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April 2020

How the world has changed since my last update only 60 days ago. The words pandemic, social distancing, covid-19, and shut down are now very much part of our speech patterns.

As I type this, worldwide infections are passing the 2 million mark with 125,000 deaths with no end in sight. Stay safe and healthy out there!

There is progress on my late mother’s estate with probate now granted. This means I can finally start settling up her affairs. I hope to have it all wrapped up by September.

Still with family, I mentioned last update that my step-mother had a fall and broke her pelvis while staying with us over Christmas. She is recovering slowly back home on Vancouver Island, BC and is in good spirits.

This damned covid-19 virus has impacted all of our lives. Not just the important things like visiting with our son, granddaughter and



friends, but the little things like going out for dinner, or a movie and even going camping. This will be a strange year.

So yesterday I did something that you in warmer climates will think is goofy. I fired up the snow blower and cleared the snow out of our back yard by blowing it over the back fence into the green space behind us. No, not just so we can see our brown and dormant lawn; we still had about 18” of snow back there and temperatures are supposed to get up into the high teens (60+F) by the end of the week.

That will melt the snow pretty quickly and I don’t want all that water flowing towards the house. There is a gentle depression in the green space that directs meltwater into our little neighbourhood lake instead.



Being cooped up in the house means more time for hobbies and chores. I have been spending many, many hours working on the family trees and lately have started Spring cleaning inside the house. I even cleaned and tidied up my office and workbench area in the garage!

I am anxiously awaiting warmer (above freezing) weather so I can get going on my projects in the RV including finishing replacing the flooring, install the new toilet, and catch up on maintenance.

When they finally reopen the campgrounds, I want to be there on opening day!

That's about it from us for this update. Stay safe and healthy by listening to and following the recommendations of health leaders!



Greg, Tess & Camper



June 2020

As I type this, worldwide covid infections are passing the 8 million mark (7,500 here in Alberta) with 450,000 deaths (151 here in Alberta) and no end in sight. Stay safe and healthy out there!

Soapbox mode on. Hey, dummy - social media is not a reliable source for anything except peoples’ opinions. If you want facts, go to an actual non-political news source or a recognized health authority.

One more thing - Wear a mask in public to protect others from your germs. You could be infected but show no symptoms and you could kill me, my wife or our grand-daughter because of our compromised immune systems!

Soapbox mode off.

The covid situation here in Alberta is steadily improving and we are slowly opening up everything, keeping social distancing rules in effect.



The best news for us is the campgrounds reopening on June 1st at 50% capacity. A few days ago they opened up fully. Woo Hoo! I got on line and made reservations and off we went on June 7th. You can read about it here if you are interested.

We caught fish, enjoyed the fire and generally recharged our batteries after being cooped up for months. In fact, we enjoyed it so much we are going out again on June 21st and we are taking Isla with us!

We have been able to see Isla from time to time under the cohort policy which allows two families to visit. It has been important to all of us.



This Spring I spent quite a bit of time working on the RV. I installed new flooring from the bedroom doorway all the way to the front, replaced the toilet, and more. There are still things to do, of course. It never ends on a 17 year old motorhome.

I have also been working on the family trees, at least up until my Ancestry subscription expired this week. I’ll renew it again when camping and yard work season is over.

The yard looks great thanks to the higher than average rainfall. And the mosquitos are out in force, of course. For all that, it is much, much better than walking around behind a snowblower in -20 temperatures!

That's about it from us for this update. Stay safe and healthy!


Greg, Tess & Camper



July 10, 2020

As I type this, worldwide Covid infections have passed the 8 12 million mark (7,500 8,500 here in Alberta) with 450,000 550,000 deaths (151 161 here in Alberta which has a population of 4.5 million) and no end in sight. Stay safe and healthy out there!

Soapbox mode on.

Hey, dummy - social media is not a reliable source for anything except peoples’ opinions. If you want facts, go to an actual non-political news source or better still, a recognized health authority.

One more thing - Wear a mask indoors in public places to protect others from your germs. You could be infected but show no symptoms and you could kill me, my wife or our grand-daughter because of our compromised immune systems!

If I die, I will come back and haunt you!

Soapbox mode off. Yes, I feel better now.



Last month I mentioned that Alberta Provincial Park campgrounds had reopened. We have now been out twice, once to our traditional first trip of the year place near Whitecourt AB, about 2 hours north-west of home. The second trip was to Long Lake Prov Park near Boyle AB, about 90 minutes north-east of home.

We got to bring our granddaughter Isla with us and we had a great time. This is her first real camping trip with just us and we spent 5 days playing on the beach, swimming, fishing, bike riding, making S’mores over the campfire and so on. I hope she’ll be able to come with us again before the end of the camping season.

Isla and the other kids coped well with the distancing restrictions and still had fun.

You can read about the trip and see photos here.



I am generally not a big fan of facebook mostly because of the political views many people post (regardless of who or what they rant about) but it does have its bright spots. As I type, Tess is chatting with a long lost friend, Mila, who now lives in Atlanta GA. They were BFFs back in their University days. That’s pretty neat.

The weather continues to be lousy with lots of rain. The grass, flowers and weeds are all growing like mad. The down side is the ground is nearly at the saturation point and is very soft. It took a big tow truck to pull our motorhome out of the storage yard after it sank over a foot to the frame in the soft ground. Tow truck driver from Roadrunners was a pro and got me out with no damage to the RV.


That's about it from us for this update. Stay safe and healthy!


Greg, Tess & Camper



Aug 3, 2020

As I type this, worldwide Covid infections have passed the 8 12 18 million mark (7,500 8,500 10,800 here in Alberta) with 450,000 550,000 691,000 deaths (151 161 196 here in Alberta which has a population of 4.5 million) and no end in sight. Stay safe and healthy out there!

Soapbox mode on.

Hey, dummy - social media is not a reliable source for anything except peoples’ opinions. If you want facts, go to an actual non-political news source or better still, a recognized health authority.

One more thing - Wear a mask indoors in public places to protect others from your germs. You could be infected but show no symptoms and you could kill me, my wife or our grand-daughter because of our compromised immune systems!

If I die, I will come back and haunt you!

Soapbox mode off. Yes, I feel better now.


Happily we have been out camping again. We stayed within an hour of home at Wabamun Prov. Park. Nice big level sites, 30 amp power, and a great day use area with 2 boat launches. I mention boat launches because it is fun to watch newbies try to launch and recover their new-to-them boats.

The newbies stayed home this week as everyone knew what they were doing so no cars went into the lake. The beach and day use areas were very crowded and we did not feel it was safe for us to walk along the boardwalk. People were actually doig a good job of staying 2 metres apart from strangers but we still felt uncomfortable so we stuck to the boat launches.

You can read about our 4 day trip and see a couple of photos on the RVing page, here.  



Last month I was complaining about the weather. That was because of all the rain. Well, I’m still complaining but now it is because of the heat. Air temps have been at 30C / 86F with the humidex adding another 5C / 9F degrees. That’s just too hot for us northerners!

We had Isla stay with us for a couple of nights over the long weekend while her Mom is working and her Dad moves. She is getting very excited about getting her new Maltese-Tshit Szu puppy this month. She has been visiting hime regularly and calls him Cheerio. We are looking forward to meeting him.

Later this month we will be back on the road with a 18 day trip to the north-west planned. Hopefully we will restock our freezer with Walleye, Northern Pike and Rainbow Trout!

That's about it from us for this update. Stay safe and healthy!


Greg, Tess & Camper



Sept 17, 2020

30 million cases and a million people dead! Stay safe and healthy out there!     [Source]






Soapbox mode on.

Hey, dummy - social media is not a reliable source for anything except peoples’ opinions. If you want facts, go to an actual non-political news source or better still, a recognized health authority.

One more thing - Wear a mask indoors in public places to protect others from your germs. You could be infected but show no symptoms and you could kill me, my wife or our grand-daughter because of our compromised immune systems!

If your germs kill me, I will come back and haunt you!

Soapbox mode off. Yes, I feel better now.


We made it out camping again, this time to the north-west of home. Sturgeon Lake is about a 4 hour drive the way we poke along. It is all 4 lane divided highway so we are not holding anyone up at our cruising speed of 100kph.

We saw critters including black bear, deer, moose, and more. We were away from home almost 3 weeks and stayed in 3 different campgrounds on 2 lakes. While we didn’t catch any rainbow trout this trip. The limit for northern pike has dropped to zero for Sturgeon Lake so none of them either. We did bring home our limit of walleye. Tasty!

You can read about our trip and see a couple of photos on the RVing page, here.  

Because of the pandemic, all Provincial Parks and their campgrounds are now closed for the winter. Even the ones that are usually open all year for winter camping and ice fishing. So, I winterized the RV and because I did that,


today is a beautiful 20 degrees, perfect for warm fall camping. If we had somewhere to go! Oh well, next year will be better. I hope.

Isla got her new Maltese-Tshit Szu puppy last month. She brought him over to introduce us. He is so cute, soft and playful. Our dog Camper was quite put out by all the attention going to the new dog and he wasn’t very friendly. He’ll get over it.

Cheerio is very energetic and loves chewing on theings, as puppies do. He is particularly fond of ear lobes and his puppy teeth are sharp!

Check out some photos here.

I am catching up on my genalogy correspondence and will soon renew my subscription to Ancestry to continue my research. There are now 13,328 people in my tree and 1,236 in Tess’. I have updated the Remembrance page ahead of November 11. Please check it out.

That's about it from us for this update. Stay safe and healthy!


Greg, Tess & Camper


Nov 21, 2020

This damn corona virus seems to be winning for now. Vaccines should be available for the most vulnerable (like us) in early 2021 so there seems to be  light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you to every smart person out there who has made this possible.

Alberta is our home and as of Nov 20th we had 10,833 active cases in our population of just over 4 million. When you do the math, that’s one person in every 370! One new person out of about 3,600 is getting infected every day. That’s 3 in our little town. Yikes!

Be careful out there and stay safe.

Looking out the window in my home office all I see is white. Since we choose to live in this part of the world, I can’t really expect much sympathy from all you folks in warmer places.




As I mentioned last update, camping season is over and 7, our motorhome, is asleep for the winter. Before parking it, I filled in the cracks and repainted the vinyl stripes which were looking faded and cracked. I still need to wet sand them and apply a few coats of clear over the new paint but I think it looks much better than it did. I’ll post some pix in the spring.

I finally replaced my tired 6 year old computer. Significantly faster processor and a bigger 27” touch enabled screen so my tired old eyes can more easily see my typing mistakes. I really bought it for work on my family tree database and it has reduced the time to update a record by an order of magnitude. This one will probably last me 10 years. At least, I hope it will!

We are managing our contact with other people using the bubble model. That is, we keep away from everyone outside our bubbles and always mask up around


others like at the grocery store. Our son and granddaughter and their families are in our bubble so we do get to spend time together.

I occasionally help out with Isla’s home schooling as I can still handle the grade one curriculum. She has the attention span of a 6 year old but when she is ready to work, she makes progress every day. I would never make it as a real teacher but I do enjoy it one-on-one in small doses.

I renewed my ancestry.com membership earlier this month and am nearly through my backlog of correspondence from distant cousins and others from around the world. It will keep me busy all winter.

A special shout out and a big thank you to Vir Nono in the Philippines who is working on Tess’ Nartatez tree. He is doing a great job and is very generous in sharing the results of his research.

That's about it from us for this update. Stay safe and healthy!


Greg, Tess & Camper

It is very pretty and I do get to play with my snow blower every few days so there is that.



Weather here has been unseasonably warm. Temperatures get above freexing most days and only drop to about 10 - 15 degrees below freezing at night. There is barely any snow left. The forecast is for more seasonal temperatures and some snow next week. I hope so, at least more snow. Things are looking pretty grubby and a fresh coat of clean snow would help hide all the dormant grass.

Since we are largely confined to the house, I have been spending more time than ever before working in the family trees. Judging by the increase in related correspondence with distant relatives around the world, many others are doing the same.



In January we are usually starting to plan our camping trip for the upcoming season. There won’t be any trips out of Alberta unless travel restrictions are lifted so it looks like local trips again this year. I really miss the mountains though so perhaps a trip to or through Kananaskis is in the works. That’s west of Calgary in the first mountain range of the Rockies.

I have lots of work to do on the RV before we go anywhere: new blinds in the living room and kitchen, tighten the return springs on a couple of outside awnings, replace the front shock absorbers, and sand and clearcoat the outside stripes I painted last fall. Normal wear and tear stuff.

That's about it from us for this update. Stay safe and healthy!


Greg, Tess & Camper


Jan 17, 2021

First off, happy new year to both of my faithful readers. I hope 2021 will be better and safer than last year. I wish you all good health, success, and safety.

In several of my previous updates, I got on my soapbox and ranted but you all get enough of that from other sources so I’ll stop. You’re welcome.

That said, the pandemic does dominate our lives. We still get to visit with our son and granddaughter who are in our bubble but the frequency of their visits has decreased, of course. Mark and Isla are doing well.

Christmas was just Tess and I with phone calls or video chats with family. We are not big New Year’s Eve partiers and so didn’t even stay awake late enough to welcome 2021. I’m hoping we will feel like celebrating next year.