Well it’s official. I have been rewarded a Temporary Part Time job in Public Health. It starts March 9th and goes until December 30th. This is a 0.8 part time 8 hour day job that rotates days off. 08:30-16:30 or 11:00-19:00. Comparison to what I’m doing now it is 15hours less bi-weekly. I can easily pick up shifts if that is too small financially.

It all spurred from the fact that doing 12 hour shifts is not feasible with my knee. I am either going for an intensive rehab program or a duty to accommodate (the company finds me a job that works with my limitations) after this temporary job is finished unless I find another temp or more permanent.

It is bitter sweet since I am interested in 8 hour shifts, public health, days (no nights!!) but I will miss my job and the people I work with and knowing what my fate is when I return

The official email:

This is your formal offer of employment from Vancouver Island Health Authority (Island Health). Vancouver Island Health Authority will herein after be referred to as ‘Island Health’.

Congratulations! We are pleased to offer you a Temp PT position at Island Health as Public Health Nurse at West Shore Health Unit Victoria, British Columbia V9B 6X2, CA effective Mar. 9 2021. We hope that you continue to find your career with us to be a positive and rewarding experience.

This position will end on or about Dec. 30 2021 This position will end upon the return of the incumbent.

Happy 49th Birthday, Tammy

Last birthday in the “forties” for Tammy today! It’s a Sunday and so we have a day off together. So far, we’ve had:

  • Cards and presents
  • FaceTime/Skype calls with Dave, Colin and Carol and Stephanie and the whole fam
  • Tammy’s favourite meal: Eggs Benedict made by the kids

This afternoon I’ll be putting her cake together and we’ll enjoy that with some stir-fry at some point. We aren’t going out to a restaurant today, even though they are open now. Maybe by the time Ian’s birthday rolls around things will be more normal? 🤞

The birthday girl

We don’t want to talk much about the cake. It was delicious, okay?

The only non-embarrassing angle on the cake

One of the three cake layers didn’t want to come out of the pan. It didn’t have a lot of structural integrity but I decided to make it the center layer anyways. Icing will hold it together, right?


5 Star Rating

Today has been a surprising day of accolades from students.
It started with a message from our administrative assistant in full time linc. 2 students had sent messages of thanks for my class and all the help and feelings of belonging it has given them. That was a nice way to start the day. It feels good to know you’re making a difference for someone.
Then at lunch the manager of student services sent around this email to the school entitled Google 5 Star Review :


I was just notified of a 5-star review left on Google and thought you would like to see it:

Séraphin Sonna

17 hours ago

I am really proud of my second term of learning English at Columbia College. I had the chance to meet Ms. Tammy Biickert who transmits with an unprecedented methodology. It’s very encouraging and I just have to say thank you to all the people who have so far helped me improve my English level and I promise to work tirelessly to deserve your work. Thank you again.

Thanks! Great job Tammy!

Huh! Wow! I didn’t know students left reviews for teachers or schools on Google, etc. I thought that was for other businesses like hotels and restaurants. 😄 Again it’s nice to hear that you’re reaching someone. 💐 Thank you for the thank yous.

Finally… Skiing

When we last were at Nakiska, pre-COVID, who knew it would be so long before we would go skiing again? Nakiska shut down in March last year. It opened somewhat normally this year, but at first it was only the upper mountain that was open, and the second wave of the pandemic was cresting. Then it was super warm, then it was super cold. But today, we got out to the mountain.

It was windy, and a couple of degrees above zero. The conditions were pretty nice.

Ian and I got in eight runs. We stuck to the bronze chair, which really didn’t have any line-ups to speak of. Compare that to the Silver chair:

The Olympic chair was about the same.

We only stayed about an hour and a half, but that was enough to say we’d been. Hopefully it won’t be the last this year.

Chess Challenges

I was watching a YouTube video for chess beginners, and the fellow recommended this book called 1001 Chess Exercises for Beginners, that I found on Amazon. Since it was a Kindle book, I downloaded a sample and found that there are about 100 chess challenges in it: the board is set up and it’s white’s turn to move. One move, and the game’s over. Can you find it?

I’ve been setting them up on the new chessboard, and we have been solving them. Then I set up the next challenge.

Happy Valentine’s Day (and Family Day)

Back to back holidays! Valentine’s Day fell on Sunday, and today is Family Day in Alberta.

Tammy’s answer to every holiday is food. 😜 That included some assorted pastries and mixed berries to go with orange juice and champagne sparkling white wine for breakfast. Lunch was a breakfast, too. She whipped up eggs benedict, her fave. In the afternoon, it was time to construct the black forest heart-shaped cake. It went a little more topical: as we’ve been watching The Queen’s Gambit, Tammy’s made some noises about learning how to play chess. We already had a roll-up vinyl board and plastic pieces, but I found a nice, solid 15″ board with wooden pieces.

It was a quiet day, but we did gather to watch Grease after dinner. Today was even quieter. I remarked to Tammy that thanks to isolating during the pandemic, we’ve been doing nothing but spending time together for the last 11 months. 🙄 But we’re all doing well and happy as we can expect.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Heart card by Miranda

Bubble Tea

As many already know, I have been making bubble tea recently. I learned how to make it a few months ago but I didn’t make it very often because we had the wrong type of tapioca (the type that took a full day to cook). A few weeks ago though, mom found an instant black pearl pack on amazon. This is the kind used at bubble tea shops. As advertised, it takes considerably less time to make than the other. So I learned how to make bubble tea with brown sugar syrup, got some reusable bubble tea straws, and found different recipes to try.

I’ve tried the following flavours: brown sugar, matcha, banana, blackberry, coconut, and double spice chai

Deep Freeze

It’s 🥶🥶🥶 cold in Calgary. Started the day at -28. If COVID wasn’t keeping us home, that would. I am starting to wonder if we will go skiing at all this winter.

1000 km January

This winter’s virtual cycling has been different. There was demand right away from the club members to have organized rides, and that extended to having them six days per week. I lead out Wednesday night and Saturday morning, and others lead out Sunday morning, Monday night, Tuesday night and Thursday night (ladies only).

What’s so different? It’s motivating. I am putting in a lot more time and effort. Normally, January’s a bit of a write-off (by my standards) because I’ve made it through Christmas, maybe met my goals for the previous year, it’s cold, it’s dark, yada yada. But with the club rides, I’ve got a regular schedule and can’t help but go for it when riding in a group. The results are surprising.

Note the 40% increase in kilometers

Take this morning: just over two hours and 68 km later, I tallied up over 1,000 km in January for the first time ever. And I don’t really feel like I was “making a point” of it: it happened. It’s helped control the winter pounds from migrating to my butt.

Riding with the group on a Sunday morning.