Saturday, April 25, 2009


Parked in Jordan's yard at Tappen, BC (near Salmon Arm)---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Last Sunday, we were invited for supper at Jordan’s along with their friends, Clarence and Grace. We had a great visit and Mexican Train later. Jim was amazed to end up the winner! For a change, I was middle of the pack instead of last.
On Monday, my back started acting up and has been dominating our week ever since. I’ve had two massage therapy appointments and used Bev and Kev’s hot tub every day as well. The heat really helps but the effect doesn’t last too long after I get out. I’m applying heat and cold during the day also as well as some exercises. It’s not a lot of fun! Also on Monday, we went for supper at Haviland’s, friends two doors down in the strata, to celebrate Dell’s 76th birthday. Their daughter Jan and two grandkids plus a friend were also there. We had a nice supper courtesy of the Thai restaurant and birthday cake Jan had made.
Aileen has picked out new glasses for when she has her appointment next week.
We took Bev for lunch on Thursday, her day off, to celebrate her birthday which was Wednesday. We had a very tasty meal at the Thai restaurant.
On Friday, Aileen and I went to Vernon looking for several things. Didn’t find most of them either! We were going to visit our friend Natalie but she was pooped from doctor visits, her nephew was coming from Kamloops shortly and it was already time we were heading home. We will call her next time we get to Vernon. Aileen has been doing all the driving this week so I get to sightsee.
We tried to last as long as possible with the solar power but gave up and plugged in after 5 or 6 days. We are supposed to take it in again next week for him to check more ideas. I still think we just don’t have enough panels although the installer disagrees. The picture this time shows us parked partway in Jim’s RV garage. We left the front out so the solar panels were fully exposed to the sun but we out of the way as much as possible. Of course, that means their motorhome has to sit outside. Isn’t that generous on their part?
It got up to 18C yesterday but cooled off quickly in the evening. It has stayed very cool all week with temperatures hardly ever getting above 10C (50F). The fields are greening up rapidly and if it does get warm the grass will really sprout. Staying cold this late could mean high temperatures may come on rapidly and we’ll not be acclimatized. I really miss being able to sit out in the sun. The sun is shining weakly this morning but the wind is nasty. Oh well, off to the hot tub after lunch.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


We left Hope around 8 AM Sunday and drove the Fraser Canyon highway rather than the higher elevation Coquihalla. Even if the roads were bare, the Coq would get us far dirtier. We arrived in the Shuswap about 2 PM and are set up at my Aunt Jacquie and Jim’s place in Tappen.
On Monday we washed the truck and trailer courtesy of Jim’s pressure washer then went to our daughter Bev’s later to do some laundry and gather our mail. Bev had done an awesome job of sorting and organizing all our mail so just the essentials were left for us. I’ve gone through and pulled out the income tax stuff so have to get that taken care of asap.
Tuesday was a whirlwind running about doing errands. I helped Jim with a clean up fire before heading to town. Mitzy had her haircut with Bev at the SPCA at noon. Aileen has made dentist and doctor appointments. I made a truck appointment plus many other things. We drove past our house and visited several of the neighbours on the street. Bought groceries before picking up Mitzy at 4:30.
Here it is Saturday and we’ve been busy. Mitzy claims to be really cold with her new short hair but looks much better. She certainly doesn’t soak up the water like she did so it’s much easier to dry her off. Friday was a very wet morning which was a shock after the gorgeous day we had Thursday. The sun is beginning to shine today. Aileen had her visit with the dentist and she was pleasantly surprised at his diagnosis on her tooth. The Arizona dentist said it was an emergency situation and needed a root canal, bridge, crown or whatever immediately; the Salmon Arm dentist said it should be just fine for years with the filling applied in Arizona. Go figure!
I took the truck for a service on Friday and it was to be ready at noon. I spent 9-2 at the mall then got a ride back to the dealer and waited until 2:45 before it was ready. Good thing I’m retired and Aileen stayed at home (wise girl). I was very surprised that I only met two people I knew at the mall in the 5 hours I was there. I did several errands after retrieving the truck and then it was nearly supper time when I returned home. We played Mexican Train after supper with Jacquie and Jim. As usual, Jacquie won and I, honest scorekeeper that I am, was last.
We had the trailer in the shop all day Wednesday and they went over the whole solar panel system. They rewired part of it so we can more accurately determine our power usage and replaced the regulator. So far we seem to be doing better so perhaps the regulator was defective, as they believed. We’ve refrained from plugging in so we can give the system a good test. We’re beginning to wonder if Jim’s yard light, right above us, is actually charging us at night as we don’t seem to be dropping the batteries much overnight.
No pictures this time. Haven’t had the camera out since the heron shots.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Heron rookery at Tsawwassen

Georgia on the slide

Easter egg hunt

Georgia flying the kite -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
We left Chas’ and Sheila’s at 7:22 on Wednesday and drove to Oceanside RV Park with only a ten minute break along the way arriving about 10:10. I’m sure we had to stop for at least 75% of all the stoplights along the whole distance. This is very counterproductive to getting good fuel economy and one of my pet peeves. If the traffic engineers (government) were really concerned with trying to reduce fuel usage, they could at least time the lights so that if you drive the speed limit, once you were stopped for a light, you’d have a chance at some green lights further along. Anyone with an RV or other large vehicle uses loads of fuel to get back up to speed, especially on a hill! Enough ranting!
We quickly set up the trailer then zipped into Victoria for our arranged meeting with Aileen’s friend Bev at 11. We actually made it with 4 minutes to spare. We went to the Penny Farthing Pub in downtown Oak Bay for a long leisurely lunch. Later we drove out to Cattle Point Park where the ladies sat in the truck for a good long visit while Mitzy and I wandered around the various trails.
We spent the evening on our own at Oceanside and are quite impressed with it as far as RV parks go. We walked all the streets looking at the various RVs people are living in full time. About 75% of the sites are occupied on a full time basis by both retirees and working people. We also walked down to the beach which is quite accessible from the park.
On Thursday Aileen and I went in to Sidney and poked around, me in a bookstore while Aileen went up the street. On the way back we stopped at Cy Hampson Park for Mitzy to have some time off leash. After lunch Robin dropped Richard off and we visited til time to pick up Georgia from school. We then went to their house for a barbeque supper and visiting til G’s bathtime.
Yesterday, Friday, Robin brought R&G out mid morning. We took G to the beach for the rest of the morning then had barbequed hamburgers and wieners for lunch. After lunch Aileen (and sometimes me) spent most of the time remaining at the playground with Georgia. We also flew a kite and had an Easter egg hunt. Richard put much of his time into marking papers on his computer.
We met Robin in Victoria for supper at Romano’s Macaroni Grill. We said our goodbye’s early as Georgia was pooped and needed an early bath and bed, as did Aileen and myself. I think it was lights out before 8:30!
This morning (Saturday) we were up just before 7 and on the road for the ferry at 7:51. The 9 AM ferry was less than half full and on time. We stopped at the end of the causeway after disembarking, to give Mitzy a quick pee break as we usually do. I noticed some Great Blue Herons in quantity so had to dig out the camera. There must have been close to 200 herons nesting. I counted 30 in one tree and there were 6-8 or more trees involved. Quite amazing that close to the highway (maybe 400 feet) and probably 99.9% of the people passing by had no idea they were there. Hopefully the First Nations people will continue to provide protection to these magnificent birds. We stopped at a rest area along the freeway for lunch. We were happy to see that the four lanes have now been completed so there is no single lane from the ferry all the way to Langley. Aileen is having a long nap this afternoon and tonight we’ll visit my aunt June and Eric after supper.
Tomorrow we should make it back to Salmon Arm for the first time since late September.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Mt Arrowsmith taken from the top of Little Mt

Close up of Mt Arrowsmith

This may be the ultimate off road RV---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
April 4, 2009
Thursday we went to Nanaimo and had a nice lunch at the Longwood Pub then did a bit of shopping. Aileen has been doing some research both online and at the drug store/health food store on improving her Rosacea. Last night I went to the gallery opening for the Brant Festival photography show. There weren’t many pictures to view! Fortunately there was some good art, both photos and paintings, to ogle in the main gallery.
Aileen and I had started a fire on Chas’ burn pile in the afternoon then we did some more on it in the late evening. We and Chas spent most of this morning on it as well. Filled the loader bucket many times and dumped that on. Aileen and I also played firebug and burned the dry grass along the fence.
My sister Susan and John came for supper at Chas and Sheila’s tonight. They just returned yesterday from New Zealand where John has been working for the past three months. Susan joined him three weeks ago. They seem to have had a great experience.
Apr 7
On Sunday we had to take the trailer to the sani dump as the tanks were full. That was the 13th day so not too bad. We are fortunate in that we are able to shower in the house so that saves fresh water and grey tank space. We visited Wendy and Randy as we were invited for supper. We got to see their motor home with the slides out and had another tour of it.
We visited Mom and Dad Monday morning and they seemed to be doing fine. We spent quite awhile loading some stuff we’re taking up to my aunt Jacquie in Tappen. Since we travel pretty well loaded up, it was a challenge but we did it.
This morning we and Sheila went to the annual care review meeting for Mom and Dad at Stanford Place. No real surprises but it was good to talk about their overall care and hear the staff’s ideas on ways to improve the parent’s quality of life. Mom was getting her hair done and had one of her fainting spells which freaked out the hair stylist as she thought it was a stroke. Mom had just had the rollers put in her hair when it happened so they got pulled out and Mom sent to her bed to recover, after the nurse checked her over. Mitzy and I visited with Dad who was sitting at a sunny window. He really enjoys sitting in the sun. Aileen went to the drugstore and health food store while I went for a big jug of water and gas for the truck. This afternoon Aileen and Sheila are going to an Alzheimer/dementia support group meeting in Parksville. Mitzy and I will find something to amuse us I’m sure.
Tomorrow morning we are heading to Victoria very early as we want to get set up in Oceanside RV Park near Sidney then back into Victoria by 11 AM. Friday afternoon or Saturday we will take the ferry to the mainland and spent the night in Hope then back to Salmon Arm the next day.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


North east from Union Bay

South east from Union Bay, Mt Arrowsmith in centre

Birthday girl Sheila

Our snowy home

Mitzy actually likes the snow, specially rooting in it like a little pig------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mar 29, 2009
We went to Sunwest RV in Courtenay this morning (Sunday) for a workshop on solar panels and battery care. While not all that well presented, we did pick up a few points that we had been missing. Aileen’s sister Anne and John were there and we toured new RVs with them later. When we finished that, we walked the dogs then went to Billy Ds for a late lunch. Mid afternoon Anne and John headed home to Port MacNeill. I tried calling my aunt Isobel a couple times but no answer. We picked up a few groceries and wandered homeward.
I made a few prints to limber up my printer and helped Chas load some cabinets before we had a really late supper. I helped Sheila move some photos around on her computer before bedtime.
April 1
Monday was Sheila’s birthday. She is now the same age as Chas until today when he turns 51. Aileen had ordered a cake the other day so I picked it up mid afternoon. Chas ordered Thai food for supper which Garrett picked up. 35 people came for supper and a good time was had; and the food didn’t all go! There was enough for Logan’s breakfast when he had to head for Comox airport at 4:30 AM to head back to Fort McMurray for work and for our lunch. Chas and Sheila had snow to contend with part way there and all the way back. We had over an inch here. We’ve been dodging it for a month here on the Island so now that it got us, maybe Spring will come.
Our social engagement calendar is still busy. Supper is with Janet and John tonight, Aileen cooking supper for Chas and Sheila tomorrow and supper with Randy and Wendy soon. I think we will depart this area and perhaps the Island itself around the middle of next week.
This morning with the snow and then rain and wind was a good time to stay in so I took the opportunity to do the online banking and the dreaded chequebooks. I was just done when Chas invited us in for supper leftovers and the last four pieces of cake for lunch. The snow has completely disappeared this afternoon but it continues windy.