- Hours spent installing green velour curtains in his truck.
- Many more hours spent diamond tuffing the velour party van I had.
- Keith and Jackie buying all of the furniture for my new house when I was out of town.
- Many large parties at his parents house. 100 + people
- Sneezing 20 plus times in a row after a moonshine night
- Playing Plinko in his basement
- Numerous camping trips
- Numerous golf games
- Losing Keith at Corey’s stag. Yes losing him. ( could have frozen to death)
- Only guy that could light his farts on fire
- An amazing mind for facts, math,history and events
- Food fight in Edmonton restaurant at 2 am-Johnny’s Inn must have hated us.
- Drunk driving bicycles from bar downtown to west-end
- Collector his whole life, records, cards, paintings,kids etc
- Irish whisky causing NONE OF IT
- Taking a picture at midnight and having it turn out like mid day.
- His old addiction of showing off his butt. We all saw his bare ass tooo many times
- Could never keep a secret from Jenny and I don’t ever believe she was surprised by anything. Except getting pregnant every time they had sex.
- Watching Bad Grandpa outside on Netflix at Birch Grove Campsite
His wild red hair could be seen for miles. He even had it permed before metro sexual was even invented.
They couldn’t figure out why each time they had sex Jenny got pregnant. Good thing Keith controlled his libido.
I always tried cheering up Keith by telling him size doesn’t matter.
The toilet covers says it all
He is jealous I know. That is a pole ! Although I did notice it is Keith’s hand not Jenny’s on it.
Here’s to the wonderful decade of the 60’s where you start collecting pension , slow down working, and start golfing more.
Happy Birthday and cheers to our life long friend.
We had a busy weekend. A great weekend for seeing old friends and visiting family.
Early Saturday morning I got up and headed to Edmonton with the Dakota. I left earlier than Jackie as I was planning on going at a decent speed with out pushing things as the front suspension was totaled on the Dakota. As I said the Fountain Tire mechanic laughed as the front tires looked at the same angle VW bug rear tires used to be. This makes for a dangerous drive and a very unsafe situation as a bump and a ball joint could spread .But I needed it done and was careful. A ball joint breaks or slips out your front end drops to the ground and you cant control the vehicle. This is how bad the front end was and I bet contributed to Corey getting into an accident with it. On the way though if I remove the steering issues this truck rides smooth and very quiet. I was impressed with it. Our plan was to leave it at Mom’s place and make it in time to see Keith for his 60th party. He didn’t want a party so Jenny arranged a family get together at the Olive Garden and Jackie and I crashed the party. As always a great meal and fun time. Keith’s children and grand kids are going thru the Katz brainwashing sessions and a lot of them were wearing Oiler gear. To build a fan base like this should be considered unethical.
One candle today represents 60 years. Use your imagination.
Oh I forgot to say the province of Alberta has two distinct zones. The northern zone which is Red Deer north with snow. NO SNOW in the southern part. Remember I said a while back Calgary was only 2 degrees warmer on average a year which doesn’t sound like much but it is huge . We are so worried about climate change and in the last 100 years the average world temperature has only risen .08 degrees. So 2 degrees in one year is incredible. It was hard to get used to the snow again.
Funny thing pulling into Edmonton. Remember I am dealing with a very fragile front end. A get on the White Mud FREEWAY and there are craters 2ft wide in the road. It was like a maze to drive without dropping the front end into these craters. New hockey rink and bike paths definitely take priority over safety on the roads in Edmonton. Love Calgary. Old rink and wonderful smooth roads.
After lunch Keith & Jenny and us head to the Enoch Casino. First machine I pulled up to was a game called ABM and I won as money came out. We played a few other games with Jackie covering my losses again and Keith being the big winner before we left. Jackie and I stayed for about and hour and Jen & Keith carried on as we had to head to a 40th anniversary party.
Headed to Neil & Betty’s 40th Anniversary party at their son’s condo which was 6 minutes away from the Casino and 6 minutes away from Mom’s place. Very icy parking place. The event was held in the party room which turned out great. Their 4 kids did a great job hosting and planning the event including it being a surprise. And it was which was awesome.
The kids did everything. Speeches, cake cutting, slide show, surprise element and friends gathering.
Betty was one of Jackie’s bridesmaids and Rae Waterworth another bridesmaid being there was nice for Jackie to see them. She had a few friends there from her old neighbor hood where she went to elementary school. We used to go out for dinner on Friday or Saturday nights with Betty & Neil quit often for a night out to different restaurants and had always had a blast.
We got back to Mom’s place about midnight. Fixed up the bed and headed to la la land. Up in the morning and we decided to have brunch at Denny’s and were met there by Jim & Darlene. We had a great visit and meal then headed to Mom’s place. Did our Christmas exchange and continued to visit until Alfred phoned and we all headed out to his place. Took a wrong turn and were beat there by Jackie, Mom and Darlene. Two times in one day as they beat us to Mom’s place also.Had a good visit, present exchange, hugs, and dropped off the Dakota. Alfred wants to stain his house next year so I will head up there hopefully with Jackie’s help to make it happen.
Very fun, lots going on , busy, family get together, anniversary and birthday weekend .
Thought of the Day
Life us meant for good friends and great adventures.
Golf courses open today for business. This isn’t that unusual as we have had the odd one open even on Christmas Day in the past but when the temperature is 15 above which is 20 degrees warmer than average it is unusual. We will take it. We love it while we are in Canada but like it more when it is -50 in Calgary when we are down south.
Whipped to Easy Glass for a chip repair on the Buick. I have bought numerous windshields from this guy. Nice thing is, for the life of the windshield he provides FREE chip repair. Jackie took a big one driving on Highway 16a which has more gravel trucks than any other road I have seen.
Drove out to our Country Estate and picked up the special blower for the air mattress that we need for Christmas out of the motorhome. Love this place. It just feels right.
Had my dentist appointment today. Boy I hate these things. I hate the picking and polishing. That is why I only get it done once a year. Unfortunately this time I have an old filling that has to be removed and ground out and replaced as it has the smallest cavity under it. Next week is booked for this torture. I am not 100% sure cleaning, scrapping is actually good for teeth.Funny how things that are supposed to be good for you hurt so much. And that fluoride makes my gut feel funny for a long time.
Worked on Jessica’s garage plans for a bit as Lethbridge has some weird rules. A development permit has to be approved before a building permit. I will go to Rona to see if they provide the elevations with their garage packages rather than draw them all out.
I miss Totem. I can use Rona but not near as good. I am planning to get the material list and specs for the permitting from Rona but buy the material from Lealta by asking Dave for a deal.
Thought of the Day
A young man knows the rules but a old man knows the exceptions.
Years ago when we had our Blimpie franchise we used to have a Toonie Tuesday sale each week. Huge sales with line ups out the door for the bulk of the day. BUT the city bylaw officer asked us as a neighboring business complained to remove our large hanging banner promoting the sale in front of the store. It seemed the City had a bylaw that NO banners were allowed to be hung on the outside of the store. This didn’t sit well with me as it seemed unfair. After a lot of research on the city bylaws I discovered the perfect out for me. In the bylaws it stated no banners, signage, etc to be hung outside. But a company flag as long as it was hung by two points was allowed. I presented my case with pictures that this “banner” was in fact only hung by two points and was our company logo’d flag. Worked perfect and we hung the Flag out every Tuesday for as long as we had the store. KFC also threatened to sue us over this flag as we used the Toonie Tuesday name which they said they trademarked. Turns out not !
December 13th -14th
Found a bumper and fascia at a Brooks Auto wrecker for my truck but it has a couple of dents in it. I want to replace it with new looking product so will carry on with my search.
Finally decided to dump the texturing guy and engaged my passive aggressive personality. First step was to Review on every site I could find he existed for people NOT TO USE this company. Second hit was to report the ad and company to Kijiji as a unfair practice company. One more complaint and he will be barred from placing ads. Third is to check into how the small claims court system works as we paid cash with no receipt. In my opinion TM Ceiling Textures is one of the worst companies I have ever dealt with. So if you ever want a ceiling done DO NOT USE these guys.
Today is the anniversary date of Jackie losing her stepmom. Carol is the perfect example of not knowing and perhaps waiting to long. Carol was only 67 years old. Luckily she had many great retirement years as she retired with Jackie’s Dad Peter at 55 years old. IF she had worked until normal retirement age ( 65) she would have had only two years to thoroughly enjoy herself.
Time flies as it has been 5 years since she left us.
Heading to Lethbridge today to the girls and Atticus, and look at submitting for a development permit for the garage.
Perfect weather drive. You have to love this weather. Audrey, Jackie, Penny, Jessica, August, myself and Atticus headed to Boston Pizza for a lunch and visit. Great meal as normal and a lot fun visiting with the kids again.
I then headed to Rona for pricing and details on a garage package as the girls want one built next year. I will say this. RONA sure is NO Totem. Service wise, clerk knowledge, brochures etc they sucked. Totem was exceptional, may have been the problem. First getting the pricing was a struggle. No handouts. I was hoping for a detail material list( I will get one) and elevation sheets for permitting but nothing. I understand the pricing as it keeps people from direct price shopping but for me it is an inconvenience.
Headed to the planning at Lethbridge City Hall. I had a wonderful helpful lady at the counter to work with me. Very knowledgeable, helpful and courteous. Between my sheets and her helping me with sheets they need filled out we got everything done and approved by her. Then a hiccup. Jessica had to have her signature on it so I phoned her to come to get it completed. During this time I asked if the permit had an expiry. Another issue . 90 days from permit date the project has to have substantial construction completed. I knew we wouldn’t be starting until spring so the lady had to back out of her program and I will get Jess to apply in March which is now easy with everything completed. One consideration I had to give the city was to build with no eave on the gable end facing the back alley as the builder didn’t build a long enough apron on the pad. No big deal as it just means one less rafter and using a 2×6 on the cable end and covering it with fascia metal. It is so nice dealing with professional people and even if everything doesn’t work out the way you want it, it still is ok and everyone feels good.
A very nice visit with Atticus who is growing incredibly fast.
Up this morning and headed to the lab for some blood work. The nurses here are excellent in poking my arm. I wish the blood donation people were as good. Maybe different sized needles or something. With everything being done online it is so nice and easy. What did we do before computers. Wait, wait and everything manual. I like the new way.
Then off to meet Rob & Sharon MacDonald for lunch. They were in town making a quick stop for Christmas shopping. We decided to meet at the mall as they were there and ended up going to the CRAFT. Great bar ! Turns out with over 100 kinds of craft beer they don’t carry Coor’s Lite or Bud Lite. Go figure. Great food. Super visit. Fun catching up on things that are going on in their and our lives, They have lots going on, both of them look great and Sharon seems to be enjoying her retirement. That’s all anyone can ask for. They have a great winter get away planned in Mexico that they are looking forward to. We HAVE to plan to get together more and for sure next year !!
We had a short conversation about JELD-WEN since we both worked there for so long. I really didn’t want to say anything about JELD-WEN but one more time.
This company in Canada has gone from being one of best wholesale building suppliers to now just about being extinct. Not the economies fault at all but all on managements poor decision making. An announcement to all dealers has been made that JELD-WEN is closing Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatoon and Calgary’s distribution centers. Not only for millwork product , interior product but warehousing for window products also. The brilliant idea is, that customers will accept buying from Winnipeg and having the product shipped. Let’s pretend you are a lumber yard and order 10 doors and now you need one more. You have to wait for the next truck. Buy from the competition and you can drive a few blocks and pick one up. Who would you buy from ? In the last 4 years I have seen this company continually shrink due to stupid business plans. What company when the economy slows a bit lay’s off half of their sales force and expects to grow the business. In 1991 with my first General Manager assignment the first thing I did is double the sales force after two months. Sales also doubled. The new management that took over right after I left along with the VP and director have made numerous business decisions that have lead to another decision further shrinking the company in Canada. I watched and learned a long time ago, certain managers, VP’s etc when faced with adversity cite economy or other factors as the reason for reduction in sales not a business decision they made. They play it off as a valid reason. It is shame that such a well run family company that grew to be the world’s largest window and door company is now a mishandled publicly traded company and continuously shrinking. In Canada in particular. You would think some shiny shoe’d guy would look back and say what happened to the 100’s of millions of sales.
Times they do change. Years ago I flew business class on trips, stayed in first class hotels like the Pan Pacific, had get togethers with $100 a ounce cognac, had PGA Players sponsorship, ( 7 million bucks today) sponsored curlers, sponsored PGA and Champions players, Hockey tickets and board advertising for the NHL , fishing trips, overseas Jr Hockey trips,I spent 8 K in one week on customer appreciation events and we made money. Lots of money. Not so much any more.
I will make a prediction that within a year JELD-WEN interior product will be distributed by Madero or Alliance and JELD-WEN Distribution will cease to exist. They will continue manufacturing windows as they have that right. The window side will continue to make great windows but will have a very very small footprint outside of Winnipeg also. It is a shame really.
Thought of the Day
The road of life is full of flat gophers who didn’t make the right decision.
Jackson had his Christmas concert last night which was awesome. I know as a kid nothing is better than having people come and watch your games or concerts. It just makes you feel special. The kids tonight sang some wonderful songs, fun songs with actions and the kids and audience loved them. It was about a hour concert with all of the Grade One’s. Jackson’s group was first up. One of his songs ” All I want for Christmas ” was funny with their actions but very very few kids were actually missing their teeth.
Lots of fun and for Jackson a even better night as Corey, Victoria and Jackson were giving Flames tickets from Corey’s work for a hockey game. To see the best team in the league the Flames is a huge treat for a kid. ( Jackson has to cheer for the Sharks though as his own hockey team is named that and he loves Sharks) I hope the Sharks score lots of goals but one less than Calgary.
I am beginning to dislike all of the rhetoric about being politically correct while we let others take away our rights little by little. Stop the insanity ! If you believe in Christmas be PROUD to say it and forgot the Happy Holiday appeasing sayings.
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE and remember put the Christ in Christmas.
Oiler’s getting shut out was good. Flames losing a close one wasn’t good.
Today’s agenda is just to finish off the last few gifts and socking stuffers we need so it is all done. I think I have one jar left of yellow cherries that I will make into a pie for Christmas very soon. Wrap any gifts we have already got. Think hard on what to get Jackie on a restricted budget not my usual number.LOL
Jackie and I got a lot done which is good. Only a few more little things and stocking stuffers.
Sitting around the house waiting for the news we get a call from Jeff & Wendy to go out for supper. Great idea as we haven’t seen them for a while. They picked a restaurant called Involtini which is a Italian restaurant near Glenmore Park. It has an unassuming front entrance as it is in a strip mall but upon entering it has the Italian charm and decor you would want and love. Looked wonderful. Turns out this place is remarkable as the decor looks good but the food choice and taste unbelievable. This is the perfect place for a romantic outing or a gathering place for a group to celebrate with authentic decor and food. All of the pasta, noodles etc are homemade so the wait time is a little longer but more than worth it. A supper is supposed to be a pleasurable slow paced event so you can enjoy the wine, beer, food and bread. We did that with everyone getting stuffed.
Jeff and Wendy are both doing well and have some wonderful events coming up next year that I believe they will do very well at. Live is about enjoying it, visiting friends, having experiences and relaxing a bit. Even Type A personalities can learn to enjoy things at a slower pace.Type A is defined as a temperament characterized by excessive ambition, aggression, competitiveness, drive, impatience, need for control, focus on quantity over quality and unrealistic sense of urgency. It is commonly associated with risk of coronary disease and other stress-related ailments. We all can relate and should strive to be Type B people. We all had a fun time enjoying the slower pace of dinner, enjoying the dim lighting and conversing without lots of background noise. Everyone was on their best B agenda and it was wonderful. Fun night , interesting night and as they say the world turns and we just have to go with the flow.
Check out this place as i am sure you will love it. Involtini Ristorante http://www.involtini.ca/
You will love the place. Thanks to Jeff & Wendy for finding this hidden gem.
Thought of the Day
Ever go out for dinner and looking over at someone else’s plate wished you would have ordered that. Me neither, in most cases it is vegetable, boring or chicken !!
Wrapped presents today. If I say so myself they all turned out quite well. It is fun to wrap them and hope the gift is enjoyed by the person.
Talking to a few people lately that are retired, looking at becoming retired soon or planning and we were discussing how someone finds things to do so they are not bored. It is coming up 4 years for me and I can say that the word bored has never entered my head. The odd day when it is winter and we haven’t headed south yet a day could be a little less exciting but always something to do. But then I got thinking as I was buying some Christmas presents. Some people ( usually hard to buy for) have neglected to find activities that interest them making present buying and perhaps setting themselves up for not finding enough to do when they don’t fill their day with a job. I was asked what I wanted for Christmas and I thought wow I am easy to buy for. I love camping( there are 1 million sq ft stores that, that is all they sell), I love fishing ( same story and a new hook, line, lure, or related item is wonderful), I love golfing ( there are so many gift ideas here and depending on your time you want to spend can be a full time job), I love cars ( anything cool, books, accessories) I love travelling ( whole scope of activities from hiking, flying, hotels, walking to be had and enjoyed) I love learning ( computers, books, how to do’s, ) I love tools, ( an plethora of tools that a person needs) and I love gardening( no end to the time spent here and stuff to buy) I think if any retired person doesn’t plan where they are going to spend their time, what activities do they want to do, what they can fill in with, they may have days wondering what they should. I think this kind of planning is as important as financial and isn’t taught anywhere. If you haven’t any hobbies take up new one. You can learn and enjoy at any age and in a lot of cases it could be free.
Went out and picked up a few more presents and am 95% ready. Picked up my prescription.
Headed over to watch Jackson play hockey. Like i said before he has come so far and is getting to be a very good player. Unfortunately today they were up against a team that should have been in a different level, They had one mini player that was awesome and a Number 7 player that between the the two of them scored at least 8 goals. Jackson had three wonderful scoring chances but missed just by inches and bad luck. It was a fun game to watch !
After the game we headed to Alan & Maryann’s for Alan’s 54th birthday. I have known Alan since he was 12 years old ( 42 years) . I have enjoyed his company on camping trips, Europe, fishing trips, waterskiing , snow skiing and family get together’s. Helping build his garage was likely my first bigger project. Seeing Alan and Maryann exit a Fiero and realizing , yes that car is the right size.
Didn’t like a beautiful 72 Chevelle with a pole indent in the middle of the hood though.
What I always liked was the fun I had in beating Alan in most every game we played. Tennis, Golf, ping pong, Intellivison, and on and on. He is a better skater and snow skier so I stayed away from those. You need to pick your poisons. I enjoyed any event after him trying his hardest only to come up short again.
I do have to say though he has honed his sense of humor and the odd time does come up with something funny.
We had another great together with his family and ours.
When Alan was about 12 or 13 we brought him out to the lake for the day to enjoy the beach. Alan brought along a friend. As we all were playing around in the water near the beach Jackie’s top accidentally moved over and she had an exposed breast. Alan’s friend had the prefect view. But what was the funniest thing was Audrey and I are pointing to her trying to tell her that her top had moved and she doesn’t hear us. Then she realizes it. One would think that a immediate reaction to cover would happen. Jackie realizes it but looks around the beach to make sure no one is seeing this and then covers up. It was quite funny.
Another time out fishing ( we got 75 Jackfish that day between the three of us) Alan asked to drive the boat. No problem as he was 14 or 15 and knew how to drive. I had left the anchor on the boat front as we were casting. Alan sits down and starts the engine. Full blast ahead. A 50 pound metal anchor comes flying over the windshield ( didn’t touch it) and nails the transom of the boat. We are lucky in a few ways. The windshield didn’t break, we didn’t put a hole in the boat and none of us got hit by the anchor.
We had a great meal as everyone loves KFC . It is one of those meals that you can’t have everyday but for occasions it is awesome. You can’t beat those fries and gravy with that seasoned chicken skin.I do know after the party Jackie and I both said we are too full. Could have been all of the treats and cake we had.
We didn’t get to give him the bumps which would have been fun. Maybe next year when he turns a meaningful age. I say this as 55 is the age when senior discounts start. This will make Alan very happy as he is a frugal guy. I would love to be there the first time he asks for it at Denny’s.
At the arena Victoria entered a draw and she won. She drove to pick up her prize which turns out to be a “fun” goalie and street hockey set. Mini sized.
Happy Birthday Alan. It has been fun watching, seeing and experiencing life and being able to see how you and your family turned out.
Thought of the Day
Happy Birthday to a brother-in law who has the best brother-in law in the world.
Extra brushing of the teeth this morning for my Dentist. The dental assistant today was awesome. It is so nice having such a pleasant experience at a dentist. She was so friendly and talkative it was a pleasure. Funny thing is I always find the dam they put in hurts more than the cavity repair as it pushes up against my cheeks. This tooth had longer roots which caused the dentist to add a few more freezing needles. This time even my roof was frozen. A relatively easy cavity repair. We are so lucky to have found the “perfect” dentist. I always felt previous ones always were trying to “sell” you more expensive repairs and unneeded procedures. Dr Neil Baker is a realist and accommodating dentist that works with you. Great Find !!
Then off to for another moving experience .LIke I said before I hate moving and have done it too many times. This was the 5th time moving Peter. I think he is in second place now for moves. His assisted living home couldn’t accommodate the extra care he now needs so we have to find a long-term care facility. Having Alan & MaryAnn helping us always makes the moving easier. They have helped us with all 5 moves. Funny how Alan doesn’t like to walk backwards though. Our UHaul van worked perfect today. Only a 10 minute drive as we were storing everything at Victoria’s house again. Poor Victoria has a half of basement full of furniture including three urns with deceased people in them. We will need a BIG garage sale to get rid of a lot of stuff. Boxes of pictures though are always difficult to deal with as they have value and don’t. We will deal with that. Rented the van for 4 hours and Alan returned it 5 minutes early. Another full day.
We picked up Jackson as Victoria had a job interview today. Fingers crossed. Had a lot of fun playing games with him. He is absolutely amazing at Pictionary. Drawing and guessing in a game that is designed for over a person over 12 years old he did incredibly well. Made snow angels face down which was hilarious.
Snow started and it was making the roads slippery. 25 cms supposed to be coming but we will see. I do know we had 88 accidents and two deaths today before rush hour. Both single car accidents with dumb drivers.
Thought of the Day
Some times you just have to accept the fact that things will never go back to the way they used to be. Accept the new norm.
December 20th ( 5 days)
It’s looking a lot like Christmas. Most snow I have seen on Calgary’s ground for years. Last night it looks like a good foot of the stuff fell. Watching the news it was all about the road havoc. The problem is the lack of experience, lack of confidence causing dumb errors and upsetting other drivers and lack of proper equipment. IF THE LAW WAS MANDATORY SNOW TIRES i would be all aboard. Make it a law and save the odd dent. Make everyone take a winter driving course. Spend money on road crews as they save lives. Fancy art work or bike paths don’t.
I always loved the challenge of snowy roads as it made driving fun. I know of a few women ( sexist yes) that are “scared” to drive in the winter. Everything is the same except the traction. Control, speed and stopping distance managed everything is like driving on the dry pavement. You should never change your plans, or not go anywhere due to a few inches of snow on the ground. I would bet any truck driver, travelling salesrep, etc that spent time on the road has some interesting stories they have seen. Even some “sad” stories where things went wrong due to stupidity not road conditions.
I do have to say the white snow looks wonderful outside. Don’t like the colder temperatures. Time to put my socks on and head out for my last-minute shopping things I need and a few groceries.
I went to the mall and the roads were perfect. Over a foot of snow and the crews had the bulk of them relatively clean. Can’t say the same for the parking lot as you had to plow through where ever you could. Great roads considering but I think tomorrow will be the worst day as they start to ice up. For some reason they plowed but added no salt, no beet pickle or liquid Nitrogen just left over packed snow. You know the scary part of driving today was watching the old lady or young girl with both hands gribbed so hard onto the wheel with their jaw line bent and hoping they judged their distance correctly. An old fart of a guy driving at 30kms per hour in a 100 zone causing people to move over radically to avoid rear ending them. I give these drivers credit for venturing out but please learn how to drive properly , correct speed for the conditions and hoping their judgement accurate on distance and stopping ability. Please !
All done Christmas shopping.
Went downstairs and started up my boat motor and let it run until it stopped with the choke wide open. My hope is this keeps the white gas buildup from clogging up the carb. I just used my Napa pail and the pick up is low enough to grab water. I just need to dump about 2 gallons of gas next week at the dump. I hate old gas.
Finished off our last bit of shopping. One more thing to change out. Then watched Survivor which was a good ending with the right guy winning. Lasted 3 hours ending at midnight.
Thought of the Day
The old saying that is still funny. Well to me anyways. “The one thing women don’t want to find in their stockings Christmas morning , is their husband “
First day of winter today at 9:30 am. You can tell for sure with our record-breaking ( 1953 record) snow fall we are covered and white.
Midnight and then getting up at 7 am. Boy this retirement is hard. Up this morning as Jackson had his Christmas Choir Concert at 8:30 am. Very little parking so I had to squeeze in on the streets. Tight fit with the deep snow as you never know when you are moving forward or not. The gym was packed full with people to watch the show. The kids were awesome and it lasted a way longer than I expected. The choir teacher deserves an award as the performance of the singers as musicians was amazing. I am sure hours and hours of practice and they had it down pat. A wonderful morning watching the kids especially when Santa arrived.
Who doesn’t like Santa and dreaming about a white Christmas. If that doesn’t happen, I will drink red.
Then off to Costco. Only needed a couple of things but walked out with a cart and a $200 bill. How does that happen ?
Retired- I can have a nap today and not worry about getting caught.
Trump – as much as we don’t really like this guy,he is doing what he said and the shake up he is accomplishing is good. Take the UN vote against allowing Jerusalem being the capital. I agree with Trump in keeping track of who voted against him. The USA is 30% of the budget of the UN. Without them it is nothing. He should immediately reduce his portion to the UN. Next time a fire, or earthquake he shouldn’t rush in to help. Next time a country needs military help check the vote first.
Then we have our weasel of a prime minister abstaining from the vote instead of standing up to what he believes. One way or the other.
Thought of the Day
There is a saying. “Stand up for what you believe in even if you stand alone”
Not much going on for these days. I am so relaxed my blood pressure was 100/70. I need to get to Arizona as soon as possible. Shopped for a few last things. Picked up the last few groceries we needed. Watched a bit of TV. UTube search on Dakota trucks, sheds and decks. A couple of phone calls. Watching the poor neighbors shovel snow. Organized my tool section. Helped clean up a bit. Had a short visit from MaryAnn and Alan. Finished off more last-minute things. Watched a few hockey games. Just a relaxing couple of days.
Heading to the movies with Jackson and family to see the new Rock movie remake Jumanji. Should be a great movie for Jackson and us. I know he is excited to be going. Jackie dropped a Christmas balloon to Peter to help get him in the spirit.
I read a few recipes to be prepared for Christmas dinner . I am taking the easy way this year with a pressed Turkey and pre-cooked ham. Turkey will only take 4 hours to cook. Stove top stuffing with my add on’s is good and gravy with riced potatoes. The standard peas and carrots with pumpkin pie and we are set.
I will post as I get a chance but with all of the kids and family here on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day it will most likely be on Dec 27th
So to all HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS.
We decided to go to a movie tonight. Jackson picked Jumanji as his choice and was very excited about it.
I give this movie a 5 out of 5. The complete movie left you in stitches. The actors were superb. It was packed with funny funny scenes and one liners. It was packed with high action scenes. It had a lot of adult innuendo that has hilarious yet very acceptable for kids in how they handled it and with no swearing at all. Best movie I have seen in while. ***** Loved it The 3D Movies they have nowadays are awesome.
On the way to movie house though I think I got caught in a photo radar as I saw the bright flash. I was most likely doing 45-50 kms in a playground zone that I didn’t see. Time will tell if it is in the mail. Money Grab !!
We have everything ready for the next couple of days. Beds are ready. Food is bought. Snacks are ready. Drinks are ready. We are ready. This year we have Jessica, Penny, August, Atticus, Victoria, Corey and Jackson sleeping overnight on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We arranged a under ground parking spot for Jessica with the little guys. We have for our Christmas Supper this year the above group and Audrey with Michael. So only 8 adults which makes it relatively easy to cook for and have the room for. On Boxing Day for a get together and light meal we will have a total of 19 to 21 people. For this we have rented the party room upstairs which has lots of space. Too bad about the weather as it dampens our enthusiasm for outside activities. We have a few games picked out and no doubt will eat too much.
Christmas is a wonderful time every year but the Christmas’s I loved and remember as the best were when we used to go out to Edson to our Grand Parents place on the farm. It was because we were kids I know, but they are remembered as my favorite. I don’t the number but I bet we had 50 or more people there on Christmas Day with the quantity of relatives I have living out there. Great memories !! Christmas is ever changing as families evolve and people pass on or circumstances change. This year will be the first year we have all of our kids in Calgary for Christmas without the need to go . We all were together in Mesa two years ago which was amazing.
When Jessica, Penny, August and Atticus made it from Lethbridge we headed out to Boston Pizza. We all incredible meals with great service. Two years ago we all went out in Mesa on Christmas Eve the restaurants were packed. Tonight Boston Pizza ( Mom gave us a wonderful gift card )and others were quite empty. Hence amazing service. My steak was awesome.
Everyone loves Christmas. It took a little longer than we thought for everyone to get to bed. The elves were getting tired. We started off with Christmas elves visiting us. A Jackson elf and a Corey elf and a Jessica with August elf. We had a lot of fun playing games and playing round. Jackson and August opened one gift.
Playing Pictionary and Speakout was a lot of fun.
It is funny seeing the difficult time trying to say certain letters.
We had Jessica and August sleeping on a bed foamy beside the Murphy bed which had Penny and Atticus sleeping on it. Victoria and Corey were on a air mattress in the living room and Jackson was on a foam mattress beside our bed. Everyone comfortable.
All were in bed just before midnight. A few eggnog with rums, Ceaser’s, beers and everyone was ready for bed.
Victoria set up her phone on a timer to see if she could catch Santa in the act.
I guess we all must have been exceptionally good considering the gifts everyone got. Of all the great presents it is Corey’s McDavid’s Face Toaster that I like the most. Can’t wait to see what the toast looks like unless he decides to keep in tact as a collector item.
Funny story on this: I saw the ad on my computer in November and thought what a neat idea as they had McDavids “toaster of the future”, Gretzky “the greatest toaster” and “Toewster”. In Arizona I had a bit too much to drink most likely due to Fred’s three finger drinks and couldn’t sleep so I awoke at 3 am the day they were being released. I figured while I awake I may as well order mine . At 8 am I thought I would order another for a gift and one for Fred as he wanted one for a gift. ALL models were sold out. Unbelievable ! Today on Ebay they are selling for 6 times their original value
Big breakfast this morning to hold everyone off until TURKEY dinner. Everything was set for the dinner but then Jackie decided to change the timing. It takes so long to cook everything and everything has to be done at the same time so this can throw a wrench into things. I had to go into rush mode, changed the oven temperature to hopefully speed up the process and preheated all of boiling water dishes. Make up your mind eh !! lol
Managed to get everything ready on time and at the same time. I did forget my digital thermometer in the turkey and it melted. My favorite one. Had to switch over to my manual one. Turkey cooked properly is important and with the pumped up temp difficult to know when it reaches it’s proper temperature without one. We had the full meal deal with turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy,ham, dressing, carrots,peas,salad, and buns. We had pumpkin and apple pie. Great meal with everything working out great. With 8 adults and a couple of kids it is pretty easy to cook for this quantity.
Played games of Charades and had a lot of fun.
Next morning all set for the Boxing Day lunch. We booked the room upstairs for the lunch and get together. We had lots of left over ham , tons, so we had all of condiments needed to have Ham sandwiches. Buns, mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomato, marbled cheese along with tons of different pickles etc. I used all of my canned veggies from Fred. People love the homemade, carrots, pickles and beans. We planned to have the sandwiches with soup but unfortunately Alan & MaryAnn who offered to bring the soup were 1 hour late. Soup tasted awesome though.That northern Calgary traffic can be hell. At our get together we had, Victoria, Corey, Jackson, Jessica,Penny, August, Atticus, David, Kristen, Sheldon, Alan, MaryAnn, Danielle, Carter, Kennedy, Audrey and Michael along with Jackie and I. We also got to watch the Canada Jr hockey team on the big screen in HD which was awesome.
All the company, kids, mess and events done for another year. It is amazing how quiet the house gets. While I enjoy the hustle and bustle it does tire you a bit. In fact we slept in two days in a row.
Up this morning and looked around. Between a vomit accident, Peter’s walker tires and the odd guest not taking off their outdoor shoes the carpet was looking bad. The smell from the baby vomit is horrible. We are looking at replacing this carpet in the near future but struggle as hard surface flooring is noisier, costly and not as warm as carpet and carpet itself is expensive so we will try to squeeze out a couple more years. The odd packed patch and heavy traffic area worn a bit but not bad.
We decided to do a proper cleaning job so we may as well take down all of the Christmas stuff and move all of the furniture. A full day and now we have everything stacked and piled together as every room has wet carpet. I am working on my bed ! Tomorrow I will put everything back. Smell is gone, carpet is look great and Christmas stuff is done. Good day. Even better day as Edmonton Oilers just lost getting blown away by the Jets.
Thought of the Day
No matter how old you are an empty wrapping paper roll is always fun to bonk over someone’s head.
It is bloody cold out there. I actually opened the oven door to warm the place up. With radiant heat any change takes days to accomplish and we typically are always on the warm side of things. Not so much now with this consistent cold. I spent about 8 hours on my budget getting a new one for next year ready and filling in the numbers. A budget is a good tool to see where your money went so you can adjust in the future. We had an expensive Christmas which we didn’t plan on but with gifts, food, events, outings etc it adds up quickly. Good thing our idea was to have a low cost one. LOL
Had my blood work check up. I hate getting a little older and these “one of ” things keep popping up. Things are going to change and things will be different and perhaps a number at 20 years old isn’t going to be the same at 60. Oh well that it is life. More work to be done again with a internist. was 3 kilo’s more this year than last year. All Christmas related. Lost 1.5 to 2 kilo’s already. Worked out in the gym and was light on the junk food. Should be back within a day or two.
Canada screwed up losing to the States. For such an important game though it shouldn’t have been held outdoors in adverse conditions. Both teams had the same issue but it degrades the game.
A person gets lazy with this cold. You don’t want to go outside or can’t really. Cool in the house so you cover up. You don’t feel like even getting in the car. Hurry up time as I want to get to Mesa. LOL
Here is another reason I love condo life.
Watching the news this morning and I am not 100% sure and it may have happened but not to often that the temperature hit -50 degrees with the windchill. That is unbelievable. The temperatures hitting minus 35 to minus 38 are bad enough but add the wind and hitting -50 is rare. Stay indoors. Wrecks a lot of outdoor New Years Eve parties for the kids and adults. No junior hockey on which sucks. I think this year we will go all in our partying and order Chinese food and watch a movie and struggle to stay awake until midnight.
Did my miles on the treadmill using a special setting to allow hill climbing. Tired me out quick. LOL Still a couple of pounds from Christmas hanging on.
Yet for NYE we decided to have a wild night and have Chinese. I love Mighty Mango. And they even have a online system which works perfect. Just a low key New Years Eve for us tonight. Not old just smart. Too cold, no taxi’s, police out, sloppy midnight kisses, no real meaning so a enjoyable warm movie night.