Friday, December 25, 2020



This is our first Christmas in Canada since 2008 and that wasn’t in our long term plans.  The time will come soon enough that we won’t be going south every winter, didn’t need to rush it!  Oh well, we are warm and comfortable thanks to the generosity of friends.

I’ve been using all this downtime to downsize my photo collection.  I’ve gone through about 10,000 slides in the last week or two and tossed about 8,500 of them.  It doesn’t matter how good they are if they are of no use to anyone.  I need to reduce as much as I can since there will be limited storage in the new house.  We will have about half the floor space as we had in our last house so we will need to be creative in how we use it.  I will try to digitize many of the slides I have kept so they can then be tossed, too.

On the house front, we have been given a tentative delivery date of March 15.  Occupancy will be several weeks after that, of course, as there will be quite a bit of finishing required on site.  At least the weather will be improving by then making the move easier.

We continue to stay mostly to ourselves except for Karen and Bev, our Penticton friends.  Aileen is trying to maintain her three walks a day and I’m trying for two.  I’m perfectly happy to lie in bed in the morning and wish her a nice walk.   We had about three inches of snow a few days ago and it is still around but now is crunchy and icy in spots so we have to be selective as to where we walk.

Swans on Skaha Lake taken with my Canon 6D full frame DSLR and 100-400 lens

Penticton Creek from a pedestrian bridge taken long after full dark with the iPhone 11.  The rest of these photos were also taken with the phone.

Skaha Lake near Okanagan Falls

Skaha pano

The fourth and last bag of slides heading for the dumpster

Our little Christmas tree with a few new ornaments from Georgia

Sunday, December 13, 2020



Winter keeps taking a run at us but so far isn’t really getting a foothold.  We get a dusting of snow and it disappears fairly quickly.  We had a couple days of respite from the wind but it is back again.  Last night it was so nasty we cut our walk short and went for a drive to look at Christmas lights. 

We’ve been shelling walnuts for several days and finally completed it today.  Our friend Karen has three walnut trees and most people have had their fill over the years so I didn’t have much competition when I was gathering them.  I wandered around under the trees for several days picking them up then spreading them out in beer flat boxes in the storage container so they could dry.  We ended up with 8.9 pounds of finished product which translates to about 30 pounds of dry walnuts in the shell.  Aileen uses walnuts in her homemade granola and gluten free breads.  I’m not fond of them myself.

Two of my Facebook friends recently posted a photo of an old Ford truck and I just happened to know where it was taken since it is only 23 kms (14 miles) from here.  I thought it might be neat to show them some photos taken in the snow.  Since it is higher elevation than here and the fact that I can look across town and up the valley toward it, I knew there would be snow.  So that was my mission yesterday morning.  I always find it neat when somebody from a long distance away posts a photo and I’m able to say that I have been there and I know exactly where it is. 

With all the hoopla about Covid and the new orders to limit visiting, Aileen and I are having Christmas dinner on our own this year.  I went and bought us a nice turkey.  I also found our electric roaster in storage for cooking it.  We’ll be just fine.

With lots of time on my hands I’ve been going through my old photos that are stored on external hard drives and retrieving a few that I hadn’t edited before.  I’ve been sharing them on various platforms to give some entertainment to others with time to spare.  It’s one way to combat boredom.  The majority have been going onto Facebook so if you’re on Facebook but not a friend of mine, you should be able to search for John Pickard and find me.  Others (old family photos) I’ve been sharing with a Facebook page that is for my cousins and me that someone else started.

Spotted this horse in a sheltered spot on my drive yesterday

An old building and I got photobombed by a couple horses, you might have to look closely to spot them.  You did click on the photo, right?

As we were returning from our evening walk a couple of nights ago, these racoons crossed in front of us.  I'm holding a flashlight and the phone in the same hand.

Along on my drive yesterday the sun came out for a bit

Old timer

Fordson tractor and Ford truck

On our drive last night to look at the lights.  This is the SS Sicamous the last sternwheeler to run on Okanagan Lake.  It is 200.5 feet long and is now a museum on the beach at Penticton.

Spotted Mr Bones on my walk this afternoon

Saturday, December 5, 2020


 Boy, it has been a while since I last posted on here.  I have been actively posting photos on several different Facebook groups I belong to, sharing older photos that I have edited for the first time, mostly.  Some have been family photos, recent and long ago.

Not much to report on the house these days, it's a waiting game.  Some time ago we signed off on the plan so now we sit and wait our turn to get built.  The last thing we are waiting to work with is the design of the carport and deck and that seems to be churning around in there somewhere.

We are continuing to keep our circle very tight so not a lot of interaction with others except at a distance when out walking.  Aileen continues to walk three times a day while I struggle to get out for more than the evening walk with her.  Did I say I don't like cold weather?

Given that, I did take my iPhone for a stroll along the creek yesterday and crawled down the bank numerous times to get closer to the ice.  I haven't seen ice like this for quite a few years so it was a bit of a novelty.  I suppose those living in the north will not be too impressed with the ice photos but I imagine my readers down in warmer climes will find them interesting.

Friday, November 13, 2020



We get some snow then it melts, we get some snow then it rains.  The leaves are mostly down but still brightly coloured and look nice with touches of snow highlighting them.  We have had quite a bit of nasty wind so you really have to dress for it to go walking.  My photography is rather limited in this mostly blah weather we are having so not too many new images to share. 

The winter garden comment has piqued some people’s interest.  Aileen and Karen planted onions, leeks and beet plants earlier in the fall.  They were just little fingerlings but they have grown well so we are still eating beets even in the snow.  They also planted peas, beets, turnips and spinach from seed recently.  They will sprout as soon as the ground temperature moderates.  You can find lots of information by googling “winter gardens”.

Since I have a fair bit of spare time these days, I have been digging into my photographic archives which I have stored on external hard drives.  Since I tend to take quite a few images when shooting, there are many photos that I haven’t edited.  I’m finding that it’s fun to edit these older photographs using the newer technology and experience that I have gained over the years.  I have shared some via Facebook and am happy to see that others are enjoying them.

Our daughter came for a short visit on Wednesday and brought the two grand dogs with her.  It was so nice to have some time with her.  I was able to get one photo but couldn’t get both dogs to look out the window at the same time.

Grand dog Meiki

These are from an afternoon walk a couple days ago

Monday, November 2, 2020



Since the weather has moderated and gotten almost pleasant, we decided that yesterday was too nice to stay home.  We got an early start and took our lunch and supper with us.  Wanting to do some geocaching as well as hoping to see some larch trees with their fall coats, we headed over near Greenwood, BC and McCarren Creek Forestry Road.  The larches didn’t disappoint and we picked up twenty geocaches while we were at it.  We ran into quite a bit of muddy and sometimes icy/snowy road but after we stopped for lunch Aileen was able to walk on mostly good road.  She walked until running into snow and had to turn back.  I wasn’t able to keep up to her geocaching as several were quite elusive.  A little before three in the afternoon I called it quits on the caching and said it was time to look for some good photo opportunities, which we did find.

Things are progressing a little more on the house front.  We went and sat down with them to go over the electrical schematic the other day.  After much searching and back and forth with the store, we have purchased our appliances.  I ran into so much difficulty with items being discontinued or unavailable.  We found it was impossible to get the appliances we wanted in white so have had to switch to stainless steel which was certainly not our first choice.  They will gather them up as they become available and hold them in a warehouse in Calgary until we are ready for them.  Some of the appliances are on two month backorder.  I guess it is a combination of the Covid and so much building and renovating happening.  Our builder needed to know what appliances we were buying so they could ensure everything would fit after construction.

Karen’s on again off again handyman is back so less for us to do over at her place.  Aileen and I did go over this morning and trim the cedar hedge along the front sidewalk.  Left as it was the snow would cause the branches to droop down on passersby.  Aileen recently planted a winter garden at Karen’s also.

We winterized the motorhome for the first time since we bought it ten years ago and hope we have done it correctly.  I had thought of taking it to a local dealer but all the ones I contacted just laughed at me.  They were booked up for weeks already so some of those units may be getting some frost before getting winterized.

I went to Kelowna with Karen the other day and we went to an antique store to pick up several items she had purchased.  There was another couple in there talking to the owner at length and who I didn’t pay much attention to other than noting the guy was a bit older and the lady somewhat younger.  Later, the lady came over and asked if I was a John.  After looking at her for a bit, I asked if she was Laurie.  By gum, she was!  John and Laurie who I used to hike with years ago in Salmon Arm.  It’s been twelve or more years since I had last seen them.   Our Travelaire 5th wheel that we bought used, was Laurie’s full time home for a couple years before we got it.  It turns out they actually are living here in Penticton so maybe we’ll get together some time.

Our friend Bev, whose apartment we are staying in, has wanted to close up her storage container and get rid of the monthly expense.  Aileen and I helped her taking some to a thrift store, some to garbage and the rest into our storage container.  The plan is for Bev to putter away at sorting and disposing of the rest over at Karen’s.  We’ll take a box at a time into the house so she can work in comfort.  The plan is for her to be finished that by the time we are ready to give the storage container back.  We currently don’t know when that will be.   Our house is in the queue but no indication when actual construction will begin.

These two photos were taken alongside Hwy 3 just east of Midway, BC

The rest of the photos were taken up McCarren Creek Road

I managed to find something that wasn't larch trees