JUNE 2017

June 1st – 4th

A very busy busy last few days. Anyone that thinks they will be bored in retirement just doesn’t get it. There is not enough time in any day to get everything one needs to get done never mind having the free time to be bored. I also need to explain that relaxing and enjoying life isn’t boring, it is refreshing, rejuvenating , and a new start to what every you want. I have been so busy , tired, no time that I haven’t had time to post for the last few days and it is a new month.

I started my budget but haven’t had time to finish it yet for May.

As there was a tournament going on at Turner we had a afternoon start of 1pm. Sort of nice really. I was paired up with three locals again all nice guys and very good golfers ranging in cap from a 7 to 13. I haven’t been playing well lately again and was still in recovery mode after Sebastian “fixing” my back. Today though the back and shoulders felt semi ok. I will place blame squarely on the tension in my back the last couple of games. Ok, having said that still not a stellar day losing 4 balls and too many errant shots. I find the TV Golf club one of the hardest course to play I play. I consistently shoot higher here. I just can’t go a round without losing one or two or more balls. There is a saying about meeting one’s eye. I  love the course and will work on getting better for it. It is one of the few courses I play where I haven’t broke 80 on. I do try to hard with the guys which causes me to screw up. It will happen.

It is rare not see a family of Geese, a bear, moose  or a few deer on the Turner Valley Golf Course but today we had a fan watching our every move. Lesson here is don’t go into the bush.

This guy is one of two baby Owls born this year at TV.

If you remember I had three games where I experienced the worst hosel shanks. It took me a lot of work to fix this and still when I am 100 yards or less and having to use my sandwedge I get hesitant. I have read and heard from other good golfers of experiencing the same thing. Today a 7 handicapper had the exact same issue and had 5 shanks causing lost balls or lost strokes. First time for me seeing someone else with it and a good golfer on top of that.

But they say behind every cloud there is a silver lining. I still won $32 bucks on my deuce and snip. The deuce was a wonderful thing. A sand shot with a horrible lie, I hit it and it just rolls right into the cup. I had another 3 ft deuce putt and it just didn’t break staying just to the outside. Darn. So even with a mediocre golf game I still win money. Awesome.

I  loaded up my Jeep including the cargo carrier with all of my tools and headed to Lethbridge.  I rented a pull behind one man power auger as I needed 10″ holes and I wanted 4ft deep. Well this machine sucks. The girls backyard has solid clay and water saturated clay and the thing just doesn’t have enough guts to work and this at full speed. The clay would pack the auger and I would have to lift and remove the clay. It took me 5 hours to drill 4 holes and I wasn’t happy. I wanted 4ft but even after Jackie’s arrival and help pulling up the auger I had to settle for about 38 to 42 hole depth. It was a very very tiring experience. Too much really. Without Jackie’s help I would have died trying and not accomplished what I wanted. Bad on Depot even though the clay especially the water soaked clay was horrible. A small rock would stop the auger easily. So if anyone wants to drill holes hire a bobcat or a two man power auger would be a lot better.

So while Jackie and I were working the girls got a great visit in and enjoyed themselves with the kids taking in a lot of different events. Win win.

Jessica & Victoria having a bit of sister time in the sun.

Corey arrived about 9 pm and helped me finished cementing in the posts. I squared and plumped it the best possible as was pleased. As we were cementing in one hole Jackie put down the water hose which had a sprinkler head that wouldn’t shut off on it we heard water running and filling one of our empty holes. That is how water saturated the soil was. Hate to see that as water causes rot. We poured two bags of cement in to soak up the water and filled the balance with concrete. Cedar post should still last 15 to 20 years. I also don’t like the water saturated soil as Lethbridge has a huge problem with wind racking.

The ladies even had a few afternoon drinks which is unusual. We believe Victoria may have been tippy when she got back.

Cousin get together in Lethbridge

Next morning Corey and I with Jackie’s help worked all day until Victoria and Corey had to leave back to Calgary. I had Jackie again as my assistant. The cedar lumber we received was high quality. We started to cut all of the joists, headers and shade trims. Plumbed and squared and installed. It was starting to look wonderful.  At the end of the day we had it 99 % done. The black OZCO hardware which cost $600 alone was awesome. Not only looking spectacular but works extremely good. Of the three OZCO products we bought only the rafter clips need a re design. From the States and using Philip head screws is DUMB. We had a lot of stripped screws. In todays world you would think they would use Robertson, Torex or not driver screws to work a 100 % better.  Doing the math calculations for spacing sure kept us thinking. At the end the only way of describing this backyard is specular and it will only look better when the new furniture arrives and some plantings.

I fun project with only the drilling issue and difficulty being a pain. Unfortunately it is the foundation of a good pergola. I hate wet soil as it doesn’t hold the posts as well and when it freezes it freezes deeper which can cause upheaval and doesn’t hold the posts as well against wind racking and combine this with only 36- 42 depth it is compounded. Now I have installed many many fence posts, build numerous decks, pergola’s, arbors and I have yet to see one move. I had one post in Shawnessy sink ( basement fill ) but never an upheaval. I have had to replace the odd post due to warpage which isn’t fun.

You hear a lot about getting below the frost line. I will tell you that it doesn’t matter if you are 3ft or 4 ft you are still away above the frost line as in Alberta it averages 7 ft deep . It depends on water content, cold temp, snow cover and location with Lethbridge being one of the warmer climate in Alberta.

Finished the deck and headed to Boston Pizza for a couple of Ceaser’s on the deck along with a wonderful steak and salad with the family. Jackson and August were the best behaved and ate well.

Boston Pizza after two days of full work !!!

Funny thing how someone thinks. Penny ordered a Virgin Ceaser and when she got her bill it was charged as a regular one. The young waitress thought they should be the same but after our urging she checked with her manager and she learned something new today. LOL

Sitting in the sun, cold drinks and great food is wonderful but we still had work to do. I installed the patio lights we gave the girls for Christmas and we created a Lethbridge Oasis.

Love the Pergola. It makes their backyard look like an Prairie Oasis. Wait for the furniture to arrive

Best looking backyard and it is still not done.

The house at nights was like a sauna it was so warm and even the outside air didn’t cool it down. Between being overtired, caffeine, acholol, and the hot room we didn’t sleep to well. We had a great visit while working and everyone had a good time.

Next morning after loading up everything Jackson and I head home. I took highway 24 as #2 they were laying stones down. Passed by Vulcan to see the space ship and to have A & W for lunch.

How did they land that space ship right on top of that rock ?

Another project completed but still many on the plate depending on their money and my timing.

June 5th

Did more research on my Ozco black pergola hardware as I wasn’t convinced the product was strong enough. After talking to the Cedar Shop who ensured me I would have no problem and they sell these all the time to contractors I still wasn’t convinced. The Cedar Shop sale rep was fantastic and we agreed that to ease my mind a simple fix would be to remove the top plates and use a structural RSS bolt. The Ozco bolts are $18.00 each but do look wonderful with their big black caps but the RSS bolt is $2.50 each. So I decided just for wind load in Lethbridge and to ease my mind I would whip down and install the RSS bolts. I also contacted Ozco and received via email their specs and they are unbelievable but I still will install my additional support to be safe.


I will look at knee brace supports when we get back from Europe if there is any movement what so ever.

Last golf game with Jeff at TV for a month. The weather turned out to be spectacular with it being about 22 degrees and sunny. Monday evenings are a great night to golf at TV as the course load is light and so you can finish in a very good time. The greens are starting to quicken to the point they can now be called very good. The course in all aspects is wonderful. Now for the bad news. I am looking forward to the month off golf as I must need a break to get back to normal. I have a love hate relationship with Turner Valley but I am golfing worse now than years ago. I cannot go a round without losing at least two balls at TV. Plus poor shot making. Sometimes too much of a good thing turns out to be bad. I have my men’s league on Thursday and then the month off. Last night again lost balls killed me. Long and out. I tried to back off the drive a bit but then it slices. I just don’t know where the drive is going as I miss left and right and the willow bushes eat balls. I was happy with my 80-85 scores on this course but lately I am struggling to keep under 95-90.

Having said that it was a very fun night. Good shots and bad shots from Jeff and I.  After golf which took less than 3 hours we headed for a burger and beer at the pub to see the Predators win another one.

Thought of the Day

I don’t know how I can play so well sometimes and score so bad. LOL

June 6th-8th

Just waiting for our texturing guru to arrive before heading to Lethbridge. He said morning so I even got up early but his morning definition and mine must be different. LOL

I added the umbrella liability to my insurance for a rental car in England. They make you  buy it for the year but you can cancel it when you want. It was $ 186 a year to have 1 million liability on everything house, boat, cars, personal etc.  Better safe than sorry which is always the case with insurance especially when your driving with English people that are on the wrong side of the road.

The ceiling guys started and I headed to Lethbridge as I wanted to add my own assurance of safety to the arbor. As I said before I used the 8″ RSS bolts in all 8 corners of the arbor. Even though all indications that the OZCO 3 1/4 bolts are fine I wanted to feel comfortable with it especially in Lethbridge where they get huge winds. That fix only took me about an hour to complete. Jessica was coming back to Calgary with me the next day so I asked what else they had on their to do list. The backyard deck for sitting and the BBQ came up.

We were lucky to borrow Margy’s truck and I headed to the Depot to pick up the product. With the pressure treated and cedar a smaller sized deck 8 x 8 was just under $400. I did some internet research and the contractor price for a cedar deck is $20 a sq ft so this deck to have it built would have cost them around $1200.  I was able to build the complete carriage and start cutting some deck board before night fall. During the night I had a design change so I headed to the Depot again for a return and re buy on some 4 x 4 posts. With Jessica’s help who worked all morning with me on the deck we finished it about 1pm. It wasn’t with out it’s challenges. First obstacle was a mitre saw that was too small to cut a full mitre on 6″ product. My big 10″ one needs repair. Second a carbide tipped saw blade that was so dull cutting through cedar it was smoking. Third no table saw on this trip so ripping a board length wise required a steady hand. And having to do all of the detail work cutting, measuring, design by myself compared to having two people working together. But as I said Jess was incredible as I would show her where to screw the boards and she would get it done while I was cutting or moving product. This made the whole job a lot quicker. The deck is the perfect size and looks great. I was going to put a 22 1/2 degree corner on it but that makes it smaller and not having the correct size saw  just about made that impossible.

First time I remember having a ache after working on a project. I  always know that my back will be hurting but Sebastian really fixed me up again but after bending, squatting all day my one knee is very painful. Getting up hurts. It is the same knee that I smashed on the ice a few years ago and the odd time it clicks. Never really painful until after this project. I must have agitated it. Most likely be as good as new in a couple of days hopefully. This makes me laugh as ONE time I bend over to catch my wind while working in 27 degrees weather and Jessica says ” Boy Dad you are getting a little rickety ”

Cedar BBQ and sitting deck

Love their backyard as the pergola and deck just look fantastic. I will do the privacy screen the first of July to complete it.

Relaxing under the Gazebo after ahard days work

Headed home, showered and loaded the Enclave up with Tor, Jack, Cor, Auggie, Jess, Jackie and I. Tonight was a graduation party for Kennedy, Alan’s daughter as she just finished her Social Science degree. It was a great little party with a few of her friends and family.

She will make a great social worker. Best job for a social worker would be to get on with the government and be a court appointed worker as you then receive full government pension and make a higher salary. It takes a special person do love this job as it an emotional job and requires empathy and understanding more than any other occupation.

Up this morning and headed out for my men’s league. Today my captain scored a 75 and made it look easy. I am looking forward to NOT golfing for a bit as of late I have done horrible. Today was lost balls off the drive. It kills the score shooting three off the tee.  I was on a steady rate of getting better and better shooting high 70’s to low mid 80’s and now screwing up. It all started when all of a sudden I had a case of the hosel shanks and lost confidence. I cured that but now am back to not driving straight again. Cant win !!   A few drives today were only a few feet off the fairway but I was blocked by a tree, or under one or I had to just get back to the fairway. The others the slice took it away.

I came home and started to set aside my clothes I am taking. Packing light so will require a redo mid trip. Nice thing with some hotels offering dry cleaning service makes it easy.

Everything ready for the trip except the Garmin, and to buy a small tube of toothpaste.

I paid Amazon $15.00 to deliver a part I need for my motorhome faster than normal delivery. Ordered May 24th and promised June 5th. Message today now says June 13th. We will be gone. Nice. That is not good service and to get hold of Amazon is like chasing the holy grail. If they return that package I will not be happy. Problem is the transport company is out of the States and I do not know how it gets to my condo. Fingers crossed they don’t return it. It is a discontinued rare part that I need.  In hindsight I should have paid the $30 for 3 day delivery instead of the $14 for 7 day .

Thought of the Day

Vacations are expensive. A good alternate maybe just to keep drinking so you don’t know where you are at !

June 9th

Went to the Garmin store this morning and bought the sd card for Europe. I like my 255 Nuvi as it is small enough to fit in my pant pocket and in pedestrian mode works well finding restaurants, washrooms etc. They don’t carry Europe loaded ones anymore. So for $125 I bought a Europe SD card and still get keep my USA loaded on my machine. I loaded in favorites a few of the spots I knew we are going to under my favorites.

All set to go.

Today is Victoria & Corey’s 10th Wedding Anniversary. You know time is flying when they start celebrating 10 years already.  One of the best couples out there in the way they treat each other. Congratulations and enjoy.

Victoria & Corey
June 9th 2007

GONE OVERSEAS.  Wales, England, France, Switzerland

Funny when looking up the weather the only cold damp place is Wales with France and Northern England mid twenties and higher. Could get lucky again as last time in England not one day of rain and beautiful. Brecon is warmer than I thought hitting mid teens but has 3 out 5 days with rain. I climbed the Columbia Ice fields in sandals I am sure Wales will be no problem. I am positive that we are going to hit more hot days than cold days looking at France etc. Can’t wait for the wine, cheese and bread at the street side café. I wonder if I can get rose’ wine chilled.

With Britain on high alert  I won’t attempt to bring a laptop or tablet especially as we are not checking in our luggage. I am going to use Voice to Text in the app KEEP to journal our events and write it up on return.

SO NO POSTS UNTIL I RETURN – unless I find an internet café that is cheap and the time.



June 28th

Arrived home with Jackson, Corey and Victoria picking us up at the airport. Always a nice way to come home being met with open arms.
On return we dropped off our bags, headed to Tim Horton’s and set up to watch Jackson’s last Tee Ball game of the year. We were a little tired as we were up 24 hours straight without sleeping but it was a wonderful night and a lot of fun to see what progress the kids have made in one season. Some great hits and running. The catching still needs some work on.

Last Tee ball game for the year


First time since we left I had a good sleep. Every night away in Wales, England, France or Switzerland the a/c couldn’t keep up to the heat and I died trying to get to sleep. And couldn’t.

Went to Sobeys at 7:30 in the am and I had the whole store to myself. Picked up everything I think we need to eat right. ( for a change) Made potatoes , pork chops and sweet peas for supper. As we didn’t eat correct, nothing for breakfast, lousy dinner’s and late late not so good suppers Jackie & I both gained a couple of pounds. Back to real eating, correct eating, it should be all corrected in a couple of days. People thinking that low calorie , salads, not eating etc helps you lose weight are fooling themselves.There are many fat and unhealthy vegetarians out there and the fact of what they eat is the reason.

I worked on my budget sheets for hours and am still not done. Hopefully soon but I need to rest my eyes. I haven’t received all of the invoicing yet from Europe on my credit card.

Our ceiling repair didn’t fade in like I had hoped so we will need to contact them to have a look at to see what our options are.

Surprised that I am not feeling tired but coming home the time change isn’t really a factor. I booked a tee time for Jackie & I on Friday at Turner Valley. I booked a foursome tee time for Jeff & Wendy along with us at Bridges at Claresholm for Sunday. Have a Canada Day party to go to and I was lucky enough to squeeze into my men’s group for Thursday.

Thought of the Day

Becoming vegetarian is a big missed steak.











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