Tuesday, May 24, 2011


 Mitzy says Hi

 Steller's Jay

Jacquie called me one morning to come look out the window at all the Grosbeaks 

Kevin and I put in some pretty long days working on our new storage shed and we are finished except for the final trim.  Aileen and I started moving stuff in yesterday with Bev’s help.  We are sorting harder as we take stuff out of the old storage complex and gathering stuff for a garage sale this Saturday.  Our old storage was 12x16 feet and our new one is 10x16.  We want to have more space around things so since our last shed was stuffed to the ceiling, we need to purge more.
We’ve been having quite a bit of wet weather so the mud at our construction site has been a challenge.  On the other hand, the sun came out a couple of days and roasted us.  I have to say it has been an interesting experience as I thought I was done with any type of constructing.  Working with Kevin was fun too as he has different ideas on some techniques and he has a laid back approach.  Of course it was great to have him there to do the more difficult jobs.  His helper worked with us the day we did the roof shingles so I didn’t have to get up on the roof at all which was just fine with me; it isn’t a very big roof.
We drove down to Summerland a few days ago and picked up our new bedroom window.  Jim said he would help install it tomorrow morning.  Aileen went to the optometrist this morning and her eyesight has improved quite a bit.  In fact, so much that she needed a new prescription.  She said her vision was getting blurry and was thinking it was deteriorating so was pleased to hear the verdict this morning.
We keep waiting to get evicted from here as Jim has a contractor slated to arrive any day to start leveling the property so there won’t be a spot to park until he is finished.  We plan on moving into town
Thursday morning as Aileen had an appointment early Friday and we have arranged to have two more batteries added to the motor home, also on Friday morning.  That way we will be close to where we are having the yard sale Saturday morning.   Once again, when we move on down the road we are going to need a holiday!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


 Balsam Root covers the hillsides in the semi desert dry belt north of Vernon, BC

 Looking down the Balmoral Valley toward Mt Ida and Salmon Arm.  This is less than two miles from where we are parked at Little White Lake

Our new storage shed under construction

Life continues to roar along for us with hardly a break it seems.  We have started building our storage shed with much help from son in law Kevin.  To get loose from the ongoing monthly storage fee, we made the decision to build a shed in Bev and Kevin’s back yard.  Kevin used his excavator to level a spot for it and that was fine the first two days but then it rained.  It turned into a mud bog quickly so yesterday was not a fun day with the mud balling up on our boots and creating lots of slip.  I’ve been using the air nailer, cut off saw, radial arm saw, table saw, cordless drills and the hand held jig type saw.  Lots of toys to play with. I decided to hold off on work today since the forecast is for much drier and warmer for the next few days.  I did go and buy roofing materials this afternoon.  Those bundles of asphalt shingles sure are a lot heavier than they used to be (back when I was younger!).
The weather sure has left a lot to be desired here.  We seem to get one decent day followed by blah or rainy days.  We didn’t even make 11C (52F) today but the forecast says 26C on Saturday.  It rained all night and this morning there is snow on many of the local mountains.  The road restrictions are still on which is far later than normal.  Many of the blogs I read have comments about how late Spring is in many parts of Canada and the USA. 
Sunview Windows in Summerland called today and said our new bedroom window is ready for pickup.  That’s a few days ahead of what they quoted.  We’ll have to try and slip down soon to get it as the cross ventilation it will provide will be nice when the temperatures warm up.  I will have a go at installing the window myself.  We still haven’t solved our oven issue but I do have a new oven control here to install which we hope solves the problem of why the pilot light won’t stay on.
Aileen’s back is still giving her trouble but slowly improving.  We hope she gets back to normal soon.   I’m having to think about my back when working on projects, too as it is easy to overdo things.  I have just about finished waxing the whole motor home which is a rather large venture.  Jim has ordered a gallon of ProtectAll which he used on his motor home and it goes on much faster since you don’t have the white film to wipe off after it dries.  He has offered to split the gallon with me.  I just have to come up with a spray bottle.   I’ve enjoyed several soaks in the hot tub but was in for a shock last night when I jumped in.  Kevin had turned off the breaker two days ago and forgotten to turn it back on so the water was far from warm.  I had lots of sore spots so was really looking forward to soaking.   I had to make do with a long shower but it’s just not the same as a whole body immersion. 
The pets both had a visit with the vet the other day.  Neither one thinks much of that but if they wish to live with us and go south then they need to keep their shots up.  Mitzy has lost half a pound since going off junk food.  Our daughter Bev, who is a groomer, and the vet have both said the junk food is very harmful.  Sophie the cat is still a fat cat but only gained .1kg since her last visit.  Mitzy needs to chase her around the motor home more.
Our internet is still very frustrating.  I had the air card into the Telus store the other day and she did an upgrade or two but it made no difference to our reception.  I think we will have to try getting an antenna and amplifier if I can find a cable for our air card.  Telus sells the air card but not the cable for it.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


 A flashy looking old Cadillac

 Did you guess an early TBird?  The view through the porthole

 1955 Chrysler Windsor

 I took these pictures this morning while Aileen was at church

I thought the first image was a little soft in the yellow so I added the poster edges filter

We’ve been back at White Lake several days and life is still rolling by at a fast rate.  We seem to be going to town nearly every day for one thing or another.  Nothing further happening to the property here since the road restrictions are still on and they can’t bring the excavator until that’s over.  We did fall a few more trees beside the house, that were right on the property line and Jim and I had a good fire getting rid of the debris.  Aileen was unable to come out and help as her back spasms are still continuing.  They are becoming a little more manageable but still very painful. 
Kevin and I have been making plans to build our storage shed in their backyard and I think we finally have nailed our plan down.  It will be fairly close to the size we currently have rented so we won’t have to dispose of as much as we were thinking we might, to make it more manageable.  We want the ability to sort through our belongings on an ongoing basis rather than having to do it all at once.
We saw several classic cars drive by this morning and since it was Mother’s Day, I guessed there was an event at the community center.  When I wandered that way after breakfast, I found it was the 30th annual volunteer firemen’s pancake breakfast.  I grabbed a few shots of some of the cars but the location was lacking and the backgrounds were generally awful.  However, it was enjoyable looking the old cars over.  I met two of the guys I used to work with and caught up a bit on what they’ve been doing.  One retired recently but the other is still working.
I spent most of Monday morning washing the motor home.  It looks very nice.  I washed the car too but it already is dirty as I went to town and ran into heavy showers both going and returning.  I replaced the thermocouple in the oven but it didn’t fix the problem.  The oven was never used by the previous owner and I doubt we have used it six times but it won’t light.  I will try replacing the control next.  If that doesn’t fix it, I guess the extended warranty will pay for a visit to the shop. 
On Friday night Clarence and Grace, friends of Jacquie and Jim came by and the six of us played SkipBo.  The ladies won all four games shutting us guys out.  Tonight the four of us taught Maurice and Dian, my cousin Jeff’s inlaws, how to play SkipBo.  The six off us usually play Mexican Train which we haven’t played for several weeks now.
Yesterday I took Aileen to Kim’s (a lady Aileen has known for years) surprise birthday party.  She turned 45.  Aileen had good visit with several old friends.  I went to my Aunt Eleanor’s (and Ron) and showed Dad’s tribute video which they enjoyed.  I used my new HDMI cable to connect to their TV and it worked very well.  I showed various other pictures until Aileen called.  It turned out the party was running late since Kim decided to go for coffee even though no one else would go with her; it turned out they were all going to her place as a surprise, of course.  I did a couple errands and was going to sit and read in the car but got spotted and invited in.  I didn’t have any cake since both were chocolate but I did have some meat along with a few chips.  We had supper with Bev and Kev last night.  It was the Mother’s Day get together, I think.  Aileen had done a roast in the crockpot which we took half cooked and plugged in at Bev’s about noon.  Aileen used the tub and I soaked in the hot tub again. I had been earlier in the week to sit in the hot tub to help my sore joints.
We continue to get un Spring like weather for the most part although it got quite nice this afternoon.  We’ve had quite a bit of rain this week again.  The problem with these late Springs it that when it finally gets warm, it gets hot so fast you don’t get to acclimatize to it.  It’s looking like we will be remaining in this area for at least another month.  We will probably head back to Vancouver Island when we leave here.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


 There are many vineyards in the Naramata area

 I found this vine covered shed to be interesting

 Some local artwork above Okanangan Lake

 Naramata is on the point of land, Penticton is beyond at the far end of the lake 

 At the 4000 foot level of Chute Lake Spring is late

 An old GMC work truck

One of the many wineries in the area

We have been keeping busy with burning debris etc at Jacquie and Jim’s.   We seem to have to make a trip to town most days which eats up lots of time.  I’ve made use of Bev and Kev’s hot tub a couple times and that sure feels nice.
We went to Penticton as planned on Thursday.  We had to stop in Salmon Arm to dump the holding tanks first and pick up a few last minute grocery items.   We only made it as far as Vernon when we got hungry so stopped for an early lunch at the visitors welcome sign.  Since it was such a raw day, soup went down well.
We stopped at Sunview Windows in Summerland and had them measure up a replacement window for the bedroom.  We need a window that opens to provide cross ventilation.  I had removed the valance and trim so he was able to make accurate measurements.  The window will be ready in about three weeks.
We managed to find our way to Karen and George’s driveway in Penticton; we were last here in late September 2010 so it was still reasonably familiar.  They had removed some large Ponderosa Pines which had become infected by the pine beetle so the driveway was a little easier to back in this time.  I had to do some major pruning last time.  We weren’t even setup yet when our good friends Bev and Carole came over so they sat and watched the process.   They stayed for supper and shared a wonderful lentil stew our daughter Bev, had prepared.  Everyone agreed it was very good!
On Friday night, Aileen cooked stir fries.  Carole and Bev with Bev’s mother Pearl joined us.  Pearl is well into her 80’s and a real character.  I showed pictures from our trip south last year and she was very interested.  Rather than just putting the show on auto play, I showed it manually and we were able to visit and discuss our way through.  It was much more interesting that way. 
On Saturday we had our photo council meeting.  We had a good turnout and some very good energy and ideas shared.  Of course, the potluck lunch was excellent, as always.   Later in the afternoon, Aileen began having severe back spasms.  These are not fun.  The only thing that seemed to help was heat.  We had planned on going out for supper with Bev and Carole but when we went to go in the restaurant chosen, found a large number of people waiting to be seated.  Not for us so we all went home.  Aileen went back to bed and I cooked myself bacon and eggs.  Aileen got up later for a bit of supper.
Bev had to go to a training session today as she is working at a couple of seniors polls tomorrow for the federal election.  Aileen decided she was okay on her own so Carole and I went off with our cameras for a few hours of photography.  We went to Naramata then up to Chute Lake where it was still snowy.   We had some fine weather and we both were shooting for HDR.   We were able to sit outside on folding chairs to have our lunch with a great view across Okanagan Lake to Summerland.  
Aileen was sitting outside with Karen when I returned home which was a good sign.  She and Bev had decided supper was at the girls’ apartment so I worked on today’s images until time to go eat.  Carole and I played around with our images for a bit after supper.  Carole has the software to do HDR but hadn’t gotten around to it yet.
Tomorrow we intend to make our way back to White Lake.  The forecast doesn’t look very nice though as we are expected to have periods of rain beginning by noon.   I read April was third coldest in 75 years so hopefully May will improve.