As usual we rang in the New
Year at the neighbors but this year was a little subdued. I
wasn't feeling great and Chris called it just after midnight
as neither was she. Which was probably good as I had started
to listen to Tool and that never ends well. The neighbors
were also disappointed at the turn out as they said each
year it seems less and less people pop in. So we might just
pub it this year instead.
Prior to that we went to
Kananaskis for a big get together with Chris' family. We
stayed at the lodge there which is where her Mom and
Step-dad got married 17? years ago which was pretty cool.
Wow, can't believe it's been that long. We had a great time
despite half the family being sick with some kind of stomach
bug. One day I went for a long walk through the mountains
and it was just me in the wilderness stomping through the
snow with amazing views all around. Another day we all went
for a massage at the spa and while it might not have been
the best I've ever had it was definitely up there. And one
night we hung outside by a fire and listened to carolers and
drank really yummy mulled wine concoctions. So unlike the
last big get together, this time we actually took advantage
of a lot of the activities they had going on.
There was also a professional
photographer who took a bunch of family photos. While she
was really good, especially in regards to keeping the kids
attention and getting good energy from the, my favourite
photo of the trip is a selfie that Chris took of us. Awwww.
Aren't we cute? A big thanks to Jim & Karen for putting on
such a great gathering.
Of course not all is sunshine
and rainbows. A few weeks ago we found out my bestie Jamie
has cancer. I can't imagine what he and his family are going
through. When I first heard my initial reaction was to
remember my Dad and think 'here we go again'. But according
to the experts it's 'only' stage one and there's a high
survivability rate. You don't want to make it about you, but
you're reminded of your own mortality. You plan for the
future and make various plans for some distant day, but it
all could come quickly crashing down in an instant. But he's
strong and he'll get through this. He also started a
blog detailing what he is going through. I think it's
great he's doing that, I'm sure it's not only helpful for
him to express himself but also for others not only to find
out how he's doing but to also better understand what a
horrible disease it is.
On to other things...
Currently trying to figure out
finances for the year and make plans for our various trips
and never ending renovations as well. We're actually meeting
with a Landscaper tomorrow to discuss what we want done to
finish off the yard. Hopefully things go well and I get a
good vibe from them. We want the yard finally finished this
year. I can't wait to be able to go out and enjoy the summer
in a nice shaded structure, with a cool drink in hand,
listening to some tunes and relax myself into oblivion.
As previously mentioned, I'm
also toying with maybe going Solar this year. We have a
meeting with an installer in a couple weeks. Financially
it's probably not the smartest decision with the payback
period likely a decade, but I'm not doing it just to save
money. Obviously that's part of it - I look to the future
when I'm retired and on a fixed income and it'd be nice to
half our electricity bills dramatically reduced - but
there's also the environmental aspect as well. Plus my next
vehicle is likely to be electric and it'd be nice to have
the sun effectively powering it. I'll have a better idea how
everything will shake out by the end of the month.