Oct 19, 2017

A visit with Mommio

I can’t believe that I am writing this post so far past the date of Colin’s visit to see his Mom.  I really need to take control of my life or of a certain machine in my life  😳   Colin spent three days visiting Mommio from Sept 9th – 11th.  This was the first time he had seen her since April when he flew to her bedside as he was told that she was failing fast.  Perhaps it was because of that visit that she regained her strength and is well enough to now live in a room in a care center.

In fact we both think that with home care visits she could continue living on her own.  Nothing was found wrong with her physically but I won’t go into that again.  So while Colin was visiting his Mom in hospital last April his other two brothers started emptying her apartment.  Colin and I were both against this as no one knew if she could or could not go home again.  However they decided that she had to be placed somewhere.  Normally when an older person is moved into such a facility they are encouraged to bring a favorite chair, some paintings, a favorite desk or table and some what I call cutesies, like knickknacks, etc.

Colin was shocked to find her sitting in an uncomfortable chair and other than a few paintings she had nothing personal except the TV.  Sadly her room overlooks a roof with air conditioners and ducting, no view.  He was further dismayed to find her wearing pantyhose with 3 inch holes at both her knees.  She also had stitches over one eye which was almost swollen shut.  Apparently she had fallen but no one bothered to inform us.  Colin was heartbroken.

The first thing he did was take her shopping.  This is a super comfy chair and she loved it.  She showed him how she could easily get up and down with little effort. The manager himself when he heard the story from Colin offered to deliver the chair that very day at the end of his shift in his own vehicle at no charge.  Such a giving person.

Colin then took Mommio on a shopping spree.  We had been told that she could not walk very far.  Well she never stopped, she was like the Energizer Bunny.  She kept walking around and around the largest mall in Winnipeg.  She was so very happy to be out and seeing something other than the walls in her room and the TV.  It turned out that none of her jewellery had been kept for her at all.  She always dressed up each day.  She only had the one old wig left.  What happened to the others?  What happened to the $200.00 plus of makeup that Colin had bought her last October?  Even the $45.00 gripper he had purchased for her to be able to pick things up off the floor was missing and she used it a lot.  Where are all these things?  Thrown out?   He bought her the hat, just for fun.  She loves fun things and to laugh.

They ended up filling the rental car with things and only stopped shopping as they needed to get back to meet the fellow delivering the new chair.  He bought this cart so she had a place to put things, he ended up going back the next morning on his own and getting a second one.  The table in front of her was another purchase.  So was the mug, she didn’t even have anything to drink out of.  They also bought some wine which they shared while opening all the new purchases.  Colin said that it was like a party and they had so much fun and never stopped laughing.

He bought her chocolates so she could have a treat, he bought her peanut butter and cutlery so she could have snacks.  She tells us that her biggest treat is having a spoonful of peanut butter every night.  I guess this is where he gets his love of peanut butter from 😀   She didn’t even have a mirror to use to put her face on every morning, he also bought her more makeup.  Of course he bought her new pantyhose.

It wasn’t long before the baskets he had purchased were full of what to Mommio were treasures.  Things like needle and thread, scissors, pens and paper, tape, a night light, a hammer,  a second table for near her chair, a magnifying glass, a special standing makeup mirror and many other everyday items that brought her joy.  She said she felt like she had been in prison and had been set free.


Here she is in her new soft chair with her new afghan.  She was complaining about how cold she always was.  In case you haven’t figured it out yet, red is her favorite color.


As you can see they had a blast. They were having so much fun that they decided to not go out for dinner. They had had a large late lunch at the Lobster House  and were content to enjoy some wine and Baileys and nibble at all the snacks.

Colin also picked up two cork boards and did some collages of our photos, mostly the funny ones.

On the second night she asked him if he could please buy her a long nightie with sleeves.  The one she had was above her knees and she felt naked and she was cold.  She had no choice of clothing, shoes or anything at all in fact as to what to take with her.  The only other thing she asked for was a sweater. Those decisions had been made for her.  She wasn’t consulted about what she would get to keep or not.  Her lovely bone china tea mugs are all gone as were the very special things she kept as mementos and memories.  Colin has been given nothing to remember her by.  All the photo albums we had given her over the years were also gone.  We have discovered that everything has been disposed of, where to and to whom?  She had so much lovely costume jewellery.   Colin has spoken to her almost everyday since returning home and sometimes more than once.  It took about a week for the sadness to set in as she realized that once again she was stuck in a room without a view.  I could not stand the thought of her never getting outside again.  So we came up with the plan to visit Mommio on her actual 103rd birthday.  We are going to wine and dine her, drive her around the city and shop till she drops.  Not to mention all the surprises I have been shopping for.  Now you know why I have been trying to save money and come up with some steals and deals.

Oh a different note, we had to speak to a social worker to get permission to take Mommio out on her birthday.  Both the POA’s, the two bothers had to give permission.  Somehow Colin’s September visit had fallen through the cracks.  Needless to say we were beyond upset to discover this for this coming visit.   Fortunately permission was granted.  We can legally and easily be denied permission to see Mommio ever again.  It boggles the mind.

We love her so much that we would do anything for her and we are.  If we still had a large home I would have her live with us in a flash.  In fact I had offered to fly there and live with her for the first few months as she regained her strength so that she could continue to live in her home.  Her spirit is broken but we are doing what we can to rebuild it.  I fear for her over the depressing winter months.  All we can do is call her often from Mexico.  I am arranging for her to receive a card in the mail from us every two weeks while we are away.  I have yet to start addressing those but I will get it done.

Can you believe this feisty lady is going to be 103 in eight days?




Oct 18, 2017

Guess what?

I can’t post tonight.




Computer issues of course 😈  😯  👿  😥


Oct 17, 2017

Making some progress…..

…but I need your input.

A quick recap.  Our internet service provider Shaw who also happens to be our satellite TV provider showed up yesterday ( Monday ) morning promptly at 8AM.  We have had the same fellow here just this past September when we upgraded from internet 30 to internet 75 at no extra charge compliments of Shaw.  He quickly proved to me that it was just the new iMac that had an issue.  Colin’s older computer, the laptop and my iPhone as well as his  worked at lightening speeds.  Not only was the new desktop slow but in the speed test is kept stopping momentarily as though it had encountered a speed bump here and there.  Greg said that it was almost as if something was operating in the background which it wasn’t.  As he left Greg offered to get one of his top computer geeks to come check out my computer to try and figure out the problem.  Just three hours later I got a call and Wilson arrived about 10 minutes later.  He was able to narrow the problem down to Firefox as both Safari and Chrome were running at fast speeds while Firefox continued to churn.

Finally a photo of the new sectional.  The repair guy comes on Thursday morning.

A few hours later Colin suggested I empty my cache and then I also restarted Firefox.  I got 24 hours of good computer speeds before the churning started again.  I have had to restart Firefox twice since mid afternoon today, the last time simply so I could get this post done.  I decided to stay home today in order to get caught up with my business issues.  Tomorrow morning I plan to be first in line when Best Buy opens and first in line for Geek assistance.  I am going to give them 48 hours to fix the Firefox toolbar/bookmark issue on the laptop and of course I will discuss the desktop slowness.  However it is obvious even to me that the problems stem from Firefox.

I am asking for each one of you to give me some input.  It looks like I will have to leave Firefox.  By the way I only ended up there as with my old desktop and OS I was having trouble with Safari on many sites so I made the switch to Firefox.  I have come to love how I can have many tabs open at the same time, so very convenient for me.  What I would like is for you to please tell me what browser you use and why?  Based on your input I will make a decision as to my next step.

Today has been another challenging mental workout.  First off a client hired someone to put together an entry for a major housing award, the Tommies.  She had no idea what she was doing and could not even download the photos from BOX.  Once I found out she was using a Mac I was able to guide her through the process.  I have become much more proficient over the last few months 😕

Today we had the worst storm I have ever seen in the 14 years I have lived here.  Even the aforementioned client was screaming on the phone as things were crashing around both of our homes.  At one point I was so worried that I called Colin  to check if such and such was going to come flying thru the window.   All of our chairs turned over ( one of the client’s ended up in the lake but then she is on the big lake ).

Later I found a few plastic bins on our beach.  I have never ever seen the lake so wild.  At one point the lake had waves moving in a west to east direction which I have never seen before.  The trees were bent right over.  I later read that trees were falling everywhere and taking out power lines.  Thousands were without power, some evacuated re power issues.  This storm was so strong that flights were diverted away form Kelowna and Penticton.

Our new tree ( planted last fall ) only began to get some color a week ago. Today half these leaves were blown off.

We must have been in the direct path of the storm. This is the enormous tree root ball that came up when this tree was blown over.  This is less than two miles from us.

Many of the evergreens came down. One home had two huge trees fall on the the roof. Another photo showed an RV crushed by a tree.  It truly was an epic storm.

One of my calls today was to Telus, Colin’s cellphone provider.  I needed to set up roaming for our time in the US before we cross into Mexico.  Turns out that the agents are now located in the Philippines.  I got totally different answers on our plan with each of the three different people I spoke to.  I had no confidence at all in any of them.  The  most outlandish was that if each phone call we made was over 2minutes than the call would be free.  If that call was less than 2 minutes we would be charged $20.00 per call 🙁  I finally got close to the same answer twice and went with it and insisted on an email confirming the price.  What a waste of my time, at least 40 minutes.  Previous to this I used to call a number and punch 2 buttons, speak with a local agent and five minutes later we were in business.  Progress ? 😯

One good thing today is that the owner of a home Colin was photographing for the builder gave Colin an open bottle of wine ( almost 3/4 full ).  She is a doctor and was flying to Yellowknife to do some work and didn’t want to waste it.  Turns out it was a lovely new to us local wine and I quite liked it  It is very rich and better in small amounts which explains why she and her husband only had a bit last night.  I don’t recall having Viognier before.  This was a 2015 bottle ( 14.9% alcohol  😯  ) from Laughing Stock Vineyards in Naramata.  The grapes are from further south in Osoyoos which is much warmer and just what these grapes need.  I had to do some serious research through the vineyard website to find out where it is sold.  No matter the cost, $23.00, I will be purchasing a bottle, to be enjoyed over a few evenings.

I can’t recall seeing a magpie around here before.

A bunch of ducks must have got blown off course with all the wind this afternoon.  I believe these to be the Common Merganser.  It was so neat to see them  ‘stand up’ and stretch.  Their bellies are pure white.  The last two shots were taken thru a window so not so clear.

Talking about birds and flight brings to mind an email that I got today.  Return flights including taxes to see the Northern Lights in Iceland are on a serious sale.  Flights out of Vancouver, also Seattle are only $383.00 return.  As well as taxes, checked baggage is included in that price.   So looking forward to when we can take advantage of these spontaneous deals.

Great deals from other areas of the US.

…and at the end of every storm there is a rainbow.


Please don’t forget to let me know about which browser you are happy with.

Looks like you got two posts in one, sorry for the length of this one.





Oct 15, 2017

Que pasa

Well I have some good news and some bad news.  To be honest the bad news far outweighs the good.  The good news is that I put our Shaw internet on hold while we are away and so from Nov. 7th to April 14th I am saving pretty much $500.00 in costs.  I do this every year but as I seem to be on a save money kick of late I decided to work out the savings.  I was most impressed.

Late yesterday I got a phone call that a mobile Geek would be here today to set up my printers and deal with any questions I might have.  Today was to have been a major grocery shop day for me but I stayed home and waited.  He arrived about 1PM and ended up being here for 3 very long hours.  At this point there was the good, the bad and the ugly.

The good was that the new printer you see here is now wirelessly connected to the laptop, my new desktop and Colin’s old desktop.

It did take him awhile to be able to come up with the program to connect Colin’s older computer.

He then also reconnected both the new iMac and the laptop to the RV printer which you see on my desk above.  There is a bit of a problem with that printer in that it needs a physical nudge of the ink cartridges to actually print.  We are a bit concerned about this as we really need a working printer this winter as we prepare for our trip to Europe.  So we may end up bringing the new printer with us.  Problem is that things get really dusty in the RV and I suspect that the reason the RV  printer is acting up is because of the dust inside the inner guts.  If we bring the new one it will have to live in a plastic bag when not actually printing.  We have no control over the dust coming from the horses walking on the other side of our fence.  And there is no way we are going to live in an A/C environment and not open our windows.  But now that I have the new printer working for all three computers I will have to protect it if we take it with us.

The bad news is that I noticed that I had no bookmarks nor toolbar on the laptop 😯  I have not spent anytime on this computer since I got it back from crashing and they had to upgrade it to High Sierra. Not only that, I discovered that I have just 1/3 of my original mailbox folders.  A wee recap, everything worked on Sierra which then crashed as it turns out on both computers, which were then at different times upgraded to the OS High Sierra.  The desktop works just fine but not the laptop.  Long story short, the very knowledgeable geek mobile guy  ( he was an extremely knowledgeable MAC guy ) tried for over an hour with three different methods to transport my bookmarks and tool bar from the iMac to the MacBook Air with no success.

At the three hour mark he told me that he had to go ( his phone never stopped ringing ) as he had only been allocated an hour max to deal with my issues.  As it was he would have to cancel some clients who had been waiting a long time to see him and reschedule them which would affect his entire week.  Mike appears to work 12 hours per day, 7 days per week.

The ugly happened when I quietly demanded to know how this was going to be fixed.  He said that I would have to go back to the store.  No way I said.  I would not accept that.  I said that if he could not fix it then no one at the store could.  He simply hung his head and asked want I wanted him to do.  I insisted that he call Mr Geek Manager at home now mid afternoon on a Sunday.  He blinked but then he called.  He kindly put the call on speaker and let me listen in.  It was suggested by the manager that the problem was between Firefox and the new OS 🙄 Impossible!  Why is the desktop working but not the laptop?  I might be blond but  I am not stupid.  It was suggested that I will need to wait till we come back from Mexico to solve the problem.  I don’t think so.  I might have mentioned the need to call the TV stations and radio station about this issue.  I also asked Mike to please be sure to advise the manager of all he had done to solve the problem to no avail.  Next on my agenda is to confront the manager on Tuesday, his first day back.

Oh yes there is the tiny problem of the iMac  colored wheel just spinning for a long time over and over before it reacted to even the simplest command such as deleting a file.  This is pretty much the main reason that I got a new desktop as I wasted so much time watching that dang wheel spin.  And then the last few days it has been even worse.  My old computer was so much better.  However I was advised by Geek manager last week that problem was due our provider Shaw so I booked them in for a visit.  Fortunately I have Shaw coming in tomorrow AM first thing so that will shed some light on this issue.

So there you have it, yet another day wasted on computer issues.  Except this is serious as the laptop is our travel computer and I need to be able to use bookmarks re train schedules, etc.  Towards the very end I asked Mike to simply set up a new toolbar and I will reset my bookmarks from scratch.  He could not do that as it seems that Firefox is corrupt on the laptop.  He even reinstalled Firefox three times.  So once again I give up.  Well for today at least.  I need to regain more energy, but I really think that I am done.  This is beyond ridiculous.

One day I would like to blog about things other than computers 🙁

Meanwhile our forecast had dictated our business future. Colin worked all weekend and has interiors scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.  Then that is it.  No more photography till next spring.

So wish I could say that I was done by end of day Tuesday.

Thanks for putting up with all this computer garbage.  I breathe deep and realize that in about a month we will be back in paradise and you will all be joining me there 😉


Oct 13, 2017

Out with the old and in with the new

I looked out the window early Wednesday morning and wondered what the heck was going on down the end of the street.

Quite the tall crane.  I so enjoy the color of this tree every fall.

It appears that they were chopping down a tree.

I headed out to Kelowna for my second long day of shopping while Colin walked up the street to check out what was happening.

Did they really have to kill such a beautiful old tree?

It was a long day for me with 2 medical appointments in the morning and a ton of errands here and there.  Wow I spent $1024.13 Wednesday but did manage to save $89.60 at the health food store as I had 15% off coupon.  They did not have everything I needed so had to request several items to be ordered in for me. Another thing I did was buy a new bathroom scale that I had decided upon after much research and reading of reviews. So I was upset yesterday to discover that it never weighed the same twice in a row.  Rather it kept upping the weight by 2 – 3 lbs each time I stepped back on the scale.  I guess that would be the perfect scale for someone who wants to gain weight 👿  I stayed home Thursday but Colin had a job way out in West Kelowna so he returned it for me and got another model.  I tried that one this morning and it appears to be functioning properly thus far.

By the time I was done both my trunk and backseat and floor were full.  So Colin met me at the RV where we unloaded everything.  I really miss not having our RV less than five minutes from us here in the storage lot in the park.  The plan is to redo the storage lot early next year and hopefully it will be open when we return in April.  The underground water from the flood really did a number on it.

Meanwhile the new sectional arrived. Note the big guy in the foreground.  Colin says that all he did was tell the two small guys what to do as he supervised.

It was a very tight fit getting it through the gate.

The guy with the sunglasses has quite the grimace on his face.  Colin said that at this point he had to move both my desks as they seemed unable to lift high enough.  Behind the big guy is our rosewood glass china cabinet that almost got smashed.  The big guy did nothing.  Just a bit further into the living area Colin apparently had to grab the sofa before it smashed to the ground.  I am so glad that I was out and that Colin was home to deal with this.  I would have been a basket case.

Colin was asked to sign a paper that the sectional had been delivered in pristine condition.  This was the first thing I noticed when I got home.  We called Scan Design and they will do a repair to our satisfaction or replace it.

As to the computer issues, etc. I went ahead and scheduled an unlimited ( as much time as needed ) home visit by a Geek for $50.00 which is for October 25th, their earliest date.  Meanwhile I spoke to Mr Geek Manager who informed me that the entire company and administration knew who I was and what my issues were.  He promised me that they were trying to get someone to come here ASAP to help me at no charge.  I reminded him that we were leaving on the 27th, which we are, but for Winnipeg.  We don’t leave for Mexico until November 6th.  So now I know I have someone coming one way or the other and I will not be paying either way.  Why should I?

I ended up being on two phone calls at the same time that evening and Colin had to take over when after holding 20 minutes on the one phone, a human came on the line.  I am multi tasking as best I can.  It was funny as we switched phones at least 3 times back and forth during the conversations as only I had the info needed for that particular call at that time.  We must be crazy but it was hilarious at the time and I got two things crossed off the list.  I expected to be caught up by now but I am not.  Maybe by Sunday night or so, I hope.

The Coquihalla had quite the dump of snow today and was closed for several hours due to winter driving conditions and unprepared motorists.  We had our bit of snow rather close to the ground as well.

The day got away from me today.  It was supposed to be another shopping day but I wasn’t ready with that list so I stayed home to get that end of things organized.  Instead I had unexpected lengthy phone calls and two sets of unexpected visitors.  The last one brought me two lovely bottles of wine as a thank you for something 😀  Our clients are now on official notice that photos will now be done in clouds or rain.  No more promises of sunshine or they are welcome to wait till our return mid April.  Then there was the moment that I thought I had killed my keyboard.  I could not get it to work.  Finally I realized that it needed to be charged 🙁

The snow is very low to the ground for this time of year.  The white at the bottom is the lake.  I decree that this is a wine night, first in a long while.  I need to move away from my desk and the computer and sit with my feet up and enjoy my book and a lovely cool glass ( or 2 or ? ) of Pinot Grigio.  Oh gosh, where does the time go, it is 10:30PM already.  Adios for now.


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