Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Janet and Ken Bates first blog



Hi all, I write as we are creeping up a long hill in our very fancy, but rather flawed sprinter van.

We are on our way to Williams Lake (my home town) for a show tomorrow night “in the park”.

Today is my 55th birthday, and a very special one.... well they all are aren’t they?

I am 2.5 years (almost) from my surgery for stage 3c endometrial cancer, and like the posters say, every birthday is a victory. The newer posters say “lets hope for a world with less cancer and more birthdays”

I am sure that war kills more people than cancer does, and so I would also hope for a world with less wars and more birthdays.

Pretty darn amazing what can happen in just one little year. Last year on my birthday, I never would have imagined that I would be living back in Canada just a year later. Who would have thought?

Ken and I moved back to Canada after 14 years of living in the USA, last February. Since then we have purchased an acreage, created a very large garden, and got a pretty darn good start on a house.

We have also done our doggondest to raise a ruckus here. Well we did not plan it that way, but we do have a way of creating conflict. We started out back in Canada working for “Interior Health Authority”, and just assuming all was well in health, after all we were back in Canada.

We discovered that despite all the wonders of universal health care, there are still rogue administrators (just like where we came from in the US) So to make a long story short (really is there such a thing as a short story?).... We are essentially starting our own clinic just 2 blocks down the road from our acreage. How good can it get?

There is a pharmacy next to our clinic, and a grocery story across the road, and a wonderful coffee shop next to that that serves fair trade coffee (and has expressed an interest in playing my cds and selling them there.

Oddly enough there are 2 hardware stores another block away in different directions, and a bottle depot in between. There is a wonderful lake a half a mile down the road, and a beach where Ken and I can launch our Kayaks.

(I am basically a fraidy cat, and so I have just purchased one of those hoby Kayaks that I can sit on top of and pedal with my feet)

We live in a town called Scotch Creek, which is on the North side of the Shuswap lake and about 12 miles from the trans canada highway.

There are about 2800 people who live on the north side of the Shuswap lake in one of 4 small unincorporated towns.


We are currently living in a Park Model home which is like a bit RV with a few winterizing features. It seemed quite big (it is 32 feet long), until mosquito season hit (yes, you just knew that there HAD to be a flaw in paridise)

Now we have been staying inside more and it seems to get smaller by the day.


Our new house next door is going to be about as cute as our mini cooper is, but we have at least another month before we can even think about moving in, likely longer.


They are currently working on insulation, and from there will be starting to drywall. Things were going well until this week when we discovered that the company that put in the ducting for the geothermal heating system, did not do a very good job. So we are at the point of wondering if we need to completely tear out the ducting and start over with another company, or just stick with what we have. You see all the ducting will be covered up with the drywall, and so this is indeed a timely issue.


Of course you have the one company who seems to have taken a lot of shortcuts (Literally) and ran their ducting through some of the plumbing and just CUT the plumbing lines.... yes the JUST CUT THE PLUMBING lines, which is pissed off the plumber to no end, and he is not about to forget it. AND the plumber is our oldest son and so we are not about the forget it.

It is apparently VERY Bad etiquette to cut the plumbers lines. THen they put the furnace ducts right where the builder had put a door in the basement.....

SO the builder if very pissed off at them too.

So our builder (who really thinks that geothermal heat is a waste) has gotten another guy in to do a quote to fix it. Well this other guy has essentially said that the entire ducting needs to come out and be totally replaced. and he is going to charge basically a small fortune to do this. We are not sure he is not being just a tad melodramatic about all of this, I mean there must be SOMETHING that the other guys did right. OR he has found out that we are both doctors. (as opposed to two part time doctors who just lost their shirts in the US economy)


Geothermal heat is where you run pipes a few hundred feet into the ground to extract the heat that is maintained under the core. EVERYONE tells us that it will not pay for itself in our lifetimes, but we keep telling them it is not about the money, we just want to do something right for the environment.

We are getting closer to Williams Lake so for our first blog, I will leave it there.

Much love to all


Janet Bates and Ken ..(perhaps he can write some of these too)

4 comments:

  1. Hi Janet, what a great way to celebrate your birthday. I had forgotten we share a birthday. I turned 54 yesterday (3rd) so for 2 days my husband can say he is 2 yrs younger than me. After 26 yrs of marriage (it was our wedding anniversary as well) he never gets tired of that.

    You took so well and happy in your photo above. Sorry things haven't worked out job wise but you gave it a try at least. I suspect, coming your own health issues, you see things quite differently from people who are just practising the art of medicine. Good luck with your new venture

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  2. Hello,
    I have a question about your blog. Please email me!
    Thanks,
    David

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  3. Hi Janet...

    I was thinking of you this morning and checked in on your blog. You look wonderful! And you sound very happy.

    I was happy to see that you sold your properties, however, I was surprised to see that you are back in Canada, but I sure understand why!

    We moved to Silverton, Colorado about 15 months ago to 9,300' and absolutely love it! We are still trying to sell our properties in Oregon.

    I am so thrilled to hear how well you and Ken are doing!

    Wishing you both the best in your new home and lives...

    casey

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  4. Hi Janet.

    It is very nice of you to let us keep in touch with you this way.

    Did I mention I finally got internet service? Oh. I suppose it is kind of obvious.

    Had to put in my two cents (what is the Metric equivalent?) about payback time on Geothermal Heating, and I think you will see the day, much sooner than the contractors think.

    The Canadian Geothermal Coalition may be a little optimistic (in the States, we call it SALESMANSHIP) But here is thier pamphlet. Note in particular, page 12.

    http://www.geo-exchange.ca/en/UserAttachments/article58_Residential_Geothermal_Buyers_Guide_2009.pdf

    Boiling it down, the CGC estimates Geothermal costs 56% as much to operate as the next best system, Gas, 37% as much as electricity and 27% as much as oil heat costs. Throw in a fudge factor and tip your hat to inflation and you are looking at about a ten year payback on a system that should last much longer than that.

    It does seem tho, that the man who installed it wears his hat on the wrong end. I don't know what to say about that exactly, but I can give a general description. I won't tho.

    It is nice to see that you are making progress, in a number of ways. Six miles! Wow. The last time I ran half that far I had a 100 foot tall wall of fire for encouragement. That was 25 years ago.

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