March 1st, 5th Year Anniversary of Retirement
Wow talk about time flying. Today is Jackie & I’s 5th year anniversary of retiring. March 1st 2014 seems just like yesterday. I have to say the last 5 years have been amazing. Other than perhaps getting married and having kids retirement is pretty high on the enjoyable list. We are so lucky and blessed to be able to enjoy our freedom and enjoy our free time. Like I have previously said there has NOT been one day where I felt bored. This December while in Calgary I felt a little antsy waiting for our departure but that is about the only time and it was anxious versus boredom. The only reason we have to stay so long is government stupidity making us stay in Canada 30 days to reset our day count.
We have done some fun wonderful things in retirement.
- Our trip to England, Wales, France, Switzerland including the horrible city of Paris was a wonderful trip. Superb site-seeing hitting a lot of the famous sites like Stonehenge, Bath,The Eye, Thames cruise ,Seine cruise, Chunnel and the Eiffel Tower were great. We took this holiday with Alan & MaryAnn which are great travelling companions. Carry on luggage only and no reservations worked out perfect. Euro-train is amazing.
- Buying our RV lot and building decks, a Saloon , gazebo and landscaping has been very rewarding. Hope to finish this spring.
- Helping and getting help by friends and family building sheds, decks, a saloon, basement development, hair salon, pergolas, fencing ,doors & mouldings, patios, outdoor kitchens,landscaping etc has both being fun and rewarding including learning new techniques and products.
- Numerous fishing trips with friends to Pinehurst, Wabunum, Crawling Valley, Travers, Calling Lake, Brazeau, Old Man, Fish Lake ,Prairie Oasis, plus many more but the one big trip for 350 pound Sturgeon and catching 17 of them will be remembered forever.
- May and September family camping trips for years now have been incredibly fun visiting numerous golf courses all over Alberta with a great group of guys. Camping with the girls in Invermere was wonderful and having August & Jackson out our lot was fun.
- Two Saskatchewan trips were fantastic. We did the lower part and then visited the northern part. Visiting Moose Jaw, Waterous, Saskatoon, North Battleford,Maple Ridge, Elk Ridge along with Waskesiu was awesome.
- Tourist trips to Jasper, Banff, Nanton, Buffalo Jump, Winery in Cypress, Chinese Caves, Al Capone Caves, museums, Kootenay Valley, Invermere Valley all were a blast.
- NYC trip was outstanding as we added the East coast to the trip along with Quebec City. One of my favorite trips. I loved old Quebec City and I loved Nova Scotia and Maine.
- Numerous golf trips, golf courses and meeting special people. Golfed a lot and have come to the conclusion that I am not going to be great at this game. I will live with my mediocrity. I could work my handicap down to a single digit if I played Mackenzie, Speargrass and Boulder numerous times. But the harder tighter course kill me with lost balls off the tee. I love 300 yards but hate the 50 yards sideways.
There are a tons of other trips we have gone on but I just wanted to give the jest of how good retired life is. Spending our 5th year for an extended period in Arizona has been amazing. We are so lucky to have such great friends, family and neighbors at each location.
Retirement dollars are always a concern for most people and us as lucrative pensions weren’t in the cards for us but after 5 years I am pleased with our expenses and pleased with our lifestyle. Vehicles and another expensive trip coming up in 2020 will eat up some cash but you only live once. Nothing drives me insane like seeing someone go an expensive vacation to an exotic place and when asked to swim with the dolphins as an example and it happens to be a couple of hundred of dollars, they say no. Spend it while there as you may never get the chance again.With friends recently retired and retiring in the near future it will even make it more busy. Terry retired last November, Ralph is retiring May 1st, Jeff & Wendy are looking at July 1st so it only adds to the available list to do things with.
Love life. Love Retirement life. Lucky to wake up each day in no pain. ( other than my self induced pain) Lucky to have a great partner to keep me on the straight and narrow. Love enjoying life. I am positive there is nothing more rewarding than sleeping in while everyone else is getting ready in the early morning to go to work. Time goes fast so don’t waste your time way. As I have said before, working, is like having a large mortgage on your life. You need money to live but you would be surprised how far exaggerated the dollars needed are by the financial community.
” Mercury Forecast Mesa 25 degrees Calgary -20 degrees Edmonton -20 degrees”
That is a 40 degrees temperature swing.
Just finishing the day and I checked the weather again. Tonight it is supposed to be -35 degrees in Calgary with a windchill of -45 degrees. That is ridiculously cold.
Golfed with some fun great guys today. Ron from Lloydminster, Ron from Saskatoon, Tom from Saskatoon and myself. My partner today was Ron Payne who helped us big time to win. His putting was exceptional and along with my low score of the group we won the front nine, back nine and overall. Money !
My putting today kept me from scoring really well with numerous three putts. Going for a birdie and ending up with par or in most cases a boogie. Hottest day this year which was nice. Great day for golf and always fun to bring home some money and bragging rights.
After golf as a group we decided to have a wiener roast at the park and have our wives join us. I had picked up the wieners and buns at Costco and cut up the onions, had grated cheese, diced some tomato’s for the dogs and picked up some relish, mustard and ketchup. Costco dogs are awesome tasting as were the seeded buns. We had 6 hotdogs out of the 40 left over. Pretty good eating. I picked up two bundles of wood from Tractor Supply to have clean burning wood. Brought the condiments and others brought chips, shrimp etc. We had four wiener sticks to use from our last picnic which turned very useful along with our checkered tablecloth we use for Santan Flats. I do have to say most dogs cooked looked a little carcinogenetic but tasted great. Fun night with campfire, warm air (18 degrees at 9pm) and people gathered around. We even had a boom box playing C & W plus Newfie music.
Thought of the Day
Are you a campfire ? Cause you’re hot and I want s’more. Most likely wouldn’t work. LOL
” Mercury Forecast Mesa HOT Alberta COLD”
I am starting to feel bad for Alberta with the temperatures so today being generic is out of the kindness of my heart. ( Shh we are hitting 30 degrees above this week)
Spent most of the morning checking out airfares for Jackie to return to Calgary. I put Airlines in the ” crooked ” category of businesses. I understand profit is not a bad word but gouging is. To have a $300 price difference in flights going to the same place by one day different is not right. I have no loyalty to any airlines so will travel the best deal. Why Swoop and Flair are not flying out of Calgary is asinine. Stupid business model.
Peter a neighbor stopped by as he is organizing the garage sale this year. His mother just died at 106 years old. That is living a long time. I loved his notice. The last sentence stood out and is exactly what I would have done. It stated the money goes to fund our monthly block parties that everyone loves. This is the passive aggressive way to state he loves the block parties. This is in retaliation to a odd statement made for us to have a vote on not having one each month. I would bet 95% of the group love them but the squeaky wheel as in all cases of a small minority get heard. The vote will be next party.
Enjoyed reading my new book on Arnold Palmer. Another great book that took me only two days to read. A good book is always fun and enjoyable and I know every time I will learn something that I won’t forget. Today it was that Arnold was co founder of the Golf Channel and had a net worth of 700 million. He was an incredible businessman owning 100 dry cleaners operations, 6 car dealerships, numerous golf courses and on and on. Loved the book.
Fred, Terry and Amanda, their daughter, came over for a few drinks and to play a few games of Dice. It was a fun night but I didn’t win. I didn’t have my luck like the other night. It was warm enough we sat outside until after 9pm right when my propane ran out.
Finalized the budget numbers from February and was below budget. Food, gas being the helpers and golf being on the high side. A month where we bought more clothes than normally also raised it but we still managed under budget. March with 6 airline tickets/flights we will be over.
Went for a long walk today. The sun was shining brightly and it was hot. It was an enjoyable day reading, sitting in the sun, watching the PGA golf, having lunch outside and relaxing.
I forgot Fred and I worked on replacing the Smart trim on the Arizona room. I love the look and ease for window capping by using Smart Trim but am not impressed with the absorption of water and shrinkage that happens. First time we used an oscillating saw to cut the trim and I am so impressed that I will going to Harbour Freight to buy one before I leave.
The Oilers actually win 2 in row. The Flames lost one we should have won but are still doing fine. 2 wins and the fans are thinking they around the corner. LOL
Busy week coming up. Jackie has a contract for the next few days. I have a golf game scheduled for Monday, a Scotia Bank golf tournament on Tuesday, my men’s league on Wednesday and another game set up on Friday.
Thought of the Day
“I play too much golf ” said no one EVER!
“Mercury Forecast Mesa 25 degrees Calgary -7 degrees Edmonton -6 degrees”
Bright and sunny. It is amazing how wonderful the sun and warmth feels plus it looses the muscles.
My golfing partners today were Arnold from Saskatoon , Ron from Saskatoon, Jim Wyatt from Calgary and myself. My playing partner today was Arnold. Arnold is 83 yrs old and doesn’t take a single medication for anything. He golfed wonderful today. Between Arnold golfing well and myself having the low score of the group we won the front nine, won the back nine and the game. MONEY ! A great day.
Stopped over at Bob’s place for a few drinks after golf. We had to re-live our shots and scores. LOL
Grabbed a quick bite for supper. Love BLT’s with cheese and pickles. Then the Bachelor came on. Colton is very feminine, Colton is a virgin, Colton is very emotional. Anyone else see the possibility ?
I have to get up early a couple of days in a row. 8am start at a course about 15 mins away for Jackie’s Scotiabank International Retiree Golf Tournament tomorrow. I have won the Longest Drive prize at this tournament three times in years past. Last year I missed as I was yards past the winner but I was 2 feet off the first cut. You have to be on the fairway for it to count. I have seen in a lot of tournaments where people push this to the limits if you know what I mean.
Thought of the Day
The difference between golf and government is in golf you can’t improve your lie.
“Mercury Forecast Mesa 28 degrees Calgary -6 degrees Edmonton -8 degrees”
Now spring is here. 83 degrees is hot and wonderful. An early rise as we are golfing in the Scotiabank International Retiree Annual Golf Tournament at Apache Wells Golf & Country. Tee tie was a 8 am shotgun. Our playing partners today were John & Anita Matheson . First time EVER have seen a golf course arrange 5 people to a tee box as they were packed. Odd enough there was very little waiting and we finished in under 4 1/2 hours. We were joined by Brian another banker from BC. We had a lot of fun as a group today. Everyone played well with John playing sick again and beating me. I will have his number soon. If only a few shots I would have done better at. Jackie even had a great hit smacking John in the chest with a ball. His pretend hurt and pain was Oscar worthy. Funny. Anita also made him jump a few holes later as a ball went flying right at his ankles. He did his Nova Scotia jig quite well.
I didn’t win the longest drive. I was yards past the winner( at least 50 ) but my ball was 10 ft off the green fairway. Logically, I won but in reality the rules are the ball must be on the fairway. Keeps things a lot more interesting.
A nice burger/ dog lunch with a couple cold jugs of beer finished off the event. A huge turnout as there were close to 60 Scotia Bank retirees. It is too bad the bank doesn’t recognize the value anymore of people that helped make this business and donate big time with prizes but companies today are not helping retirees out at all with the economic impact.
A fun day.
I came home a little tired from the sun and beer so laid down on the couch on our back patio and rested in the warmth. I only lasted a couple of hours as the heat got to me so I had to come into the shade under the front patio.
Thought of the Day
First accept sadness. Realize that without losing winning isn’t so great !
“Mercury Forecast Mesa 29 degrees Calgary -11 degrees Edmonton -12 degrees “
Up at 6 am for a 6: 30 am pickup. As usual Sandy was right on time taking Bob, George and I to the Whirlwind Golf course. Always a entertaining ride.
Well the golf course ate me up today. After a 79 and 80 today a 92 it hurts. Sand, water, desert, putting everything went sideways. But as the saying goes a bad day at golf is better than a good day at work. My group was a mixed bag today with a Brandon and two Regina boys. We didn’t win any money today. Only one birdie in the group. It was just dumb mistakes that cost me but having said that everyone in my group played above their cap. That is golf.
Wonderful Chicken Parmesan lunch today was awesome. Hitting 85 degrees and up so early does tire you out a bit. Three straight days of golf is a lot.
Tomorrow off fishing for Catfish which should be fun. Looking forward to that. I promise you I won’t be eating one of them, yet I hear people raving about them. They are BOTTOM feeders and where do you think fish poop settles ?
Jackie & I went to the pool tonight for quite a long time. Love the warmth. I met an ex farmer from Saskatchewan and started talking to him. It is amazing how wealthy some of these farmers are. This gentleman built a large shop and has three project cars he is working on. A Cobra Mustang and a 33 Ford coupe with a Coyote engine. I can’t remember his 3rd vehicle. To do this, have a shop and project cars would be a dream for me. Takes a lot of cash ! Very nice visit with a nice guy and great swim. Live is good !
Thought of the Day
Proud of who you are and what you have done is self rewarding. To envy maybe natural but accomplishes nothing other than regret. Live your own life as well as you can and you will be happy.
“Mercury Forecast Mesa 20 degrees, Calgary -1 degrees snow, Edmonton -5 degrees snow
I took the low temp of the two days. Thursday it got up to 24 degrees but a little cloudy and today cloudy for most of the day which keeps the heat down.
Today was Catfishing day. On Fred’s block we were lucky enough to have an expert Catfish guy wanting to go fishing. Mel is a neat guy from Missouri. The perfect redneck guy that was very familiar with Catfish and even raised them. He like them to eat.
I did a bit of research on Catfish and I have my doubts about them. First they are bottom feeders so will taste like mud plus think about where does all of the fish poop end up but on the bottom. Second these fish have a defense system that is poisonous to humans. On their dorsal and pec fins they have spikes that if a human gets poked or stabbed it is will swell, inflame and in reading it was suggested they go to the hospital. Talking to Mel on this he laughed and said yes they hurt but only for about two or three days. Redneck ! Loved it but still wary about the fish.
Mel had scouted out an awesome spot on the canal and we headed out. He had all of the know how and equipment. Without him we would have had no chance to catch one. The process is very similar to Sturgeon. Mel had well burnt bologna and then spread old blood mixture over it and dropped it down to the bottom with a weight and float.
I wanted to catch one just to see them and see how Mel would have handled it. I was a little leery of handing it until I see the process. As luck would have it, it was an off day. Nobody was getting any today. Too bad but a fun day experiencing something new again. Mel was quite a character and was a lot of fun. He had lost his wife about a year ago and was staying down here alone.
After fishing we stopped by Fred’s place as the girls still were out golfing for a couple of drinks. Today Fred made us some very good Caesars which was great. I didn’t see the ratio of alcohol but knowing Fred they were on the strong side as after 6 drinks total I could feel a little buzz. Came home and had a 2 hour nap. LOL
Fun day again.
Today I am with Bob’s group going out at 1pm shotgun for a game. Looking for a good game again today.
Well, all four of us had a off game. The money game ended up being a tie. I had the low score of the group but in the mid 80’s. I was in every fairway but my own. Hitting them REAL long today but a off target. In combo with screwed up shots and missed putts a boogie happens very easily. Only one birdie amongst all four of us. I had a eagle shot about 6 feet away and lag putted it short for the birdie. Darn ! Good birdie juice today.
Jackie started making her Chicken Fried Rice for tomorrow at Fred’s place for a get together. The house smells quite strongly of Soy Sauce. LOL Can’t say it is a great smell like a steak, or roast but it is different.
Thought of the Day
Isn’t it amazing the different smells from food and how we relate it to a race or culture. The body odor from food does define one. I smell like sweet lavender.
March 9th -10th
“Mercury Forecast Mesa 22 degrees Calgary 1 degrees Edmonton 0 degrees “
I long wait for spring weather for my Alberta friends and family. First time in long time above zero temperatures happening. Now the floods maybe a concern in the near future. We are about a month away or so from coming home and will be watching the weather to determine when. I am not coming back this year until the snow is gone, the temperatures are warmer, the golf courses are open and I can start working out at our lot.
I am starting the planning for our May Long Golf Weekend outing which has been a traditional annual get together with friends and family for years. In fact I could say we have camped May Long for over 40 years. We have had some hot but a lot of cold weekends in May with snow.
A couple that stand out over the years:
- Alan & MaryAnn ( yes they used to come the odd time camping) to Buck Lake near Boyle Alberta. A cold wet snowy one all weekend. We bought plastic from the coop to build shelters from the rain and snow and to capture the heat from the fire.
- In Bashaw we all woke up to snow. Ron Bishop got up and started to sweep and push the snow off his awning. Didn’t work well as the awning completely ripped.
- Camping out at Rocky Mtn House and we received a huge dump of snow. Vehicles were having a very difficult time getting up the hill from the campground. Luckily we had 4 x 4 .
- Out at Kananaskis in our tent trailer we woke up to snow and COLD. Glasses on the countertop with water in them were frozen solid when we woke up. Ears were extremely cold.
- Fred & Terry got a flat tire one year on their motorhome and had a repair company come out to the campground.
- Numerous times Keith’s gas firepit along with a tent has been a life saver from rain, cold and snow.
A lot of fun over the years. We have gone from two units up to 8 units. The response from the first email may indicate this year will be a lot smaller than the 8 units we had last year as people have different commitments etc. I can’t book until April 1st and May Long weekends are always exceptionally busy so I need to be right on time with the number and names of the committed people. Our pot luck theme this year is “Great Britain” so fish& chips, banger and mash, blood pie, Irish Stew and shepherd’s pie as examples.
Fred & I worked all day building his outdoor living area enclosure. Terry found a sweet heart of a deal on soffit which saved a lot of money. We built the top angle part and a swing gate which took the bulk of the day. It turned out looking great. The hinges Fred bought on Amazon are the best gate hinges I have EVER seen and I have being selling hinges of all types since 1977 . They are super strong, adjustable and self closing and they were designed to fit a 2inch post. Perfect ! Their new dining area is starting to look cozy and after a rug and some décor will be awesome.
The girls Jackie, Pat, and Terry used the golf cart and wheeled all over the park for the park wide garage sale. Jackie had a very successful garage sale run.
Her first find was a 1500 watt fireplace that will work perfect in our bunk house. Small, quiet, lots of heat and cute it is perfect find for $15.00
Her second super find is a Broan Stainless Steel charcoal filter with led lights range hood. These things are just over the $200 mark so getting a almost new one at $35 is a great deal. This one is even easier for me to install. I will build a stack up from it out of MDF and paint it teal which will look good with our cushions and barn wood. Great find
Then we get into her “stuff” A popcorn maker for the campfire, A wok for the campfire, and catching can for beer caps.
The car will be full coming back. Two large suitcases, two large golf bags, power golf cart, my rebuilt Demco tow bar, paint spray gun, huge 4′ metal cactus, rope noose welcome sign, a 30″ range hood, a small fireplace, 32″ TV and small other stuff. I need a quick stop to Costco for spirits for this summer and we will be loaded.
After the days event and our work completed we had a wonderful “Chinese” supper with a Stir Fry and Chicken Fried rice. Tasted wonderful.
Thought of the Day
Nothing worse than wishing you had bought that junk, when you got home and realized how much you needed it.
March 11th & 12th
“Mercury Forecast Mesa 17 degrees rain, Calgary 2 degrees snow, Edmonton 6 degrees ”
The sky was overcast but our hopes high the rain wouldn’t start until after our golf game. Starting out everything went perfect. Straight, long drives, great chips and good putting. Ended up with a all pars except a triple boogie on a Par 3 and one boogie for the first nine. We stopped with a couple of holes left as the rain was starting and we could see black and wind coming up. We got to Fat Willy’s just in time to miss the rain and to have our burgers served within a reasonable time. As always impressive big burgers. We had a large group with close to 15 people. I played with Bob & Pat’s brother Harvey today. Fun day and great meal.
Came home and watched the second to last episode of the Bachelor. As always feeling are hurt. Funny how we like to “look in ” on others pain. Having said that the word “LOVE” is thrown around away too easy today. There is no way in two or three dates you can say in love. In lust perhaps but not in Colton’s case. LOL
It rained all night and at times heavily and carried for most of the day. Jackie & Terry were out at 7:30 am for their daily walk and got very lucky just missing the rain. Right after it poured and poured.
Fred picked me up and we went hunting for parts to finish his enclosure. First stop was Harbour Freight where I picked up my oscillating saw at a wonderful price. It doesn’t have the adjustable plate like a typical undercut saw but does the exact thing. They didn’t carry the spring gate wheel we needed. A quick Tractor Supply stop and same thing. Home Depot had the part but not exact what we needed without some redesign. I helped Fred get the barrel bolts and looked at the design changes for the wheel. It was pouring out all the while and cold so we decided to finish another day. Hitting high 80’s later this week.
Worked on my block party invites to get them ready to hand out.
” Mercury Forecast Mesa 17 degrees windy Calgary 1 degrees Edmonton 4 degrees”
Up at 6:15 this morning to get ready for Whirlwind Golf. I drove today as Sandy had company and Bob was out this week. I picked up Denis and we headed out.
At the course at 8am for the shotgun start it was 11 degrees out, cloudy and windy. Wind all day from 18 mph to 40 mph gusts.
The wind got to us all and me in particular. In my foursome 3 out of 4 were affected and the bulk of the group were. I hate wind while fighting a slice and I am not great at adjusting the length required for a shot. Needless to say I had one of my higher scoring games this year. I will check and it may be my highest. I didn’t go over 100 so everything considered I can live with it. Starting off freezing the hands and the body with the temperature and wind every hole everyone scored higher as people were winning legs at -4 which never usually happens. I will take this cold and wind over snow and freezing cold any day of the week but we are over 20 degrees cooler than average.
Still a fun day with a great group of guys. My one partner looked like he was about 70. This gentleman had two hips replaced within the last year. The latest one was replaced in October and the first one 10 months earlier. Jack Beattie could hit the ball a mile. He was the longest of our group and only had one tee shot not in the middle. He was for no other words, amazing. Unbelievably long ,straight and just coming out of surgery ( a major surgery) a few months ago. Pretty impressive.
Sad news. One always hopes their neighbors are good people. Over the years we have had some bad and some great neighbors. Here in Arizona, Pat & Bob have been exceptional friends and neighbors and now that their For Sale sign has been stuck in the ground it is reality they are leaving. We will really miss them. Wish them the best though in what ever they end up doing. Bob & Pat bought their place the same year as we did in 2007. Their home has the nicest, largest section of big trees in the park. Darn what were they thinking to put up their place for sale ? LOL
COMPUTER BROKE. MAYBE DOWN FOR A WHILE.Looks like maybe by Thursday it maybe working. I am doing this with my phone but it is very very cumbersome.
Life is funny as issues and odd things happening are constant. Had the roof fixed, fixed the smart trim, repair man coming for diswasher, laptop crashes, phone battery needs replaced, painted ceiling, fixed the eave trough, tiled, caulked siding and windows, etc. It never ends. Lol . I am adding computer repair to my list of rip off companies.
Hard drive is shot. New drive and data transfer coming next Wednesday . Then I will be back up running. I may tonight do a little catchup on my phone but it isn’t easy to work with.