Diane & Pat

We are now a year and a half into condo living and are really enjoying it. Our fellow inmates are all friendly, engaging and fun to chat with.

During the summer we took a trip to Grandview (just west of Dauphin) to visit Diane’s brother Jack and spouse Dorothy and had a good time.

Also managed to have supper with Diane’s brother Raymond in Dauphin.

Undertook a few projects in our unit this year. We had very poor incandescent lighting that made our rooms dark and gloomy like living in a basement, when we actually live on the fourth floor of the building. And I didn’t mention the hideous chandelier! As a result we had LED lighting installed through the whole condo and now live in a much brighter and cheerier atmosphere.

I replaced the plain builder grade bathroom mirrors taking two rectangular units and replacing them with three gold bordered versions over each sink. Also installed three new taps in both bathrooms as well as a new kitchen faucet. The bathrooms were interesting as the sink connections were partially above the cabinet drawers, which made for some interesting times laying on my back and trying to figure out how to disconnect then install new fittings.

As Diane is a gardener, we acquired three raised planter boxes for the balcony and proceeded to see what we could grow. As the deck faces north east we only get about an hour of sun in mid summer. So we found that herbs and lettuce grow quite well in that environment. Root crops were supposed to do well in the shade, so if two inch carrots and less than one inch beets are a success then we did o.k. Think we will try some other thinks next year.

We continued to attend Broadway Across Canada shows in Edmonton, including Fiddler on the Roof, Pretty Woman, and Ain’t Too Proud (the story of the Temptations). All were very good.

For Diane’s birthday we took a three day trip that included Ain’t Too Proud, a day in Jasper staying in a nice lodge, then back to Edmonton to the Mayfield Dinner theatre in Edmonton to see Musicians Gone Wild – Rock the Canyon which was about the 60’s in Laurel Canyon where all the musicians congregated. The ten musicians in the show were great, singing some of the hits of each of the groups, from some of the Beatles to Joni Mitchell.

This was the lodge we stayed, and it rained the entire time we were there, so couldn’t even see the mountains in the background.

Diane now needs to use a cane, so when she threatens me, it feels like the Cane Mutiny. The pointy bit that helps on ice might be a lethal weapon.

I still haven’t given up umpiring. Maybe hit in the facemask too many times to figure it out!

Contributed by brother Brendan

Somehow our team finished as third runner up in a house a roll-off, and qualified to go to provincials in Edmonton, where we ended as in second place at the championship, with no help from me.

The city went all out with lighting up City Hall Park for the holidays.

City Hall Lights Video 1 Video 2

I ran the inmates Grey Cup pool, and when Montreal scored at the end Diane was in line to take the first prize, if they missed the convert. They didn’t miss. I discovered after the game that the tickets purchased through the Edmonton 5 Pin Bowler’s Association included the final score. So instead of Diane getting $100, I ended up with $200.

Due to the closeness to a nature reserve, and the number of trees around the condo we get animal visitors. Had a half dozen deer sunning themselves on the adjacent lawn one day, and run into deer fairly often when I’m out for a walk or bike ride.

Taking a walk on the grounds of the adjacent former AHS facility for people with intellectual challenges, I came around a building and ran into a moose and her calf about 50 yards away. Fortunately the calf was on the far side of mom, so other than a staring contest, we passed amicably.

We also have some nice park areas within a five minute walk.

Looked out of our deck around midnight and saw something moving on the grounds of the long term care facility next door. It moved across the grass then proceeded to climb a crab apple tree and get all the apples on the upper branches, that the deer could not get to while standing on their hind legs. After checking with others who would know we are pretty sure it it was a porcupine.

We are still Red Deer Rebel hockey supporters with nine game subscriptions. The team started very slowly under a new coach and we were 2nd last in our division. Since then they have picked up the pace and are currently in fourth position, so we have hopes for the play-offs again. Both goalies have been named goaltender of the week in the league, so if we could just get more scoring from the forwards, we would be in good shape.

Helped John Oliver to get PÅ«teketeke named as the New Zealand bird of the Century.

Here is the news story

PÅ«teketeke received 83% of the votes, and donations to the nature group that runs the contest received multiple times their normal donations to the society.

And if you wonder why this Christmas card always comes at the last minute, this may explain it.