Thanksgiving time

Well it’s Sunday morning and all Turkied out! Kath and I had a nice visit with her sister Judy and Don on Salt Spring Island for Saturday. Brother Rob and Mary came from Calgary, they managed to escape the snow for at least a couple of days anyway. Had a great meal and headed back to the big island for turkey dinner at my parents place in Sidney. My sister Carolyn and Rick joined us for another terrific meal. We each got a chance to bring home some leftovers so we get to have that “Thanksgiving flavour all over again tonight”. We are heading out to see the movie A Star is Born remake at 6. We’ve been anxiously awaiting this one; trailers look terrific. Trailer is a bit dark today as the rain continues to flow.

Hope all readers enjoyed some family time this holiday and also gorged on Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and of course…. gravy😘

check out my new Thanksgiving socks… totally awesome! Thanks Mom and Dad. Love ya  C

Back at it!

Hi Everyone and I must provide an apology for the amount of time it has been since my last post. We had a great trip to central BC into wine country as well as an uneventful drive back to the island. Kath and I are settled into the Oceanview RV grounds and will be here until the third week of Nov when we head south to Yuma AZ.

Wine country was amazing with a group of good friends. We rented an Air B and B for the ten of us. It was an amazing home well capable of handling the group. We cycled each day to several wineries, sampled the goods and headed out again. No births and no deaths so all in all a great trip. Thanks to Cheryl and Paul for the organic action of the trip; it was flawless! Great to see Ted, Lisa, Chris, Linda, Linda and Yves. Great group and we’d do that one again next year for sure.

We have all but recovered from that event now and settled into what is turning into our busiest fall season for COPE and TRP ever! I am heading to ON tomorrow am to help get the first ever TRP1 delivered with a great team of Kevin, Claudine and Fabienne. Really looking forward to working with these good folks again. Come Sunday I will be back in Ottawa for a couple of days awaiting my flight to St John NB to check out a new potential location to run TRP and COPE in the future. I will include photos later. I’ll arrive back in Victoria in a week.  Kath will be on her own for the week along with our fierce guard dog Nikki so hopefully the healing that has taken place in her broken wing will be sufficient for her to manage. I won’t let two weeks go by again without a post. See ya soon. C

Old Home Week

Kathryn and I remain in Peachland this week where we’ve linked up with an old CF Health Services buddy, Karen Read. Also included in this connection was Karen’s partner Kim who is just a great lady, super nice and fun to be around. We had a great meal at their place which overlooks the lake with a stunning view that one would never get weary of. Also had the experience of kayaking with them the other day which was a welcome switch to the regular exercise plan. Kath and I really miss our kayaks so much. They are in the process of promoting the Fenn Surf Ski, (picture below). Very smooth ride and wicked fast, but definitely a bit more prone to tip… great core workout.

Karen is part of a guitar group, the “Experienced Tea Cup”, which includes her older brother Dave and several others cutting their learning path on the guitar. I was invited to play along the other night as they prepared for a public performance in a few weeks. What a great thrill this was as I usually only have myself as a playing partner… Playing with others puts that little bit of stress on one to perform which I really miss. Thanks guys for a great time and chance to “noodle” along. Also, Kim has just purchased an acoustic  Ukulele Bass so she will soon be adding to the class of the group with those nice low tones.

I’ve been feeling great about my playing lately so I decided to go more public. This is me at a recent open mike in Alberta performing a couple of my songs. I’m hoping to do more of this soon and linking with the Experienced Tea Cup has inspired me further!

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Since I’ve temporarily lost my regular cycle buddy Kathryn, I was thrilled to learn that Karen is an avid cyclist having participated in the “Boomers” Rides.  We have joined up for a couple of good rides over the past few days. Great to re connect with her while riding side by side. Something to be said for cycling and creating a great environment for sharing of ones life experiences.

Visited one of the many local wineries, Fitzpatrick. Terrific sparkling wines and a Rose to die for. Many more wineries to come next week as our group arrives to start the first ever “Wheels and Wine” tour in the Penticton area. Hopefully there will be at least one survivor…

The remainder of the day we are working on the next several COPE and TRP minutia planning until Friday when we head to Penticton. Our current plan is to be back in Victoria on the 13th of Sept at the Oceanview RV park near Sidney. We will be executing our exit plan just in the nick of time as guess what I saw at the Canadian Tire the other day?….. YIKES!!!  Don’t want to play any part in how these will be used. Talk soon.  C and KIMG_1089

Peachland to Victoria and back..

Kathryn and I participated in the Wounded Warriors Canada Highway of Heroes bike ride this past weekend which ran from Fort Langley to Victoria. This event ran in conjunction with the Ontario ride which meant there were over 200 riders involved at the same time. All in over $200,000 was raised to help provide solid programming from WWC. It was great to see so many familiar faces as well as to meet several new folks. We were joined by Trevor Guthrie, Canadian singer songwriter with several awards to his name. He performed a song as well as played one of his videos that was made to honour Canadian veterans. Thanks so much for your support Trevor!

A special shout out goes to Colin who was participating in his first group bike ride. It took a great deal of courage to step into that light as well as speak publicly about your journey. You and Kathleen are setting a terrific example of how if one does the hard work, one can get through this and live live with happiness and purpose. Both Kathryn and I are so proud of you and Kathleen.

We are presently residing in Peachland and will be here until 7 Sept when we will head to  Penticton to take part in a “Wheels and Wine” tour with a few other couples. This should be great fun but the designated driver issue will have to be managed…

Kath now has her cast off and started physiology yesterday. The wrist and hand are very stiff as it hasn’t been used much in the past month or so. The good news is that she is on the mend and will soon be swinging a golf club; by Christmas we hope.

Today marks the last day of the second running of an all French language COPE program at the NAV Centre in Cornwall ON. Kath and I are really enjoying the fact that we no longer have to attend every program delivery. We have several couples who graduated COPE some time ago who take our place. This has allowed Kath and I to step back and focus on planning and evolution of our programming. We are so excited about the future teamed up with WWC and others who are stepping up to assist. We hope everyone has a safe and fun Labour Day Weekend.  C

 

Moving West again!

A few days ago we packed up the trailer and secured all moveables and made our way out of the St Albert Kinsmen Campground and headed towards Calgary to attend a Wounded Warriors Canada event. The trailer was pretty dirty so I managed to get it cleaned off before we left. The dirt and dust from Saskatchewan put up a good fight but I managed to rid the beast of its soil and innards of bugs! Note the smoke and weird light in the Edmonton sky… yuck!

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The smoke seemed to thicken as we made our way making visibility difficult and eye irritability at the maximum.

That evening we attended the “Spatula Spat” at Lou and Kyle’s place. This was a fund raiser for WWC where two chef’s were given three mystery ingredients and 90 minutes to prepare three dishes for the pleasure of three judges who each bought their right to taste all the fabulous food and pass judgement on same. Really well attended event with some great silent auction items for the taking as well. Thanks to Paul and Cheryl for their efforts to bring this event to the masses as well as to Kyle and Lou for lending us their home complete with an incredible oversized kitchen island which was simply meant to host such an event. All in, $3000 dollars raised!!

The day before we left I managed to sneak in a round of golf with Brother in Law Jim at the Victoria City Golf Course on the river valley in Edmonton. First time ever playing this one and a decent round was had. Teamed up with a local Father and Son, Rob and Jason, which was nice. Thanks Jim it was fun to spend the time with you.

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Arriving back at the Okotoks RV site Saturday afternoon. Smoke seemed to worsen as we ventured south. Played golf with cousin Mike and two of his friends on Sunday and enjoyed a nice dinner at the club later. That evening we joined several other couples for a game of Bocci Ball. Never having played Bocci Ball meant we had a steep learning curve but we made up for it quickly… we managed to fall behind right off the bat and pretty much stay there for the duration of the High River “high stakes” tournament. We may have to pick up a set of balls and do some practicing for the next time. We definitely put the “Botch” in Bocci Ball!

Made our way to Golden where we saddled up to the Eco Golden Campsite. Pretty sparsely populated for an August timeline but perhaps the campers were just tired of the smoke and made their way home sooner. Made it to Peachland yesterday to  Todd’s RV and Campsite. A bit tight for parking but terrific welcoming committee and neighbours. The water is just across the street so easy access as well as some terrific boutique restaurants down Beach Drive.

We head to Victoria tomorrow morning with the hope that the smoke dissipates for the WWC Highway of Heroes ride set to start on Saturday in Langley and head toward Stanley Park that day and on to Victoria Sunday for a ceremony at the Afghan Memorial and then to the Legislature. If you are around this route on the weekend please feel free to come out and support the ride and riders. Hope to see you all there!  C

And then there was smoke and cars, cars, cars!

Well we remain in St Albert AB at the Kinsmen RV Campgrounds which is a terrific place to hang ones cap when in this area. The sites are extremely well maintained with full hookups and several drive through spots for those who struggle to back into sites. The washrooms are very clean and staff are super helpful and friendly. Also, located adjacent to the park is a series of athletic pitches from soccer to Rugby to cricket to football so the evenings are never dull and without activity. The amazing cycle/walking trails in St Albert are worth taking in as well. One trail runs right beside the campground so I have been able to access these very safe and well maintained trails with ease. Now if only the smoke would clear!

Would love to do more cycling but today and recently the smoke from BC wildfires has been intense. Health authorities have been suggesting that one remains inside if at all possible. My eyes are sore and lungs feel yucky (technical term). I am to play golf tomorrow with Brother in Law Jim, so hopefully this smog settles down over night.

Kath remains at the struggle with swelling in her new cast. We were hopeful that the swelling would have settled down by now but it remains a troubled spot. She had the original cast off this past Sunday, got an X-ray, and a nice shiny new fibreglass cast so we were hopeful this would be the start of something that would feel like healing…. not so much. The plate and eight screws holding her radius together look good though; don’t you think? Another two weeks in this cast and hopefully she can transition to a velcro brace to allow her some movement to get that swelling to dissipate and then start some Physio. We need to get that golf swing back in order by Christmas!

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This past weekend we were privileged to witness a great car show in St Albert as well. Must have been hundreds of cars from all over North America so obviously a well rated event. The quality of the work done on these cars was impressive. When I come back in my next life, I want to be an old 46 Willy’s Jeep… or that sexy Audi.

Smokey or what!

The BC forest fires have deposited a murky grey smog over much of BC and Alberta these past few days. Many, including Kath and me are experiencing sore eyes and a stitch at the back of our throats. Just when I thought it would improve, another thick layer came rolling in like a runaway train this afternoon. Can’t imagine how those with Emphysema and COPD are managing with this. Staying indoors with the AC on is about the only tool so those without AC will be struggling a great deal. Hopefully there will be some cooler and wetter weather to follow or perhaps we will all perish in the flames! The reddish smoke filled sky and muted sun late in the day are seen below.

Kathryn is doing ok with her cast/fracture these days although the extreme plus 30’s heat wave isn’t helping with the swelling. By the end of each day her left wing is fairly numb so she packs it in ice and keeps it elevated in the smokey smog.. She will get the cast removed and sutures out on Sunday but we expect another cast for another month. We’ve adjusted our arrival plans back in Victoria to end Sept 24/25 to facilitate me getting on a plane for Cornwall to attend the first TRP1 there. Finally getting TRP nationalized is a big treat given it took almost two years to get that done for COPE. We are operating on a completely different plain this time thanks to WWC.

Finally got that nasty root canal re done this past week. Seems the Banff version just didn’t take so after several additional and delightful dental chair sessions, I was referred to an EndoDontist who made short work of it. My tooth is feeling great so candied apples all around!!

Met with an old CF buddy last evening. Scott MacLeod and wife Debby joined us at an Italian spot in St Albert; Bucco Pizzeria. It was great to see them again. Scott has now left the CF and has moved on to the College of Physicians and Surgeons office in Alberta. Nice to see good people get ahead in life and continue to do great work.

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I have been cycling regularly this week to get in shape for the WWC Highway of Heroes HHR bike ride from 25-25 Aug from Ft Langley to Victoria. Things are going well as I carefully negotiate every railway crossing! I managed to get 9 holes in this morning at the Twin Willows Golf Course just off 137th Ave in Edmonton. Great course, well watered, nice greens and plenty of water to take your ball. I did nine holes and shot a 40 for the back nine so I am happy with the way I’m hitting the ball this summer. Many more rounds to come and hopefully Kath can catch up in the fall when her putting arm is back in shape.

I’ll stop here for today but not before I show off the amazing cherry pie our daughter Jennifer made for our little family gathering the other night. She gets those skills from Kathryn for sure.. Talk soon.  C

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