Sunday, March 20, 2022

Merry Christmas 2020!

Seems like as good a time as any to ramble on for awhile.  2020 is coming to an end so it’s time to recap.  My summer was great - golfing, golfing and more golfing.  For over 20 years I’ve played regularly with the same women and every year we’ve taken a photo.  This year’s is a bit different-

I

I also worked a bit at Sask Hospital and the end of August I bought a cabin on Maymont Beach which is on Murray Lake.  It’s the most heavenly spot!  I’ve been looking for a place for a few years.  Living in a condo, I don’t have a yard to look after - my garden box on my deck doesn’t keep me busy, nor does the small garden plot I’ve enjoyed for the past four or so years.  I would follow the real estate ads, drive along beaches looking for ‘for sale’ signs and even stop and poke around the odd place but nothing ever felt perfect until this year.  I needed a pretty special place - one on pavement all the way to town so I could ride my motorcycle, a place on a nice beach - not a hill hanger and preferably sand, a cabin cabin - not a house that I have to worry about in the winter - wondering if the heat is still on or if the pipes are frozen, not a fancy place - I want to do some renovations and make it my own and nothing too big or too terribly expensive!  Ha!  Well, while visiting friends/family at Cochin one morning, I learned of this place being for sale.  Jane and I went immediately to have a look and wow!  Walking down the path to the cabin -

everything just felt right.  The next day I put in an offer and a week later, it was mine!  I took possession August 20 and spent 20 nights there before closing it up for the winter.  I have a long list of renos that will be happening this spring - changing windows and a door, new siding, fascia, soffits and eaves, raising the kitchen corner that is sinking into the sand, replacing the shower with one that allows me to bend over to pick up the soap!, new flooring and paint.  Lionel and I have bought a pontoon boat together so a lift and dock are also required.  The front wooden railing will also be exchanged for glass.  I hope to get everything done this year so from now on I can just sit back and enjoy!  I hope to move there as soon as the water is turned on in May and stay until fall-



There is a wood burning fireplace, something I will never use, so I removed the grate, screen and doors, painted it and filled it with an electric heat throwing fire that will keep me warm on the cooler nights.  And my couch - a two tone - lime green and cream.  Where on earth would one even find such a thing?



The second bedroom is quite large-



 I’m going to get rid of the table and chairs


as most meals will be eaten outside.
The shower is too small-


The kitchen is small but adequate-


My bedroom-


New siding was under the deck.  The previous owners had hired someone to put it on but once he started, he decided he needed more money so they told him to hit the road.  I washed it all and wrapped it well in a tarp so it’s ready to go this spring-

Lots of work needs to be done but I am looking very forward to this coming summer as are Jane and family-




Mom and Dad even came for a visit-


Since golf ended mid October, I’ve been subbing a lot.  It’s something to do and I really enjoy the little kids.  I’ve been to four different schools and each one runs differently because of COVID.  Some schools have normal physed classes in the gym, others are only outside unless it’s -27 or colder.  Some gather outside with their cohorts until the bell rings to start classes, others come in and go directly to their class room.  Some have specific times when students can use the bathrooms while others are allowed to go when they like.  One school division wants subs to not only wear a mask but also a visor!  If you think it’s hard wearing  a mask, throw on a visor and see what that’s like!  

I decided that if I was spending the winter at home, I would work as much as possible.  It gives me something to do and the pay is pretty awesome!

Of course, the main reason I stayed home was because of the angels.  Nico is 4.5, Andi 2.5 and Hayes 8 months-



Andi refused to go anywhere near Santa so this year it’s just the boys-



I spend a few nights a month at Jane’s and they come to town once a week so I see them lots.  They sure are growing up fast!




Sunday, May 3, 2020

Saskatchewan, May 3, 2020

Well, life continues, not my life but someone else's sort of life.  It is all still bullshit and we continue to jump through hoops.  Tomorrow, Saskatchewan starts reopening with dentistry, optometry, physical therapy and chiropractors but not massage therapists.  Weird.  My optometrist gets close enough to kiss me when he has his tool, no, not tool, his piece of equipment... no not that either, whatever that thing is called when he has to look deep into my eyes.  My massage therapist touches me but from arms length away but she can’t open yet.  With the second re-opening phase on May 19, clothing stores can open but originally a customer couldn’t try anything on - I thought this was Covid, not ebola... nor could we return or exchange.  Why even go to a clothing store?  May 15, just in time for the weekend, golf courses can open but initially couldn’t rent clubs or pull carts - the simplest things ever to clean.  Someone woke up because now we can try on clothes and pull carts will be available.  I get that it’s new to everyone and the government is petrified about doing the wrong thing but....opening campgrounds but only every second spot?  Aren’t they already at least 6 feet apart?  Or keeping beaches and playgrounds closed?  Why go camping?  Oh well, at least we can get together in “virtual households” and that means deciding who you are going to “ pick” and sticking with them.  They can come over but personal distancing is still required.  Our world is so messed I’ve seen articles helping people through the possible rejection phase if you aren’t picked by your friends.  Holy fuck people are messed!

As for me, I just carry on.  I was out to Jane’s for 6 nights because HAYES EDDIE WALL was born on Earth Day April 22.  He weighed 9 pounds 9 ounces and is 21 inches long.  Jane and he are doing fine-


Much to my surprise, Nico and Andi absolutely adore him and want to hold him and kiss him all the time-


I don’t know what’s up with Andi.  She never likes to look at the camera.  Maybe she thinks she’ll lose her spirit - she sure has a lively one!  

I also happened to be in the right place at the right time to watch the North Saskatchewan River break up.  In the morning it was plugged with huge chunks of ice and unfortunately there were a few moose fighting through the ice blocks and swimming in the cold cold river.  Apparently the ice was jammed further east at the Paynton ferry-





After supper we looked again and there was a cow moose and two calves as well as another adult standing in the water.  They are hard to see-


Then almost magically, the river started to clear -




By this time the moose had laid down in that cold, icy water.  They were gone in the morning and Mitch is 99.9% sure they died.  Such a hard life.  

Hayes continues to be the main attraction-




Nico and I made cinnamon buns-


We walked on the ice that had been forced onto the shore.  It’s vertically frozen and breaks apart in sharp blade like pieces-


We picked crocuses-


And went to a wiener roast birthday party and lit the Christmas tree on fire-


April 30 was nine years since Nico died-


so keeping with Covid rules, only a few of us could gather at the cemetery.  We had pizza and carrot cake-




The kids had a ball running wild through the tombstones and luckily it was a warm evening-


It’s hard to believe it’s been 9 years.  I remember when he first died, knowing that time would pass but not knowing what life would be like.  In a blink of an eye it will be 19 years then 29 then I’ll probably be planted beside him.  

Jane and the kids spent the night, I guess they’re my bubble family.  We decorated cookies when Jane went for groceries.  Andi just licked the icing off-


Hayes continues to be an awesome baby - he rarely makes a sound and sleeps well during the night-


I’m in Saskatoon for a few days visiting my parents and then will go home and wait.  Wait for warm weather and wait to catch the virus and get this over with.  

Friday, April 17, 2020

April 17, 2020

So life, or a form of it, is continuing in spite of Covid.  Saskatchewan has had only one new case the last couple of days and many have recovered.  Moe is talking about slowly re-starting the economy - he’ll let us know the plan next week.  Meanwhile, Easter has come and gone-


and a former student of mine, Colby Cave, has died.  He was 25 and died of a cyst in his brain.  He played hockey with Boston and Edmonton and was just a wonderful young man - always so friendly. He died in Toronto so the day his family - Mom Jen, Dad Allan and sister Taylor came home, we parked along the highway to show our love.  There were reports of 15 km of vehicles along Highway 16.  Many people wore jerseys and had signs-


Including a fire truck that led the procession-


Meanwhile, I’ve been working at Sask Hospital and April 15th, not only did we continue to have our temperature taken but we had to start wearing a mask.  I felt like a handmaid in Margaret Atwood’s book.  It was smothering, itchy and hot.  I’m learning that I don’t handle change very well, which is quite interesting considering the style of travelling I do but once I had my mask on, I instantly hated it and told my boss that I didn’t want to work any more until all this bullshit was over.  He said he’d see what he could do and I think did nothing.  However, as the day disappeared, the mask didn’t seem so bad-


I spent today at Jane’s.  She is going crazy with not being able to even take the kids outside because it’s been so cold and windy and it doesn’t help that she hasn’t been feeling the best.  Today might have been her worst day - nausea and more cramps.  After the kids had a sleep, we went to the ranch and Doctor Nico “helped??” Mitch remove the stitching from a cow who prolapsed, that’s why he’s wearing gloves.  After, we went walking amongst the cows who still have to calve, then side by siding checking on the new calves-


The kids are so funny - each has a walking stick and they love being with their Dad!

So back to the idea of change.  This winter, I was really excited hopping on a bus and moving to a new location but I was often disappointed in my new place.  Once I’d been there a night, it was fine and would end up being perfect - as was the new town or city, but initially I didn’t like it much at all.  The same thing happened this week at work - the first day I walked in and had to fill out a form and have my temperature taken - I was pissed off.  Then again with the mask.  I have to learn to just hold on/hold back my dislike and after a few hours, react.  This seems to be a new reaction to change for me, a weird one actually and I’m wondering why it’s happening.  Is it because I’m getting older and am set in my ways?  Is it because I’m privileged and my life shouldn’t be disrupted?  I’ve always thought I go with the flow and know that I always suggest to others to just give something new some time but it seems that maybe I’m not following my own advice.  Maybe I’ve always been like this and have only become aware.  I’m not sure but I’m not liking my reactions very much.  I guess now that I’ve recognized my issue, I can adapt - at least I hope so!

Looking forward to getting back to some sort of what was.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

How Much Longer? April 7, 2020

So I’ve been home three and a half weeks.  My self isolation is over, I’ve been out to spend a few nights at Jane’s and now I’m back at my place.  I’ve joined my gym online - Pipes, so am trying to work out at least four times a week.  I FaceTime a lot and iMessage too.  I play a lot of online Scrabble, read books, drink booze and smoke pot.  It’s legal now so I can actually write that.  I’ve even been back to work a couple of days.  Life is however, at a standstill and I still can’t wrap my head around what is going on.  The fear, the 24 hour news channels, the lack of commercialism - no stores, no salons, no gyms, no bars, no golf courses, no restaurants, no nothing, the self isolating, the six feet of separation....

And my feelings about it all?  Well, I really don’t understand it.  Justin Trudeau is staying in isolation.  What the fuck’s he afraid of?  “The people” are demanding to know how big this government thinks this will get - and they appear to not want to say so you know that means a whole bunch of people are probably going to die.  There was a mathematician on CTV the other night explaining a formula based on this and that saying that 33,000 people could die in Ontario alone.  Oh.  I did a bit of googling and found that in 2018, 88,000 Canadians died from cancer, 53,000 from heart disease, 13,300 from accidents and 8511 from flu and pneumonia.  That totals up to 154,811.  I realize Covid is a new and separate category but...

I also know another government concern is overloading the hospitals and ICU departments.  So far in Saskatchewan, there are 260 cases from 14,722 tests, with 3 deaths and 88 recoveries.  2 people are in ICU.  

I hear of people who are anxious, confused, stressed, afraid and unable to think straight.  Some people are unhealthy and think they are more susceptible to getting sick than others because of their health.  That is a true possibility and deserves extra care.  However, I think that for a lot of people it is the fear of losing control.  So many of us believe we are in ‘control’ of our lives and this is falsely maintained by structure, habit, employment, spending and the dream that I’m going to do ‘this’ ‘when’.  Most of that has come to a standstill and the world that we knew may never return and so for those who define themselves by what they do, where they go, who they see and what they buy, this must come as an identity shock.  Maybe it’s time for a self reset and a true inward look at who we really are and what is important.

And fear itself ... what is it anyway?  Feelings of fear are real - the heart might beat faster, we might break out in a sweat and adrenaline is pumping through our veins...but why?  Fear is based on something perceived, imaginary even and the more one watches tv, the more fearful they might get and when somebody is afraid, they become paranoid and anxious.  They can’t work, they can’t sleep....all because of an idea.

I don’t want to sound like Donald Trump - ignoring what’s happening.  And I am doing my part - rarely going out and when I do, keeping my 6 feet of separation but.....

I’m more worried about the consequences of what’s happening.  The markets have gone to shit, stores are closed so people are unemployed - they can’t pay their rent because they don’t get a salary.  True, the government is stepping up with a wage subsidy program and the CERB so people hopefully will have something left when this is all over but it will cost us dearly for many years to come.  We are spending billions in the first four months but what happens if we need the same support in months five to eight?  Can we truly afford more billions?  

And what’s up with Justin continuing to self isolate?

Good news is that Austria and Germany are relaxing, however slightly, their lockdown rules.  We can’t destroy the economy for Covid.  Don’t get me wrong - it’s real and dangerous for some however, I’m not so sure it’s as bad as it’s being made out to be and I believe that is because people don’t have control, it’s unknown and that’s scaring the hell out of them!

I’ve been reading a lot and watching videos that present different viewpoints from Canadian news and I’m not saying they are right - just something to wonder about:



Who knows for sure?  Just keep washing your hands and don’t get spit on!

P.S.



I thought it was spring!  We were golfing April 10th last year!




Merry Christmas 2020!

Seems like as good a time as any to ramble on for awhile.  2020 is coming to an end so it’s time to recap.  My summer was great - golfing, g...