March 2018 4th Anniversary of Retirement Bliss

March 1st   4 years of retirement bliss 

Larry & Jackie at her retirement party 2014

Wow ! Time does fly. First let me say. The last four years have been wonderful. Probably the most fun filled relaxing years ever. No getting up to go to work. No getting kids ready at 6 am. No work pressures or goals to meet. Everyday the decision to do what you want to do is yours. In the 1424 days I may have had three days tops where I was a little anxious about what to do. Most of those were in Calgary in December waiting to come to Arizona. Retirement is a big step. I am just as busy now as when working doing things and sometimes too busy. There are different pressures when retired. There is the health issue which was one of the main factors of us choosing to leave the workplace early. There is the money issue which it doesn’t matter how much you have it is never enough. There are parental care issues and commitments. There are people’s perception issue’s believing because you are not working you must be able to do certain things when ever. There are timing issues. BUT i wouldn’t trade our decision for anything.

Think beyond the green

Despite the importance of retirement income, you need to be satisfied and fulfilled in what you are doing. You don’t need to save the world but enjoy yourself !

It’s important to consider your happiness beyond a full bank account. A retiree should value fun and quality time with friends and family above all, and know you will  spend more on travel and leisure than any other age group because you have the time. Don’t amortize your money over your expected lifetime as you will NOT spend near as much at 75 or 80 as 55-75 years old. A person needs to view retirement as a new beginning instead of an ending, Try new things. Spend your money on experiences instead of things.

Here are a few misconceptions I had and am sure some new or expected retirees also have.

1. Boredom- is not a problem. One of the most common misconceptions about retirement is that people can’t fill up their days, which leads to unhappiness. This is absolutely not the case.

Finding enough time to accomplish what you want I think is more of a common situation. I have to remember (repeatedly!) that I cannot do everything I want to do, even in retirement and you will be fine.

2. Retirees  downsize and cut their costs by choice. The typical retiree is living quite comfortably on about half of his or her pre-retirement income.

By accepting the difference between wants and needs, a retiree embraces a simpler lifestyle that produces less stress and gives you more time to enjoy our freedom. When I say I can’t sometimes it is because I choose not to spend my money on that particular thing. When we were working the thought of a expense wasn’t an issue as we knew another paycheck was coming. Now it comes straight out of our account. ( we don’t have pensions)  I will drive an older vehicle, I will not buy new flooring as we prioritize our money. The most difficult thing is to change habits. You can not anti up every time for supper, buy expensive things, or even book travel without thought.Downsizing should be considered an art. Ego and status have to be left out of the equation.

3. Retirement requires some big  adjustments for a married couple. Having a spouse home all day could be challenging is what we hear all of the time. I never understood this. Why wouldn’t you want to be with your partner. “Me” time by doing different things alone is great but I believe too much “me” time maybe become full “me” time. You got married to be together not to try to find different things to do all of the time to be apart. I have heard people say their husband or wife’s habit’s annoy them and the personal space helps them stay together. I guess to each his own but I love being with Jackie doing things together, looking at things together or even just watching TV together. This year with her parent’s commitments we have spent too much time apart. More than ever in our married lives and I don’t enjoy it but it something that has to be done.

4. Strategically planning for retirement pays off. Creating an effective and satisfying retirement requires just as much energy and thought as building a successful career but it brings a much greater capacity for true satisfaction and joy. Plan what you what. What you can afford. What you like. AND ENJOY !   Our newest plan buying the RV lot for us will be amazing. Our motor home we bought a couple of years ago is a dream. Going from a tent to motor home with a built in vacuum and fireplace is wonderful.We are looking forward to the kids and grand kids spending time at our lot this summer when I get it done. There will be a lots of joy !

5. Retirement is also an ongoing process. One thing I heard over and over again is that retirement rarely unfolds according to plan. Don’t think that you can, or have to, figure it all out ahead of time.You will become a different person in retirement than you ever imagined. Go with the flow. If you need to change something, cut expenses, go on a different trip, just do it.Don’t worry about what others are doing or thinking. You have one life.

6. The No. 1 concern for us as retirees is how our health will hold up. I worry about some health problems that could cripple my lifestyle and in turn ours. That is why we left early to enjoy as much healthy time as possible. I see Peter’s condition, I know what my Mom is going through and yet I see other retirees the same age doing some amazing things. Some of it is luck and genes. As I always have said, to have a full bank account and not be able to enjoy it would be horrible. Don’t waste good years working when you can be enjoying. Health number one by a long ways and money right after that are concerns to be considered. One thing to remember is in most cases retirement dreams rarely match reality.

7. Pre-retirees often have trepidations.  How do you know when it is time to retire ?  Is it scary ? Why did you leave when you could have worked for another 5 years or more ? Did you have second thoughts ? Will you have enough money ? Will I be bored ? What about my status?

People getting ready to join us shouldn’t  worry so much about their total savings, where to live or even how to fill the time. Having a satisfying retirement is more about your attitude toward the opportunities that life gives you. Every time I golf I believe I am going to get a hole in one. Every time I sit and read I think to myself how lucky I am. When I am sitting on  my deck at my new RV lot I will be thinking ” I love life”

The last four years has been amazing. I won’t show pictures as you can look back at each January to see a year recap. I will list a few outstanding things though that stand out.

  1. August was born
  2. Atticus was born
  3. Europe trip England, Wales, France, Switzerland
  4. NYC cruise, New England and East Coast  Canada trip
  5. Sturgeon fishing trip Surrey BC
  6. Larry turning 60 – Jackson turning 6
  7. Buying a new RV lot
  8. Jasper/Banff trip
  9. Having all the kids in Mesa  AZ for Christmas
  10. Saskatchewan trip  Moose Jaw/ Manitou
  11. Saskatchewan trip Waskesiu
  12. BC trip Kootenays
  13. Having all of the kids for their birthday in Mesa AZ
  14. Each May Long weekend Golf/Camping
  15. Each September Long weekend Golf/ Camping
  16. Numerous golfing trips, Nelson, Balfour,Creston, Athabasca , Keho , Pembina, Pineridge, Drumheller,Coleman,Nanton, Ft Mcleod, Coleman, Sparwood, Waskesiu, Eagle Ridge,  plus many others.
  17. Numerous fishing trips, Calling, Wabamun, Pinehurst, Keho, Park, Crawling Valley, Travers, Pine Coulee, Brazeau ,
  18. Multiple projects, arbour, decks, basement, condo mouldings, landscaping, fences, pergola,
  19. Fun grandkid birthday parties

This year is special also as we are very excited about living in our motor home as a test and having people come out to enjoy it with us.  Campfires and swimming for the kids will be a lot of fun. Throw in some golfing and cooking food and Life Is Great !

Loads of plans for 2018. Building three huge decks. Three storage sheds. One garage.Staining a house and garage. Golfing at our new course along with Turner Valley and Heatherglen, if given the opportunity to golf cheap. No trips planned this year as our expenses will be very high getting our lot set up. We will though have our normal fishing, golfing and camping trips coming up.

Speaking of golfing another funny circumstance happened. Two years ago we had the annual golf May Long Weekend golf trip at Three Hills. Turned out someone on Fred’s block here in Mesa knew the manager who just happened to be staying at Viewpoint with us. A nice in. This year when were at Dan & Jan’s for supper the new manager for Trochu where we are golfing/camping this May Long was there. Another wonderful in. I am going to get her to bring us a 1/2 cord of wood to the site instead of using the $8 bundles and we all can split the cost. Things have a way of working out and it really is a small world.

Started on my monthly budget sitting in the sun until it got too hot and I had to come to the front patio while Jackie had her Ladies Golf Day. She was on the phone right to the minute before leaving. A very dedicated external employee. The number’s aren’t great for Feb. I had a large cheque go thru from close to a year ago that i had forgotten about, extra travel expenses, Turner golf fees, huge Koodo bill, and a down turn on the TSX.

We had a video call with Audrey & Micheal who are stranded in a hotel in London as the trains aren’t running and the weather is brutal as the UK gets hit with a “snow storm of the century.” Brecon could get close to 30 cms of snow and freezing cold temperatures. Nice thing is you know everyone will have loads of hot tea to drink while they bunker down for a couple of days.  I just looked up the weather in Brecon and they have 8 straight days of -5 degrees with snow and 30kms winds. That will be cold !

Checking the weather where it matters. Edmonton is under a snowfall warning up to 25 cms by Sunday. Calgary is under a snowfall warning with 20 cms by Sunday. Brecon  as above same deal. Lethbridge gets lucky with no warning but still remains cool and light snow for four days. Mesa next 8 days not one under 70 and 2 over 80 degrees. Where would you rather be ?

We had a video call with Jackson today. He made a Leprechaun trap for St Patty’s Day. His concept and idea was brilliant. His bringing it to fruition was executed with precision. I wish I had a picture for you guys. It had a see thru window, and a trap door for the little guy to fall into to be trapped. When I asked him what happens if his Leprechaun was too big for his trap he calmly stated “they are magic and would shrink to see inside of his trap and be caught”

Thought of the Day

Question, and really think about this:

Has anyone ever seen or even a picture of a female Leprechaun ?

 

Jackson has a plan !!

March 2nd -3rd

“Mercury Forecast”  Mesa 24 degrees  Calgary -10 degrees ( heavy snowfall warning)

Just a beautiful day today with full sun and I am believe full moon last night.

Finished off my Feb budget numbers and after everything it turned out ok. Golfing for Feb was $1200 which was one category that surprised me a bit. But gas or lack of gas and groceries more than balance this off. You can live pretty cheaply in Mesa.

I went and picked up some groceries that we needed. Have some kabob’s I will BBQ soon which I like for a quick easy meal. Some nut covered cones for desert so all is good.

I cleaned all of the windows around the house. Washed the table and chairs and outdoor kitchen all off. Swept out the patio and washed the back patio plus other general cleaning up.

Researched different things like decks, sheds, body work, rafters, portable toilets etc on the computer and relaxed.

Bought three mini blinds special order from Lowes for the master bedroom. I had to special order them due to the sizing as the stores had nothing I could make work. 14 day delivery is long though but we are in no rush.

Decided to make it a movie tonight and have a supper of popcorn and treats. Super deal getting the senior rate at $7.50. Had to pay full price for Jackie. LOL   We decided on Red Sparrow and unknown to us it was Opening Night. Quite funny as when we checked in the lady goes ” You guys are ok as we have 250 seats left ”  The theater near the beginning of the show filled but not near capacity. The show was a good show. Not great but very entertaining. Besides the gratuitous naked scenes it was entertaining with no real dead spots. Very violent and no real dramatic acting required and a confusing plot line to follow but still a movie worthwhile seeing. Besides Jennifer is a beautiful young women. She did a good job with her Russia accent but seasoned actors like Jeremy Irons didn’t even seem to try.

Good movie

Jackie worked on her hummingbird feeder today trying to get the mix right for the birds. I checked out my patio heater to try to get the best way to start it. I think as it takes the gas so long to travel up to the pilot a lighter works the best.

Had a tee time today at Painted Mountain Golf Course. The greens here were very fast and were a lot of fun to play. In great shape.First hole I waited and waited then drove the ball. It landed ten yards in front of the groups cart that were shooting their third shot. 305 yards but lucky it was rolling as it went by them. The course overall was nice. Only issue with this course are the houses too close to the fairways. I put one ball a block into the neighborhood. We didn’t hear any glass so all is good. We were lucky enough to play as a twosome on a Saturday which is rare but nice. It was a odd day. First let me say I hate slices and continue to fight this every time I play. The first nine was ok and everything working ok except one hole where I took a 10 on it. The back nine everything started to come together and I was much happier with my play. Crisp accurate shots just make playing a lot more fun. Low 80’s on any day I can take. I missed so many birdie putts. I just need a few of these to drop. Jackie had a bit of an off day but still had some great hits. She has really improved her chipping and putting.

Fun golfing at Painted Mountain

Hit 26 degrees today , sunny with no wind.

Arriving at home we sat outside for a wonderful BBQ Kabob supper. I love the feeling of sitting outside in the dark.

8 pm at night sitting outside enjoying the warmth and watching TV

Another wonderful day in paradise.

Thought of the Day 

All I can say it is takes balls to golf the way I did today.

March 4th

“Mercury Forecast ” Mesa  20 degrees  Calgary -10

That works out to an even 30 degree temperature difference. Watching the news and the snowfall totals are unbelievable with it being double as normal. It will make my solar panels work when a chinook comes to recharge my RV batteries.

Talking to Alfred last night and the list keeps growing on the Dakota. A new tensioner pulley, new idler pulley, both CV shafts knuckles and boots, new pitman arm, steering pressure return hose and the engine heads have to be removed to fix the exhaust bolts.  The truck will have a complete new front end ,complete, plus a lot of other replaced items like power steering pump, shocks, lines, thermostat, plus many other parts. Truck is becoming a quite expensive but it will only be half of what a shop would charge. I would think it is hitting close to a $4000 shop bill. Alfred is very thorough so it will be like a new truck.

The trick to maintenance of a vehicle is to get one or two small things fixed each time so you don’t end up with a huge bill.

Replaced Jackie’s golf spikes today which as i said before isn’t the easiest. Took a while but she will be able to stick to the ground  now.

Going to watch a baseball game and have a burger.

A close game !

 

Bob and were talking outside and he offered to buy Jackie & I a burger at the baseball diamond.  Very nice offer. I took that up right away as the burgers here are amazing and what is better than being outside on a sunny day having a burger and talking to friends. Great lunch

Great weekend for pro golf with Phil and Michelle both winning after long droughts. Two of my favorite players. Except for the new blonde hair on Michelle.

Oscars starts at 3 pm so need to be home for that.

Thought of the Day

Isn’t it weird how i can’t fall sleep at night and I don’t want to wake up in the morning.?

March 5th

“Mercury Forecast”  Mesa 24 degrees  Calgary -8 degrees

What a gorgeous day as we wake.

Oscar’s were great. A little over the top with the issues in the forefront right now but some good jokes and lines. Overall a great job and it didn’t seem as long as normal.

Today I went to the CSA “Canadian Snowbirds Assoc” meeting. A great turnout. I think it is a very good group and have done some good things lobbying the different governments. I would say that as a group representing snowbirds to the States I thought the membership would have been higher. They have over 100,000 members but for all of Canada it should be more. They have a great US money exchange program. An auto debit to them on the first of the month, they accumulate, do the exchange and send by the 5th day to your US account. They have negotiated a great rate and due to the lump size makes a great deal. Even with Jackie’s special employee rate their rate is about 3% less. On 10K that is 300.00 so it adds up. Their Medipac and medical evacuation is a great program for anyone needing travel insurance especially if pre existing is an issue. So after the meeting I was overall impressed with the program. Hopefully their membership will grow.

After the meeting read a bit in the hot sun. HOT SUN.

Our UBER golf cart driver Tim Keys showed right up on time for our Fat Willy’s burger night special.  Sitting on the deck having a cold beer and burger is wonderful.

Funny thing we couldn’t find Lorna, Tim’s wife anywhere. We saved a chair but she didn’t show. She missed a wonderful night in the warmth.

There is Jackie and Tim looking for Lorna.

The season finale of the Bachelor is on tonight so we had to head home. First to see the finale and second as we have to get up at 6 am for a golf tournament we are in.

Thought of the Day 

There is a saying “Happy Wife, Happy Life”. Nothing rhymes with Happy Husband. ? 

February 6th 

“Mercury Forecast”   Mesa 27 degrees  Calgary -8 degrees

Up early today and tomorrow for golf. Today’s alarm was at 6 am for the International Scotia Bankers Retiree Arizona Annual Golf Tournament.  This years turn out was 48 golfers plus a few coming to join for lunch only. When you think of that, it is amazing to have 50 people all working for the same company retire and end up staying the winters in Arizona. The golf course today was Apache Wells Country Club and it turned out to be wonderful. Homes on both sides but quite wide fairways. On the shorter side but fantastic fairways and excellent greens. Being short I thought I should score well. On a 320 yard hole I was 8 yards off the green and ended up with a par.That is how it went. Our partners today are fun very nice people to golf with. John & Anita Matheson both worked for the bank for years. On the long drive hole both John and I were a way past the marker but of us were a few feet off the green fairway so you can’t count that as a valid entry. A few feet !! Jackie and Anita both golfed quite well and had a lot of fun. The good old burger buffet for lunch and a few beer jugs the day was perfect. I have to explain the picture. The temperature at 8 am in the desert is only 10 degrees with wind. It takes till 10 am for the heat to start and by noon we were over 25 degrees. This was taken early on.

John & Anita Matheson at Apache Wells

We are going to miss billiards tonight as we are tired and the Bachelor is on with “their like you have never seen finale tonight”. I need to be up at 6 am tomorrow also.

Thought of the Day 

So many reality shows are scripted and planned to the last detail it is hard to believe they are real especially the fake drama. 

January 7th -8th

“Mercury Forecast”  Mesa 27 degrees  Calgary -4 degrees

Up and out of house by 6:45 to golf at Whirlwind. First let me say I won money again but I am not happy with the way I an driving. I went birdie, par, par then the slice hit. I still ended up in the high 80’s but I had 9 holes par or better. But drive it right and into the desert a double happens instantly. My slice is getting worse instead of better so much so I am looking at a golf lesson to get a swing on the drives that works. Irons are fine and putting is what it is. Only the driver is letting me down.

A hot wonderful day golfing. Came home and relaxed a bit while Jackie got ready for the airport. She has to be back in Calgary for a meeting with all of the care givers on Peter for Thursday.

Just before leaving we visited Bob & Pat to wish them a Happy 48TH wedding anniversary. Sang them the song and sat down for a quick drink before heading to the airport. Tim and a couple of friends from Goodsoil Sask dropped by. With a population of 281 people and tundra only to the north of Goodsoil it can’t be the best place to live. As usual the Sask folk had people in common they knew. Tim’s friends were travelling the country in a 38ft 5th wheel which is a big unit. Jackie & I had to exit early to head to the airport.

Everything Trump is does causes chaos. Having said that He definitely is getting a lot of good stuff done for the country. A business man rather than a politician is what every country needs. His steel and alum tariffs are a good thing. If the country that is counted on by so many other countries as their protectors can’t build a war ship or tank because they have no steel industry it won’t last long. His idea of mirror or reciprocal tariffs is fair. China has a 25% tariff on imported cars from the States while the USA only charges 2. 5%. That is not fair. He is shaking it up. Now he may be the first president ever to meet with North Korea. He maybe very different in his approaches but he is getting results in lot of areas. Including immigration and the wall.

Thought of the Day

People are sucked into the drama of all the things that are negative. They can’t see so much abundance around them, and how much we already have.

March 9th

“Mercury Forecast”    Mesa 27 degrees  Calgary -1 degrees

Just a wonderful sunny day waking up this am. First thing on my to do list is wash the Jeep. Got that all  done. Then off to Auto Zone for fuses. When I was pumping up my boat tires the compressor plug broke and shorted out the cigarette lighter in the Jeep.  Good for google.  I When I opened the fuse box and trying to read which fuse was which it was so minuscule that I would need a magnifying glass to read it. Tried the flashlight and it still was too small.  Google to the rescue and I found the fuse. Whipped to Auto Zone and had to buy  pack of fuses. Getting them out took a needle nose as they were so close together. All fixed after checking for power. Dropped off a package for our block yard sale and dropped off a package of clothes that Jackie was giving away to Goodwill.

Trimmed all of the trees in the main heat of day. HOT  They all look good again. Tricky trimming this time of year as the buds are out and you need to trim to look good but not cut off the buds for next years fruit.

When I plugged in the hedge trimmer i noticed my water fountain was unplugged. Lucky for me I find out Bob unplugged it when he discovered it making funny noises when it ran out of water. Nice save !

I booked my golf lesson with the pro at the club for Tuesday. I am hoping he can give me a few tips to help eliminate or at least minimize the slicing. I love golf but it gets very frustrating to lose a couple of balls and have to take strokes off the tee. I only want to work on this as  everything else is working great ( second shots) good ( chips shots) not bad ( putting)  I have one game before the lesson to get thru. I am thinking the driver I am using may be the issue as it is a inch longer shaft and only 9.5 degrees. When I hit it, it is 300 yards but too often to the right side of the fairway or the odd time out of bounds. Give me 250 yards straight everyday I would be happy.

2018 Version !

One of my favorite tournaments “Drive for Thrive” registration is open.  Ken Crockett the VP from Star Building has been exceptional at organizing , sponsoring this tournament and our team. It is much appreciated. This is the 4th annual and each year myself along with Ray LaBerge ( Totem Building) have golfed  this with Ken and or a substitute from Star Building Materials. We have had either Kurt Westergard or Nicole and the first year Mike Powell CEO of Burnco. Colin Robertson ( VP of Totem Building) was instrumental in getting this tournament off the ground as he was a participant of the program with wonderful results.

Our team and event sponsor

This event is filled with inspiration from cancer survivors, as well as from those working and studying in the field of cancer and exercise research. All proceeds support the University of Calgary’s Thrive Centre – a free fitness facility on campus dedicated to helping cancer survivors and caregivers regain and maintain their fitness level and quality of life during and after cancer treatment.

A fun filled tournament with a worthwhile cause.

Too hot for the sun I had to go under the carport for relief.  Music on the Ninth Hole is playing right now which is wonderful to hear.

Thought of the Day 

Cancer can be beaten. We will find a cure someday. Hopefully sooner than later. 

March 10th

Mercury Forecast  Mesa 28 degrees  4 degrees

Went with Tim and his friends  to San Tan Flats. I love this place as the atmosphere is second to none. Out buildings, dirt floor,fire pits, rib shack , picnic tables lights and loads of people all wanting great food. It was packed. In fact Tim stood in line to order the food for 65 minutes, Sounds less than 1 hour. Appreciated. We had a flat iron steak, a NY steak and baby back ribs plus one no no of chicken fingers. I like to tease people when they go to a steak/rib house and don’t order the specialty. Don’t order a salad at a burger bar. Don’t order chicken at a pizza place.  Our food was excellent.

SAN TAN FLATS

Love the creamed corn that goes with each meal. Stuffed !!

Before leaving Bob & Pat and friends got ready for the Tennis round up dance ending the season. I have to say they looked fantastic. Funny as we were sitting around before they left the question came up “Where were you during Woodstock?”  I piped up ” Still in elementary” LOL  Talking to them next morning the band didn’t play Woodstock music as they were heavy with Beach Boy music. No rock !

Woodstock want to be’s

Played golf with Bob, Jim and Brian today. Great group of guys and we had a lot of fun. Bob golfed incredibly well today ending up with a 74. He made 4 birdies. He had his butter ripple birdie juice substantially lowered with all of us having shots. I played ok but putted bad today. Missed a way too many. Missed every birdie putt and took a few 3 putts again. By choking up on my driver I kept it in play today which was nice. I may try switching back to one of my old drivers. Oh to be working and go out a buy a $500 new driver would be nice. LOL  NOT . Bob makes this game look so easy and we all know that is far from the truth.

Here is a good laugh for you.

Thought of the Day 

I laugh at my own jokes, comments, texts etc. I at least think I am funny . LOL

March 11th-13th

“Mercury Forecast”  Mesa  24 degrees ( slight showers this am) Calgary  3 degrees

As soon as this small storm cell passes it is expected to have 30 degree weather for a few days in a row with lots of sun.

“MY RANT”

The dreaded Daylight savings time hits today for a lot of places. I always hated the spring forward timing as I felt tired for a long time after the change. Today it  doesn’t mean as much at all for me.

It was first introduced to Canada 100 years ago as a way to save coal, the project is now an annual eight-month ritual tolerated purely due to the belief that it’s good for us, the financial markets,farmers and don’t forget the golfers. In March, we skip our clocks ahead one hour to inject more sunlight into the evenings. Then, in November, we switch them back to “standard time.”

There is a lot of research in backing up the theory that this whole clock-switching thing might be a literal waste of time.

The Germans were the first to use it as they wanted to use the mills/factories as long in possible in daylight to avoid bombing at night and save energy. Then other countries slowly adopted it. Just like taxes, daylight saving time was introduced during war time. In essence by our enemies and they continue to win today with both negative introductions.

Today the belief is still we will use less power by less time with the lights on. But they forget we now have more time with the a/c on, more computer tie, more music time and use the amount if not more energy.Never mind the lack of productivity from employees as they are tired and the additional accident workplace and traffic accidents.

Lets become like Saskatchewan and Arizona and NOT change our clocks. It amazes me how something so simple is so hard to change. 

BUT THAT’S JUST ME !

Plan is to watch Tiger hopefully win today !

Went to Harbor Freight today to pick up an ATV  winch for Fred. Big weekend sale and they were packed. Some amazing deals there . I wish they would come to Canada. Princess Auto is similar in a lot of ways but priced a WAY WAY TOO HIGH compared to Harbor.  Harbor has good quality with great pricing combined with great warranty. Great company and all company owned stores not franchises.

Not quite a rant but I can’t wait to get home to Calgary do get myself off the road with all of these blind, deaf, cognitive impaired, and slow reacting aged drivers in Arizona. Snowbirds are dangerous on the road.!! A drivers test NEEDS to be given to all drivers every 5 years up to 70 years old and then every second year after that at the drivers expense if they want to keep driving. Government testing facility and test given by two different adjudicators to remove any bias as I am positive , compassion, prejudice, and favoritism is currently abundant with the current drivers on the road today. A simple on the road testing like being able to parallel park, back up for 30 ft, drive at freeway speed on a busy multi lane road, drive between a narrow opening, park and backup with judging distance to a pin and proper merging. We all would be safer .

The Valspar Tournament was great today. Tiger played well and if only a few putts would have dropped he could of won. Even though he was the first place loser it was fun to watch. Next time !

Watched the Trump speech for bit. He sure does like himself. He is doing some very good things that will shake up a few countries including our dope Trudeau. I just hope we come out of it without suffering to much of a downturn.

Went to the driving range and tried another driver I have from my guest golf bag. It is a STR8 Nike. I was hoping to keep them straight with this shorter shaft but still had a tendency to leak right. I will use it for an entire game and see what happens. The STR8 is from 2008 and my R9 is from 2009 and my Sasquatch is from 2007 . They all leak right so I guess  it isn’t my driver. Tuesday hopefully the pro will fix this as he gives me my lesson. I hope he doesn’t throw up his hands and say ” There is NO way I can fix you”  LOL

I had a 8 am tee time at Viewpoint this morning. I was golfing this morning with Bob’s friend’s the bulk of them being from Saskatoon. My foursome had a lot of fun. Bob as usual was the low score with a 77. I was lucky enough to be second but only by 1 stroke. I still had an issue holding the ball in the fairway. I ended up with a 85 which I am still not happy with as Viewpoint is an easier course. Only one game this year under 80 where i had 4 games last year only due to slicing.

After golf the 8 guys piled into two cars and we headed to the one gentleman’s home near Las Senda’s. This group from Saskatoon have the bulk of them as large business owners.  A previous owner of Dodge City, a owner of Freightliner Sask, a owner of ProMax trucking, plus many more very big and profitable business people. Today were at Arnold’s house (Freightliner) and it was a beautiful home. Very large, 12 ft high ceilings, with a lot of wonderful upgrades. First house I have other than a Pacesetter Home in Edmonton with curved top molded panel doors. These were 8ft  Camden doors. Looked fantastic. They better keep the a/c on during the summer though as  is cutting a door like that is risky if they dry out and the glue lets go.

Arnold showed me his pride and joy. A 1927 Ford with rumble seat and modernized. It had a new suspension with disc brakes, and it had a V6 from a S10. It still maintains it original looks but now runs like a modern car. He has and had pictures of some neat projects he is working on in Saskatoon. Another 1930 Ford, a 1963 Chevy Pickup and a 1953 F100 truck. Wonderful looking vehicles.

1927 Ford

Arnold is just the nicest guy and host. Loads of beer, rum, and pizza for the afternoon. Getting a drive back home was excellent. About a hour to relax and Tim and I head to Fat Willy’s for a burger and beer on a hot sunny patio. Life is good. Full !

Another day of hitting 82 degrees. Wonderful.

Met our pro from the club house and we head out to the private section of the driving range. After a few warm-up hits we  are set for the lesson. I had a lot of fun with this pro.  First thing he says is” Wow you can hit them. I am used to old guys getting 10 yards of the tee” He says he struggles with distance against his peers due to short man syndrome. Yet he smacks it long. Lessons- can I say right now I will not slice tomorrow. NO. I still sliced if not power faded it after the lesson. He thought my swing and grip were good. Here is where his expertise starts to shine. I was hooding/closed face with my irons too much. Hands too far forward.He showed me how to set up neutral. But it feels funny although it works great. Nice thing is now I when i need to I can draw a iron very nicely. Great lesson on this. Another pointer was getting the driver too close to the body. Again set up neutral but shorten the back swing a bit and keep the plane even and on the outside to try to get a out/in path versus the in/out.  Drag the club back and slow down the take away and turnover before impact. If I concentrate and remember these things I should be a little better off the tee. Was it worth the money. I didn’t get FIXED. YES it was . I enjoyed it. I liked his knowledge, I liked his teaching methods, and he taught me a few tricks to get better.

Thought of the Day  

Lousy players have lots of variety in their shots. Good players just have that one boring shot. Then repeat. I want boring.

I still see huge turmoil going on at JELD-WEN.  It is unfortunate there has been so much  change. While change is necessary it has to be managed properly not to negatively impact the customers. I watched the JW meetings on Vimeo.  How such a great family owned company can be destroyed by it own doing is amazing. Go public and forgetting the customer and you will always lose. Program introduction as a job security/ worth measure most often fails.At the end of February 2018 they lost their CEO and the former Canadian Sales VP which was just recently promoted to Senior North American VP. It looks like mutual parting but you know ” pursuing other interests ” means fired.The closure of all of the distribution centers and sales centers in western Canada is coming back to bite them. Reduce your sales force, eliminate regional dist centers and put policy in place that isn’t customer friendly , then wonder why your top end revenue plummeted, shouldn’t be hard to figure out. The Canadian division of JW was always the most profitable for years yet in the meeting the VP says negative EBITA and the former management had no idea the slide was happening. I call ,you know what, as he is trying to cover his teams poor decision making.  Losing 97 million dollars in one quarter scares investors hence the huge stock share drop. Complicating business with lean manufacturing programs like their (JEM) program isn’t an easy task. While efficiencies and profits are created by an effective LEAN manufacturing program it can also encumber the facility that it can’t serve it’s customer well due to so many procedures, rules, regulations, forms, meetings, and analysis especially if you try to modify a made for manufacturing program to encompass other sectors of your company . I remember one time years ago on a plant tour they had a system in place to measure every so many door skins thickness to see if they were in spec. Funny thing is if the spec couldn’t be met , they changed the spec instead of trying to figure out how to meet the current spec. Here is where a new system could help.

St Patty’s Day car show cancelled for Viewpoint. Darn, I enjoyed this show. I forgot to mention it hit 82 degrees today !

Thought of the Day 

 “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

March 14th -15th

“Mercury Forecast”  Mesa 32 degrees Calgary 8 degrees

6:30 am and out of the house and on our way to Whirlwind to golf in my men’s league. Lots of guests are coming out  with the regulars and a few regulars already have left or are leaving right away. Most of these guys have been here since October. I had two guys from Brandon MB today and Victor from Langley BC.  Another great group. Ok I made up mind to hold to my lessons from the pro no matter what, so I didn’t have high expectations.  Am i fixed ? Well I will say I DID NOT slice one shot BUT I hooked to the left and lost four balls. LOL  I guess I can say the pro did his job. Now to find that happy medium. I still ended up with a 89 which when taking 4 stroke penalties and a couple of 3 putts I am ok with.

Funny thing happened on the course today. We were waiting to tee off, talking and age came up. Victor said he is just over 75 years old when all of a sudden three large buzzards start circling above us. Warren says isn’t odd how as soon as the age was stated they appeared. Just waiting !! LOL

Temperature hit 85 degrees today at 4 pm. I had to leave the back deck and seek shelter under the patio. I rarely sweat. Today I leaked from everywhere in the heat. Love it. Noticed Calgary is under a Heavy Snowfall Warning again. They expect to perhaps break a all time record for snow coming up in the next two days. And to think Spring is only a few days away. LOL

Jackie has booked her return flight again arriving on Sunday and she is bringing a guest. Victoria after 1 year and 3 months of diligently searching for a job that fits her skill set starts her new job Monday March 19th. A great company with good benefits.This is excellent news as the unemployment rate in Calgary is still close to 9%. So in trying to find after school care( which are full and difficult to find as Jackson needs picked up at school) , new job stresses at the beginning, and Corey starting a big project Jackson is coming down to Mesa to stay with us for 10 days while school break is on. We should have loads of fun, swimming, going to see snakes below ground, going underground in a mine , movies, as Jackson and I get in cheap , hot dog roasting at a campfire ( USA weiners don’t taste like ours as they are so fatty) riding a train, and even a block party.

I am sure after losing in a SHUT OUT game to the Flames that the Oiler fans rationalization of the loss is ” we are out of playoffs anyways so we didn’t want spoil any chance for the Flames not make it ”  I am sure of yet. I will say this though instead of finishing dead last or second last the Oiler’s have come a long ways and are in 4th last place. I will also go on record right now and state there is ZERO chance of the Oiler’s making next years playoffs also with their current roster that they can’t fix as they spent their whole wad on two players. It is so sad for the loyal fan to be baited for so many years.

12 out of 13 years NOT making the playoffs with no hope in sight.

Washed the Jeep this morning and went for a few groceries. Had to fill up with gas which i believe is only the 4th time since being here.

Cleaned up a bit around the house. It is amazing how messy one person can get. Got everything back to “semi” normal. One more quick clean before Jackie gets here.

Water fountain seems to have sprung a leak so I need to check into that. I think a plug or hose must have came off. Moved my palm tree to the back. It just isn’t doing well. Trimmed the trees in a few spots and sprayed down the back pergola as the quail seem to love it.

I went to the driving range again. The new swing path, back swing depth and neutral club facing needs to become the norm. Again out of a full bucket I  had one slice. Long pulls to the left and good straight shots so the system sure works. The proof will be on the course as fairways appear narrow and knowing pin distance makes you swing harder. I was asked to swing at 75 % to get more control. It works.

I thought I would investigate club distances for the average golfer.

 All of the numbers seem short, but stats don’t lie.

  1. The median driving distance is 219.55 yards, my distance would be a conservative 260 yards
  2. The median 3-wood goes 186.89 yards,  my distance would be about 220 yards
  3. 5 iron is at 160.89 yards  , my distance is 190 yards
  4. 7-iron clocks in at 133.48 yards  my distance would be 160 yards
  5. Pitching wedge at a 73.97 mark, my distance is 125 yards
  6. Find the fairway 46.46 percent of the time, I should start tracking this but believe I would be quite a bit behind this. Next game I am going to track this.

I got home, watched the PGA and got a few things ready for tomorrow. I phoned the Sunshine Angels and booked a booster seat for Jackson and a life jacket. Got lucky getting as with spring break we see a lot of grand kids here.

Thought of the Day 

Be motivated by the fear of being just average.

March 16-18th

The upcoming weather here in Mesa is getting hot.  Three days this week over 30 degrees and the others all high 20’s.

I am becoming quite disenchanted with myself. I was down to a 11 handicap and due to slicing am now back to 14. I played with Bob, Doug, Bob and myself on Viewpoint and took another high score of 89. I covered the whole course. LOL . I have a important game coming up on Monday so I will head to the range again to see if I can get the drives going.

I had to re screw on the fascia board as the wind and heat had buckled them a bit. I discovered a have a crack in my  water fountain which will require some silicone to fix unless I can find that spray as seen on TV.  I installed my new mini blinds in the bedroom. Should have bought these 10 years ago. LOL they look good and work great but it will be my job as the turn wands are too high for Jackie to reach with our 10ft ceiling height. What I thought was going to be a 15 min job took a long time. The blinds are so narrow that to find a spot to for the brackets without hitting the mechanism wasn’t easy. I also prefer the end brackets with close lids versus the under clip system ones which is what I was dealing with. First time using them and they worked great darkening the room at night and in the morning and allowing light in the day time. Took 10 years. LOL

The park cancelled the Patty Days events as the forecast was for a possible shower. We live 1 hour away from mountains which makes weather systems hard to track but our Calgary guys are 10 times more accurate than these guys.  But an impromptu parade of about 30 carts still happened. John had a bull horn and any car that had accidentally entered the parade trying to get to leave the park he heckled. Excellent fun idea.

John Jungers on our block ( ex bar owner) thought if the park event was cancelled he would supply 800 block with hot dogs and cooked up a storm. It turned out he was born on St Paddy’s Day so we all sang him Happy Birthday and thanked him for our great get together.

Fun unplanned event with John being very generous

Washed the sheets, washed a few clothes ( never sure on bleach so didn’t whiten the sheets perfect) and tidied up.

Talked to Alfred and few more things to be repaired on the Dakota. New water pump, hose, belt, pulleys, and the final costing on the head repair at $300 plus another $ 400 bucks worth of parts. I have spent more on parts than what the truck is worth. LOL  Imagine if labour was attached to this. May have one more head to get repaired or a y tube for the exhaust but I think that it is other than a set of tires.  I like that Alfred is so thorough. It will be like brand new. ( I have the truck bed dent repair still to do)

Jackie made a visit to Peter with Alan & MaryAnn just before coming down. Here is a picture of him hamming it up.

Peter having a good day.

I have decided to come home a little earlier this year as Jackie won’t be staying as she is flying back to Calgary on the 29th. I think I will golf my last Men’s league on the 4th and head out on the 5th or 6th. I have to cross the border before the 8th or I will need to top up my insurance. I sure hope the weather smartens up in Calgary so I can start doing a few things.

I picked up a booster seat and a life jacket from the Sunshine Angels for Jackson which is a wonderful program. They lend out the equipment to residents in the park for $5.00. I have to return jacket on the 25th which is a little early as someone has it booked prior to me. I am hoping the lady that booked wants a pink one not a blue one and then I won’t need to return it until the end.

It is nip and tuck for the Flames to make the playoffs.  We have 10 games left and need to gain 4 points. We need to WIN and a couple of others need to lose a few. We need to get in just to rub the wound a bit to Edmonton. LOL  We don’t have a chance to win but get in a few lucky breaks etc and we may make it a few rounds.
Off to the airport !

Thought of the Day 

A little girl was playing in the park when she find a picture under the bush. She liked it and kept it in her wallet for years. Years later her husband asks who is the little boy in the picture is in her wallet.  “My first love”  Her husband smiles and says ” I lost that picture when I was 9 yrs old”

March 19th – 20th

” Mercury Forecast”  Mesa 28 degrees   Calgary 6 degrees

Beautiful day ahead. Busy day cleaning up , washing dishes, clothes and buying a few needed groceries before I pick  Jackson and Jackie up.

By the looks of it they had a very nice flight and great to see them again with everybody excited to be in the heat.

Jackson & Jackie on the plane heading to the heat.

Had a fun visit with Jackson before we all headed into bed. He is excited being here and get about doing things.

Amazing how we both had our heads turned and eyes closed at the same time !

Drove to Payless shoes to get Jackson some sandals. His Aunt and Mom use to wear flip-flops  year round and thought they worked well but for walking long distance they HURT the feet.  They were cutting into the side of his foot. Payless had a super deal on these and they fit right and don’t hurt. After one day of wearing flips he had a cut mark on the side of his feet but when we put on the sandals the scratch was exposed and not rubbing. Worked perfect, don’t fall off, easy to walk in, support and professionally fitted. He is a happy walker.

Jackson and I having smoothie’s for breakfast while studying snakes for our adventure today.

He had a full day the first day. He had a pool visit , walked to Fat Willy’s for burger night, colored and played until Jackie was done work and visited. I think he had a fun day as when I got home from golfing he was content and snuggled in bed waiting for my arrival to say goodnight. He was a very well behaved young boy.

I was lucky enough to be invited to Wickenburg Ranch Golf Club.  This is in my opinion  the nicest course I have ever golfed. Different than any mountain course, much more scenic than TPC Scottsdale, nicer than TPC Sawgrass, Bear & Lion , Grey Wolf, Predator Ridge or any other. Incredible shape. Scenic, quiet and lush plus HARD. Ian arranged with a group of 8 that had 4 Troon cards which offered a 2 for 1. Very generous of them to share.  At about $145 rack rate I need the discount to feel comfortable to golf. The group of 8 had some wonderful golfers in it with handicaps of scratch, 7, 6, 12, 15, 13, 10 and you can tell it was hard as only 2 of us broke 90. That is amazing and shocking.

Best course ever. Par 3 hole #13 elevated tee over lake at  194 yards or 220 yards Par 71  Slope 126 or 134 depending on tee choice.

Number 1 in the Top 25 U.S. Courses Rated by Conditions” – Golf Advisor | 2017

At a discounted rate I would love to golf this course more. Wonderful!

Stopped for supper at an Old Time Bar called Romans which had excellent atmosphere and food. I didn’t get home till about 9 pm but it was a great experience and only losing one ball off the tee with a slice but two on par three’s into water and one Par 5 shot that got away on me on the second shot.

Up this morning and headed out before 9 am as Jackie had meetings early today. We decided to go to Gold Field Mine town. First on our agenda was the snake pit.

Loads of reptiles.

Under ground in the dark in the mine.

We saw Rattle snakes, Vipers, Pythons, Tarantula, Scorpions, Centipedes and killer spiders. He loved it. An excellent receptionist  giving me the senior rate and Jackson in free. “And how old are you ? “I am 6 years old” “I think I heard 5 years old” That is good customer service.  Most of the snakes are docile but one snake was very active. Fun to watch but as humans we are sort of cruel to cage them.

Next was the Gold Mine tour. Our guide was excellent. The tour very informative. Jackson loved the dark and the tour. Fun time . The clerk selling tickets in the booth is a neat old fart but a little crappy. This kid wipes out running and starts yelling and crying just as i was paying. ” Why do some parents have such cry baby kids. Dust him off and get him going”

Then off to the gun shooting range. We had a lot of fun shooting targets and racking up the points. Jackson was pretty good with the guns. Not quite an AR15 but a lot of fun.

Stopped to have lunch at the cafe. Great burgers and hot dogs. Jackson didn’t do well here. I have never seen a kid so scared of normal house/barn flies. Yes dirty they are but they don’t bite, don’t sting and are harmless other than germ carriers. I haven’t a clue where he would get this phobia from. NOT, I know LOL  Too bad as bees, wasps, flies are part of everyday life and to be scared silly will not make anyone’s life easy to enjoy the outdoors.  We had to leave early.

We got home and Pat, Jackson and I go to a Author’s Forum where retired people that write get together and discuss their books and journey to get there. Three focus authors today all with interesting stories. We were in support of two ladies Pat knew well. Jackson during the introductions and speeches was awesome. Pat ended up buying him a children’s story book about a lone surviving duck and the journey with obstacles, love and drama all thrown in. It is beautifully illustrated by a local boy with autism.   Jackson loves his book.

A quick grocery shop and a great pasta supper and then we headed to the pool. We were the only one’s in it for a for a long time.  Jackson’s energy is amazing. He doesn’t get tired. We ended up staying at the pool until about 9 pm. He is definitely not scared of water. He needs to be watched as he can swim but pushes his skill level a little over what he can handle.

He had a busy day.  Jackie had a busy day. I had a busy day.

Thought of the Day 

My new exercise is chasing Jackson  !!

March 21st

“Mercury Forecast”  Mesa 28 degrees ( next few coming up over 30)  Calgary 5 degrees

It reached 32 degrees mid afternoon. Morning started early as I was up at 6:15 am to be ready for 6:45 pick up to head to Whirlwind. Sandy arrived at 6:30 . I was just ready and lucky as I usually only need 15 min to get ready but decided to get ready just a little earlier than normal. Turns out I wasn’t informed of a change. LOL   All good and set to go.
My partners today were from Saskatoon, Fort Mcleod, and Loreburn Sask. Jim today had a hole in one. His first one. Wonderful shot. And our team won money so all is good. I struggled driving again and had at least 7 edge or rim outs on putting so score would have been a lot lower. Another  wonderful day. Any day golfing bad or good is better than working. LOL

Arrived home and played for a while with Jackson and then to a block party. Jackson was very good the complete time. A  fun gathering and the last group get together for this season.

We then headed to the pool for a long swim. Diving for Sharks and swimming for a few hours. Jackson had a blast. He is a good swimmer but doesn’t use his arms enough. I have to watch him all of the time as he is too confident with out the skill needed for his daredevil tactics.

He was exceptional all day long and having a lot of fun !

Funny as friends are all starting to turn 65. Gary Leedahl today a friend of 41 years hits this HUGE age. Not one grey hair on his head. An amazing amount of different fun times over the years. I am so lucky to be considerably younger.LOL

The weather in Calgary has been horrible,Victoria’s place. The weather in Wales is horrible, Audreys place. The  weather in Lethbridge is horrible, Jessica’s place. The weather in Edmonton has been horrible, Weather in Mesa is wonderful.

Audrey in Wales

Thought of the Day  

At 65 you can go to Antique shops and visit your old furniture.

March 22nd 

“Mercury Forecast ”  Mesa 32 degrees   Calgary -3 with snow

I am planning to head home  on the 5th of April but looking at the 14 day forecast I am not sure. I want to be able to start doing some things so need fairly good weather. I would take 10 degrees with sun and no wind. If Calgary weather is still crappy or the mountain passes with storms I may just add an extension to my insurance and stay here. Time will tell.

Where are his clubs ?

Hot one hitting 32 today. Lucky for us the clouds helped keep the heat down. Jackson and I spent 5 hours in the pool. Yes 5 hours never getting out of the water. A little like a prune.

There was this one kid that kept stealing our toys. Guns would disappear, sharks would disappear, balls gone and we would see this kid playing with them. I had to “steal” them back two times without the kid knowing as he was a screamer.

Funny thing happened at the pool.  The parents of this kid were a younger good-looking couple. Bratty kids though. The mother goes into the pool while the Dad guzzled three beer that i saw but appeared to have more. The lady starts talking up this young good-looking character and the two of them were having a fun conversation. The jealous husband staggers to poolside and sits down and interjects into the conversation quite forcefully. Funny to watch and very obvious.

Jackson and I headed to the Sonic Drive In for that American Drive in experience.  Food delivered to our parked car. Great burger and dog but the best MILKSHAKES ever. Full bits of banana and strawberries kept plugging the straw they were so thick. Awesome.

Came home sat around, played a little  then read the Baby Duck book a little further for Jackson as a bedtime story. Great book with amazing illustrations.

Full tiring , fun day.

Thought of the Day 

I miss the days when you could throw a person into a pool without worrying about a cell phone. Isn’t it funny how 90% of your time at a pool involves ” Watch this” and adjusting goggles.

March 23rd -24th

“Mercury Forecast”  Mesa 30 degrees  Calgary -2 with snow ( how unusual)

I went and got a few groceries.  I use the blood pressure monitor each time at Safeway. I am very happy with my numbers. Averaging about 110 /79 . The doctor would like the diastolic lower as the 80 is the high number. I had a change in medicine to lower the strength and the numbers are still great. That is awesome as the previous strength made me dizzy and the new ones don’t.

Jackson did a bunch of crafts including making a thank you card for Pat for the book she bought him. Bob saw the card and his creative juices started to flow. How long do you think Bob worked on this card ?

Bob’s card

After lunch we headed to the pool again. This time only staying three hours. LOL  He loves his water. He is a very good swimmer. Loads of kids again in the pool as it is spring break and lots of visiting of grandparents.  Swimming at night is much better as we are the only ones there.

50 kids versus just us. Much easier to throw things including Jackso

 

At home I made a great BBQ pork chop /potato/ carrot supper. I love BBQ meals and in most cases is better for you.

Jackie along with Jackson and I went for a long walk down the streets and then to the golf course. We had a quick mini golf game with our pool ball . It was just the right size to play with.

I received an email from my friend Kevin in Ft St John of his fishing trip in the Peace River a few days ago. The river is open here , 5 degrees above and with his jet boat no problem. This is one amazing fish. I think it is the largest trout I have seen.

That is one nice trout.

Movie night was Karate Kid 2 which was a good movie to watch. Someone’s eyes were getting pretty heavy near the end of it.

Jackson was up fairly early this morning. Sure not like his Mom when she was little. On the weekends she could sleep in until 9 quite easily. I always prefer a later start morning over an early one. One thing I notice about a lot of older people they love to say they get up at 5 or 6 am. Sure but they forget to tell you they went to bed at 9 pm so are actually getting 9 hours of sleep. I prefer bed at 11 pm and up at 8 am.

Jackson worked on his journal and played a bit this morning. We video chatted with his parents and seeing the cold snow through the window doesn’t make coming home a easy thing to do.

We took off to go mini golfing and arcades today. We had a lot of fun. Jackson did very well except he kept mixing hockey up with golf and his ball was a mile over  from where it was supposed to be. Great mini golf track here with some great obstacles. Jackson had three hole in ones, I had I two hole in ones and Jackie. Well.

Jackson Hole In One

Very warm and very busy but a lot of fun. Takes at least an hour to complete. Then we bought unlimited arcade for three for one hour.

Vertically challenged at the boxing bag

Jackie’s mean right

I have to give Jackson credit as on certain games he is awesome. He beat everyone in the tank shooting game including Grammy and I. He beat everyone in snow skiing including us and a young 12 year old girl. What he didn’t win at is race cars. Yes I beat a 6 year old ( including 4 other drivers on our track) everytime !!!!!  Fun fun time.

Off to Target to get Jackson a new shirt and shorts as he keeps missing his mouth and stained mustard on them.

Picked up a store cooked pizza and added salami , pepperoni and bacon to it. I will also add fresh tomatoes to my pieces.  Jackson is the one that wanted the extras.

Supper than to the pool.

We only spent  2 hours today at the pool. Jackson has the backwards flips down to a science now. Missing three sharks though so will need to do an investigation.  Nice going in the evening as you don’t have to worry about sun burn and a way way less people at the pool.

Another great day in paradise.

Thought of the Day 

Big fight at local seafood restaurant.  Three large fish were battered.

 

March 25th and a March 26th Special Birthday Day for Victoria & Jessica

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 35 years old.  May as well call it 40. 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 wonderful families. 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

My girls

 

Happy Birthday Jessica & Victoria.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

“Pennywise TIP”

Retirement reasons not to be worried about working or money when retired

Retirees have lots of opportunities to make extra money by taking on part-time jobs, starting a business and joining the gig economy. But staying in the workforce may not always be your best bet. Many retiree jobs sound better than they really are. For example, the typical Uber driver makes a median profit of $8.55 to $10 per hour, according to calculations by the MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy. But beyond that, there are a number of reasons not to work after you retire:

You may already have enough money. While most baby boomers aren’t millionaires, they typically have saved at least something for retirement. According to an Insured Retirement Institute survey of 800 retirees ages 54 to 70, 58 percent of baby boomers say their retirement income will cover basic expenses and also afford some budget for travel and leisure. Furthermore, while our retirement portfolios were devastated during the recession, they are now more flush than ever since the stock market has rebounded to new highs.
You will spend less than you think. Unless you’re planning a grand trip to Europe, your living expenses will likely go down after you retire. If your income significantly declines, you will have a lower tax bill. And once you stop working, you won’t have to pay into any benefits. Your housing costs will decline once your mortgage is paid off, and you might qualify for senior discounts on your real estate taxes. You could also downsize from your family home to a less expensive place. Presumably you will not be supporting your kids. And don’t forget: You no longer have to save for retirement.

You don’t need the stress. Think about what you are working for. Perhaps your income is used to pay for a big house, to help your adult children or to pay for medical bills. But maybe if you’re not rushing off to work every day, you might have more time to take care of yourself and prevent health problems or decide you no longer need to live in an expensive neighborhood close to your job. Also, for people with physical jobs, continuing to work could be dangerous as you age. There’s no point in working just to pile up more money. At this stage of life, money, status and other vanities become relatively meaningless.
Continuing to work could strain your relationships. It can put a strain on your marriage if one partner continues to work while the other wants to retire. Think about how you will feel when your retired spouse or friends go on a fishing trip or a golf outing, leaving you behind to sweat it out for a paycheck.

Try something new. Many people spent a lifetime at a job that provided an income to support a family, but did not provide much personal fulfillment. Retirement is an opportunity to create a life that reflects who you really are. So don’t blow this chance. Play in a rock band, learn how to paint, write your family history or volunteer for your favorite cause. You are likely to find new ways to apply your skills and experience that are more rewarding than your old job.
It’s OK to do nothing. New retirees sometimes feel compelled to stay productive and chalk up more achievements. But if you’ve been working for 40 years, now is the time to kick back and enjoy life. Retirement is a chance, at last, to sit on the deck and read the newspaper. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
All this is not to say that you should give up your job without looking carefully at the numbers. Remember, you can still build up your CCP benefit until age 70, and you’re not eligible for Bluecross  until you’re 65. You do not want to go into retirement without medical insurance. But still, for many people, the costs of working may outweigh the benefits.

Jackson was very good while we had a block get together. He kept coming over for meatballs, and snacks while playing with  his ipad on our  porch while we watched across the street. It was a nice get together, great food and fun !

Had a early golf game today with Ron, Kirk and Doug. We all played well with the normal dumb mistakes. The scores were 83,84,84 and 85 so a close group. We had a lot of fun. The guys came back to my place to help drink up some of my booze before we leave. Had a fun afternoon

Right after this Jackson and  I headed for another 2 hour swim. 14 kids in the pool on arrival and only us two when we left. Jackson has the forward flip, backward flip and hand stands now down pat. He is a good swimmer and we crossed the entire pool length a couple of times during our time there. A lot of kids !!

I hate my ears hurt when I get water in them. I have had this happen for years now after an ear infection in Penticton. They have never been the same.

Jackie had our supper ready for us. We decided not to go to Fat Willy’s tonight and head to Red Robins tomorrow night.

Thought of the Day 

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

March 27th-29th

Mercury Forecast” Mesa 30 degrees  Calgary 3 above

First thing this morning Jackson & I head out for groceries and the best snorkel, goggles and fins we can find. The set we picked is awesome.

Getting them on and our first try was amazing. With the fins Jackson can swim the entire length and even half a length under water. Spending three hours to 6 hours a day in the pool can make you better and he has really improved. 5 hours today. He does love his water and swimming. We were a little lucky today as the kids were less than half of yesterday so we had lots of room and Jackie even got to join us after work.

Taming a whale !
Whale of a time !

On line ordered from Red Robins and picked up some wonderful burgers. Stopped at Safeway at picked up a few movies to watch late at night. Tonight’s was Jumanji which we saw in the theatre but Jackson wanted it again. A great movie !!

Tomorrow is golf at Whirlwind and getting Jackie’s help to move a few things before she leaves.

“Retirement Tip”

Retiring early can actually lengthen your life, economists from the University of Amsterdam affirmed in a 2017 study published in the journal of Health and Economics.
Male Dutch civil servants over the age of 54 who retired early were an astounding 42 per cent less likely to die over the subsequent five years compared to those who continued working. (There were too few women in the sample who met the early retirement eligibility requirements — including having contributed to the public sector pension fund for ten consecutive years — to be included.)
The researchers explain the potentially life-extending effects of retiring in two ways.
For one, retiring frees you up, allowing you more time to invest in your health. That benefits you whether you’re sleeping more, exercising or simply going to the doctor as soon as an issue appears.
Second, work can be stressful, while retirement can alleviate that stress, and stress can create hypertension, a risk factor for various potentially fatal conditions. Retirees in this study were significantly less likely to die from stroke or from cardiovascular diseases.
The finding echoes a few others, the New York Times reports: “An analysis in the United States found about seven years of retirement can be as good for health as reducing the chance of getting a serious disease (like diabetes or heart conditions) by 20 per cent. Positive health effects of retirement have also been found by studies using data from Israel, England, Germany and other European countries.”

 Social isolation is linked to cognitive decline and even death and retirement makes this a non issue with a good circle of friends. Many retirees choose to volunteer, for example, which can benefit you immensely, especially if you’re passionate about the cause.
 
And, of course, since retiring means giving up a steady income, not everyone can quit work, not even when they’re technically at retirement age. In that case, some experts recommend “downshifting” and going part-time so you can still cover living expenses. If you’re considering the possibility of escaping the nine-to-five while you’re on the younger side, it helps to plan accordingly and start putting the right amount of money aside early on.
The bottom line: Leaving your job can come at a cost but it does give you more free time. And as long as you are spending that time wisely, you might be able to prolong your life.

I had another great experience at Whirlwind. Golfed with a gentleman from Edson AB who knows my cousins well. LOL  My other partners were from Ft McLeod and Bob my neighbor. Our whole team today didn’t come close to playing up to par. No pun intended ! I managed the slice ok but still lost two balls off the tee but had 5 three putts. Everyone was tricked by the greens with everyone having three putts. I had a 41 on the one nine which I like but the second nine got me. I have one game left to beat that course. So far this year my low is 82 on this course but have averaged 88. Love the game .

Had Bob & Jackie help me move the back patio set under the patio and put all of the decorations, lights, etc away for the season. Funny how much stuff a person accumulates over time but it is this stuff that makes it feel like home.

Last night at the pool and we spent another 3 hours swimming and playing. Jackson is getting stronger each time. A little too confident for his own good but is on track to be a very good swimmer on the top and below water.I know for sure if he was asked of all the things he did on vacation he would say swimming in the pool was his favorite. My skin with all of the chlorine and sun including the desert dryness is looking like elephant skin. I have started to put moisturizer on now each morning.

We had a nice visit with Pat & Bob on the deck this morning with Jackie and Jackson leaving. A nice send away hugs from Ian & Gail and then I drove them to the airport. They both received TSA approvals so they will have a much easier time at the airport.

Left alone again.

I found an ad on Craigslist last night that intrigued me. I need new tires for the Jeep. They have 80,000 kms on them which is the longevity number Goodyear uses. They had about 3/32 left so I could have used them for 4 or 6 months more but pulling behind the motor home I don’t want a blow out. Today I made most likely my best deal ever.  The cheapest place to buy the Jeep tires to match my current ones in Canada was Fountain Tire at $248.99 a tire. 250 x 4= $1000.  They have a 4 for 3 deal on in April so I would have paid $750. I bought the 4 IDENTICAL brand new tires today for $200. Amazing.! I would buy a set of tires for the Dakota and bring them back but I am over limit and no room. I will check Kijiji and auto wreckers in Calgary as I will look at used tires for it.

Ok I will explain my deal. There is a Jeep Customizer here that lifts and install bigger tires etc. He sells the tires off these with the Jeeps only having 500 kms on them or less right from the car lot. I got the super deal as he says it is easy to sell 4 tires but he always has the spare tire left. As people buy his tires they buy 4 with the same production date as a set. I have 4 tires with 0 kms on them as they were the spares from 4 different Jeeps and different manufacturing dates.  He had some incredible looking Jeeps in the shop. We hit it off very well. When I said I will give you $50 for each tire I thought he would come back with a much higher number, but he reached out and shook my hand and we loaded them up. Love the deals. People feel sorry for old guys.

I phoned my favorite repair shop ( remember a/c charge $40) and again they were amazing. Greenlight Garage. He said if I could be there in 15 minutes he could install, switch and balance the tires. To switch , balance, change the TPM’s and a synthetic oil change $120. They worked on the truck for 2 1/2 hours. That price is insane as in Canada the shop rate alone is $120 a hour. Amazing.

Thought of the Day 

Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the “gotta have it” scale

March 30th-31st

“Mercury Forecast”  Mesa 30 degrees   Calgary -10 degrees with snow 

It hit 31 degrees and everyday for the next week is between 90 and 92 degrees. This is perfect golfing weather. You have to remember it is a dry heat.  Funny thing is we rarely we ever hit 90 degrees in mid summer in Calgary. Here it is considered normal.

Golfed with Ian ( shot a 69) Bob and Bob Spencer. I shot a 41 the front nine but again a combination of errors killed me. It ended up I had to pay up a buck. I will concentrate and make this back tomorrow. I need a 18 round of a little luck.

I emptied my fridge of beer today with the guys after golf. After 5 hours of after golf drinking I had to leave. The knowledge of this group on junior hockey is unbelievable. Teams, trades, players etc they are knowledgeable in all of it. I do have fun bugging them about being from Sask, having no pro team, some of them cheering for the Oilers and their beloved Edmonton Roughriders.  Fun group and they do Saskatchewan proud with their drinking abilities. LOL

Finally figured out the Sunshine Angels contact. Their are three Linda’s with the 4 and 2 combo unit numbers. I talked to a dyslexic Linda the first time. So I tried 2224, 2424, 4224, 4422 and finally got the right one and was able to drop off the car seat.

I look at the weather in Calgary for the next week and shake my head. Where is spring ? In fact Calgary is going to have the coldest Easter since 1940.

Another wonderful day in paradise hitting 90 degrees with 4 of the next five days all being 33 degrees C or greater. It just feels nice having the sun out and the warmth on the muscles. Today I played with Ian, Bob Spencer and Bob again as a rematch from our last game. Ian scored a 67 today. He is an amazing golfer. I struggled off the tee with slicing but the score ended up being a 80 with two triple boogies. We played a game called wolf and snake which was fun. I ended up owing 2 bucks. Bob Spencer was the big winner.

After golf a few drinks then I packed my suitcase, moved everything to the door, emptied the fridge and tarped the outdoor kitchen. Tomorrow I will cut the trees and a bit of clean up and should be ready. I don’t want to forget anything so will double check everything.

Thought of the Day

Isn’t funny how everyone LOVES their job when on vacation. Monday workday morning completely different. 

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