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2009 Christmas Newsletter

Date: December, 2009

A very merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all family and friends.

On January 1, after dining out most of the holidays, we entertained several family members to a lamb curry. This meal in an ongoing joke with my nephew, Dave Drummond. I'm always telling him we had lamb curry for supper, but there were no leftovers.

On January 3, Lorraine, Gloria's sister, and Vern her husband, put on a family dinner for Jillian, Mark and Amy. Others attending were Malcolm Lorraine's son, Pam, Lorraine's daughter, Pete her husband, daughter Kelsea as well as Gloria and myself. The meal consisted of cabbage rolls, pirogues, home made sausage and other Jacober family dishes. After dinner, Gloria and myself had to attend a surprise 65th birthday party for a friend at the local Buffs club.

11 January we saw the completion of some work a friend had done for us. We had a suspended ceiling installed in our downstairs bathroom and also some doors and trim in our downstairs TV room.

21 and 22 January were my first two days of being off work sick, since starting at Costco in November of 2007. I had a vicious cold and cough. Two day's later, Gloria came down with the same cold and was off work.

Again I was lucky enough to be in a warm climate for my birthday on March 3rd. We vacationed in the Desert Hot Springs area of California from February 23 to March 8, and visited a couple of old friends who stay down there for six months during the winter. I worked with Gerry Dufresne for many years at Methanex. We also visited a little border town in Mexico called Los Algodones. We went down just for the day and while I was there, I visited a dentist and had my teeth cleaned. It cost me only $25.00, and much less than I would have paid back in Canada.

The RV resort we stayed at was called Catalina Spa The Spa sits on the San Andreas fault which provides it with very hot water for it's, swimming pools and Jacuzzi's. We stayed in what they call a Park Model trailer and was very comfortable for the two of us. We could easily spend the winter living in one of these! We took our golf clubs with us and played at a couple of very nice courses.

We had a friend stay at our home while we were away to look after our aging pet Maia and our bird Echo. When we got back we found out our friend had left the bathtub running one evening and the water had seeped into the ceiling tile of our newly renovated downstairs bathroom. The whole ceiling had to be replaced and the downstairs carpet shampooed. The same week we got back, the garage door motor, electronic thermostat and a telephone had to be replaced.

On March 29 a former coworker died, Gary Schmitz. I had the pleasure of working with Gary for many years. I first met him in 1979 when I joined Alberta Gas Chemicals. It was always a pleasure to speak to Gary. He had a great sense of humor and a quick wit. We both shared an interest in genealogy, and I would often ask his advise on some aspect of it. He and his smile will be sadly missed. My condolences to his family. This is a link to Gary's obituary page, where you can make comments.

21 April saw Gloria's name and photograph in the Medicine Hat News. She had been volunteering at the Medicine Hat Esplanade the previous evening when a MH News photographer snapped her picture.

At 11:10 AM on 22 April, our best buddy and pet, Maia, died. She passed away peacefully on her dog bed with Gloria keeping watch on her. Maia was a Doberman with character and intelligence. She never failed to meet us both at the door, no matter what mood we were in. She was a true companion. Born 24 November 1995, died 22 April 2009. She was the longest living of the three Dobermans we raised over 30 years. Maybe love had a lot to do with it? A couple of weeks after Maia's death, we received a sympathy card from her vet. I suppose they must send them out to all owners, whose pets have died, but it was nice to receive.

May 17 we held a family BBQ in our back yard. Gloria put a great meal with steak, hamburgers and the family favorite, her potato salad. I worked to get the garden ready for the summer and the BBQ and a fun time was had by most people, I think.

18 May was our 35th wedding anniversary. This one was either Coral or Jade. For those who are interested, our 1974 wedding album can be viewed at the following link.

The last weekend in May we spent time in Calgary at Cora's, Gloria's sister. We had a great time and had went to Namskar an Indian restaurant, did some shopping, visited a quilt faire, Heritage Park and got together for a family BBQ.

We had a garage sale on the weekend of June 6 and 7. Gloria and myself were joined with a couple of friends, Darlene and Rich, who also sold items at our sale. It rained and snowed all day on the Saturday, and Sunday was not much better, but, we made a fair amount of money, which we put away for our winter vacation, if we have one?

Gloria's aunt, Olga Roth, died on Friday 5 June. Olga was buried on Thursday 11 June 2009.

June 11 was Gloria's last day working for PWD, the Costco food and beverage demonstration company.

June 12 was my last day working for Costco. We both decided it was time to retire, until I find that dream job of working 12:00 noon to 1:00 PM with an hour for lunch :-)

On Saturday 13 June we had some friends over for a backyard bash.

During July we researched for a place to stay this coming winter. We liked the Desert Hot Springs area of California, where we had been the previous March. We found a condo near Mission Lakes Golf Club and booked it for five months. We will be there from October 15 2009 to March 15 2010. After the last long, cold and snowy winter, we had had enough and wanted to get away from it.

Leaving Costco gave me the chance to once again play for the Men's Senior Golf League. Tee off times are at 9:00 AM so I could never make them having to work till 10:00 AM. So far, the middle of July, I have done very well having played 3 times and been on the winning team in my foursome every time.

John, Shelly and the boys came to visit us on 11 July. John's mum is not doing very well as she battling cancer. John has asked if he can stay with us if his mum takes a turn for the worse. We said yes of course.

July 16 was a memorable night at regular Men's League Golf. We did not win any prizes as we were only -1 under par. What we did do was win the 50/50 pot. It was my ticket that was pulled. We split $205.00 between the foursome I played with that night.

August 11 our cockatiel Echo has gone to a good family who also have another cockatiel. We had Echo for eighteen years, but now we would like to travel in the winter. We will miss him :-(

August 15 Sarah Faye Scahill married Devon Andrew Ford.

The family got together on August 29 for the 3rd annual pig roast. This is held at LaVonne and Kevin's home in Balzac. The pig was done to a tee and the weather was wonderful. Great food, great time and great company. Later in the weekend, Gloria, Shelley and myself went to the new mall in Balzac. The locals call it Mallzac.

Men's league golf end of year game was held on Saturday 12 September. My playing partners this year were: Kim Bohnet, Les Eiler and Steve Brier. I had wanted to get a team photo, but my camera batteries had died. We finished at 6 under par, just out of the prizes, but we each had our names pulled for a prize. I won a 3 in 1 grill, sandwich and waffle maker. We also shared the 50/50 which was valued at $1270.00. I've had a lucky year with the 50/50 draws.

At 5:00 AM on September 14, Sharon Stewart died. Sharon was the mother-in-law to Shelley Stewart, Gloria's sister. Sharon had been fighting cancer for a couple of years. Sharon's funeral service was held at the Hope Church in Burstal, Saskatchewan, on Friday September 18 2009. This is the order of service. It was followed by a luncheon at the local community hall. She was a lovely lady.

Monday 12 October we headed south for the winter to a condo in Desert Hot Springs. Driving leisurely for 3 days, stopping in Dillon Montana, Salt Lake City Utah and Mesquite Nevada. We rented the condo from the 15 October to 15 March 2010.

25 October took in the annual Golf Cart Parade in Palm Desert, followed by supper a Babes restaurant.

We hosted our first visitors on 30 October at the condo. Jerry and Elaine Dufresne came with their friends Jean and Dennis. Great laughs, good visit.

Sunday 8 November we went to watch the 2009 Gay Pride Parade held on Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs. It was a fun time.

November 11 I completed the indexing of the 1930 US Census on my blog The Scahill Pages.

We went to the iMax theater to see A Christmas Carol in 3D and then to the Elephant Bar for supper on 16 November.

Barry and Gwen Gustafson hosted happy hour at their RV on 19 November.

20 November we went to the Living Desert in Palm Desert then for Mexican food at La Casuelas in Palm Springs.

On the 28 November we had some folks to our condo for happy hour. In the photograph are: Jim Wilcox our condo neighbor, myself, Gerry Dufresne, Gwen and Barry Gustafson, Elaine Dufresne, Tami Wilcox and Gloria.

November 29 we attended Art In The Park on North Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs. Lots of beautiful art of all types.

Went golfing with my next door neighbor, Jim Wilcox, on 20 November. I played Mission Lake Golf Course for the first time and shot a 105.

28 November we had happy hour in our condo. In the photo are: Jim Wilcox our neighbor, myself, Gerry Dufresne, Gwen and Barry Gustafson, Elaine Dufresne, Tami Wilcox and Elaine Dufresne.

December 4 we went to see the movie Precious. It is the first movie we gave our own rating of 10/10. It's a story that shows you should never judge someone until you really know them. We highly recommend you see this movie.

5 December we attended the Tamale Festival in Indio, just a short 29 mile ride down the I 10. Lots of vendors selling food and especially tamale's. We also shopped at WINCO Foods. WINCO stands for Washington, Idaho, Nevada, California and Oregon. I can't see this store coming to Canada. They are just like Costoc, but cheaper. The day was fairly cool at 16C (60F). It was the first time since being down here that I had worn pants and socks.

December 8 saw our first storm since being in California. The temperature dropped to 8C (46F) and we had just over and inch of rain. Not a day for going to the pool or taking a walk. Also on this day, the DVD's I had ordered from Amazon arrived. I purchased volumes 3, 4 and 5 of the BBC series MI5. I had received volumes 1 and 2 as a Christmas present in 2008.

On December 9 this was the view outside of our patio door after yesterdays storm. Some clouds still sticking around and snow in the mountains.

14 December we completed the 100th recipe for our cookbook. That's three sections of the cookbook down, and two to go.

On the 17 December, our neighbors at the condo, Jim and Tami Wilcox, took us out for supper at the Mission Lakes Country Club. We followed that with a dip in the hot tub. Thanks Jim and Tami that was a great evening.

Christmas eve saw us entertaining several neighbors for drinks and nibbles. Gloria made some of our favorite snacks including candy cane chocolate. On the coffee table was the beautiful center piece that Allen and Marlene had delivered to us.

Christmas Day was all about golfing and grub. I went golfing with my neighbor Jim Wilcox. The golfing was free as the clubhouse was closed. Lots of people didn't even bother wearing proper golfing attire as it was considered casual golfing. Gloria and Tami made a delicious meal. We had Prime Rib with Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and all the fixings. Desert was upside down pear and ginger cake. A great meal.

Boxing Day we went for dinner with our neighbors, Jim and Tami Wilcox, to the Blue Coyote Mexican restaurant in Palm Springs. We were joined by Jim and Tami's friends Ed and Terri Moore who were visiting from Washington State.

New Years Eve started at home, with lobster tails and angel hair pasta for Gloria and myself. Then we went to visit some friends at Catalina Spa on the other side of Desert Hot Springs and played some cards. A relaxing and enjoyable evening.

Peace On Earth

Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

Love and best wishes from Allan and Gloria.

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