“Mercury Forecast Mesa 38 degrees, Calgary 26 degrees, Edmonton 21 degrees showers”
Wow September already. Now this year has been the weirdest ever in our lives but the time has just flown by so fast considering we are limited in what we can do and what we can’t do.
Lousy summer weather until mid July and the best weather for a long time except for the odd historic hail storm. Calgary greener than ever which is not the normal for us. Lately golf courses you can start to see the dryness creep into the fairways and tee boxes.
Our flowers did wonderful this year with my irrigation and the heat. It sure makes it easy and allows us not to be there to keep them looking good. The yard looks great. I am going to add a flower section on the side of the motorhome next year.-
I paid the balance of the bills that are due the first of the month including Mesa HOA and I am sure hoping we get a chance to go there this winter.
I headed out to the lot and had a good day. Working in the sun at 26 degrees is fantastic. I installed my pneumatic lifts on my baggage doors where they we starting to get a little weak. It was a 100% easier than I thought. I had to pull in the slides to fully open the doors to extend the arms. Amazon shipped them quickly and they were the exact match.
I had one wiper arm for some reason that was looking sun drenched and slight rust on it. A quick sand and then paint and it looks like brand new.
I filled and drained the fresh water tank as it had a slight smell last time. I will sanitize with bleach in the spring but for this coming up camping trip it smells perfect now. I used the drained water on the grass and plants including the neighbors new tree as it was looking a little wilted. They haven’t been out for a while. The neighbor right across from us had a brilliant idea that looks fantastic. I will steal this idea for somewhere in the future. He used conduit painted and black iron floor flange for their railings. You could use black iron pipe but it a lot more expensive. This looks fantastic, modern, and clean.
Organized my storage area and tool shed. Very full but it is sure nice to have tools when you need it. I swept and cleaned the Saloon. I burned all of the cardboard and junk we had in the fire pit. I cleaned up the back of the Jeep. I turned the BBQ to high and cleaned the grill with my wood paddle which worked great. Dusted the grill and counter area and wiped down the outside eaves on the gazebo. I took the broom after a few cow webs in the eaves.
I did a lot of measuring as the girls behind us are going to let me move their trailer away from our property line. I will build them a new mini deck for their steps and ensure their power and water lines are long enough to work. This will make a huge difference for us.
I ran the motor home and generator for about 15 minutes including putting a load on the genset. Completely checked all fluid levels in the motor, tranny, genset and tanks. I needed to adjust the tanks reading on the gauges. Perhaps the black water tank will be full by the end of the long weekend so I can adjust it also as I know it is out by a bit.
Talked to the neighbors for quite a bit , and relaxed in the sun a bit . Used a half bottle of ant killer on a few hills and sprayed any weeds that were popping up in the gravel.
I had to charge up all of my batteries today. The lawnmower’s two batteries and the drills two batteries. I put a power plug in the closet where I store my tools so charging is easy.
The one thought that just hit me that I don’t like, is, we didn’t camp or fish enough this year. An odd year so I guess this is to be expected. Hopefully we get an Indian Summer. Oops a Indigenous Summer. I do know the Farmers Almanac and the weather experts are calling for lots of snow and cold this year. I sure hope that isn’t the case if we are stuck here for a portion of the winter. Please LOL
Below is an excerpt that is a call to action. We need to unite.
|Bad Golfers Matter
I’m a member of golf’s lower 90%.
I am an indifferent golfer, and there’s no way I could ever make it to the professional level. I will never put in the practice time to be the best.
I will never have the shots, skills, or mental toughness to “make it” in the sport. I just never felt like working all that hard at it.
However, I am a part of the golfing community and, as such, feel I should be paid by the top 1% of golfers for what I do. It isn’t fair that those players who have worked harder, have studied the game, have better equipment and are more skilled and dedicated should make all that BIG money.
Where’s my share? I’m a Victim! The top 1% should pay for my club memberships, green fees, lessons and buy me new clubs, balls, clothes and shoes, and pay me some of their winnings. They can afford it. They are “The Wealthy.” The whole system should be changed to accommodate people like me
I think we should get together and occupy a golf course and demand that those who are better at what they do, pay for us who generally stink.
I think we should get some paint and cover the parking lots with “BAD GOLFERS MATTER“.
Whining should get us something – I agree, we should riot on the golf course, tip over golf carts and set them on fire. Then we could steal their clubs, shoes and balls. Why should they have so many balls. Don’t forget your masks.
BBQ’d chicken breasts with mashed potatoes and peas for supper was awesome.
Today was big day for August as it was his official FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN. This is one of those days that parents remember and in a lot of cases hate as they realize their kid is growing up fast. This kid is so cute !
It is a odd time with Covid and school. Between the government I believe pushing the kids back to school too soon instead of solidifying a good on line program with core subjects only and the increase of cases we could be asking for trouble. I don’t like the fact they are keeping everyone 6ft apart except for the kids which doesn’t make any sense at all. This is such a difficult situation as we have the most volatile and vocal union ( no matter what the circumstance) involved and the most precious commodity of any society, our children. I only hope if a situation arises we act quickly at the government level, at the parenting level and at the union level. Another milestone in time downgraded by a Chinese inflected virus.
Thought of the Day
Is it just me or do parents seem more excited for the first day of school than their kids.
“Mercury Forecast Mesa 39 degrees, Calgary 17 degrees, Edmonton 17 degrees showers”
A little windy today but still nice and sunny. Today just getting a few things fixed up. I headed to Party City and picked up some additional Halloween decorations. Getting there early has it’s benefits. I picked up a few things to add to the collection. I like Halloween as it is fun time for the kids and at Oasis we have lots of shooters for the adults. This year after the treats are all handed out we have a movie on the greens which is our outside event. It should all be fun.
I think Jackson is coming but August and Atticus are heading down south for an event. I remember the first time after taking Jackson around I had to go back to the trailer to get Jackie as I was feeling a little wobbly with the amount of shooters that were handed out.
I picked up some more golf balls and hopefully the last of the year unless we get to go south. I am not holding my breath. I can’t believe how this balls disappear. lol
I did some banking then headed to McKenzie Meadows to the range. I need to get more consistent. Tomorrow will be my test. I hit some wonderful shots but you really can’t tell until you have a fairway in front of you.
I went downstairs and fooled around with the Flex. I tagged #2 seat as my position. I set up the audio tones that I like. I tested and tried the digital pad on the doors. I set the a/c to auto dual zone. I really like this car.
I just need to tint the drivers and passenger side windows to add to the “cool” factor both in temperature and aesthetics.
A low key day but nice and different for a change.
Up this morning with a call from Jackson on his way to school for his First day for Grade 4. What is really nice about this year is he will be with the biggest kids at school as it is a K-4 school. Being the oldest group is always better. Next year with a new school having grades 4-9 it won’t be the same. A good move not to change schools this year and wait.
First days of school are always fun. It is too bad we can’t remember the actual feelings of events that took place in our lives. If we could I am sure the first day of any school year is right up there with the best ones.
He looks great and is smiling proudly with his new braces for the year. It is amazing and scary how fast time flies.
Another wonderful summer day hitting 25 degrees out. And the perfect day for my men’s league golf. I had great expectations that were quickly extinguished though. Another high scoring game. I have lost the art of keeping the ball in play from the tee. I wasn’t displeased overall if I could remove two hole scores and the three 3 putts. It would have low 80’s or less. What killed me today was taking a 12 on a hole. Darn.
Having said that I really enjoy the group and the course plays tough.
We stopped for a few drinks and a bite on the sunny deck over looking the mountain view and let the banter fly. Fun day again ! The food at Turner Valley is now excellent. I haven’t had a meal that wasn’t wonderful for a long long time.
I sold the Dakota within minutes and the very next day the guy is reselling for a few hundred more. It should still sell quickly. I am going to watch to see how long he has to hold on to it.
It sold for a couple of hundred more in two days. People like these trucks and this one with everything new was a steal of a deal.
Thought of the Day
I may need to get my ball retriever re-gripped this year I am playing so bad.
“Mercury Forecast Mesa 45 degrees Calgary 27 degrees Edmonton 23 degrees”
The end of summer is turning out great.
I never like to use excuses for anything but this morning 24 hours later my wasp sting I took yesterday while golfing amazingly still hurts. This large wasp without provocation attacks me while walking to my ball. It hit me and I throw my arm away from it but they are instant stingers. Stings usually are painful for about 30 seconds and then they subside but still linger for hours. As this one did, but this morning it still is hurting and swollen with a large hard lump under the skin. I can’t imagine getting stung numerous times all over your body. The most ever for me was again golfing a wasp entered my shirt and before I could get it out I was stung 4 times. That I have to admit was a little painful. Anyone else wonder why wasps and mosquito are on our planet ? Then I discover the wasps are great protectors of our crops by eating caterpillars, larvae and bugs so I guess we all can take one for Team World.
To finish about this the wasp, it stung all the way through from Thursday to Monday. My arm had a large lump, was itchy and still hurt. The skin even was red around the sting and surrounding area. One nasty large black Wasp.
September Long Weekends are very similar to May Long Weekends. More often that not we have had bad weather. We have camped the Long weekends for decades and some nasty weather. Snow, rain, cold, winds and the odd hot one thrown in. We used to camp at random spots. For years we camped at Pembina Prov Park which was always fun especially if good weather with a large group. For the last three years we now stay in our Resort as Sept Long is a special event. The EARLY Halloween is spectacular with the RV lots all dressed up, 200 kids needing candy and the shooters for the adults. The resort also puts on a Carnival with large bouncy houses, mazes, dunk pools etc but this year due to Covid was it was called off. But we had a fantastic Halloween, more than normal Shooter locations , a Show & Shine and a Drive In movie experience. The screen had to be 20 x 50 and the clarity was first class. The speakers were used from the dances and provided wonderful sound. It was a fun fun evening for everyone.
Friday night Jeff & Wendy were heading back from Med Hat and stopped in. A wonderful surprise visit. We sat around had a few drinks and I made a quick supper for everyone. They were on the tired side so couldn’t stay too long so I didn’t get to exhibit my Crib skills. An enjoyable visit and Jeff booked a couple of golf games for us for the following week. Friday was hot and Jackie and I enjoyed a wonderful day out at the lot.
Saturday was another hot one being over 30 late in the evening. Victoria and Jackson came out to stay the night and enjoy the events. The pool with it’s limit of people was fully booked so we kept busy with games and the pond. Jackson loves the pond and even convinced his Mom to get into the water and jump on the floats. He even wanted to be buried in the sand again.
Jackson was showing off his luck in Chinese Checkers playing a few games. He also had a game of War. Jackie & I hung up and got all of our/Tor’s Halloween decorations in place for a 6 pm start. We had a great BBQ’d supper with baked potato’s my favorite just before trick and treat time.
The big event was packed. Jackie said she had 130 kids which surprised us a bit with Covid but everyone was relatively safe with masks, and tongs or gloves handing out the candy. Jackson made a killing with his pillow case 3/4 full. More chips than normal this year due to the ease and safety.
Jackie was our hander outer this year and I walked around with Tor & Jackson. The costumes and yard decorations are next to none. Unbelievable effort put worth. Daisy had the time of her life walking each row with us going nuts wanting to meet people and getting petted and meeting numerous doggy friends. I think she had the most fun. Jackson’s haul got heavy by the end of the trip. There are 320 sites to visit and I would bet 300 had candy. Quite a few ran out early as they didn’t expect so many kids. We thought if had any left we would just give them to the Waldies to use for the calendar Halloween. It is too bad the Hallows Eve falls basically in winter instead of summer or fall. That is one reason this is so successful as the kids and adults can wear their costumes without any heavy clothes.
The guy above on the left side of picture every year drags this heavy pick axe behind him with one limp leg actually leaving a long divot in the gravel road. Going up and down every row for a least a couple of miles. He has to be sore the next day.
Lots of people commented how cute Jackson was with his Peter Pan costume. There were two shooter laden younger guys sitting in their lot and the one guy goes ” Hey look it is Peter Pan” I replied to him ” You sure know your Peter Pan’s and fairy tales” His friend laughed and moved his chair away from his friend and said something smart. I quickly said ” Look who’s talking wearing his pink dye tye shirt” People are fun. To add to this so many people mixed Jackson’s costume up thinking he was Robin Hood. You can tell they are old or their parents never read books to them
I was impressed with Tor. So many units with adult shooters and Tor had a few and was able to walk. No longer a light weight. Some of these shooters were awesome. Every kind you could think of.
We then headed to the movie drive in. Playing was Hotel Transylvania and as I said it was done with a first class picture and sound wise.
After the movie we came home and played some games and sat around the fire. Every camper ( other than Jackie) enjoys, loves and looks forward to sitting around the campfire.
In the morning and it was cooler I made sausages and scrambled eggs and Jackie got the toast ready. It was a great camping breakfast. Next time I am going for pancakes and sausages.
It is strange to have one day at 30 degrees and the very next day only 13 degrees. Campers are fully aware of temperature changes and long weekend volatility and most are quite prepared for the worst.
Jackie & I had a great time and hopefully Tor and Jackson enjoyed themselves.
The day started overcast and dark and remained that way all day until the evening when it started to lightly rain. After Tor & Jackson packed up we relaxed outside, read books, and cleaned the BBQ again, cleaned up the gazebo and motor home. It was a nice relaxing day with the cooler temperatures.
We plan to head back into town sometime Monday after sleeping in.
We had a nice night with the coolness and I noticed even Daisy was trying to steal my body heat or under the covers. On cooler nights like this I use the fireplace to save propane. It doesn’t have a digital thermostat so in most cases it is under warm as I hate warm nights.
Daisy had a lazy evening with us. We managed a few walks in the day so she at least got her exercise.
We packed up everything in the mid morning and headed back to town where it rained heavily. With the heavy rain , snow in some parts and the cooler temperatures it wouldn’t be fun for a lot of tent campers. That is where a big fire is a blessing when trying to stay warm. If it is raining without a tarp it is even worse.
Our noisier neighbors even thought it was to cold and left early on Sunday which was nice to enjoy the country quiet again without music.
Another FUN, WONDERFUL, ENJOYABLE September Long Weekend. Here is hoping the bulk of the people played it safe so we don’t have a huge uptick in Covid cases.
We got home and I thoroughly enjoyed watching Dustin win the Fedex Cup. It was also nice NOT to see Paulina trying to steal the spotlight. Man is he a great golfer.
Thought of the Day
Getting an inch of snow during the long weekend is like winning 10 cents in the Lotto.
Sept 8th -9th
“Mercury Forecast- Mesa 38 degrees, Calgary 18 degrees, Edmonton 21 degrees”
Nothing really important on the agenda for today. We had to remove the Flex from it’s parking spot as they are installing new LED lights in the parking garage.
With free time a RANT could be squeezed out by I will refrain. I will only say one thing. There are a lot of stupid people in Alberta. Politicians,union supporters, and news media are the worst.
Let’s see our Covid numbers after this weekend and school starting. Not unexpected for sure but 5 schools in the south have already reported a Covid case. No going back though as we have to plow through. The surprising one is a high school student in Raymond AB. This little town was a way ahead of the curve in testing and protocols but people must have relaxed a little to much. The numbers will be announced today at 3:30 pm. I am going to guess 500 cases for the 4 days.
Every time I look at my calendar it upsets me, as in 4 days we were supposed to be on our cruise. Interesting that the Chinese are now saying they have a vaccine ready for Covid. No kidding Sherlock another huge money maker for the most deceitful, manipulative, corrupt, immoral nation on the planet. STOP buying CHINESE goods. Pay the little extra to get something from anywhere but. Having said that please also remember the Chinese immigrants to Canada are among the hardest working people we have and they deserve to be successful with all of this not reflecting on them what so ever.
Trying to organize a gathering at this time is a little more difficult. First if you find a picnic spot or tourist spot and finding one with washrooms is not easy. Restaurants do not allow large table gatherings so you have multiple tables spread apart. I tried a few different venues but eventually settled for our Oasis RV Park. We have the spacing and washrooms available which will make it easier and better for most people I believe.
I would have liked to have a big party to celebrate Jackie’s 60th but it is not in the cards this year with all of the restrictions. One good thing about turning 60 is the cheque each month of our own money that Trudeau sends. That brings up the question wither or not to take early CPP.
“PENNYWISE TIP “
I will tell you I am a proponent that everyone should take it early. UNLESS you are quite wealthy or plan to live a long long time. Remember in Canada the average life span is 82.52 years of age. I expect that will be less for 2020 with Covid. Sure, it can be a grim undertaking to consider your own mortality but when considering taking early CPP it is in your financial best interest to do so. I like math and so time value of money and in this case the break-even analysis is always an interesting calculation. For every month you delay your CPP, your benefit it raises 0.7% or 8.4% per year. Wait until your 70 it would be 42% higher. Keep in mind 82 yrs life expectancy. You will collect on average 12 years if you wait. The last part of your life you need less money except for drugs and possible health care needs. I like the plan to take it early and if not needed put it into your TFSA and let it grow. You never know when the rules will change around this payment like the reduction that happened for early takers a few years ago.
You can see by the above spreadsheet if you take it at 60 the break even point is 74 yrs old. You have enjoyed 14 years of a monthly income of $725.87 indexed. Wait for 4 years you receive $300 more a month with a break even of 78 yrs old. When do you think you will spend more money at 60 or later in life.
The above chart shows the maximum optimization of the CPP payouts. Curiously at age 65 it never is the max. If you took the difference between the 118K and 153K at age 60 and 70 and invested it yourself in TFSA you would be miles ahead. Without interest even you are ahead.
In our case as we didn’t have a defined pension, the gold standard, or even a good pension, so we use the money as part of our monthly living allowance. While we can complain as to the amount we receive it still pays for part of groceries anyways. And starting in October Jackie will receive hers helping again.
For couples or individuals with defined pensions or large investments it would be in their best interests to delay CPP and OAS.
A Penny saved is a Penny earned- now that old saying is redundant eh
I liked Notley for her work ethic and her overall presentation. But she is so far left wing that it is basically impossible for an average person to have any respect for her. Today she lowered herself to a all time low by posting a letter from the Principle of the Bowness High School about the Covid crisis we are ALL facing. The Principle should be immediately FIRED. She has proven without reasonable doubt she is unfit to lead. This only exemplifies her lack of leadership skills by scaring her staff, parents ,kids, and causing undue stress instead of speaking to the issue in ways to overcome and be successful combating it. Fear Mongering politics. Blame everyone else. Fire her immediately and shame on you Notley for being the instigator. Being union she won’t even get a talking to. This is our new world. Remember Captain Crozier getting fired from his duties as the leader of a aircraft carrier.
If you were going to go public with something won’t you think she would have at least made sure her spelling was correct. MBA’s are not as good as they used to be. I wouldn’t have said anything about spelling as we all have experienced typo’s, rushed, not double checking ,spell check not working etc but she did post this publicly and is supposed to be an educator. Perhaps Notley’s try at a fake news release.
Can you imagine the leader (General Arthur Currie) before attacking at Vimy Ridge saying to his troops we are going to lose 1/4 of you. This is Prime Minister Borden’s fault. You should have done better.
This is the perfect example of fear mongering at it’s best. The teachers and students have a hard enough time dealing without this kind of nonsense.
I sure hope the parents and board realize how poor of a leader she is. When someone fails, the person promoting them has to accept some responsibility for the lack of judgement in promoting them and not giving them the training they need to be successful. The worse part of all of this, is Notley endorsing this. Sad !
An earlier tee time than usual this morning. This time of year it takes a bit to heat up. Jeff even wore pants today. Looking at the temperatures I knew it was going to warm up fast. Leaving the house it was 6 degrees and by the third or four hole it had to be close to 20. I was glad for my shorts. We got to play as a twosome which is always nice. We flew through the front none at 1.5 hours. But we had the GROVE course for the back nine which is the slowest due to short holes and dog legs. It was a score in mid 80’s but it was not a good game. I HATE excuses as I figure you deal with what is going on and make the best of it. But my back is just too sore to drive well. I will have lots of pills tomorrow for my men’s league to help. Going for DMS is like the dentist. You know it is going to hurt so you keep putting it off. I need to go. A very warm nice day to golf that as usual is still a fun to do. It is an enjoyable time. First time in months and months were Jeff and I had a few chicken wings after golf being that we were done so early.
Jackie was working on stuff for Audrey today so I made supper for everyone. Going old school like when we were first married. mashed potatoes, ground beef, and veggies. Always a go to meal that I enjoy and as I said years ago quite a common meal for us. None of this ground turkey for us. LOL You put the meat over your potatoes like gravy and it is a meal similar to a Cottage Pie.
We watched a bit of TV with AGT and Big Brother leading the way. Watching the news I noticed Arizona recorded the lowest number of Covid cases since March 25th. Which is lower than Alberta so things are looking up for going south. If no hiccup or second or third waves I can live with Jan to April in the warmth. I just need to verify that our insurance company covers us for Covid. If not a commitment will be, if not feeling well get in the car and drive north in one or two days to be home. I am very optimistic watching the cases there.
Thought of the Day
The best way to escape your problem is to find a solution to it.
“Mercury Forecast Mesa 38 degrees, Calgary 27 degrees, Edmonton 27 degrees”
What a beautiful Summer day. Not a cloud in the sky.
Today was men’s league and a special day with Turner Valley against Vulcan. My two playing partners from Vulcan were awesome guys. I would say not a stellar day for all four of us. Rick had at least 7 lip outs and the rest of us just bad shots. I DO NOT KNOW what has happened as I was getting very good at golf and was one game away from being a single digit handicapper. Lately my golf is horrible. Today my score was my highest score since 2007. That is 13 years ago. I even took extra pills today. Taking a 8 on the first hole you knew it wasn’t going to be a good day. Wonderful drive and a 90 yard to the green chip shot shanked right into the water. Second hole shank to the trap. Once you have a shank or a couple of them every chip shot you are scared to hit the ball. I only had 5 pars and one birdie all day. I am still waiting for the results to see if we beat Vulcan and hope my score wasn’t the deciding factor. My birdie is on a hole that a snip will not be counted so no money again. It is getting a little frustrating. Having said that it was a very fun filled day. We ended the day with a nice a sit down with cold beer. Wonderful day !
A earlier than normal tee time start today at Heatherglen. First we were lucky it wasn’t that cold as we started just before warm up. Second you are at risk of a frost delay. So a good start for us. Heatherglen had 3 smaller tournaments on which could have caused a slow down but we finished in under 4 hours. As usual it was a warm sunny fun filled day golfing with Jeff & Wendy. The temperature got up to 1/10th of a degree under the all time record high for the day at 29.0 degrees. With this perfect golfing temperature your muscles are very flexible compared to golfing in cool weather. The Graces were not as on as normal. Jackie golfed very very well. With no gimmies or mulligans she had a 103 with taking a 9 on one hole. Bring that back to a boogie she would have scored 99 and broke a 100. Her chipping and putting is getting a lot better and todays drives and second shots were good.
I scored a 104 yesterday the highest since 2007 and today a 82. I can not figure out golf. I will say Turner Valley even though both courses have the same slope rating is much much more difficult and I wish they would correct it a bit more. You never see a PGA course with thick under bush where you can lose your ball. In most cases it is simple punch out shot. There are very few holes where you can’t lose the ball by being only a few feet off the fairway. Yet, keep it in play and there are very few courses of this caliber close to the city.
Daisy again was exceptional sitting on the cart all day watching us golf.
After golf we went for a few beer on the deck at Berwicks. Nice cold glasses and great appies like steak bites and dumplings that were awesome. Lot’s of fun chatting in the sun. Eldon & Cindy ( Wendy’s brother) joined us on the deck. Eldon and Cindy were a lot of fun in Mesa last year for the short visit they had. They are very down to earth friendly fun people. It is always interesting to see friends relatives and how different they are. Wendy is a 5 Star hotel girl and Eldon is a boon-docking RV’er. I have yet to meet a dry camper that I don’t like. As I said before owning a RV is like owning your own happiness. There is no other life like it. And the people are always the friendliest. The scenery and peace quiet like none other. I would love for the Graces and the Huggett’s to buy a RV. Golf trips, camping trips, fishing trips etc would happen as right now we camp with our daughters which both own RV’s and/or the Harry’s and with the Geddes. The Keys have gone another direction and are stay in place people now. A Cadillac can pull 3500 pounds. A Honda CRV is only 1500 pounds so that car is out. And a Honda Ridgeline is 5000 pounds so the Huggett’s have loads of options. There a loads of trailers under 3500 pounds usually around the 14 to 20 foot range which are easy to pull. A trailer is Glamping as it is your own shower, toilet, bed etc all in a cooled or warmed space. And it is portable so you can be right beside the lake or in the woods. RV’ing is a lot cheaper than staying in hotels but the biggest difference is where you are at and it is your own. You are BBQ’ing your own meals in spectacular locations in wilderness, or lakeside or in the mountains. Here are some numbers.
Two of the major costs in any road trip are meals and fuel. Consider the prospect of two weeks exploring the West for a family of four. Here’s an example:
Driving a vehicle:
- Meals: $1,750 ($125 a day)
- Gasoline: $350 (3,500 miles, 30 MPG, gas $3 a gallon)
- Total: $2,100
Taking an RV:
- Meals: $400 ($200 a week for groceries)
- Gasoline $1,050 (3,500 miles, 10 MPG, gas $3 a gallon)
- Total: $1,450
The difference gets even bigger the more you use your RV. Especially in today’s world where you can buy a RV and finance it at $149 a month. ( One night in a hotel) The return on investment is measured in a fun factor not dollars. Using the above formula camp for 8 weeks and you will saved $6000 a 1/3rd of a new smaller trailer.
Time will tell.
We all remember 9/11 today which I remember very vividly. I was in Frank Sisson’s restaurant having my morning meeting with the sales guys over breakfast when we saw it on TV. We were mesmerized and didn’t get back to the office until at least 10am.
Peter hated his birthday after 9/11 happened but it was his birthday. He would have been 86 this year.
No internet so it will be a week before I post. We will be camping. We will be golfing. We will be fishing. We will be playing crib and dice. And most importantly we will be celebrating Jackie’s 60th Birthday. Lol
I will post lots of pictures when we get home.
Thought of the Day
Sept 12th to Sept 20th
I didn’t put the weather stats in as it was over a long period of time. We experienced cool weather, cold weather, ok weather but no snow or rain. The smoke haze kept the warm weather under it and the frost off us which was nice.
We arrived early and luckily for us our spot was open so we were allowed to set up. Keith & Jenny were only about a 1/2 hr behind us. As we are staying the week it is a full set up which is a bit of work but it is enjoyable making your own little camp. Here is my list of setup chores:
- Put down my blocks and auto level jacks.
- Pull out the slides
- Extend the awning
- Hook up electrical and water/sewer if available.
- Bring out the Coleman stove and Coleman BBQ along with the hoses and propane tank
- Set one or two portable tables for cooking and storing things
- Plug in ice maker and put on tables
- Get out the chairs we need based on people. I carry 7 chairs with us.
- Place the side tables outside
- Place the area rug at the steps
- Build the portable gazebo and move picnic table inside
- Install lightning in the gazebo.
- Get wood ready for a fire
- SIT DOWN AND HAVE A COLD BEER DONE!
The first few days and evenings were cold. While setting up I discovered we only have 15 amp power. I booked a power site and didn’t check the exact description. I have nothing against not having amenities but 15 amp is useless. We all kept blowing the breaker. We put on the fireplace for warmth and the breaker goes as the hot water heater and fireplace exceed the amperage at the pole. If you pay for power you don’t want to use gas but we had to. I switched the hot water heater over to gas and used the furnace instead of the fireplace. A little inconvenient but we made it work.
I used my gas portable firepit to heat the gazebo. I had to keep moving the propane tank between the firepit and cooking appliances. We played Catan in the gazebo in the warmth and light. We discovered very quickly that the pit heats up the gazebo too much even on low. Playing with the dials if I put it on light I could control the size of flame which is a lot less than low and this worked out perfect. This game is like RISK but a lot quicker and I think a lot more fun. The concept is world domination with the largest army, longest road and building cities and settlements. A Chinese name for the game that I think is reflective of how the Chinese are starting to dominate the world. The game is little convoluted and takes a while to get the hang of it but it is a lot of fun. It is not boring like Risk or Monopoly can be. Odd though as it was invented by a German guy.
Off to Forest Heights to golf. Jenny, Jackie and us all were dressed as warm as we could without affecting golf too much. Pills, cold muscles, pocket warmers along with the weirdest thing all combined for a bad day scoring. First hole great drive leaving a 100 yard wedge to the green. then SHANK. Second hole 80 yards off the green then SHANK. Third hole great drive 125 yards and then SHANK. Now I am scared to use any wedge. I shanked one at TV a few days before and now this. There were more shanks and now worry and angst. I hate having to think too much over a shot and very hesitant on short shots all day. A course that was a fun one and in great shape. Some very unique holes. With pocket warmers and hot chocolate we survived and had a lot fun. Great day
We came home and Jenny invited us over for supper to have Costco pre spiced pork chops. Delicious and the entire meal was awesome. I will need to get some of these. Nice is have supper made for you. I do find it funny as Keith & Jenny are down to earth non pretentious people yet they keep referring to the main meal and LAST meal of the day as DINNER. Even the Bible calls it The Last SUPPER. I tried to stick out my little finger to fit in but I am just a country guy that prefers his breakfast, dinner and Supper in that order. I will have lunch ( sandwich at noon) the odd time. I will have DINNER the odd time in the evening if I am going to a snobbish restaurant.
We decided tonight to play crib in the 5th wheel after supper. I hate to say the girls ended up winning. Yes I know unthinkable but it does happen the odd time.
Daisy was exceptional all week. She did have a moment where she ran out the door after a squirrel and wouldn’t stay or come. Bad girl.
Today Jackie & Jenny decided to just hang out and relax. Kieth & I headed to the Old’s Golf & Country Club. This was a huge surprise course. It is wonderfully decorated with flowers and rocks. The fairways were lush and greens fantastic. Fast and cut short with a lot of ball movement. I have to say this is one of my favorite course in Central Alberta. Exceptional and if a Calgarian wants a deal check out Olds Monday special. It is only about 45 minutes out of town.
My golf game continues to be a struggle with the odd shank hurting my score plus adding in the odd lost ball off the tee. I was disappointed with my score again. I still am not comfortable with a wedge and shanking which happened a few times again. Annoying but still a fun fun day golfing. They say it is a small world. The gentleman that was hooked up with us graduated the same year and school as Jackie. Both of them didn’t know each other but the school was a large one 2000 plus attending. Small world.
Arriving back to the campground Jeff & Wendy along with Eldon & Cindy had already set up. The Grace’s were very fortunate that Eldon let them use his 5th wheel. This is one large unit 36 ft long with 4 slides. Nice unit. And to top it off they got a 30 amp breaker post.
The Little Red Deer River running through the campsite is the perfect “float river” .
We had fire and sat around solving all of the worlds problems. It is pretty easy in today’s world as we have : Covid issues, Putin, Kim Jong un, Trudeau , Trump, Notley and Alberta issues.
It was nice evening sitting outside in the cooler air around a fire.
Jeff, Wendy & Keith with Jenny went golfing today. I was starting to prepare for Jackie’s birthday gathering tonight. I got very lucky as just as Jenny was leaving I looked at my slow cooker. It had bare wires showing through right as it it entered the heater. Dangerous. Jenny grabbed hers and lo and behold my glass insert fit right into her slow cooker. Lucky or I would have had to come up with a plan “B”. I had pre-seasoned 4 pounds of pork loin. I used Keg spice, Montreal Steak, Garlic salt, salt, pepper, and seasoning salt. I set the slow cooker on low and watched. Every hour I turned the meat to keep it moist in the juices and cup of broth. Smelled great.
Fred & Terry arrived to stay the night with us. We had a few drinks and went to the river to have a look. We decided that it didn’t look promising for fishing at least where we were. We got them all set up then sat around having a few drinks in the semi warmth. The golfers arrived just in time for SUPPER. Jackie’s birthday supper by me except for her help in getting plates and salads ready. Slow cooking pork loin is an easy way and delicious way to have a roast. I seared it brown which keeps the juices in before putting it in the slow cooker. Everything turned out wonderful. Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, gravy, moist seasoned pork loin, carrots cooked in butter and brown sugar, toasted garlic bread, deluxe garden salad and Caesar salad. A birthday cake with ice cream finished it off. It was a great tasting meal especially in our location. I decorated with lights, banners, hangers and 60th birthday table cloth in gazebo. Looked wonderful.
My decorations were from Party City. We all know about Chinese quality control. Well on the one banner it read ” Happy Birtday” No H. That is funny ! I put a 60th placard on the front of the motorhome in the morning which quite a few people commented on.
We had lots of drinks provided by the group. Jackie received some nice gifts from everyone. I got very lucky that the girls all got together and did all of the dishes for me. The eight of us fit perfectly in the gazebo as it had a ten foot long picnic table. Great for the supper and playing games.
Speaking of gifts my two golf outfits for Jackie both fit her perfectly. It has been amazing how lucky I have been. The birthday pictures below show a Denim outfit for Christmas I bought her and again fit perfect.
It was warm enough outside that between our body heat and the lights in the gazebo we were plenty warm. We played a couple of games of DICE. Keith winning one and Wendy winning the other.
It was a very nice day for Jackie with a great meal and lots of friends to gather with.
In the morning which again was a little warmer it was nice. Fred & Terry say they had a good sleep which I was fearful of the fireplace being too noisy for them.
Fred was up and out to have his coffee in the fresh air. A little bad luck breaking one cup though. I cooked bacon and eggs and Jackie cooked the toast for the group. I love big breakfast’s especially while camping.
I hope Jeff & Wendy had a good enough experience to allow them to get the camping bug. No life like it but everyone has their own thinking.
Speaking of a small world a motorhome pulls into the lot beside Jeff & Wendy. It turns out the lady went to school with Jeff from Grade One to Grade 12. Now that is a small world.
Jeff cooked on the open fire some Smokey’s and Farmer Sausage. Both were excellent. If only we had relish. Farmer Sausage cooked is awesome. That is a good dinner.
Fred & Terry packed all up and left. It was very nice for them to come down to help Jackie celebrate old age.
We all finished packing up and headed to the sewer dump and home. Jeff & Wendy were privileged too see the sewer dumping process.
Again I hope the Grace’s had a great time to help them decide on joining the camping life.
We arrived at our lot and started to get the motorhome unpacked. Lifting off the wood from the top of the Jeep I twisted my back. It hurt. We finished off and headed home.
A long hot shower on the back and some Volteran hopefully will help. I had to run across the street to Mac’s to pick up some AAA batteries for the a/c. I think Daisy liked being home.
Waking up my back felt a lot better. We got ready to head out the lot to get everything ready for Sunday as we are having a family gathering at the lot. Jackie and I worked for about 4 hours organizing and de-cluttering.
I forgot to mention I stopped at Tor’s place to pick up the leaf blower. In the garage Jackson was practicing his wrist shots. This kid is getting good. It is nothing for him to wrist a great shot into the net corner. Good for him. Practice does wonders.
I cut the grass. I pressured washed the decks, gazebo and shed. The mat though just won’t come clean in the white areas. Note, don’t buy a outdoor mat for people to step on with white. We cleaned up and burned the firepit clean. Plucked any dead flowers on the plants. I was amazed as the Clematis is ready to have a huge flower. It must be confused what time of year it is. Jackie organized the inside of the motorhome and done for the day.
We came home and I whipped to Canadian Tire and picked up a good car cover for the Flex. I have to keep the buds off the paint.
We watched a few recorded episodes of Big Brother and AGT tonight. We laughed as I cooked Mac & cheese and had a salad just like when we first got married as that was all we could afford. Things that go around. LOL
September 17th JACKIE’S 60th BIRTHDAY
Love of my life’s 60th birthday. Yes Jackie is turning 60 this year. We were supposed to be boarding a cruise on the 12th in celebration but we all know what happened with that. This will be the 45th year of celebrating her birthday together. Some nice trips, events, and gifts over the years. Hopefully she likes what we have planned for this year now.
This morning we are heading to Oasis at 10:30 am.
It seems Jackie is just like our daughters that like to celebrate their birthday ALL WEEK LONG. It is only 60 and I am tired. LOL
We picked up Audrey and headed out to prepare. I cleaned all of the chairs, uncovered the tables, decorated AGAIN, moved things around and got the motor home ready for guests. I had checked the Strathmore Chinese restaurant to ensure it was open and to pick out our menu items. The webpage stated opens at 11am. I phoned at 11am and the phone rang and rang. Finally a young woman answers. DUE to Covid they changed their hours but didn’t update the web. Instead of opening at 11am they now open at 4pm. Disappointing as I had sent out an invite stating Chinese. Plan B went into effect immediately and decided on KFC. Less money, most people like it and an easy substitute. I am a pretty good planner and HATE mistakes or changes and participants lack of commitment so when something goes a little south it is annoying but the KFC for ease actually worked out better.
We had Audrey, Victoria, Corey, Jackson, Sheldon, Kristen, Alan, MaryAnn and us to celebrate Jackie’s 60th. Jessica & Penny with the boys have been ill lately and thought better to play it safe. Kennedy had a Covid incidence at work so couldn’t attend and Dave lives with a high risk person. Covid for sure is making a difference.
It was a warm beautiful day with sun which was nice. Only a few people out at the lot which was also nice. The meal, drinks, and company was divine. Jackie was spoiled again with cards and gifts she loved.
It is always nice to have a family gathering. Especially this year with it’s weirdness.
Funny story about Sheldon & Kristen. First of all these two are exceptional people. Hard working and genuinely nice. We were talking how they met. This went wrong. In good fun both of them couldn’t agree where and when they met. As they were discussing ( sort of sounded like flirting) and they were getting a little animated their puppy jumped up into Kristen’s lap. Sheldon says look Samba is getting nervous with Mommy and Daddy fighting. I don’t think they came to an agreement. Funniest thing is Jackie & I are the same way. Neither of us asked the other to marry the other one yet we were married. Now when we see romantic proposals on TV we state that must have been just like ours.
MaryAnn & Alan brought the cake. Jackie laughed when she saw the BIRTDAY on the cake again without the H. Made the perfect match with the decorations. LOL It didn’t come easy for MaryAnn as the clerk though she better fix the mistake. When MaryAnn saw it she had the girl switch it to the correct way without the H. Way to go MaryAnn.
Victoria picked up the perfect balloons for Jackie. What is better than the balloons “yelling” your age out to the world. After the party I brought them home to put on the deck to make sure everyone knows Jackie can finally be considered a senior.
Below is a short video of Jackie’s Covid blowing. LOL
It was another wonderful fun day that I know Jackie enjoyed very much. Great company, wonderful food, nice presents and sunny warm day. Here is to her next 30 years. I will watch from above on her 90th because I am not organizing that one. LOL
Thought of the Day
“Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.” – Samuel Ullman
“Mercury Forecast Mesa 37 degrees, Calgary 17 degrees Edmonton 19 degrees”
A little cooler today but is getting later in the year.
I headed out first to get my SAS sandals repaired. I paid $225 dollars for these sandals and today I took both pair in for repair. They are Made in the USA with real leather but they use a cheap elastic band that every year I need repaired. I am not the easiest on these as they get wet in the carwash, sometimes when fishing etc but disappointed in this weakness. Too expensive to buy every year but they allow me to go on long walks without heel pain, back pain or arch pain. SAS sandals Bravo that I buy aren’t the most “designer” looking but they are very good sandals to walk with. The shoe repair guy in Midnapore is awesome but very busy. I will not get my sandals back until mid next week. Darn. But better than dishing out $200. Cost should be $10-20 per sandal. I thought he might say something as I handed in two left sandals but he didn’t catch that.
Then off to Golf Town to pick up some balls as they had a sale on which was as good as buying used balls from Walmart. They are very strict with Covid protocol’s by forcing masks and hand cleaning before entering. Good to see. At the check out the young girl asks if i need a receipt( I get an email alert before I can hop into my car) so I declined. I did ask her if these balls don’t work like going straight can I bring them back with a receipt. She stammered a bit and laughed saying she doesn’t think so. People are fun and over all so many nice people.
Whipped over to the carwash to fix up the Jeep. It is looking good but I ran out of Armor-all so only have one side with black tires and fenders. Armor-all is getting expensive and the Jeep requires a lot with the plastic bumpers and fenders.
I tried to get into the Lab in the South but the line up was 10 deep just waiting to check in with the front desk. I drove up to 58th and went right in to the Sloanne Centre. Awesome as all I needed was some kind of poop kit to bring back to them when I have it done. A way better than a colonoscopy.
Covid take down one of the most iconic restaurants in Calgary. The Stampede and Ranchman’s are synonymous and it will be missed by the million visitors a year that come. Ranchman’s was the conservative bar for the mid to older crowd while Cowboys was for the younger bar goers.
Driving down McLeod Trail the Covid has really taken it’s toll. Pier One, Tim Hortons, White Spot, Tony Roma’s, Chinese Buffet in Don Cherry’s location plus many more stores all closed down forever. Even Smugglers Inn looks like it wont re-open. It is sad really the changes.
Thought of the Day
I just kicked out of my Flat Earth Group because I asked if due to the 6ft social distancing has anyone being pushed over the edge yet.
“Mercury forecast Mesa 38 degrees, Calgary 21 degrees Edmonton 20 degrees”
I am beginning to think the end of this Covid is going to take a lot longer than anyone wants. Second waves and possible thirds waves coming.
On Sept 22nd Alberta had 150 cases with a population of 4.4m . Arizona had 595 cases with 7.3m so Arizona is getting a lot better. Once it get equal or close we can be as safe there as here. If we feel relatively safe here and the numbers as a percentage are equal I would like to be in the warmth and not go anywhere versus stuck in a cold and snowy winter.