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News - Dec 4, 2023

This is my last update of the year as things always get busy in December. The next update will probably be near the end of January. Expect changes to the layout and colour scheme. Your favourite sections will still be here though.

Spike, out little dog, recovered well from his surgery. There hasn’t been any change in his behavious now that he seems to have gotten over the trauma of it all. Since he refused to wear his cone, we wound up putting him in a baby diaper to prevent him from biting at the stitches! I weighed him the other day and he is just under 7lbs. He is getting used to our routines and is slowly training us to his way of doing things, as dogs do.

Last month we went to see the matinee performance of Isla’s school play. It was a cute story and I think every kid in the school was somehow involved. Isla was part of a musical number with lots of choreography. She was great - we had a good time and are proud of her performance.

In addition to rehearsals for the play, Isla has been busy with swimming lessons, gymnastics, piano, and probably some other activities I forgot. Busy kid!

My weight loss journey continues, sort of. There is a shortage of the drug I was taking (Ozempic) so the supply is now being limited to diabetics only. For the past 3 weeks I have been holding steady at 60lbs lighter than when I started so I am happy about that. My appetite has returned to fat guy levels so I am having to be careful about how much I eat.

I am still volunteering with the Canadian Cancer Society and driving cancer patients to the hospital every Friday. I was afraid it would be depressing or sad to see all these cancer patients heading in for chemo or radiation or whatever, but it  has been exactly the opposite. Every one of them have been cheerful and even optimistic. Even those who only expect to gain a few months of life from the treatments.

I am in awe of these brave people who are fighting for their lives.

This past weekend Mark had an armwrestling match in Lloyminster, about 3 hours drive east on the Alberta-Saskatchewan border. This was a “supermatch” which pits him against only one opponent selected by the promoter rather than a round robin type against multiple opponents. Mark’s opponent was Travis Robertson and they competed in both right and left arms. Mark won both arms. Well done, Mark!

Last update I told you about my new project car, a 1971 Mustang Mach1 barn find. The disassembly phase is underway and I have refurbished a few pieces which are now sitting in my office taking up a surprising amount of space.

That’s it for this update. Take care and stay in touch!

Greg & Tess

News - Oct 5, 2023

Well, lots has been going on around here over the 2+ months since I last typed at you.

In August we got out camping again although only for 3 days at the nearby Wabamun Lake Provincial park. It turned out to be the last trip of the season. You can see some photos and read my camping journal here.

If you were paying attention one the main page, you saw a photo of Spike. He is the new canine addition to our family. We bought him from a breeder is Saskatchewan and picked him up last week. Spike is a 7lb Maltese-Yorkshire Terrier cross. He is coming up on his first birthday next week.

We named him after the big, mean bulldog in the Looney Tunes cartoon. Our Spike is just like him after the little dog named Chester put him in his place. Tomorrow he goes to the vet to get neutered (sorry Spike) and once he has recovered, we expect him to be even more laid back than he is now.

He is very cute, loves walks and cuddles and barely makes a sound. He is already pretty well house trained too which is a bonus.

My weight loss journey continues and I am now down nearly 55lbs. Thanks, Ozempic! There is a shortage of the stuff here in Canada so starting next month only people that actually need it to treat their diabetes will be able to get it. I’ll chat with my family doctor to see what he recommends, if anything.

I am still enjoying driving cancer patients to the hospital on Fridays. Most days I get two patients to transport.

The other big news is the project car which we picked up this past weekend. A big thank you to my brother Todd for using his truck and trailer to transport it from Genelle in southern British Columbia to the shop in St. Albert. I’ll post photos and progress reports on the new page here.

That’s it for this update. Take care and stay in touch!

Greg & Tess

News - July 23, 2023

Lots going on in our lives but I’m not sure how much of it is of interesting to regular readers.

My quest to lose weight continues with the help of Ozempic. I am now down over 40 lbs so nearly half way there. Unlike dieting, I don’t feel hungry at all. It is expensive though at $240 per month. The government drug plan doesn’t cover it because even though a prescription is required, I am not taking it for an officially approved purpose so I have to pay for it all. Kind of like cosmetic surgery vs medically required surgery. Seems to me I will save the health care system more money if I lose the weight. Oh well.

Last update I mentioned I had started driving cancer patients to the hospital for retment on Fridays. I am enjoying meeting these courageous people and am happy to help out.

The forest fire situation remains dire here in western Canada. Some days there is enough smoke in the air that you can easily stare straight at the noon day sun. The smell doesn’t seem as bad but I suspect that’s because we are all getting used to it.

We had a huge thunderstorm last night with strong winds and probably 2” of rain in a half hour! It was very noisy and there was water as high as the curbs on the street. And we live in the highest elevation in the town. Our storm pond rose almost 2 feet.

We got out camping again, this time to Kananaskis Country which is a collection of Provincial Parks between Calgary and Banff, but 40 kms south. Excellent roads, huge mountains, critters, fish, lots of campsites - it was great! You can check out my write up and pictures here.

I went to a pinball tournament yesterday in nearby Sherwood Park. There were tournaments, exhibitors, machines for sale, and the admission fee gives you unlimited play on about 300 different pinball machines.

I spent over 4 hours playing almost every machine in the place, reliving a piece of my mis-spent youth. Today my wrists are sore! The machines have sure changed a lot since the old days nearly 50 years ago. Pricing too; it used to be 3 games for a quarter and now it is a dollar per game minimum.

That’s it for this update. Take care and stay in touch!

Greg & Tess

News - May 31, 2023

Last update I mentioned that I hoped to have pictures of fresh rainbow trout to post. You can see them on the 2023 RV Trips page. Yummy!

Tess has been busy with her gardening planting all sorts of colourful flowers and even a few veggies. One of our apple trees suffered a lot of damage over the winter so we will have few, if any, apples this year.

I was happy to pick Isla up from school last week and then take her to swimming lessons. We got to spend some quality time together over french fries and ice cream at McDonalds. She is a great kid and makes me proud.

Last weekend Mark, Megan, Isla, and Penelope and Betty (Mark & Megan’s dogs) came over for dinner. It was great to see them, of course, and we enjoyed having 4 legged fur babies around again.

We had the worst air quality in the world earlier this month due to a couple of hundred wildfires burning around Alberta. The satellite maps showed the smoke reached down to Mexico! Thanks to to the hard work of local and imported fire fighters from as far away as Australia, and to our military. There has been a little rain but there are still lots of folks evacuated from their homes.

Last week I started my one day per week volunteer driving for the Canadian Cancer Society. I pick up cancer patients and deliver them to the Cross Cancer Institute for their radiation, chemo, or other appointments. I then return them home. I have met some interesting people and feel good about helping others in their battle against this killer disease.

I have been taking Ozempic for 4 months now in an attempt to lose some (a lot) weight. It is going well and I have now lost 30lbs. I am one third of the way to my goal.

We hope to get out camping once or twice in June before the kids are out of school and the campgrounds get even busier.

That’s it for this update. Take care and stay in touch!

Greg & Tess