January 2019

January 1st 

First thing Happy New Year and here is hoping EVERYONE has a fantastic year ahead.

Happy New Year

2018 Year in Review 

What another wonderful year that has past. My only complaint is time is going away too fast. A way too fast.  It has been almost 5 years of retirement ( March 2019) and not one bored day. It was a busy year in 2018. A little different year as we didn’t travel, fish, camp or golf as much as the past few retirement years. I will fix that.Mostly due to our new RV lot we bought. 2018 was the 4th year of retirement and finances are doing ok. The markets are screwing up our plans a little so we are being a little cautious for a while with the any big spend ideas. 2020 will be our big spend year as Jackie is turning 60 and it is our 40th wedding anniversary so planning on big cruise. So here some of the high-lites of what we did in 2018.

This is  Fred standing beside his FORD. Never thought I would see the day but FORD BLUE now runs through Fred’ veins. Notice the face cover so know one will recognize him.

Wonderful block parties this year on our street. This was OUR turn helping to organize and being the first breakfast block party everyone LOVED it. Champagne and orange juice was a big hit.

Whale of a time as Jackson flew back from Calgary on one of Jackie’s Dad’s visits with Jackson on spring break . We had a blast !

Peter having a good day. Jackie flew back home every two weeks to visit and care for Peter as his health was failing.

Best course ever. I got to golf Wickenburg Ranch which for no other word was AMAZING !!

The start of the decking etc on our new lot.

Happy 86th Mom

I was having fun. August doesn’t appear to be. LOL  This is on my stop coming home from Arizona

MAY LONG WEEKEND  Having a break. I think Jackie may have had one too many LOL Trochu Golf Club this year. This weekend is always fun with the potluck themed supper, golf and gathering.

Unfortunately we lost Peter in May of 2018. He was a very clever guy with strong opinions. He enjoyed over 25 years of retirement with many trips and adventures. The luxury of retiring early.

First of three sheds Fred & I built.

Amazing what a few things can do for looks. $3000 bucks later of repairs with no labour cost it is running like a charm even though it was a money pit it came in very handy with our lot and reno’s at Fred’s.

The house and garage look wonderful.  This was a week long project and 45 gallons of paint later on Alfred’s house

Fun fishing trip with Rob & Larry

Another large deck project for Fred on his lot. New tools bought in Mesa are working out perfect.

Bed time. Not. Let’s jump. Bed at 9 or 10 but not getting up to 9 is a good thing. A week long adventure with August and Jackson out at our lot.

Audrey turned 80

Second shed almost done

Start of my Saloon shed. Last time using JW product for myself. To hell in a handbasket is what happened to them.

Loads of presents for August

Decks, privacy and Gazebo done

Finally we can see the beautiful mountains. Camping trip to Invermere with the girls

Hot night on the course. 38 degrees golfing with the family. Hottest day ever in history but we had fun.

Last day of official work!! Another smart girl taking an early retirement. Way to go Terry !

Wendy being semi-retired. She got close to FREEDOM but is still working on contract when she changed her mind. Oh to be so close ! Oh to miss all of the fun opportunities of not working.

Everyone loves ice cream and cake for Jackson’s birthday

Wonderful puppy sleeping away.Only three months old.  Hazel joins the family

Beautiful Olive joining the Hicken family.

Getting close to being done.  Link below is our site on the resorts web page that they use to promote our resort. I love the format they used and it looks pretty good. Wait until 2019 when I have it done.



Volitini Restaurant with Jackie for her 29th birthday

Some great costumes for our Oasis early Halloween party. Jackson had a blast.

Celebrating a HUGE anniversary with Fred & Terry at Pineridge Resort.

Thanksgiving 2018 Just waiting for the meal. Nothing better than a turkey meal.

Happy Number One to Atticus our third grandson son.

Alan turning 55 this year and needing a bible of sorts to conduct his life by. He drinks a way way too much and is very good at hiding it . He most likely closet eats also as he always shares his meal with MaryAnn when they go out. At this age it is important to follow certain rules.

I can honestly say over all a wonderful year except for losing Peter. Lot’s of hard work but lot’s of fun doing it. Got hit with a few “ONE OF’s “this year with $3k on Dakota, $3.5 K on Buick a/c, $3k on Wrangler repairs and $15K on RV lot improvements is an expensive year.

Looking forward to 2019 being a lower cost year. LOL

Here are our plans so far;

  1. Complete outdoor kitchen ( barnwood, butcherblock counter, microwave,drawers and doors, TV, )
  2. Complete interior of Saloon ( queen size bed, toilet, sink, storage, ship-lap, barn door and cathedral ceiling)
  3. Complete exterior landscaping ( flowers, pots, cactus, irrigation system,lighting)
  4. May Long Golf trip
  5. July 1st Oasis Party
  6. September Long weekend Oasis Halloween & Carnival Party
  7. Unknown fishing trips
  8. Unknown golf trips
  9. Build additional deck and gazebo at Fred’s.
  10. Book cruise for 2020 ( Jackie’s 60th and our 40th)

Our plan for New Years eve was low key and it turned out that way.  Some great hockey games to watch.

First Johnny Hockey was amazing, Another 5 point night. Top five in scoring in the league. The Flames soundly beat a team that is their equal. The hockey fans at the arena were loud.

The Juniors had a bit of bad luck. It was a great game to watch and fun. Boy do those kids move fast. Too bad about the score but they are still in the hunt of things and hopefully will pull another overall win out of the hat.

Watched the Oilers also. The crowd is quiet. They are becoming disengaged with the team. David McHappy meal is a good player but he needs help and the whole organization needs to be redone. The fans for another will say. Better year next year and it won’t happen.

Watched the count down in the pouring rain. Makes for a cold soggy night. Neat to see Canmore having the camera’s there. If we would have known we could have made it out there to watch.

Yahoo I stayed up a way past midnight!!!  12:05 am

Welcome 2019 !

I worked on the budget today for a while. Markets are hurting big time with a huge decrease in our dollars. It looks like the US dollar exchange for 2019 is not going get any better also. If only a strong market, economy and stop all of the nonsense in the world.

Putting away decorations is never as fun as putting them out. Down with the tree. Got everything put away. Makes the house seem bare but also nice and neat.

Took the Jeep into to get the PIAA lights working. The mechanic worked on them for about 15 min or so and said he needs time to figure out what is going wrong. So I have an appointment April 15th 2019. Power to the relay but no power past to the switch. $600 of lights looking good but not working isn’t the perfect scenario. Oh well April it is. A great service station that will stand behind their work.

Jackson came over for a visit with us for the afternoon and will join us again tomorrow as he is on Christmas break and his day home care giver is away. Not feeling well but well enough to have some fun.

Had a wonderful night at Dixon’s Public House with Jeff & Wendy. We planned to meet at 3:30 to watch the Junior’s Canadian team. We arrived early but discovered we were an hour early. Nice to have the visiting time.They played a good game. Made a way to many mistakes and didn’t take the opportunities that were given. FIRST time EVER in history that Canada has failed to medal on home soil. Not good as the expectation is to win every year. I didn’t like the attitude of our Captain and the goalie I thought was only ok even though they gave him player if the game.  Politics i am sure. Excuses are what they are. We lost. We should not have. Wrecked the tournament for me and watching the rest isn’t a big deal anymore.

A little bit later we watched the Flames win another great game. They are playing so well lately and it is so fun to watch. Johnnie another 4 point night. 2 points in two games is great.

Great food, fun company with Jeff& Wendy along with Taylor & Isiah made for a fun night. We have to love cold beer and wings . Even the mud pie was amazing. Dixon’s is well-known for their quality of food.

Thought of the Day

Isn’t it funny how the best things in life will either make you fat, pregnant or drunk .Why?

January 2nd to 4th

” Mercury Forecast  Mesa 17 degrees, Calgary 8 degrees Edmonton -2 degrees ”

Played hide & seek with Jackson, went to the gym, and the three of us played Crazy Eights which he is getting the  hang of very well. Jackson also spent a bit of time in the hot tub.

The air kept getting stuck in his pants .

We had a lot of fun. Jackie made awesome popcorn and we watched the movie “ELF” a movie where Will should have won an Oscar for. It is a great movie.

I am one of those people who NEVER get sick. Even to get a cold is a rarer thing for me. I have dealt with a sore throat and aches for the last few days. Normally a day of rest and I bounce back. Not this time as this is a four-day trip now. Woke up this morning and very little voice other than a rasp or croak.

” Memories”

In Grade One at the Spruce Grove Elementary,I went to school a little sick. In those young days of my life I was sick with runny nose, eyes cough, croup, pneumonia, measles, chicken pox etc hitting constantly.  A lot to do with allergies. Allergic to everything then today NOTHING. MInd over matter. 

On this day at school the teacher asks a question of the class. I raise my hand immediately to answer and stand up to say it to the class. Nothing came out of mouth. No sound. No voice. GONE. The class killed themselves laughing and I ran out of the room all the way home. ( one block from the school) crying my eyes out.  I remember the question. What is a  female deer called ? I tried hard to say Doe. It may have been a baby deer called a fawn LOL 

” Think not of ill and disease and thou defeat the foe within. You can over come all adversity “

I used to print off this saying and post it in the lunch room in the branches where I was the manager. I hated sick days off. I cannot say exactly the qty but I missed virtually no sick days. Jackie & I were very lucky as our kids were exceptionally healthy which made us not missing work easy. I like the doctor note concept for even one day off. You have the do-gooders that say that person will just infect the rest of the staff if they show up. Isolate and protect and that won’t happen and you don’t lose good work days to sick days. If a person has a legit reason I have no problem being very generous in the days off to recover. Legit is the key not just a cold.I had a wonderful employee named Rowan that used to get debilitating migraines. He used to go into the office next door to mine and turn the lights off to wait for it to pass. Never went home sick and always showed up the next day and worked hard. He could take as long as he needed as the commitment was there from him to get his job done.


I phoned a doctor once ( employee had a doctor’s note) to talk to him about the condition of one my employees and his return to work. Privacy rules then weren’t an issue. I wanted to put him on light work load to save the WCB claim. The discussion ended with my comment. ” If you want the WCB to investigate you for insurance fraud give my employee another two weeks off and let see how it turns out” The employee showed up next day and true to my word I put him on light work for while. Our system is fraught with fraud, crooked people and systems that don’t work for small business. If you don’t like your job enough to show commitment quit. Unfortunately in this case it was a new Canadian and doctor working together to milk the system.  

I am hoping after today I am 100% healthy again. I will take 75% LOL.

Thought of the Day 

If a doctor treats your flu you get better in about 7 days.  Treat your flu yourself and you get better in about a week. 


January 5th 

“Mercury Forecast-  Mesa 19 degrees  Calgary  4degrees       Edmonton  -4 degrees

Woke up this morning and still not in great shape. Still can’t talk well. Soreness in the  throat is just about gone. Lethargic , no energy, body aches, nose is clearer and head aches and only a slight cough so slowly getting there. I decided to stay at home today to rest as the plane leaves tomorrow. Jackie headed out to watch Jackson’s hockey game and then to visit with Alan & Mary Ann as we didn’t get together for Christmas.

I wanted to see Jackson’s game but it is better this way.

It has been 9 years all ready since my Dad passed away. Time goes by away to fast.

I look back at pictures and I guess there was a similarity. LOL


I have said it before but I had the best Dad you could ever ask for. Never an angry moment, willing to help anyone anytime even if to his detriment, jack of all trades, incredibly smart, and never swore. Excelled as an electrician, mechanic, machinist, carpenter and plumber. A musician, jokester and loved working on cars.  Nine years is a long time but it still seems like I could phone him to get advise today.


My Dad Jesse Willard 2010


Leaving on a jet plane !!! Out of this snow and cold !!

January 6 -7th

“Mercury Forecast  Mesa 18 degrees  Calgary -7 degrees with snow  Edmonton -14 degrees “

The above forecast says it all. Here is a picture from yesterday with Fred in his front yard. Now Fred enjoys cutting grass and pushing snow. Always had a corner lot for extra work but I think now he his rethinking his position. He does look like he his happy though in this pic. Most likely as he knows he only has a few days left before heading south again.

Smiling in the snow. That is a lot of snow. Notice he even shovelled a sidewalk for the walkers.

Victoria stopped by and picked us up for the trip to the airport which was very nice. A quick visit with Audrey as she stopped by and a quick visit with Corey, Jackson , Atticus, August and Jessica as they stayed the night after visiting with Alan & MaryAnn. I didn’t want to get anyone sick so tried to stay away from them as much as possible.

Easy check-in at the airport. Fast, efficient and the process they now have is excellent. If people would just think and follow the protocol. You have to grab your bin and move to a place to put on your belt etc out-of-the-way of faster people. Over all very fast though and a long line up to begin with. I smiled as I was “special” and selected for swabbing. It is a fast quick check and on your way.

Small world again. At the airport I run into Gord Scott. Gord was one of the few employees left at Henderson’s Calgary when I took over the branch. He was pushed over into the corner and was the only male in the office other than the previous manager. I used to kid him that he was like their “token” male. The ladies in the office were very dominating and strong-willed ladies. They were dismissed when I took over. Gord was free. LOL   He was only a recent hire and was in training on the sales desk. In order to build his confidence soon after I gave him the responsibility of purchasing all the warehouse needs, like wrap, tape, propane, maintenance of the trucks, forklifts and company cars. He did an awesome job and saved us a lot of money.


A few weeks after getting to Calgary I wanted a team building event to get know certain people a little better. The event that one of the guys chose was a trip to the bar with a special headliner and photo op with the ” Lady with the Worlds Largest Breasts” 44DDD I took a couple of sales guys including Gord and we headed out. It was an experience that I will never forget. Yes the lady was one of a kind. After a few hours of drinking Gord gets into this discussion with this red neck. The discussion ends up getting pretty heated. Escalated to the point Gord and this guy are going outside. Now for those that don’t know Gord, he is a shy, timid, quiet guy until after a few drinks. He is also a very stocky big guy. Here we are Gord, Ed, Tom and I in the parking lot with this abnormal acting redneck. Tom removes his dentures and hands them to me says ” Look after these” The redneck runs to his tow truck and starts driving right at us. Fast and scary. He gets out and grabs a tow hook on a chain and comes after Tom. Seeing the four of us he changes his mind and jumps into his truck and threatens to run us over and leaves. One of those nights you just don’t forget. Great team building exercise. LOL But I did learn a lot about my patch quilt of guys thrown together. Next month we set the all time EVER sales record for the branch.

I promoted Gord to an outside territory manager a few years later which he was very successful with. He had an opportunity with another company to make a lot more money and decided to leave us after a couple of years. He retired from Gentek which was the company he left for.

Gord has a place in Apache Wells which is very near us. He sold his house in Calgary, moved to his cabin at Pine Lake and retired a few years ago. He unfortunately lost his wife a few years ago ( nice lady and very smart, I enjoyed talking to her at the get togethers) but he now is engaged again and looking forward to being married again. He is looking good and still has that super man hair-do. And not a grey hair.

On the airplane it was torture. I hate sick people on a plane and even think some should not be allowed on the plane if they look or act ill. So to not cough for 3 hours was torture. Handfuls of cough drops and sips of water and making faces to hold back coughing was hard .I did ok. I still wasn’t 100 percent cough free. Luckily my coughing is not a hack cough or phlegm cough.

Making things worse we get off the plane and into our Super Shuttle bus and we are with a young lady and her 1 year old baby. Great. Struggle again for a hour. Another passenger coughed and I smiled at Jackie.

Got home picked up some groceries and watched the Golden Globes. Lady Gaga should have won but it didn’t happen. The foreign press always is a little off on their selection. Lots of award shows yet coming up for her. Good show but the winners always turn political during their speeches which I hate.

To bed early with all of my medicines. I hate hurting my liver due to medicine instead of beer . LOL

Woke up and still not right. It is beginning to annoy me now. Jackie has been good to me through all of this but is getting a little antsy waiting for my recovery.  I went for a walk in the sun and it felt good. We went for a walk a little later again in the bright sun and am feeling a little better. Head is clearing up a bit.

I am sitting in the sun on the back deck while writing this and it is lovely. We had a feral cat living on our back deck . Jackie scared it away and cleaned up it’s hair ball. I will need to come up with a plan to get rid of this guy.

Relaxed, took more drugs and watched TV until my 9pm bedtime. I have to get better quick so rest is part of that.

Thought of the Day 

Dear Jackie, I’m surprised to hear you say that I am coughing very badly, because I have been practising all night.

January 8th

” Mercury Forecast   Mesa 20 degrees  Calgary   -6 degrees Edmonton -18 degrees ”

Now that is cold for a day time high in Edmonton. Although it is January. Bright and sunny out this morning here.

Woke up after the best sleep in a few days. Feeling a little better today and very little coughing last night or this morning. Head still feels dull but could be from all of the medicine.

Jackie cooked an awesome meal last night for supper. Pork, potatoes and peas. The 3 P’s which you can never go wrong with. To bed early again for me which is ok until I get better.

Tim dropped by yesterday for a bit for a little talk. We will get together in a few days again when feeling better. My plans today are more rest and a short trip to the driving range to shoot a bucket in prep for tomorrow’s league play.

Someone awhile back asked me if I enjoyed being retired. I thought what an odd question. I guess everything in perspective. One thing that I believe I do that a lot of others don’t is breathe positive. I believe I am wealthy. Not the wealthy that comes from exotic vacations, fancy cars or large homes but the wealthy feeling of knowing how great life is. No stresses of a work life, no issues of trying to keep up with the Joneses, no desire or need for the next big thing, enough money to life a frugal fulfilling life, wonderful family, great friends, and lots of golf. I would love to be wealthy in the financial sense but I am satisfied with where we are.  The trick is to be happy with what you have, who you are and enjoy it. I see two fishermen on the lake, one with a million in the bank and a huge fancy boat and one with 100K in the bank in a 10ft alum jon boat. They are both doing and enjoying the same thing without any difference. It isn’t about how much you have but how you spent it and enjoy it. I know a lot of people that have left the work force early and are loving it. I know a lot of people that remained working and hate it.

That neighbor of mine. Yesterday again another HOLE IN ONE. You all know how rare these are, well Bob Ferris from the Saskatoon Golf & Country Club now has three of them. Another yesterday on the 14th hole of the Viewpoint Club. This is a nice 150 yard on average Par 3 hole that has a large bunker right in front and a fairly sloped green. Way to go Bob. !!

Plus the overall game was amazing. Shooting your age is a rare task. I would love to have one of those games. He seems to have a few of these games. LOL and nice printing.

Bob’s score card

Thought of the Day 

I’ll always remember the day I broke 90. I had a few beers in the clubhouse and was so excited I forgot to play the back nine.

January 9th

“Mercury Forecast   Mesa 23 degrees  Calgary -2 degrees Edmonton -10 degrees 

Slowly getting better and heading to bed the best in a week. Still took my multiple remedies and headed to bed early at 10pm.

I watched the US politics message to the people. I dislike Trudeau for the idiot he is but we are so much better off than the USA. Watching both the President and the Dems it confirms that we are going down hill fast. Having said that it is amazing to me how politicians never worry about the public only about themselves and their party. It should be obvious to everyone the wall is needed. It is stupid to think illegal immigrants entering your country should be allowed.  Israel has a wall. The Vatican has a wall. Ukraine has a wall. The Berlin wall worked for years. Cyprus has a wall. Turkey, York, England ,Morocco others.  In fact there are 65 countries in the world with a wall/fence/structure to protect their borders. It is a crisis and the Dems are just playing politics. For every thing bad about Trump he has shaken up the status quo like no other in some good ways. I think that is what is so polarizing. Obama didn’t have the guts to take the heat to get anything done.

A 6:45 am pick up today for my first golf game in 6 weeks. Still feeling weak and cloudy but not bad. As were loading up the clubs in the dark all four of us missed my shoe bag sitting right beside my golf clubs. We get about half way to the course and I don’t remember putting them in the car. So not feeling well and golfing in sandals,should be a good game. LOL  Great group of guys again today with a Calgarian, Moose Jaw resident, a Iowa guy along with myself. I started golfing and ended up the first nine at 39 ( 3 over) the best of the group. Couldn’t believe it. Then reality, sickness and bad luck happened. But I won money so not unhappy. Made it through the entire game without hacking and coughing too much. Had three birdie shots as a team so all is good. Sambuca and Fire clears the head.

So I have come to the conclusion we have all bought into media marketing again. Golf shoes, perhaps even a golf glove are all sold to us a needed item to play. I played in my smooth bottom open sandals and couldn’t tell any difference. I didn’t care for the sand in between my toes when in the traps though. But I think we have been scammed. LOL

Got home and fell to sleep for a couple of hours. Had a light supper and hit the bed again around 9:30pm and slept oh so well.

Tim, Fred’s brother is in Viewpoint staying in his motorhome so I will get a hold of him to play a round of golf and a visit tomorrow.

Thought of the Day

I must be having bad luck. I bought a non-stick frying pan and can’t get the sticker off.

January 10th

“Mercury Forecast  Mesa 20 degrees  Calgary 6 degrees Edmonton -13 degrees “

I had a wonderful sleep and woke up feeling good. I would say 85 % . LOL  Finally not coughing or headache which is great.

Jackie has her ladies league golfing today so headed out at noon for that.

I had a visit with Tim at his motorhome spot. He recently bought this coach and he got an amazing deal on it. Full paint with decals, Class A nicely appointed at a steal of a price. I few fix up things and it is perfect. Love his big wheel bike. Uncle Weiner’s sells these for $150 which is a great price.

Came home and had a nap.

A proud Ma and Pa today. Jackie & I are very impressed and proud of Jessica and her accomplishments. To receive validation and recognition of accomplishments and achievements is all any one can ever ask for. Every bit of hard work feels worthwhile then.

Congratulations Jessica. Job well done !!


The Lethbridge Chamber and BDO Canada Ltd congratulate Jessica Hicken for being named to the Top 40 Under Forty.

Jessica Hicken is the Lethbridge Manager at Purely Inspired Academy of Beauty, a hair school based in Lethbridge.

Jessica makes a conscious effort to make someone’s day better even if just a little. She thrives off of making the students laugh, telling stories, and being a confidante. Jessica values forming strong relationships with Purely Inspired students and being able to build up confidence and self-esteem of the many young woman and men who attend.

When Jessica graduated from high school she I didn’t know what she wanted to do. She went straight to Mount Royal University and took a general studies diploma program. Along the way, she decided to major in Marketing and Management.

With Jessica’s wife being from Raymond, Alberta her journey continued here in Lethbridge where she began with Purely Inspired.

Jessica credits much of what she has learned throughout the years with her parents. Her mother was lead of human resources with Scotiabank before she retired, and her father was GM of a large window and door company. Their compassion towards others and their drive to lead a team to success impacted the way that she manages staff.

Jessica was instrumental in introducing the Blended Hairstyling, Makeup and Aesthetics Diploma Program at the Purely Inspired. She also assisted in opening four other Academies throughout Alberta in Medicine Hat, Calgary, Grande Prairie and Edmonton.

Through the Beauty Industry, Jessica has the opportunity to help make people feel amazing about themselves. With something as “simple” as a new hair style or make up, Jessica feels that it is rewarding thing to see that you can bring a sense of purpose to someone’s face.

Jessica feels blessed to be in a role in which she can engage in the community. She has taken part in a number of events throughout Lethbridge, including Career Transitions Skills Competition, Ready, Set, Go Fair (Providing back to school haircuts to young kids who are less fortunate), Help Portrait (Providing Hair and Makeup to Families who then get to have Family Photos taken), Head/Beard Shaves at Lethbridge College for Movember, Cinderella Project which provides hair and makeup for grads and even more!

For her hard work to help grow Purely Inspired and her dedication to her students, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Jessica Hicken as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!

Purely Inspired

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Thought of the Day 

Every parents wish is for their children to grow up healthy, happy and successful !

January 11th-12th

” Mercury Forecast Mesa 18 degrees  Calgary 4 degrees   Edmonton -3 degrees ”

First day waking up and feeling pretty good. Great sleep, little coughing and no medicine. Yahoo!

Bright and sunny outside. Going to be a good day.

Went with Tim to Campers World as he needed a luggage cabin lock and door slide. I wanted a surge protector for our RV at our lot. We had to order Tim’s locks in. I received a wonderful deal at 50% off. Regular $328 but I got it for $164 plus tax. I wanted and I believe everyone with a RV should have one of these as the power is sporadic at our lot and at numerous campsites. Newly wired and I know of one lot where they didn’t ground the circuit and fried a motorhome convertor. When going to any power box at different lots you are at risk.  One time in a campsite in Camrose the voltage was so low we could hardly use the microwave. Low voltage can destroy electronics. We were lucky. Our current motor home has some major electronics in it with self leveling, power everything, computerized systems etc. The protector guards against open neutral, power surges, low or high voltage and negative poles. You can get a less expensive one that is surge only which is good but this one protects against everything.

Tim and I went up on our roof today as I have a water stain on my Arizona ceiling. I had our builder repair it twice. Tired of that. Went up and sure enough stupidity prevails. The builder did not flash the addition correctly at all. He added a 12 inch flashing extension for the one fix but that wasn’t the issue. He is relying strictly on a drip cap on the edge to extend the water to the Arizona roof. The water is running back and leaking through. Very disheartened with the cost cutting. I think it is about a three hour job so about $500 and we should be all set to go. What has to happen is three rows of shingles have to be pulled off, 24″ coil flashing installed and then shingled after Blueskin or ice shield is put down.

Tim stopped by a little later and Jackie, Tim and I headed out the golf course. Nice day hitting 23 degrees and sunny. We had the last tee time of day as Tim only golfs once or twice a year and this way we didn’t have to worry about anyone rushing us.

We had a lot of fun and Tim did very well. He is just like Fred and can hit it a mile but not always straight. One time right over the houses. A little practise and putting and he would have scored pretty decent. He overall I thought played very well. A new set of clubs and some practise like at least once a week he could be good. It was a fun day golfing. Tim had a couple of chances to make par but just missed the putts. Jackie overall played quite well. She has been hitting the ground before the ball lately but other than that did great. Chipping is getting great and putting starting to get a lot better. I played well with only one poorer shot I remember. Loads of pars and the odd bogie thrown in.

Pretty good looking golf swing

Tim gave me a box of Wilson Distance ball with Haid Construction logo on them which is always appreciated.

Tim joined us for supper tonight which was nice as Jackie made us salad and ribs. Bob & Pat joined the three of us a little later for desert and few drinks. The air was warmer but I still used my patio heater until it ran out of gas. I will fill it up tomorrow.

Thought of the Day 

It is funny how I believe most people have never learned that one of the main aims in life is to enjoy it. Not to worry about anything but life and ENJOY it.

January 13th

“Mercury Forecast  Mesa  18 degrees  Calgary  9 degrees  Edmonton -4 degrees”

Mary and Darlene arranged a surprise birthday party for my much much older brother Alfred last night in Edmonton. Big turn out of people and according to Mom and Alfred a complete surprise which always makes it fun. The reason for the party is he is turning a true senior by hitting the ripe old age of 65 years old on the 17th. Surprise parties are always fun but I do have do say I don’t really like them. LOL  Friends, co-workers, neighbors and relatives all showed up to console him.

Surprise !!

Here he is entering NOT knowing what is going on to a private party room. Pretty neat that they completely fooled him.

Quite a group. Looks like he must be practising with a walker and giving a speech.

It is so nice to be so young. the only thing good about 65 is the OAS the government will pay. LOL  Good birthday party !!

Rained last night and only 19 degrees so spent most of the night reading my new book TIGER. What a life that poor man lead. His parents raised him bordering on child abuse. I do believe today he is a changed and better person but still screwed up. About half done and it is a good read. Hate to finish it as finishing a good book is always hard. You don’t want it to end.

Thought of the Day 

Tiger- This is one guy no one should envy. Yes the wealthiest athlete ever but a head full of demons.

January 14th-15th

“Mercury Forecast   Mesa 21 degrees  Calgary -4 degrees and Edmonton -9 degrees ”

Another couple of wonderful days in paradise. I golfed to today with a group of 6 . Ron a friend of Tim’s from Lloydminster joined us. Nice and warm and sunny. I didn’t golf as well today hitting away off the fairways. Took a high 87 which raises my cap. Driving straight isn’t easy. After a fun golf game we all headed to Fat Willy’s for burger night which is as always was great. Jackie with Pat, Tim and Ron’s wife where going to save us a table but we still had to wait 45 mins to get seated. Old people love a deal and burger.

I have been dealing with planta fasciitis for the last four days or so and it doesn’t want to go away. So I have limping to my ball, limping around the house etc. It is a real pain. LOL   It does happened to me fairly often and caused this time I believe by wearing my sandals the 7000 steps it takes to golf the course.

The roofing contractor came but still hasn’t left a quote. As soon as I see it if it is under my magic number I will get them to fix it. Otherwise I will be on the roof.

Worked on my budget today to try to get caught up but the banking site was being updated so still not completed. I will never fall behind again. LOL

Had my patio heater tank refilled and at the store got sucked in to helping a street person with a few bucks.

Thought of the Day 

One thing to remember is if you ever need a helping hand you can always find one at the end of your arm. Use it !

January 16th

“Mercury Forecast  Mesa 21 degrees  Calgary -4 degrees snow Edmonton  -13 degrees ( -27 tonight)

Up early for my men’s league.  My pick up is at 6:30 am by my driver from Lethbridge Sandy Sutherland. Sandy is a great guy driving us each week. We arrived before the driving range was open. If you remember last week I left my shoes on the driveway, well this week my wallet was left on the table. I try hard to wake up Jackie but now I have to go to plan B as get everything together and turn the lights on to make sure I have everything. Bob kindly paid for my breakfast and golfing so I will get him back next golfing outing. I never forget. Sandy paid for my golf game side bet game.

Another strange game that resulted in no money today. I had a 7 , 12, and 15 handicapper today from Saskatoon, a small city just outside Saskatoon and Thunderbay. The first nine complete holes I was the low man by 4 strokes. I was happy. Second nine the putts wouldn’t drop and I took 4 holes with three putts. Didn’t lose a single ball but between putts and the odd miss shots I screwed up the score. I think the fog thru us today. Our first hole was a 125 yards over a gorge and we couldn’t see the flag pin it was so thick. Our second hole we had four good drives in what we thought was the centre of the fairway but ended up having to take penalty strokes on two of the drives. The third hole foggy but still difficult to see and then it cleared up a bit. Sure made it interesting.

Jackie whipped to the Mesa airport to pick up Fred and Terry along with friend Mary. The Keys are here now until April sometime when the weather gets good in Edmonton.

Jackie took off to the store to pick up a few things as she has the ladies from her golf league coming for a after party to our place tomorrow.

When I went for a long walk around the park and had to wear sandals to golf I hurt my Achilles Tendon and 5 days later I am still limping with it not feeling any better yet. Ice last night helped a lot but after another golf game and walking it is the same tonight.

Thought of the Day 

I don’t think I have the mileage on me yet to start complaining about injuries.

January 17th

“Mercury Forecast  Mesa  20 degrees  Calgary -12 degrees snow  Edmonton -19 degrees ”

That is a 40 degree swing between Edmonton and Mesa. Minus 19 as a high is horrible. I have been very spoiled getting to miss all of that.

Today is my much older brother’s 65th birthday. Alfred hits that special number with full bodily functions including mind. It just seems odd for him to be that OLD. Time flies. As a big brother he was a good one.

  1. When I was around 14 years old this “slow” neighbor kid decided he wanted to fight me. At 14 I was a skinny little kid. Alfred ended up saving me by pushing the kid to get home. The “slow” kid had a even slower Dad that was a huge man. Being a little handicapped the Dad actually went to Alfred’s work ( Safeway part time) and attacked Alfred. I remember it being quite a mess.
  2. My first car a 1962 Nova SS needed tires when I first got it running. At 16 tires were expensive. Alfred was making good money at the time and had a spare set of G60’s in the garage. I mounted these. I basically wore them down to the cords in a months time. Had a lot of fun.
  3. I sold Alfred a Volvo coupe where he spent hours fixing it and painting it. He bought it for $50 and sold it for $300. I sold him a Monte Carlo that I had bought as a second winter car. Alfred used it as a winter car and sold it for double the price.
  4. I had a lot of parts given to me from Alfred. A complete 3″ chrome exhaust system for my Camaro. Tires, batteries, engine parts etc.

” Memories”

Alfred and I were out one Saturday night in his 1970 1/2 Z28 Camaro. The fastest car that I ever witnessed. On our way home late at night driving down the highway a cop pulls behind us and turns his lights on. Pulling us over was a quick check then car talk. The two cops in the car wanted to see how fast their special cop car was and asked Alfred to speed away. Alfred pulls onto the highway and pins it. The cop car was like a VW it was so slow. Alfred hit 140 miles per hour before slowing down. I am saying they are not going to like you going that fast but he wanted to show them up.  After slowing the cops pull up beside us, smile and wave.

Another late night in Alfred’s 1969 427/425hp Camaro we are driving down Hwy 2 when a 1970 Purple Cuda 426 Hemi pulls beside us and revs wanting to race. Alfred drops a few gears and we are flying. Both incredibly fast cars with it being a very close race. Then at 160 mph ( speed-o-meter only went that high) we could go 500 rpm more. Alfred could speed up and back off to the Cuda.  The Cuda didn’t have anything left. Coming into a corner the wind picked up the front of the Cuda and dropped it back down. Scared everyone and we both shut it down.

Alfred, Dad and I were in his 1969 427 Camaro driving in Edmonton. Can’t remember the why. Driving down Jasper Ave where it has basically a 90 degree corner to make. Alfred drops down a few gears and pins it and we slide around the corner at full throttle. Dad is seating in the front seat just laughing.

There are many more fun memories I can’t put on record but he was a very good big brother.

Happy Birthday you old fart !!


A few tips so you can plan to retire THIS YEAR !

  1. Know your lifestyle expenses will change in retirement !! Entertainment way up everything else a way down. ( clothes, lunches, gas, savings, etc)
  2. Create a budget for yourself and be realistic and adjust as you need.
  3. Make sure you have a plan for your time. Part time work, hobbies, entertainment, golf
  4. Diversify your investments and look at tax strategies and income flows. ( our mistake all in RRSP’s)
  5. Calculate your withdrawal from investments needed to cover expenses based on your budget.Use the 4 percent rule as a guideline only. Don’t fall for financial preserve capitol line of bs.
  6. Have a good social network.
  7. Make sure your will is updated.
  8. Use up all of your allotted or accrued vacation time before retiring is used up ( retired and getting paid)
  9. Decide where you are going to live. Downsize to free up capital.
  10. ENJOY. Life is too short to worry about money, work, stress, career etc. ENJOY !!

Jackie had 22 young ladies from her golfing group over. I had to leave to get way .LOL   The party was successful and they had a good time. I did notice a fair amount of wine bottles consumed.

Fred & I went over and fixed Tim’s awning. A little lube and a new pull cord and a good cleaning it should be like new.

I watched Fred clean and wipe his shed siding after a BBQ explosion caused from grease from hamburgers igniting and black smoke bellowing out.

Foot still is to painful to walk a lot on it. Doesn’t stop me from golfing but hinders a bit.

Thought of the Day

Everything is funny when it is happening to someone else. 

January 18th

“Mercury forecast  Mesa 21 degrees Calgary -12 degrees Edmonton -15 degrees “

Beautiful day, Heel is still ridiculously sore making to walk around. So I tried to rest it again before golfing today. I took a anti inflammatory pill that helped very well.

Great group of golfers today . Fun group. I golfed ok not great. I didn’t lose my ball today at all. Putting on Viewpoint is tough. Anytime in the 80’s is good but I want low low 80’s to be happy. Next time perhaps.  As a team we lost by one stroke but as a team we had 3 birdies and an eagle so we got to have a bit of mothers milk birdie juice. Fun day

Pat, Bob and us went over to Fat Willy’s for Fish Friday. Fantastic fish and chips tonight and fun conversation.

A fair amount of planning coming up. We have Kieth & Jenny coming for a week. We have Audrey coming for a week. We have Alan & MaryAnn for a quick visit. We have Jackson coming for a week. We have the Scotia Bank Desert Golf tournament, we have a golf date with John & Anita, we have a horse racing night coming up, and a few renovations at Fred place and our place and two birthday outings.

Thought of the Day 

Remember the most important shot in golf is the next one.

January 19th-20th

“Mercury Forecast  Mesa 24 degrees  Calgary 1 degrees  Edmonton -1 degrees ”

A couple of wonderful sunny days. Love the warmth. A slower weekend but fun. I am still trying to get my Achilles Heel to smarten up. Difficult walking but doesn’t affect my bike riding.

Fred & I fixed Tim’s awning.  The strap was over wrapped, the arms out of align, the arms were sticking bad and the arms hadn’t been put away correctly. It is working great now.

We went over and looked at a smaller trailer for Fred and or Ralph to load up a quad or golf cart. Homemade but extremely well made and heavy duty. Most likely worth about $1200 and asking $800. We will see what happens.

Watched Fred clean his shed as his BBQ caught on fire with hamburgers and smoked the siding. Came pretty clean.

Read and looked at news, etc. Time flies by.

Sat in the sun in the back and enjoyed it. Did some banking. Ordered a divider curtain. Cleaned up a bit. Went for multiple bike rides and Jackie squeezed in her walks. On one trip we sat and watched the ladies baseball teams. Fantastic players and not young chickens but skilled players.

Have a DO TO LIST that I will start working on. Roof repair, ceiling repair, patio entrance opening, weed killing and tiling backsplash. I have a patio enclosure to do with Fred at his place.

Lots of golf next week and then a slow week as I fix things.

Have had a blast watching the Oilers implode. They are a dismal team with only two decent players. Peter will be fired before the end of January and I think the players are causing it on purpose. Take January their losses include a 4-0, 7-2 , and a 5- 2 losses. Tonight another blowout which could close to 7 -2 again.  They are the 6th lowest scoring team , the 10th worst goal against record and are the second worst team in the Pacific Division.  Love the Flames !

One bad team !

And I notice Johnny second in the league in scoring.  Go Flames !

Thought of the Day 

I am not sure if I free time or I forgot do to something.

January 21st -22nd

“Mercury Forecast  Mesa 18 degrees Calgary 4  degree  snow Edmonton -1 degrees snow”

Real hard time trying to get a contractor to do some work here in Mesa. No responses, no return calls, ignoring quotes, etc etc. I had resigned to myself to do it myself then I thought I would get in touch with the builder. Came and checked right away and agreed in concept on the how to fix. Now if I receive a reasonable quote and time frame to complete it will be nice to get it done.

Windy and cool with it only hitting 18 degrees. We are not used to this. My group today was awesome and we set a record with our score being -25 net.  Won money and had a blast. We had 5 birdies to have our birdie juice drinks on. We all had great games. Bob and I finished with a 79 and Wayne had an 82. The putts were dropping, many birdie chances and some great shots. Wayne played extremely well considering his handicap. Always great to have fun players and great scores. And the wind was howling so we could have even had a better score.

After golf Alan, MaryAnn with Ann & Derek where at our house. Ann & Derek bought on our block but moved a couple of years later to a neighbor the farthest away from us as possible. A 1 hour drive between the hoods so it was nice they decided to visit and it was great to see Alan & MaryAnn. Jackie had supper with BBQ’d ribs and Ceaser salad which was awesome. Pat & Bob came over for dessert and carrying Pumpkin Spice shots. The shots were fantastic. It was a fun night with Bob talking Newfie to Ann & Derek. Great day !

This is just a small sample of the sand everywhere. Fairways, protecting the greens. Everywhere and deep and many

Sandy picked me up at 9 am for a golf game at Southern Dunes. This is a hard course. I found it long and difficult with 117 sand bunkers. Needless to say the score wasn’t great. If I could remove three holes ( 8,8,7) I would be happy. That knocks off  11 strokes and I would have ended up with low 80’s. But get in a bunker all kinds of things can happen. Not used to playing bunker shots.  I had a couple of nice birdies, missed at least 4- 4ft putts for birdies and even had a few three putts as the hole location today was also difficult.

Got to play with Sandy, Ian and my old friend from Lethbridge George Modrzejewski that used to own Lealta Building.  It was fun day with Sandy and I winning the money with a close game. I was glad today to wear pants as it was cooler, a little breeze and didn’t warm up until the last few holes. Fun day !

Thought of the Day 

Golf is a funny game. You can play so so and still win money. LOL 

January 23rd

“Mercury Forecast  Mesa  16 degrees  Calgary -12 degrees snow Edmonton -14  degrees “

Ride again RIGHT on time at 6:45 for pickup. This put us at the golf course quite early as our tee was until 9am but it is always nice to go to the range and warm up a bit. Leaving here in the dark it was 45 degrees. Got the golf course ( 30 min away) it was 28 degrees. COLD so we had a frost delay of 1/2hr. The greens  were covered in white dew. Watering to rid sooner. After about two holes the temperature climbed nicely and hit 18 above on our way home.

I won money today which was a surprise as my whole team struggled today. Putting was brutal. With the delay the greens were slower than normal. First three holes I three putted and it didn’t stop. Our whole team could not putt. Good thing for three good holes to win us some bucks. Overall just not a good golfing day. Errors, annoyance with putting and the errand shot. But any bad day of golf is better than a good day at work so I enjoyed myself very much. Today there was three guys including myself from Calgary ( members of Canyon Meadows) and one gentleman from Moose Jaw. Fun group !

Found a contractor ( our Arizona room builder) that I agreed to fix the roof with. Right price and agreed method of repair. One thing off my to do list and nice to have it fixed before Keith & Jenny arrive.

I will look at the weather and if no rain repair the inside getting it ready for painting. This weekend I will see if Fred wants to help me with the tiling.

Oiler’s finally do something right. With Peter out I sure hope they don’t promote Gretzky to GM. Other Gretzky would be a bad move.Huge mistake.  They need a experienced hockey mind to trade and assemble a team. I hope them success but not too much.  LOL

Sift through the standings since 2007 and give it some thought. 25th, 19th, 21st, 30th, 30th, 29th, 24th 28th, 28th, 8th (what ? ) and 23rd. They are 23 rd again this morning. Peter should have been one of many to go. The season is over. Write it off and restart. Fire everyone that was part of the decision making to start a refresh. You know it wasn’t the GM’s fault. This has been an organizational failure of biblical proportions for 11 years. Yet, here we are with many of the same people who designed the original road map for this nightmare, still part of the Oiler’s.

I love that Logo on a shirt.

January 24th-26th

“Mercury Forecast  Mesa 22 degrees  Calgary 11 degrees Edmonton 6 degrees snow/rain”

Busy few days.  Jackie had her golfing with the ladies league on Thursday so Fred & I checked out the local lakes for fishing. We drove up the Apache Trail towards Tortilla Flats. We stopped at Canyon Lake and checked it out and then we stopped at Saguaro Lake and investigated it. We discovered our best bet was Apache Lake for Walleye but we are also going after large and small mouth bass. Should be fun. We can rent a houseboat for 6 hours for $450 or a 18 ft fishing boat for 6 hours at $150. Fred brought a lot of fishing equipment with him so we should be all set.

Clear water and sun. We were told this water on the surface can hit 90 degrees mid summer.

Both lakes are beautiful and I can see by the amenities they would be absolutely packed by locals in the summer. Can you imagine floating down the river in this warmth of water in the sun. We were told this lake hits 90 degree water mid summer. The fish go down 300 ft to keep cool.

Love the desert lakes. Bar at the end of the dock was awesome.

On our run out in the country it was lunch time so we stopped into this bar called Philly’s .Authentic country & western bar with hitching posts right beside your outside table. Great food and wonderful atmosphere. Neatest thing was they use Calgary Stampede Posters for wall plaques. This is the second place in Arizona that we have seen these.

World famous Cowtown Calgary Stampede

No matter where we have travelled in the world Hawaii, Europe, States, Caribbean people know of Calgary and it’s Stampede.

I had a golf game with wonderful weather and guys on Friday. It has been the only game that we had to wait and wait. Unfortunate as it doesn’t help the game. Where is the Marshal when you need them. At the end of the game I had to rush as we were heading out for supper with a reservation. I drove perfect today not losing a ball or slicing. But I lost two balls in the water with hybrids going too long, one of them at least 230 yards to hit the pond and I ran in to it. But with the great drives and second shots I should have scored especially well but our whole group struggled putting. I missed at least 6 – 4ft putts for birdie or par. It seemed that distance my ball just would stop and knees knocking miss another easy putt. As  a group we had a lot of birdies and a lot of birdie juice. I knew I would need Jackie to drive after the restaurant. I did lose a buck though today. Darn !

Picked up Fred, Terry, Mary, Tim and along with Jackie and I we headed out. Mexican food is wonderful but filling. Hacienda Rosa’s is fantastic. Superb atmosphere, décor and food to match. We had a serenade from a guitar player and everyone had wonderful Mexican drinks.

Rosa’s going away gathering for Mary. She had to go back to the cold city of Edmonton after a two week vacation. Notice the size of the Margarita glasses.

Trips to the tile store and Home Depot as we start our backsplash project. At the Depot they had fresh Roses on sale. Go figure. A tool and flowers the perfect combo. So I grabbed a bunch and surprised Jackie with my shopping.

Home Depot flowers

Jackie was vey busy and had half the tiles removed by the time I got back. We removed the rest and Fred & Tim helped including grinding off the silicone off the backs. The original tiles used silicone  which is odd. I picked up the grout, and all of the needed painted things for the Arizona room.  Patched the drywall after removing the tiles and sanded and primed the area and ready to re-tile. Primed the ceiling in the Arizona room and all set to paint it also. Hopefully done tomorrow except of the grouting.

We also had our block party which was great. Wonderful turnout. My only comment would be due to no activity everyone leaves too early. We are doing the March one so there will be some kind of activity to hold peoples attention. Fantastic food selection. I committed do doing correction sheets of our block address book. Lots of printing as we have 30 homes and with 30 pages it takes  a lot of paper and ink. The time I don’t mind and in fact I enjoy projects like that.

Fun busy days. LOVE THE SUN

It was CorEy’s birthday and we got to bug him a bit.

Excerpt from email message :

Perseverance is great attribute to have. Cory exemplifies this. Here is a man for the last ten years that has been a loyal Oiler fan all the while knowing very well that they are a bottom five team in the NHL. Stubbornness sometimes can be a great attribute to have but sometimes it is a curse that doesn’t allow you to experience the joy of supporting a winning team and city. The implications of a decade of despair can manifest itself in one’s life. We all have tried to help Cory but like a alcoholic struggling with addiction they have to have the desire to help themselves. The smile today on Cory’s face if he would come to the other side would be delightful. It is his birthday today and I don’t think no matter what we say it will help him. To say Happy Birthday seems like a oxy moron to describe his feelings. I think Tor and Jackson should make him watch re-runs of the this years Oiler games over and over again. Clock Work Orange mind manipulation may be our only hope. Do you realize that the last time the Oilers won was in 1990.  That is like 50% of your age supporting a losing team. LOL
Here is to your birthday. To a Happy Birthday. To your days between games being filled with joy and happiness. Go ahead and drink heavy on your birthday you deserve it for your suffering.
Happy Birthday !  You are the best son we never had. Thank you for being a wonderful husband and father. Happy Birthday !
Victoria noticed I spelled CorEy’s name wrong and ribbed me. There should not be a silent E in Cory. You don’t see an E in Larry, Mary, Gerry, Barry, Gary, Randy, etc.  I think perhaps it was a recording error at birth records due to bad hand writing or something.
 Below is the definition of Cory in the Urban Dictionary :
Cory is a man who is easy to fall in love with because of his humor and booming personality. His eyes are so dreamy. One look at them and you will be lost in them forever. Cory has a great personality but can let anger get the better of him at times. He is extremely fun to be around and makes the best of any situation. He has a wild side yet loves to be laid back. He is very attractive. Cory is truly amazing!
Cory is a man that any girl would be lucky to have.
Below is definition of Corey by baby wizard names:

Corey is a not-too-common, handsome, masculine , and athletically inclined name for a baby boy. Dating back to Irish Roots and Greek philosophy , the name Corey should stand tall and provide others with a feeling of security, jubilation and trust as he is a born leader and compassionate friend. “Heart is courage , where Courage is blind” A motto, a Creed, THE WAY.
While it is sometimes used as a female name, it much better suits a male. Pronounced Core-ee.

I got to bug our good friend Wendy Grace as it was her birthday also.

Excerpt from email message:

I am not allowed to say exactly how old a woman is, in today’s nicety world. What I can say is Wendy has hit a SPECIAL age. This special age and it’s perks will make Wendy the happiest person on this planet. If anyone knows Wendy they will know frugal is her middle name. NOW with all of the discounts she will be getting without checking Groupon, searching for sales and/or  bringing a coupon with her she will be so excited I can only feel sorry for Jeff. I know tonight she will be trying to take full advantage of her newly acquired special treatment. I do have to say we had her so close to living the good life of a retired person but at the last moment she was drawn back into the dark world of a working person. So close !! Not a gray hair on her head. Her memory appears fine. She seems to be physical fit to a degree. We haven’t noticed any drastic mood changes. So she is surviving quite well considering her advanced age. I will ask her to remember one thing today.

Remember golfing midweek in the sun with Jackie & I while everyone including Jeff was working during your mini retirement and the feeling it gave you. Hang on to that feeling !

Happy Birthday Wendy !! Have a good one. Here is hoping Jeff takes you tonight for a bug splurge.

Thought of the Day 

Do you think fish ever get thirsty ?

January 27th

“Mercury forecast  Mesa 22 degrees Calgary 1 degree wind  Edmonton 0 degrees snow “

Fred came over this morning with his cart full of tools to start my backsplash project. First was the removal of the old tiles. That process turned out a little easier than thought as they were silicone on which is a rarer way to attach them most likely used due to the movement during moving to the location. Then comes the tiling which in our case due to so many electrical boxes required a ton of cutting. Fred did the cutting which is the messiest job as the tile saw spits water back at you. Soaks you over the day. Outside cutting at 72 degrees isn’t bad though.

Cutting tiles in the shade it was so warm

We started about 9:30 and finished around 4 pm. We are very happy with the looks and the change it made visually. We bought our tile on a clearance at Home Depot at a ridiculous price which is even better. The final look is awesome and when we complete the grouting tomorrow we will be very happy.


3/4 Done

Thought of the Day 

Another wonderful project day .

January 28th 

“Mercury Forecast  Mesa 23 degrees Calgary -3  degrees  Edmonton -4 degrees”

Up this morning and started the dirty messy job of grouting. It is impossible not make a mess. Especially working under a cabinet and above the cabinet. Gobs fall on the floor and it gets places you don’t want. I started at 9am and finished around noon with Fred helping and some supervisory help from Tim. Just waiting now for a few hours to wipe off the haze as with black tiles and white grout it shows. My arms especially the one with the broken bicep are killing me with the wipe on wipe off and holding it above my head for the top tiles. I should have had the surgery on it. It annoys me that carrying a Safeway bag to the car if my arm is bent at a 90 degrees I can’t hold that weight. Straight armed the weight capacity hasn’t changed. The doctor said 20 percent reduction as it didn’t complete rip off the bone but I am thinking 80% loss. I can only imagine the distance my golf ball would go if I had two good arms. Hours of the wipe and wash and wipe and I am happy with very little glaze left. I have to wait until tomorrow to put the sealer on and it should be finished other than the molding on the top vent part. Love the looks !

Reading the news today from Calgary. More and more people are buying RV’s and in fact the industry sold 13,000 RV’s last year alone in Alberta. The article came to the conclusion that people rather than spending 10K for a two-week vacation abroad are looking at investing in a RV for the same amount as 2 vacations that they can use for 15 to 20 years and travel local or at least closer proximity to their homes. I do know that it is getting ridiculous trying to get a campsite on a long weekend. Hence the RV LOT phenomenon that has come about that we are extremely happy to part of. The parties and the social aspect of the lot is second to none. Love it.

Fred worked with Tim on his hot water heater and Tim attended the Saskatchewan party so everyone busy.  Ralph & Tracy arrived today to stay for a month in a rental unit.That’s the life of a retired person. I didn’t golf today to get more of the tile work done and look at painting weather depending.

Was planning to hit Fat’s for burger night but too much cleaning up to do. I ended up going fast food which was a change and easy . My muscles are sore and my back.

Thought of the Day

If I was a surgeon I would 100% put a squeaky toy in every breast implant.  

January 29th

“Mercury Forecast Mesa 23 degrees Calgary -2  Edmonton -8 snow”

Another work day. Fred arrived  at 9 am. This is a man that uses a Dremel tool to cutout the holes for the plug screws with live power. He sticks his screwdriver in one plug hole of the receptacle to remove grout that has fallen in. Having said that he is very good with electricity and complications that arise with new tiles and plugs. I was very lucky to have him today as it made it so much easier. We got all of the receptacles back in place with quite a few complications but everything done. The white wall plates look great on the black tiles.


Then off to Fred’s neighbor to plumb his under sink after removing the Insinkerator. . Denis bought a “FIX IT ” dual sink p trap system like nothing we have ever seen. The normal white PVC or black ABS systems work so easy. This system is a DIY kit but in my opinion not very good. Luckily he is changing out the sinks next year so Fred asked him to get the real thing and use this until then with a watchful eye. It took a little longer than planned just due to the oddity of it.

Then back home and I installed the last few accent tiles over the counter.

Then on to sealing the grout which is relatively easy process and doesn’t take  along time. You never know how much to use but I am sure we should be ok. Grouted a few missed spots and done except for two little pieces of moldings. Looks wonderful in my opinion. Love it.

Checked our paint cans and 4 of the 6 gallons cans are no longer usable so will have to take them to the dump.

Whipped to Depot and brought two different o/s corner molding but didn’t like either so will continue to search. On Thursday I plan to paint the ceiling in the Arizona room.

Dropped off the tools and accessories at Fred’s shed. They have a full house with Ralph & Tracy there and Tim visiting. That will keep Fred busy. LOL   He is one busy guy.

Booked my tee times for the next few games which is good. Committed as per availability.

BBQ’d pork chops and had a wonderful supper sitting outside. It is starting to stay warmer later at night which is great.

Even this one moment of time doesn’t look like we are happy we are smiling in the inside with the warmth and fresh air. Poor picture LOL

Pickup at 6:45 for my men’s league tomorrow morning. Love this course.

Thought of the Day 

Without commitment nothing would ever happen.

January 30th

” Mercury Forecast Mesa 24 degrees  Calgary 5 degrees Edmonton 2 degrees snow”

Sandy as usual appears right on time hitting our front yards at 6: 45 am for our travel to Whirlwind Golf Course. Today we had Sandy, Bob, George and I in the car for the ride. As soon as the sun came up it zoomed to 75 degrees. Amazing when you consider Chicago is hitting – 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Love the desert.

My group today was from Calgary, Moose Jaw, and a gentleman from Iowa. Fun guys and we had a blast today. Overall everyone played very well. I liked the way I played except for one hole. I was the big winner today with $70 on the skins and the Triad game. If my net 1’s would have counted I would have really won. Three birdies, piles of pars, a few boogies and one blow up hole.  Made the net 60’s club. Even made it into the  Top 10 on the Money List for the first time. I missed a few with 3 putts also that would have really made the difference. My Iowa golfer drove the ball farther than anyone I have ever seen. I hit a fairly long ball. Today on the GPS my drives were 240 yards to 270 yards. Every time he was out there 260 to 290 yards. Remember this at 1250 ft above sea level not the 3500 ft we are used to as he would have been over 300 yards each time in Calgary. A fun day, nice to golf quite well and a lot of fun with my group.  The drag cars were running today on the track so you had to time your swing  just perfect not to have the noise of a burn out to warm the tires or their run to hit right in your backswing.

A  little tired this afternoon getting up so early and normally not sleeping that well the night before so a nap on the couch is required. Jackie has been working on her contract for a lot of hours daily for the last little while. Just a few minutes ago she backed into a Prickly Pear Cactus and got pricked right in front of our house. These hurt and hard to get out. They say make a wrap and spread white glue on your pricked body and then when the glue hardens and you pull off the wrap the spikes come out. Could leave your skin in a mess but spikes also cause a rash and itch so one or the other I guess.

Wow are there ever some low temperatures in Canada and the States. -60 with wind chill hitting the east coast. Amazing. I see even Calgary is getting close to the -30 this weekend.

Thought of the Day

The object of golf is not to just win. It is to play like a gentleman and win !

January 31st 

“Mercury Forecast   Mesa 23 degrees Calgary 8 degrees Edmonton 2 degrees  snow “

I notice both Calgary and Edmonton coming in this weekend are becoming a deep freeze. -30 temperatures coming. Arizona also will be cooler with 18 degrees being our high. That is a Calgary nice summer day.

Went to the grocery store and picked up some groceries.  I like Basha’s as it is a smaller store and nicely formatted for ease. Less selection but everything we need or want.  Had a little incident when I opened the rear hatch my Chocolate milk fell on to the ground and exploded. Becomes a little sticky.

Got rid of some garbage , returned a few pieces to Home Depot, picked up two new pieces for my tiling and a can of ceiling paint.

I have ALWAYS hated painting and still do. It is a pain in the ass to do. I hate the prep, the process and the cleanup. I am not the most skilled at it also. Jackie is the painter in our house but inevitably EVERY time I end up painting. Doing a ceiling is even worse. I hate painting. After getting about 1/4 done I stopped as it looked horrible. A few hours later after it dried it looked pretty good. Hard to judge when doing it. Turned out good and I should have carried on. One plaster patch didn’t take as well as I would have liked.  Not done yet and will get back to it. I hate painting.

Stopped and picked up the rental information for Jeff & Wendy for next year. It would great to have them here for golf, fishing, and get togethers here in Arizona.

The days go by so fast it is amazing.

Thought of the Day 

People say HATE is a strong word but so is LOVE and people throw that around like it is nothing.


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