A bit of new and a bit of old

We have settled into the St Brieux Campsite and have a great spot. The weather has been great for the most part other than the severe lightening we experienced yesterday that chased us off the golf course in Melfort! We stopped at the 7th Tee box and went into town for some supper and by the time we finished it was sunny again so we went back and finished… Both Kath and I are enjoying the golf and each playing well this season.  Yes that drink is greenish… it’s a green apple flavoured Smirnoff. Don’t ask, just drink!

We got in a nice visit the other evening with our Grand Daughter Olivia. Kath picked her up at Daycare and brought her back to the trailer in the pouring rain. She was so cute and happy to play with toys and of course wonder dog Nikki. She is so good with animals. We had a great supper and got her home for bath and story time. I was gobsmacked at just how well she settled to bed. It was one of those days where it felt really good to be Grandparents. We hope to have many more experiences just like this one.

Not to finish on a bummer but my tooth pain is back and I have a scheduled extraction set for next Friday. Tomorrow, we are off to Eld Ridge Lodge just north of us for a Wounded Warriors Canada Tribute to Your Service Weekend. We will be meet up with a group of first responders who were involved with the tragic Humbolt bus crash. This is our work now and we are very proud to be involved in helping the courageous first responders who give so much.  I will check in at the end of the week.

Calgary to St Brieux

It has been a few days since my last blog so here I go catching you all up.

We departed The Riverbend Campground in Okotoks on Monday and headed east towards Kindersley hoping we would get a campsite with power and water for the night. The one and only campsite there didn’t take reservations so you roll the dice and get what you get!

 

Before I carry on with the drive, I really have to also mention the interesting International Party we attended at Cheryl and Paul’s place on Saturday…. Each couple was given two flags from a country from around the world. We were to select one of the flags and dress in customary garb and prepare a dish from said country. There were prizes for the best costume and food of course. Kathryn won for her ginger beef dish (one of my favourites). She dressed as a Gisha and I as a tired and weary railway worker complete with mason jar of nitro glycerin… we had to be so careful with that! Did you guess we were China? Anyway it was a smashing success with great food, friends and plenty of laughs.

The drive went well between Okotoks and Kindersley with sunny skies and no wind to speak of. Arriving in Kindersley we found a tired looking oil and gas town. At the campsite we were offered one of the three sites remaining that only offered 110 power, no water, no sewer. We settled in for the night after a tavern meal while watching the Fifa match between Iran and Portugal… 1-1 tie at the whistle. When we got back to the campsite we were greeted by this double rainbow.

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Yesterday we arrived in St Brieux Saskatchewan after a day of driving with a considerable tailwind, which was lovely! We set up at the campsite finding it open, large and welcoming and able to accommodate our 41 foot fifth wheel. Satellite dish immediately locked onto the signal and internet worked flawlessly…. uh oh, things are working way to well!

Last evening we were invited over to meet for the first time our new Grand son Anderson John Linford. He represents the only chance of name perpetuation given he is currently the only boy Linford in the family to do the heavy lifting… He is simply magnificent and perfect in every way. We also see a huge difference in Grand daughter Olivia now at 2.5 years old and very VERY busy! It was a short visit but a terrific chance to re connect with Olivia and meet our new boy Anderson. We will be here for six weeks visiting and trying to jam in a year’s worth of fun and games. Talk soon.  C

Wifi and other good things

The last couple of days have been warm and pleasant here in Okotoks as we spin down our Alberta visit. We have had the best luck at connecting with many friends and family over the past couple of weeks which has met and exceeded our expectations. We are fairly free and easy with  our time but many folks are super busy these days so we are grateful to have connected with so many. Yesterday we connected with David and Britt for lunch at a great little Vietnamese place in Okotoks called Pho”something”!! Very fresh and tasty spring rolls indeed.

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Last evening I had the pleasure of speaking at the High River Rotary Club. My cousin Mike has been the President there for the past year and last night represented his last formal meeting as President. Congrats Mike on a successful Presidency and all the hard work and dedication it took to have it turn out so successful. Mike asked me some time ago to speak of our family journey with PTS. I have done many speeches like this one but last night was a special one in that the community of High River is still going through the recovery process from the massive flood of 5 years ago. The community is clearly suffering, personalities have changed and lives altered. As I spoke I could feel the emotions in the room rise which also activated me deeply. I am able to manage my activations well these days which I am very grateful for. I was able to speak after to some of the listeners of their personal stories of tragedy from the flood. I felt a bit helpless to lend a hand or do anything for them other than state I understood their pain and acknowledge their grief. I was extremely proud of one man who stood and thanked me for my presentation with tears in his eyes stating that he was still feeling the intense loss of five years ago. I felt connected to him as he was showing the kind of courage it will take for that community to heal; he was letting his emotions come, and he was not being judged for it. Thanks so much to my cousins Sandy and Mike for the invitation to speak again; it’s been awhile and it felt good.

Kathryn met with her cousin Roxanne and their daughter for a soccer game here in Okotoks. Amazing sport minded community!

We met for lunch today with an old boss of mine from 1979 when I worked for Fleetbrake. Len and Sue were fun as we recounted our mutual Buceris Mexico stories. Great to see you folks. Ice cream stop in Black Diamond at the High Noon Ice Cream Shop a night ago or so. Really great Ice Cream if you ever get the chance!

Finally today I may have sealed the deal on what will hopefully be the final instalment of wifi hell. As of the past several days since I got my Mofi Router to function with a Virgin Mobile SIM card, we have enjoyed really good wifi. I signed up today with iCoach out of ON on their 25G/month plan for US/Can with no roaming charges. This will give us a significant amount of data that should satisfy our needs and then some. I think we just may have nailed this one. I’ll let you know when I get the new SIM and crank up the gigs! Talk again soon.

What a great couple of days!

The main reasons we had such a great couple of days was we are finally getting on top of the wifi issue and we have made satellite TV a reality once again for our home on wheels. I may have mentioned that our plan to have a tripod mounted sat dish worked well at Weir’s Beach in Mechosin, but it was set up by a professional Sat tech. He wasn’t overly confident that having me do the setup and satellite finding and connection would be as pain free as I envisioned; he was right. Since we have been on the road I have not been successful once in connecting to the satellite. Shaw sold me a satellite finder which was less than self explanatory and intuitive. This all led to us sourcing a roof mounted unit this week that only involves the push of one button once the rig is level and, Bob’s your Uncle, we have TV service at a very high quality! I wasn’t sure we needed this but we both agreed that having it for the long term (five year trek) makes sense for us and it has made us feel more like we are at home vice always on the go. Anyway, thanks to Woody’s RV for getting us the unit quickly and Mark Vulc the installer who actually came early to our site and had it all done within a couple of hours; most impressive.

Today we started off by playing golf at Crystal Ridge Golf course in Okotoks. A great little 9 hole course with plenty of challenge, water and sand…. sand was more like Alberta dust and dirt but who cares if your not in it…. I was in it plenty today but managed to stay out of the water and shoot a decent score. Kath continues to improve her short game and knocking it a mile off the tee! We teamed up with another Okotoks couple by the names of Lyn and Rachel. We are having such great luck meeting good folks on this journey whether we are at the golf course or RV site, makes life that much more fun.

We had dinner last night with friends Cheryl and Paul and talked into the evening under the protection of our screened in tent complete with propane fire pit inside to cut the cool Alberta evening air…. not a bad life. Last part of our day today had us testing our water supply system we will use at the campground in St Brieux Saskatchewan. They don’t provide water or sewer at the site so one must be creative if one doesn’t wish to move the trailer every couple of days to a water supply and dump site. We purchased a 55 gallon potable water tank and a small water pump. With the help of a couple of hoses I will fill the water tank at the supply area and then move it to the trailer and with the pump transfer the water into my 54 gallon holding tank, that should last several days. As far as the sewer issue, we have a dump wagon waiting for us at our son’s house which we will use to drain black water and transport it to the dumping station. We are having such fun!!

Testing our Premise

Well its Father’s Day once again and I just want to wish all the Dads out there a happy day. In particular my own Dad Ken who is back in Victoria. I think of you everyday and value all you have taught me over the years; thanks so much, I love you. Also I’d like to wish our son Jeffrey a happy Dad’s Day as he just became a Dad again a couple of weeks ago with the birth of son Anderson. I am so proud of the way you embrace Fatherhood; you are a terrific Dad. Love you bunches!

It’s been a busy week and we got to test our process of living the way we do. We did this as I was required to attend a meeting in Victoria regarding a future opportunity to provide the TRT and TRP programs for a major BC player. Since we now are Nomads, I was required to get on a plane and shuttle my ass back to Victoria on Thursday for a Friday morning meeting. Despite a delay going in and a more nasty delay getting back to Calgary, I was able to seamlessly appear as though I was living in Victoria. This seems easy but we will be faced with this type of scenario as time marches on. Some have asked if we are enjoying our vacation. It might look as though we are on vacation but we are actually just living this way and our work running programming for WWC continues and we engage with it most days for at least a couple of hours. Kath and I are relieved that this is going well as our passion for delivery of COPE and TRP/TRT remains at the highest priority. Anyway, it was a productive meeting and we hope to be able to make a formal announcement about it soon through WWC as it will change the face of how PTS is treated/managed in the Province of BC and perhaps beyond that once the other Provinces catch on.

While I was away, Kath and friend Cheryl did some shopping to get us ready for a costume dinner party coming up this weekend. All invitees were given the choice of two country flags to dress towards and then provide a dish or two as part of the pot luck aspect of the party. Our costumes are clever if I do say so, and the dish will be excellent. We are so pleased to be here near Calgary to share in this event. It is occasions  like this that make our trip so full and rich as we would have missed it otherwise.

The weather in Calgary yesterday was a bit rainy and cool but that didn’t dampen the fun and spirits of the family gathering we attended last evening at Peter and Roxanne Ward’s place. We haven’t spent much time with this part of Kathryn’s family and I wish we had. It was so great to chat with Corrine and Peter as well as Pauly and Wally again, not to mention the great children. Being posted all over the country for 25 years made it difficult to stay in touch but we are trying to execute our premise and make up for lost time. The conversation around the table was fun and full of great belly laughs. Stories were recounted; some were even true! The dinner was terrific with a tiny exception… the strawberry short cake demanded much comment. It was the only thing that wasn’t made from scratch, Roxanne felt bad, and sadly the sponge cake was, shall we say a bit firm….. The comments started to fly including some ideas as to what better use these sturdy pillows of fun might be better employed as. The suggestions were plentiful, but the best idea came forward as we left for the evening to discover that Steve had placed a short cake cake on each of my truck’s pull hooks on the front bumper! These air bags from hell would have surely provided some extra bump protection had we hit something on our darkened route home to Okotoks. Thanks Steve for your initiative.. much appreciated!

All the best to everyone monitoring this means and stay tuned for more adventures.  C

Catching up after Dental week in Banff

Howdy. So we are doing much better these days for those of you who commented on my Dental whoas of last weekend. Settled into Okotoks and did some meeting and greeting with friends Cheryl and Paul as well as Brother Rob and Mary over the past weekend where they joined us at Riverbend Campground.

The weekend crowd moved on and we settled into trying to solve the internet access issue. It has been very frustrating as the provided wifi here is dodgy at best. Spoke to some folks at Woody’s RV in Calgary who told me all I needed to do was cross the border into Montana, buy a unlimited data plan and SIM card, insert it into my new Mofi Router and “Bob would be my Uncle”! After checking with Verizon in the US they said that wouldn’t work given as soon as I crossed the border into Canada the SIM would recognize that it wasn’t in Kansas anymore and start to charge me roaming and international charges…. not good.

I decided to purchase a Virgin Mobile SIM card and insert that into my Router and after a full day of on the phone Tech access I was able to get it up and running at 13 GB of data/month for $115. This will do for now as my next plan is to search out ICoach as I heard they have a very good plan of 25GB for $100/month. If anyone out there has this plan or a better one please fill me in. We can do without TV but Internet is a must given our work for Wounded Warriors Canada, COPE and TRP.

The next evening we met up with my cousins Sandy and Mike Evans of High River. We always enjoy time spent with these two as they are funny as heck and enjoy a good laugh. Went to dinner at a great Greek place in Okotoks, “Plaka Greek Taverna”. Unassuming from the front but packed with great tasting food inside. Wonderfull to connect with you guys again and hopefully we will see you again before we head out on the 25th.IMG_0833

The next day we met up with Scott Maxwell of WWC for the signing of the Partnership Agreement between WWC and the Calgary Fireman’s Association. It is through these events that we are slowly degrading the misinformation and stigma surrounding PTS. Wonderful Work Scott and Mike Carter!

Yesterday we found a 55 Imp Gallon water container which we will use once we are in place in Saskatchewan as water outlets do not grace each campsite where we are going. We plan to fill this sucker at a water point having installed it in the bed of my 1 ton and then with the aid of a small water pump and drinking hose I will transfer the water to our RV. This will prevent me from having to move the trailer to there water point every few days. Learned this one from a smart dude last year at the same site who filled our trailer a couple of times. RV folks are very helpful and always willing to pitch in.

Today we took a break and headed to the River’s Edge Golf course where we linked up with new friends Cheryl and son Dylon. What a great course with a wide open front 9 and then getting narrow for the back nine down at the river’s edge. Course was in great shape and I enjoyed the rangefinder on each cart as well as the awesome dogs at the turn.

It Went Dark for Awhile

Howdy folks. We are back online and settled into The Riverbend Campground in Okotoks AB. Our second year here and the internet is just as shitty as it was last year! Anyway, thought I’d bring you up to date on our Grey Water Tales of the last few days coming out of Banff. Remember our journey will involve not only the good times, but also the tough times. This post is more the latter.

Cast your thoughts back to Thursday of last week when Kath and I were just settling into The Tunnel Mountain RV campgrounds and I noticed my right lower jaw was starting to ache. I didn’t really think much of it and put it aside while we enjoyed some of the Banff mystic. By late Friday afternoon I was considering the pain to be more serious than I first thought and we quickly found a Banff Dental clinic… Banff Dentistry to be exact. I was seen immediately at the end of their day and had a couple of X-rays that of course revealed a failing Root canal of five years ago with a beautiful gold crown to cap it off. Also noted was a fractured filling sitting adjacent to the crown. The plan was to get me on antibiotics and some anti inflammatory meds until Monday when they would schedule the work. The plan was to fix the fractured filling and eventually get that crown out once the infection had subsided. This would happen later. I was relatively happy with the plan until midnight on Saturday. I found myself enduring increasing pain in my right lower jaw that simply wasn’t responding to the meds. This had been going on most of the evening so by midnight I was ready to end it all…. I woke Kathryn and informed her that I needed to visit the local Banff ER. Off we went and I was seen by a great team who immediately gave me a shot of long lasting Lidocaine and I felt instant relief. They thought this relief should last until Monday when I could get the filling fixed.

Monday came and I once again found myself saddled into the comfy dental chair complete with back massage capability. The nice Romanian Dentist Ioana fixed my filling in short order and I was back out the door. All seemed ok for awhile but the pain became worse and worse by the minute until I was right back at the breaking point. I called the dentist and was invited back for a check. Ioana called in her colleague and they agreed that the nerve in that tooth was “hot” and causing all the issue so a root canal was needed. They got going on this plan with my approval but the fight was on getting me anesthetized.  It seems having an infection created an acidic environment and not conducive to the “basic” freezing material. They stopped counting how many times they had to poke me which also included a lovely process involving a needle with a drill bit on it that actually drilled into the jaw bone to inject anesthesia. My gums resembled hamburger actually by this point.

I went home after they removed the nerve from that tooth but I remained incredibly uncomfortable and relied on meds to get me to the next day when they would fill the tooth and recap it. I thought the worst was over…. I was wrong. The shit started when they couldn’t get me anesthetized again so the battle raged on. Finally after a two hour extravaganza I was permitted to stand. I was hopeful that the pain would be over but even today after two days of recovery I remain incredibly sore and still requiring pain meds through the day. Holy crap was that ever NOT FUN!

We pulled out of Banff yesterday much to my delight seeing a fragment of the “Welcome to Banff” sign in my rearview mirrors. The team at Banff Dentistry were very concerned that my feelings for Banff would be negative from that moment on and I would have to say… they are! However, I want to acknowledge that team and how caring they were during the entire time. I felt like they had my back and would not be satisfied until I was out of pain. Thank you so much to the great folks at Banff Dentistry. I hope to never see you again! 😉 at least not for tooth pain.

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