Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Our time here is about over and we plan to leave Thursday morning to drive down to Penticton where we will stay a few days to visit friends.  We hope we have everything wrapped up here.  Aileen managed to visit some of her friends, we finished up our income taxes today, we’ve dug through our storage shed and found some of the things we were looking for but not others and we’ve had a couple of card nights.  In a major turnaround, I won all four games played which I thought was pretty good but that wasn’t really shared by the others.  I even made it out geocaching one afternoon.
I have been back and forth to the respirologist and after trying several different face masks for my CPAP, I think we have one that is working pretty well.   It has really improved my numbers so the respirologist is very pleased.  Hopefully this will improve the quality of sleep for both of us.
We’ve been having some issues with Aileen’s laptop.  It appears someone had managed to access it and did some malicious playing around.  It all of sudden would not connect to the internet.  After trying various fixes, Bev suggested I take it to Staples.  The young chap tried the wireless then plugged it into cable with the same results.  His diagnosis was that Windows 7 needed to be reloaded at a cost of $169.  Talking with Jim later, he suggested trying a system restore.  That worked!  I had to go back even further to get rid of some of the programs the jerk had loaded and then had to manually uninstall a few more but it seems like we might have it mostly fixed.  More and more things are not working on my computer so I am still on track for getting a new one.  I’m still agonizing over whether to stick with Windows 7 or go with 8.1 and that hasn’t been resolved yet.

After our few days in Penticton, we will be heading back to Vancouver Island, likely staying there until time to head south in the fall.  We don’t have any firm plans for either at present.  We’ll see how things develop as we go. 

I came across a little flock of sheep the other day while out geocaching along Yankee Flats Rd.  I liked this little cutie.

What are you showing me?

The proud Papa

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Well after our fabulous southwest winter, it sure seems soggy, although when I look at the forecast for Vancouver Island, maybe we won’t be quite so bad off here.  The forecast for the next week shows a lot of rain for all areas.  In a note the other day, one of my friends from Florence, AZ, noted they had been over a hundred days without rain again.  The darn people down there keep showing me photos of all the cactus blooms which of course makes me wish we were still down there.  However, there is that danged cross border thing that prevents that.  And of course, having to be here to file our income tax at this time. 
We’ve been busy with appointments ever since arriving a week ago and we’re not finished.  Aileen was in for her regular teeth cleaning and the dentist spotted a cavity so she is to get that filled today.  We had our yearly visit with the respirologist and he decided to try me with a newer style face mask instead of the nose pillows I’ve been using with my CPAP machine.  Didn’t work so we are back to see him again this afternoon.   I also delivered all our tax information slips to the accountant to get that underway.
We had a nice supper with Bev and Kevin the other night and we’re going to do it again tonight as it is Bev’s birthday today.  It started raining again during the night which wasn’t so bad in itself, I guess, but Mitzy told me at 6 am that she needed out really urgently.  I tossed on a robe and coat and went out with her.  She immediately bolted for the back corner of the property and disappeared over the bank so I had to follow her.  However, since Jim had recently used his wheel loader to level the whole area so it was all sticky mud from the rain.  I was a few inches taller when I returned!   
We had our first card game with Jacquie and Jim last night and I was in my usual spot.  I was just barely third in the first game and a distant fourth in the last.  Aileen handily won the first and was on track to win the second until Jim was able to pick up the whole pile and make a huge score to edge her out.   We were having so much trouble remembering the rules to start with that we almost had to call some friends down south, but we got it figured our eventually.  The sad part about it is that it hasn’t been that long since we last played the game!  Leave the area and forget everything about it, I guess.
My computer continues to function but there are several aspects of it that aren’t working anymore.  I can’t use Google Earth without the disabled video card and it seems I can’t play dvds either.  I’m still planning to replace the laptop with a new one when we return to the Island since we’ll probably be there for quite a while this year so if anything needs fine tuning the shop will be handy.  I think I may drop down to a smaller screen and go back to packing a larger monitor along for displaying photos.  Or perhaps I’ll go back to a previous plan I had and buy a projector. More research required!

We’re not sure how long we will be staying here this time but we do intend to visit friends in Penticton on our way back to Vancouver Island.  Hopefully the weather will improve enough to allow us some nature time along the way.   It would be nice to stop off and spend a few days enjoying some of the scenery instead of just driving through because the weather is yucky.  We know a nice low cost camping spot along the Similkameen River.

I attended the annual Coombs Farmer's Institute Auction the last Sunday we were on the Island

Lots of people surrounding the auctioneer

Sheila's brother Terry perusing the sale items

Some of the livestock eagerly awaiting their turn on the auction block

Monday, April 14, 2014


We were up and at ‘em early this morning.  Shortly before 7:30 we were hooked up and saying our farewells to Charlie and Sheila.  Thanks again for giving us a place to park!  After a visit to the Co-op gas station and leaving $285 at the pump, it was off to wait at the ferry.   We unhooked the car before buying our tickets and saved $69.25 by doing so.  Unbelieveable!!!!  The motorhome by itself with me as a half price senior was 170.50 and the car with Aileen was 71.90 totaling $242.40 whereas it would have cost $311.65 with the car attached.  There’s a good reason to have a motorhome and toad rather than a truck and trailer as long as someone can drive the car separately on and off the ferry.   That savings works out to about $415.50 per hour tax free given that it only takes about five minutes to unhook and five minutes to hook up.  However, there’s still that $242.40 you still have to pay.

We stopped at the rest area just beyond Abbotsford and contributed our share to the government by dumping our waste tanks there.  We arrived at Canyon Alpine RV Park just after 4 pm and are the only guests so far.  This splits the trip up nicely as we should be less than four hours driving to our destination tomorrow.   I think our next two weeks are going to be busy ones what with appointments, taxes and business.  We’ll be ready for a vacation!

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Well our time is up here on Vancouver Island for this trip.  We plan to catch the 10:15 ferry to the mainland in tomorrow morning.  My computer continues to keep running so keeping my fingers crossed it will keep going for a while longer.   I have been investigating computer options.  I keep hearing conflicting opinions regarding Windows 8 and have found it seems to be more expensive to find a computer running Windows 7.   I found a shop in Nanaimo that custom builds laptops and desktops.  Unfortunately, they don’t do 17 inch laptops which is my preference.  They have an all in one system that was interesting and also a Minnie desktop that mounts onto the back of a monitor creating the same as an all in one.  The only drawback, and it is a big one, is that except for the laptop they must be plugged in to a power source the whole time.  While I do have solar and a sufficient inverter for 110 power, I think it would likely draw too much power when our battery power is limited on cloudy days.  I certainly like the idea of a much larger screen.  Hopefully I will have another month or two to sort out my options.
I’ve had some type of cold or flu bug bothering me for the past week so haven’t been too energetic.  Aileen has gone walking without me.  Needless to say, the camera has been mostly idle.  Our plan tomorrow calls for us to make it about halfway to Salmon Arm staying the night at Canyon Alpine RV Park near Boston Bar in the Fraser Canyon.   The day will be half over before we even get off the ferry.  We will leave here by 8 am but have to make a stop for gas as it is too much hassle trying to gas up the motor home in the lower mainland and it is usually far more expensive.  Then we have to get to the ferry plenty early as I don’t like throwing money away on a reservation.  We will also stop just before the ferry to unhook the car and drive on separately.  I have calculated that will save us at least $50.45 compared to driving on as one unit.  What causes the price to be so much higher is all over length is charged $6.10 per foot 
Our plans for the next month are pretty loose.  Our main reason for going to Salmon Arm right now is the need to get our income taxes completed and catch up on some medical appointments along with some business.  We hope to have that all wrapped up by the end of the month then are going to visit friends in Penticton for a few days before making a slower trip back to Vancouver Island where I imagine we will be until time to go south in October.  Aileen has volunteered to stay with her friend Bev’s Mom in Parksville while Bev gets a weekend away at a conference which is why we are coming back to the Island so soon.  Given that I’ve opened my mouth making even rudimentary plans, I don’t really expect it will all play out as suggested.  The big thing about our current lifestyle is the ability to change direction quickly when needed.  We may not always like that we have to, but we can.

Aileen is helping with a big yard sale at Sheila’s Mom’s house this weekend.  Ethel passed away some time ago so the house is on the market needing to be emptied.  Aileen took her friend Bev to several appointments this week.  Normally, Bev has to take a taxi which is pretty pricey so she was appreciating Aileen being able to help.  Although Bev does have a drivers licence, she doesn’t own a car as she has lived in downtown Victoria for many years where a car wasn’t required.

Monday, April 7, 2014


Well the new screen didn’t keep my computer running for long.  When I went to work with it last Sunday, nothing would come up.  I tried different things while talking to the tech on the phone but nothing helped.  We made another trip to Victoria this past Saturday and the tech got right to work on it.   He totally disassembled the laptop, removing over thirty screws to get at the connection for the screen which he reset then after putting it all back together, it worked intermittently.  It would appear that the ATI graphics card got damaged in the fall which would cause the screen to remain black at times.   After trying several things, he deactivated the ATI card and the screen stays on.  Hopefully it will hang together until I can buy a replacement.
We used our trip to Victoria to get together with Cousin Pat again, meeting for a long lunch at the Rumrunner Pub in Sidney.  Pat’s wife Irene was having a lunch reunion with twenty five other retired nurses.  We had a good visit and it sounds like Irene enjoyed her visit too.
A few weeks ago, one of my nieces gave birth to a little girl who has come with some major health challenges.  She has had one open heart surgery at Vancouver Children’s Hospital and is facing several more.  My sister Janet and John hosted a large garage sale yesterday in Qualicum Beach to help raise some funds for the ongoing expenses.  Aileen went over and helped for half the day.
I spent my morning working around here at my brother Charlie’s.  I had to replace the battery in my ATV so added the acid and let it sit for an hour.  While that was cooking, I retrieved some crushed gravel from across the road where Chas had pushed it with the tractor while ploughing snow.  Earlier in the week I had used the backhoe and bucket to level and smooth the driveways.  After putting the new battery on the charger for a couple hours, my ATV started right up.  However, after running long enough to warm it up, the electric fan made a loud noise like perhaps the bearing is seizing up.   I’ll worry about that when we return in May.  Not planning on any riding this week.  Chas bought himself a 2011 Arctic Cat 2 up ATV and it was delivered this past Saturday.  Hopefully we can get out in the hills next month.
We went to Roong’s (Sheila’ sister-in-law) for Chinese food supper Saturday night with Chas and Sheila and their friends Bill and Bonnie and had a great meal and good companionship.  We all went to the coffee house at Errington Hall later and that was fun.  My sister Wendy and Randy sat with us til intermission.  Wendy didn’t sing as she had a sore thumb which made playing her guitar too painful.

I saved a whole raft of photos over to the external hard drive yesterday afternoon and evening then deleted most of them off the laptop.  I’m trying to keep my saving to external as up to date as possible in case something more serious happens with my computer.

These photos were taken on the walk along the Victoria waterfront as mentioned in my last post

Aileen and Richard, Mitzy and Georgia