Apr 28, 2017

Things are not working out as expected

We were on the road early in anticipation of our 9:30AM appointment.  Lots of wide open prairie and the odd oil well.

Our arrival in Medicine Hat did not go as planned.  Things were not ready for us.  After 3 hours of waiting we were sent out for a nice lunch at their expense.  After lunch things went a bit more downhill.  A hotel for the night was offered.  I sort of lost it and a much nicer hotel rather the earlier suggested Super 8 was booked for us.

A lovely king size suite in the only 4 star hotel in town.

Complete with water slides and three hot tubs. A few hours later the place was crawling with kids. Our room was on the other side and we did not hear anything nor smell the very potent chlorine that permeated the lobby.

Once we were settled and rested a bit we went back to check if any progress had been made.  It had and things were looking very good but the paper work was not in order.  Nothing to do but go back to the hotel for the evening.

We stopped to pick up a bottle of wine and this butterfly bottle of pinot grigio shouted out to us.  Were the girls letting us know that they were around us.  The wine was lovely.  Alberta has a wonderful selection of wines at very reasonable prices.

A lovely sunset from our window.

The Medicine Hat Lodge is a wonderful place to overnight.  There is a convention centre attached as well as a casino and two lovely restaurants.  We dined at the Italian one where we enjoyed 20% off our meal thanks to a coupon we received at check in.

These teens spent at least two hours snuggled in this oversize chair chatting and sharing their phones.  Each time we walked past it was as if they had not moved.

Wanting to walk off our excellent pasta dinner we decided to check out the casino. As you can see I was having a good time.

I was doing really well. I kept going up and then down to my personal minimum but then would go up again.

It was fun and I could feel the stress of the day easing away.

We went home $129.00 richer.

Hopefully tomorrow things will sort themselves out and we can actually head back to Kelowna.  We shall all have to wait and see what the morning brings.  Wish us luck.


Apr 27, 2017

Road trip

We left Kelowna about nine this morning along with the cold and snow covered hilltops.

Heading East our first stop was in Salmon Arm where we were surprised to discover a full service gas station complete with ties and white shirts.  We also stopped at the library to pick up some language learning CD’s.

We continued to head East.

The  weather was a mixed bag but we managed to catch some of the Rockies in their full glory.

The new camera appears to be a winner, many of these photos were taken through the windshield.

We missed getting a photo of the bear that we both saw standing on the train tracks as we sped towards Banff.

The female elk were more stationary.

Quite the long tongue.

We were so lucky to enjoy nature on this trip. We kept seeing and commenting on locations that we had stopped to walk and pee the girls over the years.  Good memories.

We truly had a mix of weather, sun, rain and then snow as we approached Banff.  Then back to sun but shortly after Canmore, perhaps mid way to Calgary we hit a snowstorm that left the highway slick with ice and strewn with car wrecks.  We could not believe what we saw in such a short stretch of highway, a wreck, spin outs and minor crashes.  The entire drive in the Calgary area was horrible not to mention yet another snow squall.

Tonight after 480 miles we are in Brooks, Alberta.  A long day which with very few pit stops we ended up being on the road for  10.5 hours.  We are both tired, the RV is much easier to drive 500 miles in than the Mercedes.

I’m sure that you are wondering why we are one a road trip. Tomorrow,  possibly all will be revealed.


Apr 26, 2017

It is time for an update into the que pasa of our lives

How times flies when one is preoccupied and busy, busy, busy.  It is a great way to keep one’s mind occupied which we both need at the moment.

We got my Lexus out of storage last Friday which gave me freedom to roam about but I have yet to get behind the wheel  The first thing I saw when I opened the door was the girls water dish.  We have one in each of the three cars.  Of course we are missing the girls but we are talking more about special memories than dealing with raw pain.  We have just the tiniest of scabs over the great deep wound.

Our tow car, the Chevy HHR  is in the foreground, the Lexus is next and the Mercedes under the grey tarp is in behind.  This is our RV storage spot which is where we store our vehicles while in Mexico.  The RV at the moment is at Freightliner Kelowna getting its annual check up.

The cover I had purchased was excellent as the car was totally dry under it.  Sadly the Mercedes ended up wet under its cover which was sufficient last season but not this year with all of the rain and snow.

Last fall before we left I had purchased three bottles of organic liquid probiotics for the girls, hoping that it would help heal Carmeh’s gut from the pancreatitis.  When we unloaded ten days or so ago I found an unopened bottle in the RV.  The pet store, the Bone & Biscuit Co.,  very kindly accepted the return and refunded me the full $66.62.  Very generous of them.

The temperatures have remained cool and rainy for the most part.  Every now and then we are teased with some sunlight but not for long.  We have never ever seen the local hills so full of snow at this time of year.  Most of us are still wearing layers of fleece.  I have no idea when we will feel warm enough to head to a nursery to buy our annuals.  Flower planting season is definitely delayed. However we are starting to see buds on the trees.

The other day the fog was so thick that we could not even see the lake.

We have been very good at staying home and eating in, which of course includes the odd ( ?? ) glass of vino.  Note the double bottle size!  The other night I put a second bottle in the freezer and forgot to set the timer.  Fortunately Colin had reason to go into the freezer in the morning and rescued this bottle from total destruction.  It was leaking from the lid.  I have first hand knowledge that the wine was still wonderful after unthawing.

We took a mini road trip last Saturday to Penticton.  We are thinking of changing our tow car.  It was a full day, that included test drives and a lovely lunch.

We came to look at this car. That is my Lexus behind it.  What fun to take it for a 4 hour round trip spin. The vehicle we looked at was nice but not quite right. It did not even have a CD player which is essential to us.

We have been looking for a better camera since last fall.  I did purchase the Canon SX600 HS for the winter but it is only just okay.  Certainly not as good as the previous Canon we had which is no longer made.  I saw a blog that had wonderful photos and discovered that the blogger used a Canon SX60 HS.  So Colin did some research and actually had to order one into Kelowna from Vancouver.  We get a 15 day user trial after which we can return it if we don’t like it.

The zoom is great.

These canoes are way off down the side of the lake.

Closeup and detail is great also. Because of the rain we haven’t used it as much as we would have liked to.

I did take this candid shot as we were driving back from Penticton, just a quick point and shoot out of a fast moving car window.  Not bad.  The camera is heavier and larger than what I am used to and of course more expensive.  A decision will need to be make soon.

I started my annual varicose vein treatment this last Monday.  I get treated every Monday and Tuesday for three weeks in a row.  Thank goodness I am 1/3 done.  It is not a pleasant experience.  Who likes having multiple injections?  How I despise wearing the thigh high compression stockings.  A big problem is that I have developed an allergy to the silicone rim of the self staying up stockings.  I break out in an itchy rash.  Nothing I can do about it but suffer.  You can be rest assured that I do not suffer quietly.  I just now have to decide how many more years I can deal with this before I decide the heck with it and whatever happens to the veins in my legs….so be it.  I am supposed to wear these stockings for a full month 😈   Yesterday while doing my obligatory 30 minute walk after the injections I found the most wonderful dog park.  I so wish I could have brought the girls there.  They would have loved it.

Overall we are managing by keeping ourselves occupied.  I did get the taxes completed and Colin is back in the work groove.  Not sure what the next week will be like but I do have a few ideas up my sleeve, some of them fun.




Apr 21, 2017

Just plodding along…..

It remains cool and wet, such unusual conditions for this time of year.  Thus far we have only gone on one walk.  Hopefully more soon.  Meanwhile Colin has had two jobs this week which is abnormal for him to be working so soon once we return and we have a few more on the books.  We haven’t even been home a full week.  Meanwhile I have opened all of the mail, dealt with a few issues and have almost finished the company books.  I had done to the middle of October before we left and only have to go till the end of February which is our company year end.  I need to balance each month and then do a full year reconciliation before sending it off to our accountant in  Vancouver.  Once that is all done I will do our personal taxes which will only take a few hours if that.  Our personal annual taxes are based on the company taxes so I need to do all three no later then April….yikes, I just actually looked at the calendar!  I really need to get them done asap as I need 24 hours to courier them to Vancouver.  Hopefully be the end of the day Monday I will be done.

Meanwhile we are toying with a few ideas and plans and that has had me online instead of applying myself to my business tasks.  But so much more fun than the work I should be doing.  Not much news to share at the moment.  Once I have more time I will do some Mexico/Isla posts that I never got around to.  It is so very quiet around here 🙁   We miss our girls so much but need to take some time for us and determine what direction our future will take.

Mommio is doing somewhat better, although she had a fall two nights ago.  She can walk about 100 meters with her walker and can do a few small tasks towards dressing herself.  It appears that she will be heading to an extended care facility.  We are still working towards getting the medical staff to put her hearing aides in every morning as we are certain that will help connect her to the world and the world to her.

Thanks to a good neighbor here I now have some borrowed socks to keep my feet warm. I do not own any closed toe shoes.  I love these toe socks and have ordered two pair for myself.  They are perfect for my Mephisto sandals and my walking shoes.


Apr 18, 2017

The que pasa from home

We left the Omak Walmart about 7AM last Saturday and stopped to fill the RV just before the Canadian border.  Diesel is on the rise, our first fill was in Gila Bend, Arizona, @ 2.64, then Las Vegas, Nevada @ 2.84, then Ontario, Oregon @ 2.94 and in Oroville, Washington, it was 2.99 per gallon.  Not 4 blocks down the road we saw a station that we could fit into @ 2.74, we would have saved $14.75USD 🙁

We were the only ones at the border and it was a piece of cake as they say.  We were not asked about food nor alcohol but we were asked if we were the owners of both vehicles, did we have any repairs done to either vehicle while away and were we bringing goods back for someone else.  He asked if we were bringing goods back over $1600.00 which we honestly were not.  I was quite prepared to hand over the extra bottle of wine I had but he did not ask.

As it was not busy and there was no one behind us in line I asked about the US stamp on Colin’s passport ( the one he got on the way back to the US after seeing his Mom in Winnipeg ) and how would the US know that Colin had left the country.  He said that he had no idea at all!  So I then asked him about scanning our passports and sharing the info with the US.  He said that they do not document that info.  The only thing that they are checking from the scan is names of criminals and other names associated with national defense.  That is all that is shared with the US.  He was very strong but polite in explaining that people like us who go back and forth simply screw up the system.  We are creating a lot of work for the border agents as they have to sift through all of our scans in order to “look for important stuff like finding the bad guys”.  There is nothing recorded on those crossing the border individually.  So I then asked if we should just pull over and walk across over the US agents and check with them.  He said not to bother as they really don’t care about the stamp.  If Colin was caught in the US after the 180 days were up then he would be in trouble.  The onus is on us to prove that we came back to Canada when we did as they don’t stamp passports.  Thanks goodness for Visa receipts, etc.

There is nary a bud in the vineyards.  It has been a long cold winter.  We have been told by the locals that is was the worst winter in twenty years.

Even the fruit trees have no buds nor blossoms.  Often when we get home mid April our trees are just starting to leaf.

We turned into the park but there were no excited doxies on the dash barking with anticipation.

A good deal of fresh snow up on the mountain.

We had some sad moments when we walked inside our home.  It was so quiet and empty.  We just hugged each other, dried our tears and started to unload the RV.  But we kept finding reminders in every little corner.

This was the big pile of dog toys. Our girls were certainly well loved. They had toys in the RV, in the house and outside. We still haven’t found the outside toys yet, they are buried in the shed.

We worked non stop from when we arrived at 11:00AM till almost 8:00PM.

It was the setting sun that alerted us to the time.

Fortunately I had pre planned meals for the next week which made dinner easy.  Then it was time for bed in our huge king bed.  Usually we each had a girl snuggling us.  Another thing to get used to.

We awoke to -5C/23F on Easter Sunday and frost everywhere.  I let Colin finish unloading the RV while I stayed inside and continued to put things away.  I started doing laundry and even without the girls and their blankets I still did 13 loads with the final two being today.  The RV was emptied by the end of Sunday and by the end of yesterday everything had been put away.  I of course still have 5.5 months of mail to open and then taxes to do.

We gathered up all of our doggie things from beds to blankets to food bowls to leashes to toys.

The pile is almost as large as what we had gathered on the Isla. Yes we will be bringing three large garbage bags of things back to Mexico to donate to shelters.  There is no one here who would take these used things so it is worth the space in the RV to return with it.  It is part of the legacy of Carmeh and Caeli.  They had nine beds here and more than that in the RV.  I guess I wanted them to be comfortable and to have a bed in every corner of the house and yard.

So bit by tiny bit, poco a poco, we are taking small steps forward.  A few of our close friends here have come by with hugs and condolences but we have yet to go for a walk.  I am not quite ready for that, perhaps in a few days.  We have the geese who keep coming up on the lawn from the lake and I keep wanting to shout ” Caeli, birdies!”  and she would go flying out the door barking.  After four or five times the geese stop coming up and pooing on our patio.  So far we have to chase them away ourselves but we aren’t as vocal as Caeli would have been.

Our final Caeli photo. Those who knew her will know that this was her favorite position, she loved to have her belly rubbed.

What else can I tell you?  Colin drove the RV over to Kelowna Freightliner yesterday for our annual servicing plus new shocks on the front.  They have been leaking for about two years and after almost 17 years and all those rough Mexican roads, not to mention the old Isla road,  it is time.  In all the years we have owned this RV the  brakes are still good and the only thing we have had to do with the engine was adjust the valves last year.  Owning a diesel is a good thing.  By taking the RV over to Freightliner we are able to leave our Mercedes and Lexus in the RV storage site.  We will make the switch from the HHR to them later this week.  We spoke to Mommio yesterday and she seems weaker to us.  They don’t put her hearing aides in so it impossible to have a conversation other then to shout that we love her.  Half the time she doesn’t know it is Colin calling.  Even the charge nurse can’t tell us if she is improving, holding her own or getting worse.  Such a very sad situation.

I had my first bath in almost 6 months but it wasn’t quite as nice as I didn’t have little Carmeh putting her paws up on the edge of the tub to check on me.  Still I did enjoy the hot soak with a glass of wine.  Colin cleaned the house today ( lucky me ) while I worked on my business to do’s.  My big excitement was when I went to put all my spices away, I found a small cockroach among them.  You bet I screamed and Colin came to my rescue.

We drove a mere 138 miles on our last day from Omak back home.  However from the day we left here on October 29th to our return we drove a total of 5,449.5 miles.  We bought our RV new in the US and imported it into Canada all those many years ago but the speedometer is miles not kilometers.  That dear readers, is the que pasa of it all.

Our beautiful darling Carmeh on her last morning.  She suffered so much through her 14 years.  We can only hope that she is up there somewhere romping with her sister and watching over us.



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