Sunday, April 24, 2011

FINALLY IT’S SPRING IN THE SHUSWAP


Here are two images from White Sands that I have converted to black and white.  The colour versions were in the blog late last October.



It was a beautiful Spring day here with the temperature in the high teens (close to 70F).  We’ve been working our way through our list of things to do while we are in the Salmon Area.  Income tax is over and done for another year and we had to pay extra again.  With getting my old age pension for December this year but having an age credit for the whole year, I think perhaps they will owe us money next Spring.   Aileen has had her annual dentist visit but has to return on Tuesday for a filling.  Mitzy visited the vet for a shot and she and the cat both need to go for shots in mid May.  We also did some more major burning for Jacquie and Jim.  I fell several trees and cut them up into firewood lengths to give to a neighbour.  Aileen helped with falling some of them when I attached a long rope from the tree to a stump in the desired direction of fall.  Then I hooked another rope to the center of the first rope so Aileen could pull from the side to be well in the clear.  It also gave her more leverage.  One of the trees was close to one hundred feet tall.  Needless to say, I had some sore spots from all the chain sawing.  In fact we’ve both had some sore spots.
Aileen has managed to visit some of her friends and we had supper with our friends, the Havilands.  We had takeout Thai food at Bev’s for her birthday.  We had a good evening with her and Kevin.  I’ve managed a couple visits to their hot tub which certainly helps when I have sore muscles and joints.
The latest project has been trying to decide what to do about our stuff in storage.  I have investigated steel storage containers but the advertising doesn’t match the reality when you go and look at what is available.   Advertised as high end used turned out to be rusty and smelly.  The metal and plastic sheds just don’t look up to the job of protecting our belongings through adverse weather.  I have found a kit with precut wood that looks promising.  I haven’t fully costed it to see how much cheaper it would be to build from scratch but my tools are all buried somewhere in our current storage.  I don’t know if I could find them without emptying the whole locker.  We need to make a decision soon on which direction to go.  My aunt Eleanor has offered us to use their garage for their annual block garage sale on May 28 so we would want the new shed up and done before that so things could be sorted. 
We are moving camp down to Penticton this Thursday, I think.  We have another photo council meeting and we want to visit our friends in that area.  I think we’ll be gone three or four nights then it will be back here to get busy with what we have decided on the storage issue.  Bev and Kev have offered their backyard for the location of our shed as have Jacquie and Jim.  Another decision to make.
I spent part of an afternoon helping our friend Bill transfer pictures of his recent trip to Israel from one folder to another.  It was a learning experience for me too as he was using a program I was unfamiliar with.  We had to go to town to dump the motor home tanks last Tuesday and spent much of the day in town doing various errands.  I met my old (he’s six months older than me!) friend Dick in the mall and brought him out to visit with Aileen.  He was the personnel and safety officer at the mill and he and I worked together on safety for many years.  It was interesting to hear what he and Sandy have done since his retirement.  They had what sounded like a fabulous two and a half month trip to southeast Asia this past winter. 
We went to Caouette’s with Jordan’s one night for Mexican Train and introduced Jacquie and Jim to SkipBo another night.  They had read on the blog about us always playing SkipBo and when they came across a set, bought it.
I’ve been puttering away on my pictures from the trip south and have named quite a few with their location.  I have also selected 142 images as being representative of our trip down last fall to put together in a show and have edited them all.  Next, I must make my final selection and try to reduce the number that make the cut so the show isn’t so long that the viewers start dropping off to sleep.  The last thing will be to use my slide show software to add music and some titles.
We are still struggling with weak internet reception and I haven’t found a cheap enough solution yet.  One option I looked at was an antenna and amplifier which is about $400.  I have been getting messages from my provider (Telus) saying my volume limit is almost reached then that I had reached it and would incur extra charges if I continued to use it.  Surprisingly, Aileen didn’t get those messages when she was using the air card.  When I went online and checked my usage on their site, I was at .68GB and my package gives me 1GB.  I upped my package to 2GB but still get the same message.  We still have a year left on our contract and I don’t know what we will do after that but I’m pretty sure Telus won’t be part of it.  They charged us over $75 per month for the five months we were out of the country and not using any of their service.  They used to allow vacation shut off (when we took out the three year air card contract) but discontinued that a couple years ago.  For two cell phones which we own (no contract but we have to keep basic service to keep the same numbers), one at the most basic plan and one slightly higher and 2GB for the aircard is costing nearly $200 per month.  There has to be a better solution somewhere out there.  Perhaps we will stumble across it one day.  I managed to talk with James, a Telus employee, this afternoon and he was at a loss to explain my issue.
It’s been interesting following other blogs.  Some people have stayed down south later and are experiencing hotter than normal temperatures while others have been running into severe winter conditions way past normal times.  We were snowed on here a couple times last week but nothing like some I have read about.