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!

20180812_184118

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!

IMG_2569

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.

IMG_1040

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!

IMG_1037IMG_1036

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.

IMG_1024

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

IMG_1018

Settled into St Albert

We arrived at the Kinsman RV Park in St Albert last Wednesday. First time at this park and we have found a beautifully kept grounds and very pleasant staff. The weather has been a bit unsettled vacillating between rain, thunder, lightening and then hot and humid… typical Alberta situation where if you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes.

Met a nice couple, Jim and Sharon who have been full-time RVing for 11 years. They’ve been all over including US and Mexico so they are a wealth of experience for us to tap into. Jim was an electrician prior to retirement so he was able to solve my electrical issue without too much difficulty. All good now. Note to self; when loading the bike bags, don’t let the hard shell hit the battery isolation switch! Sometimes it’s the simplest fix and other times not so much.

Kath and I celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary on the 2nd. We had a fantastic dinner at a restaurant in St Albert called “XIX”. Simply amazing food and service with a contemporary decor. Many thanks to the staff who provided an excellent dining experience for Kath and me. We would highly recommend this terrific restaurant.

IMG_1015

My dental issues have popped up again which had me referred to an Endo Dentist this week. They did a digital 3D X-ray (very cool) and discovered the root canal recently established when we were in Banff wasn’t doing well. The plan was to redo it yesterday and I already feel the difference. BTW, for those of you about to retire from the CAF, make sure you sustain your medical/dental coverage as I have accessed it plenty over the past two months and it has saved enough to pay the pad fees for a month… just saying.  In short I think I am now done with dental shit for awhile… I hope.

Kath is doing better with a keen reduction in the swelling of her left arm which left her very uncomfortable towards the end of the day. She is starting to get used to a reduced functionality with that hand and compensating by using a hip or bracing items that normally need a two handed approach against her body. When that fails I find myself taking the role of her left hand and making things happen.  It’s a team approach and thus far seems to be working well.

We are off to daughter Jennifer’s place this evening for a BBQ with her boyfriend Jeremy’s parents and brother. Looking forward to seeing these folks as it’s been a year since we last connected. We are already missing the Grandchildren nestled so deep into Saskatchewan.  We will need to figure out how and when to get back there.

Given the situation with Kathryn’s wrist and timing to get the cast off, we will likely amend our arrival back date in Victoria so she can start physio well before we head south for the winter in mid Nov. Those friends and family on Vancouver Island can likely look forward to seeing our faces again end Sept. All good. C

 

On the move again

Kath and I left the Gordie Howe Campground in Saskatoon this morning but not without some parting shots at us across our bow… As I was bringing the slides in, the breaker kept triggering and allowing the slide to move only 6-7 inches at a time. Most disturbing especially since we wanted to get ourselves up and going trying to move away from the last week of disappointing wait times for surgery and bumps. Spoke to an RV tech and he suggested I might have an issue with the RV’s converter so we’ll get that looked at when we get to Edmonton. I put a 20 amp fuse in the breaker slot replacing the 15 amp and it worked well to get the slides in. Thought I had that solved when the auto levelling system wouldn’t work to retract the stabilizer legs. WTF!! I hooked the truck to the trailer with power on the advice of the Tech and that gave me the 12 volt power I needed.  All that to say we got the slides in and support legs up and we hit the road. Holy crap!

Settled into North Battleford for a quick lunch at Mickey “D’s” and then on to Lloydminister for the night. Amazing dinner at Montana’s for their best ribs ever.

Kath is a bit sore this evening with a swollen wrist pushing from the inside of that cast. She is a trooper but it’s obvious she is struggling this evening with personal comfort. Satellite TV much appreciated tonight as we sit back and reflect upon our last month in Saskatchewan. It had its ups and downs but time with family made it worthwhile. Connecting with Jeff, Brooke, Olivia and Anderson brought smiles to our day. Tooth pain and a fractured wrist were ugly elements to be truthful but we are moving on and looking forward to our time in Edmonton. This starts tomorrow!