At the tail end of April and beginning of May Juanita and I grandparented with Sonja, Sasha and Kohen for around a week while Ernie and Debbie took a tenth anniversary trip. Well, mostly it was Juanita who bore the brunt of the exercise as I retreated during the day to install soffits, fascia and siding. I think we are no longer equipped to deal with a near two year old on a twenty-four / seven basis. Maybe we never were, but memories are forgiving. We rejoiced when the parents returned and we moved back to our own bed and sleep uninterrupted by a crying toddler. Well-trained toddler mind you. He wanted nothing to do with Grampa in the middle of the night. Only Garndma would do.
After a bit of recovery we headed to Powell River for a week, stopping at Whitecourt on the way there to stay with Jim and Bonnie Fisher and get caught up on their lives. Their kennel "retirement" business can be quite demanding, and it was interesting to see how they have restructured the business in the last year or so such that they are more in control of it than the other way around.
Also on the way to Powell River the truck went in for a scheduled service of the transmission at the shop next to B&D in Abbotsford. They fine tuned the adjustments that my amateur efforts had failed to get perfectly right. While waiting for the work to get done I calculated the breakeven point for a Mileage Max chip and it was around a year with current fuel prices and the annual kilometers we rack up so that went in the shopping cart along with a drop-in high-pass air filter.
On the way to the ferry we stopped to visit my sister, Sydney, and her husband, Dan, in Burnaby leaving there in plenty of time to catch the next ferry to Langdale. Plenty of time in theory, anyway. An overturned truck full of water bottles or, rather, an overturned truck, no longer full of water bottles shutting traffic in both directions on the upper levels highway meant that we had plenty of time to wait for the ferry we would be taking as an alternative to the one we had missed.
While waiting for the ferry I installed the new air filter. That went well. I suppressed reasonable caution and ripped apart the wiring harness and installed the new higher mileage chip. There were a few tense moments when one of the the connectors was hard to put together, but fear of being immobilised at the front of a long line of vehicles provided enough adrenalin induced strength to overcome its resistance. The truck even started after that! It took a few days before we could accumulate some history and do the calculations on fuel consumption, but the promised +30 horsepower from the chip and better aspiration from the air filter were apparent immediately as we charged up the hill from the Langdale ferry. In time, the mileage claims proved true as well.
In Powell River, we visited with friends and family especially with my Mom who is scheduled to turn a hundred years old at the end of October. She is still living on her own, but seeing her only once or twice a year the decline from one time to the next is obvious. Definitely winding down physically and maybe mentally a bit, too, but I find that harder to judge as I am less sure of the accuracy of my own memories these days. <:0)
Back in Meadow Lake
Work proceeded on the shop/studio. Not as fast as it seemed it should some days, but it proceeded.
We also attended to watch Sonja and Sasha in a number of soccer games and practices and a piano recital.
Becky and Ezekial came up from Yorkton where Nick was working to visit for about a week. I gave her a bit of a bad time about being a rock magnet. Twice while she was riding in the truck with me it took some serious hits in the windshield from rocks. The first one left a broken area the size of a fist. So I called cousin Brian Rye and headed out to his place on the last Saturday of May and watched while he installed a new windshield. Kinda fascinating to see it the first time. Not particularly insterested in watching any re-runs, mind you.
Shop / Studio
The windows got installed, teh siding finished and the insulation started. The insulation stops were purchased in Powell River since they don't seem to be available in Meadow Lake.
Meadow Lake Cruiser Show
While I was working at the shutdown at CCRL in Regina in April, a friend had given us two tickets to the annual Regina car show. We finished up there and came back to Meadow Lake before the show and, thus, returned the tickets. One Saturday in May, Ernie and I went to the Meadow Lake equivalent. It was not quite so grand but still was an interesting diversion.
A Sunday Afternoon in the Country
Clifford, the big red truck, gets a new windshield.
Interesting to watch once. Not something you want to become habit forming, even with glass insurance coverage.
Piano & Violin Recital
We use a 40 US gallon water bag to pick up water from town once a week. There is enough slope to the driveway that the truck can be parked to provide gravity flow to fill the fresh water tank.