May finds us in Regina, Saskatchewan.
Paul is working in instrumentation on the annual turnaround (the word the petro industry uses for their maintenance shutdowns) at the Regina refinery. This is his fifth time there.
Juanita is volunteering at the Mennonite thrift store and spending time with our daughter Rebekah (a.k.a. Becky) and grandson Ezekial (a.k.a. Zeke) who are here much of the time while Rebekah's husband Nick works on construction at the same refinery.
As of the start of construction of this page, on May 8th, the turnaround portion is winding down, the refinery is starting up and the duration of Paul's work term is "open".
Normally the work term would not be so open, but there are several areas of major expansion going on. The demands are quite high on the refinery's regular instrument staff with thousands of control loops to be checked out before the units "go live' at various times during the next few months and beyond.
The work schedule has been ten hour days for six and seven days a week. This will likely be scaled back to five-day weeks and, perhaps, nine hour, tweny minute days (their normal day) in a week or two. Many of the other temporary employees have moved on or are making plans to move on to other shutdown or commissioning jobs with longer hours. We'll play it by ear and weigh the income and the things the income can support versus the call of "retirement" and family and home projects in Meadow Lake. The electrical work on our shop/studio needs to be completed for final inspection within one year of the permit issue date, last September, unless an extension is requested and granted.
Juanita is making plans to be in Meadow Lake for Sasha's birthday on Mothers' Day weekend at the end of this week. Becky plans to to be there as well. She is coming from Fort Saskatchewan, having had matters to attend to there last week. I will stay in Regina.
Yesterday at coffee break at work we started talking about next weekend being Mothers' Day. I realized that it would be the first Mothers' Day I would not have a mother to send flowers to and to call. Kinda misty moment.
If we stay in Regina and hours get cut back as rumoured, maybe the updates from earlier this year will get dressed up and finalized, maybe with a few pictures. If we return to Meadow Lake then all the stuff that needs doing there will probably take priority. Let's see - electrical completion, sheetrock mudding and taping, permanent roof on water shed before temporary one blows off, cut up all those downed trees before they start rotting, split the cut-up wood and get it intro the wood shed, spend time with grandkids, start Spanish lessons again, and probably a few other things.