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2011 Christmas Newsletter

Date: December, 2011

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

January 3 was the date of the new work year at Methanex. Just prior to Christmas, the decision was made to change the work hours, because of the tight schedule for the plant start up. The work day will be 10 hours long, starting at 7:30 AM and for six days a week.

On February 14 Gloria received our new puppy, Cooper, short for Mini Cooper. Our niece Kelly took in a dog that was no longer wanted, two months later she had pups. 1 female and 1 male. Cooper's sister has long hair, like her mother, where Cooper has short hair. We recently found out that Cooper has some Chihuahua in him. Although we never saw the father, I suspected as much. This is a more recent photo of Cooper. I received a new Seiko watch from Gloria. I still have the Seiko she purchased for me in 1974. Thanks hon.

March 3 saw my birthday with the house surrounded by Pronghorn antelope. They were foraging for grass and moss in the front yard. The really cold winter has brought them right into town. One even died in front of the house.

March 31 and Gloria's car was hit and run in the Walmart parking lot. Walmart does not have security cameras in the parking lot, so no luck there. $800.00 later we had it fixed

April 2 and the winter just keeps going. This was the view from our patio door.

9 April I started to demolish our old deck, in preparation of the new one. The photo's are in reverse order from new to old. During the summer months we enjoyed many meals with family and friends on the new deck, safe from mosquitoes, wasps and UV rays.

April 24 has been two years since our buddy Maia died. Miss you friend.

May 11 to 17 we tore out the old lawn in front of the house and installed a low maintenance garden. I looks much better, uses less water and the colors go well with the rest of the house front.

Gloria and I celebrated our 37 wedding anniversary on May 18, at the Beefeater. We had been given a generous gift card from a friend. Also if it's May our ornamental crabapple in the back yard blossom's out. Because of the extremely cold winter, it was two weeks late this year. This was possibly the best it has ever looked.

June 16 we went to the Esplanade to see IL Circo Viaggio. This is a group of performers similar to Cirque du Soleil. They were excellent and performed some amazing acts.

In June I began organizing the weekly golf game for Methanex. We go to Redcliff Riverview every Thursday and I have come up with some very interesting and fun games. We play nine holes and then have a beer and a meal. It's a good way of socializing with other folks from work.

June saw the passing of Anna Osadczy, the mother of a friend who became my nephew, Bill Osadchy. Bill married my niece Debra.

In June I also had to put a new starter in my 1994 Honda Civic. It's the first serious money I have spent on it in a long time. It's a reliable work horse and gets to and from work. I will be purchasing a new vehicle in 2012, and I will have to decide what to do with the Civic. Some family members have shown interest in the car for their teenagers.

We had a garage sale on June 25. Six years on, and still we are selling equipment left over from the deli. The sale made a big dent in the amount of clutter we had in the garag though, I might even have enough room for a new vehicle...

We purchased a new natural gas fired BBQ in July. Although we have had a gas outlet on the deck for many years, we were waiting for the old BBQ to bite the dust. Now we have build he new deck, it's a very welcome addition. I have enjoyed trying some of the recipes in the Griller's Handbook, and especially like the Beer Can Chicken.

1 September and we started new work hours at Methanex. 7:15 AM to 4:15 PM. This is an extra 1/2 hour on every work day, but it gives us 14 extra days off per year. Six designated by the company and the remainder to use whenver we choose.

September 14, 10 years ago today, the plant I work at, Methanex, was being mothballed and 120 employees had a month left to work. 10 years later the plant has been restarted, and 83 permanent employee's have jobs, with more employee's to come.

On September 29 we played our last weekly golf game, seems everybody enjoyed the games we played on the course as I received a nice gift from Methanex for organizing, it was a $100.00 gift certificate to the The Local, a nearby restaurant and bar. We had two trips to The Local with that certificate.

October 3 an old neighbor and a really nice lady, Kath (Kathleen) Ainsworth, died in the UK. Kath was fun loving and warm hearted. Kath would always give me a warm Irish greeting whenever I was home on leave, or back to Ellesmere Street for a vacation, she also shared the same birthday as my late brother Brian, 7 March. God bless you Kath.

October 7. Cooper our pet, paid a visit to the vet to get snipped. It slowed him down for a couple of days, but now he's back to being his usual, very active self.

October 23 saw the passing of Oscar Rinke, Gloria's uncle. Oscar was the brother of Gloria's mother, Elsie Jacober nee Rinke. Uncle Oscar was 84 years of age and lived in Grande Prairie, Alberta.

Vacation time finally came at the end of October. We left for Palm Springs, California on the 28th and arrived at the condo on the 30th. The condo is owned by some friends of ours, who live in Washington State, their condo is adjacent to the condo we stayed in during the winter of 2009 and 2010. We spent three great weeks there and met some old friends from our previous visit. While we were there we booked the next door condo again for five months, from November 2012 to March 2013. We took Cooper with us on this trip. I must admit, of all the pets we have had, Cooper traveled the best and was never a bother during some long drive days. On the way home, we stayed in Idaho Falls for the night. The hotel we stayed in was directly accross from the falls

November 5 both Gloria and myself enjoyed a pedicure in Desert Hot Springs. This was my very first pedicure, and I much admit I enjoyed it. I will even go again, when we are back in Medicine Hat.

November 6 we met up with some old friends and ex work mates at the Elephant Bar in Palm Springs. Met the Dufresne's and Gustafson's. They get the pleasure of staying south for the winter, while we have to go back home and endure one more before retirement.

The drive back from California on the 18th of November, we uneventful until we ran into a big winter storm that was hitting the whole of the west coast. We had to be particularly careful going over the Monida Pass, between Idaho and Montana. Stretches of that road are steep, both going up and going down and very twisty. You most certainly drive the posted limit in weather like that.

November 28 I received an e-mail that I had won a laptop. I was a little leery at first, but then realized it was from a TV tech show, that I watch weekly. I go to the website every week and enter the contest, if I'm interested in what they are giving away. Anyway, I won a Dell Vostro V131 laptop.

17 December was the date of the Methanex Christmas party. It was held at the Medicine Hat Stampede Grounds, same place as last year. We did not win anything this year. Last year we won the table center piece. Company provided taxies to and from the party, so no reason to drive.

20 December, Gloria and I went out for supper to the Thai Orchid Room, with Brian, our grandson and his girlfriend, Marie-Claude. We had a great time with them and we all exchanged gifts and cards, one of which was a very nice photograph of both of them. They were talking about possibly buying a house in 2012. I hope it comes true for them.

24 December we went to Kenny and Steph's for Christmas Eve supper. All Allen and Marlene's family were there as well as Jess, Dallas and the two new twins. Gloria cooked the cabbage rolls.

Christmas Day and Kiana and Kelly came over to open presents. Later in the day we went to the Medicine Hat Lodge for dinner, followed by a game of Scrabble at Allen and Marlene's. Marlene won.

Boxing Day, Gloria made brunch for some old friends who were visiting from Ontario

30 December we both went for a pedicure to a local Spa. I realy enjoyed it. Later the same day, we both had a Hot Rock Massage at the Medicine Hat Lodge. Ealier in the day we purchased a new double oven stove from Home Depot. The old one had broken glass on the inside of the stove door. Easier to buy new than try to get if fixed.

Gloria's Christmas recipes. Published in the Holiday Recipes Collection of the Medicine Hat News.

Peace On Earth

Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

Love and best wishes from Allan and Gloria.

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Updated By Allan Scahill On December 30, 2011
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