Sunday, April 24, 2011


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. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011


A couple more pics from Chesterman Beach, this lady is Goin' Surfin

Monday morning was very nice with sun and warm, a nice change after the heavy rain on Sunday.  We pulled out of Chas’ at 10:30 then sat at the Duke Point terminal til catching the 12:45 boat.  We saved $43.70 by unhooking the car and driving it on separately – bloody ridiculous!  I figure I made $157 an hour as it only takes about ten minutes to unhook and rehook the car.
We dumped the tanks at the rest area past Chilliwack and Mitzy had her supper there.  We had pretty nice weather until almost Hope where it was 6C and raining with some sleet mixed in.  We went to our regular campsite only to find it closed.  Holiday Trails is taking over management for the city and they are doing some renos and plan to be open for Easter.  We backtracked a few kms to a Good Sam park, Hope Valley Campground.  It was raining well when we set up which only consisted of putting blocks under the jacks and plugging in to power.  Bev and Mitzy got wet on their walk before coming inside.
Aileen cooked us stirfries rather than going into town to try our luck at a restaurant.  We played two games of SkipBo, one for Bev and one for me.  Aileen and I went for showers, which weren’t far across the yard.  Lots of hot water but it took quite awhile to get it hot.
We had a fairly leisurely start to the day Tuesday.  It dawned reasonably nice so Bev took Mitzy for a walk and I took her later again.  We hit the road about 9:30 and stopped in Yale for propane.   We stopped at the rest area a little before Ashcroft for lunch at 11:50.  After about ½ hour we were on the road again and got to Jordan’s at White Lake sometime after 3 pm.  We parked on their lower road and got level very easily then dragged the patio board closer and made a more level path alongside the motor home past the only remaining snow bank.
After puttering about setting things up and reorganizing the basement, we took Bev home.  We stopped at DeMilles for Bev to get a few groceries.  I went to Bev’s mailbox then visited Kevin a few minutes before leaving.  We went to Boston Pizza for supper.  They now have gluten free pizza crust so we had two 8 inch with all different toppings then shared them.  We couldn’t decide which we liked better as they were both good.  I gave the car a dollar wash before heading home.  I sorted the mail, of which there didn’t seem to be much.
We were up early Wednesday, Aileen with her 6:30 alarm and me a little later.  I decided to go to town with her to pick up the truck.  Bev took Mitzy with her to bath and groom then Aileen picked her up later.  Aileen went to the lab, found it way too busy so went for a walk and let the rush get over.
I washed the filthy truck then went out to talk to the guy at the storage place where I got prices on smaller units.  I did a bit of grocery shopping at SaveOn then Safeway and finally at DeMilles on the way home.  I took our tax stuff to be processed. I was back to home about 11:30 and looked through some of the mail until Aileen came along just after 12 and we had lunch.   She had a good nap in the afternoon.  I filled out my old age pension application.  I find it hard to believe I’m old enough to be doing that.
We went for a walk up the road last night after supper but not too far, as the rain was coming from the south.  We aren’t having much success with the aircard here so much less time is being spent on the computers.  We played Mexican Train last night and Aileen went out 7 times before I did for my first time and she ended up with only 75 points to my 235.
We lay abed until nearly eight this morning then I got up to take Mitzy for her walk.  We left her home when we went to town this morning as she is complaining about the cool weather with her new haircut.   We made a quick stop at storage then picked up some parts for Jim at Rona.  Next was Windmill Meats then the vitamin store.  We filled up the car then went to the library for a book they didn’t have in the system.  We also found our favourite pancake mix at the health food store in the mall.  It’s made by Kinnikinnick out of Edmonton.
When we got home this morning, Aileen decided we should fire up Jim’s burn piles.  He provided us with a Tiger Torch which made it much easier to get the wet, loosely piled piles going.  All three piles are just a memory now.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


The deep snow 

Yesterday was my Dad’s celebration of life and it went very well.  We got to see friends and relatives from far and wide and everything went according to plan.  I had spent some time over the past couple weeks selecting pictures.  I put up about 160 pictures on eight boards and people enjoyed reminiscing over them.  My brother Sam and I put together the tribute brochure.  Several people gave remembrances of Dad, some brought tears and others were very funny.  Our daughter came from Salmon Arm by bus on Friday and our son and granddaughter came by bus from Victoria Saturday morning.  Bev will ride back to Salmon Arm with us in the motor home and I will drive Richard and Georgia to Victoria this afternoon.  We are leaving Vancouver Island tomorrow going to Salmon Arm.  We have to get our income taxes done post haste and so far don’t have any plans other than doctor and dentist appointments.
The celebration for Sheila’s father was very well done by the family and lots of people attended.  One highlight was the local Old Time Fiddlers who came and played.  Al had been a member of the group and a faithful follower for many years.   We did luck out and get to enjoy several meals with Sheila’s family. 
Aileen and I have had several large fires out in the bush cleaning up forest debris.  I got to play on the backhoe several times.  We could burn for only another week but we just can’t spare the time.  I did the first lawn cutting Friday afternoon.  We’ve tried out a few gluten free restaurants with good success.

Beach goers

 Mitzy  in a pensive moment on the beach

We headed over to Long Beach Wednesday morning after breakfast.  Aileen drove to Alberni then I drove the rest of the day.  We found the spot offered us for parking the motorhome in August and the driveway may need some pruning before we can get in without scratching motor home.  The meadow where we are to park is mostly under water so not sure what it would be like if August is wet. 
            We’d eaten our lunch in a parking lot on Chesterman Beach Rd so we went back there after finding the property, for a walk on the beach.  The sun shone nicely while we walked on the sand.  Shortly after heading homeward, within a few kms of the junction there was snow along the road and there had been a serious accident where a small car took out a cement guard rail.  Along Cameron Lake we again found remnants of snow from earlier in the afternoon.   It was amazing how high the snow was piled up along the road at Taylor Arm.  It is just a couple hundred feet above sea level but tucked into the mountains.

The Above are what I call SandArt 
On Thursday, I went with Charlie and Sheila to Nanaimo to help them buy a new computer.  We took the motor home to the dump station after supper so we would have no issues over the weekend with our extra company.