Sep 28, 2020

More Que Pasa

Colin has been very busy the past two weeks and if he is not taking photos, he is sitting at the computer for hours and hours on end. Once the smoke cleared he had a few great days, then the rains came but now once again we have clear skies for at least a week.  Hopefully he will be caught up within the next ten days and we can get back to preparing for the North Pole. I kid you not!

It appears that this is a La Nina year. We are in the dark purple zone, just to the right of Vancouver. It is labeled “below normal”. Not just very cold temps but lots and lots of snow as well!  The Farmers Almanac confirms this forecast. Just today I read a news report stating that we may not have fall in our area, that we likely will be going from an extended summer directly to an early winter.

Well the photo says it all, 1.256 lbs. Certainly a handful. We have lost two of this size to rats. GRRRR.

This is another Grrr. We brought this fabric back from Mazatlan maybe in 2014 give or take a year. We had our dining room chair cushions recovered, as well as had four toss cushions made and covered our large window seat.  Over the years the fabric has faded quite a bit due to all the sun on the window seat as you can see but not so much in the other areas.

I had intended to do this particular blog around the 21st but life got in the way. Some of the stuff we were sorting through ended being resold on Facebook. It took time to photograph things and to list them and to sell a few. Only made $36.00 so far.

So Sunday the 20th Colin crawled under the house to see what we had stored re winter clothing. That is a lot of stuff.

He had to go low and deep, right to the other side of the house ( 22 feet ) and push those yellow bins out.  Turns our that we also have seven bins of Christmas stuff :)) way more that I remembered packing back in 2003 when we moved here. We had a 5,600 sq ft house back in Tsawwassen ( Vancouver ) and I decorated every inch, 4 four Christmas trees of which three were real. Looking forward to a real tree for the first time in many years.

This looks promising for the winter.  I need those nighties soon.  Hopefully next week we can get into those bins.

Colin found a white coat at the bottom and I think that red thing might be a coat for me.  So happy to see that we have lots of hats, mitts and scarves. Also happy that I had the foresight to label every bin.

I know that somewhere in there I have a white wool  long mid – calf coat that I got from Neiman Marcus in NYC. I’m pretty sure that it won’t fit me any longer 🙁

Our local online news does a poll every few days.  Looks like many aren’t ready to travel yet.

Taken nine nights ago on the 19th.  So happy to have a smoke free sky again. Now as the moon is getting bigger and bigger every night we get to see its reflection as it crosses from one side of the lake to the other. We are so happy to be living here.

I am going to stop it here for the night. Tomorrow is going to be a very busy day starting with vein treatment on my right leg and after the required 30 minute walk, seven more stops. I realized the other morning when it was down to 42F/5C that I don’t own any closed toe shoes ( other than my new runners which I won’t wear with a dress/skirt ), when we had to go out for an appointment. It is much too cold to keep wearing Mephisto sandals. I have found both rain boots and winter boots ( not comfy nor very warm ) but I don’t have to go out into the snow unless I want to, which I likely will. Looking forward to watching the snow fall and the occasional walk in it. So I am looking for a slide in warm shoe/boot type of thing.  Remember, my feet are claustrophobic.

Something like this but not sure where to get them or what they are called.

We arrived back home from Mexico just six months ago on March 25th.  We haven’t been too far from home since then.  By now I would have most of our stuff ready for our fall journey to Mexico.  Instead I am working on prepping for winter. Yeah! I just got an email that something has sold for $15.00. Good for a nice bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, all part of my winter prep 😀

As an RN, I have been a part of this and it is not pleasant. Wear a mask!!






Sep 26, 2020

Something to warm your spirit

A night at the opera – don’t worry, only for a few minutes, well worth the listen.

This beautiful two minute tongue in cheek rendition of Nessun Dorma, “Let no one sleep” is an aria from the final act of Puccini’s opera Turandot and one of the best-known tenor arias in all opera. Performed Covid 19 style and in English.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do and my wonderful friend and blog reader Sandy.  Thank you ever so much for sharing this with me. I will listen again over and over when I am feeling the blues.




Sep 22, 2020

Found a treasure and a few GRRRs

We spent a good part of the weekend moving things around and finding things as well as winter things. More on that in my next post.

Ta dah!  I found this unopened package of napkins hiding up in a top cupboard. My treasure.

Made in the USA so why are they not in stock anywhere?

The following was posted in the business section to the online news I read.

I read something similar in a US newsfeed.  Yesterday I asked Colin to stop at Costco on his way home to pick up a package of toilet paper. There was none to be found and just a few packages of Sponge Towels left. There also were no Kleenex to be found but there were two packages of a Kirkland brand of tissues. So he picked up two packages of paper towels and one of the tissues. I then went online to check the Costco site. I was able to fill my cart with toilet paper, the Bounty brand paper towels and a package of Ultra Soft Kleenex that I prefer. When I went to check out suddenly in big red letters it read that there were delays and  that they could not deliver to my address at this time. Strangely as just the day prior I ordered two items from Costco. Yesterday I received a delivery notice of October 2nd. It was delivered today 😯  Very strange.

So midday today, Colin had 90 minutes between jobs and decided to checkout Costco again. Looking for Kirkland toilet paper, the shelves were empty. On his way to customer service he discovered pallets of the Kirkland toilet paper in a section between freezers of frozen foods.  Colin said he could feel and see a sense of panic from the other shoppers. It was not pleasant. On our way back here from Mexico mid March we kept reading about stores with empty shelves due to hoarding. Did this one online news article create a new panic?

In other news our bank did a major upgrade to their system from 6PM Friday to 9PM yesterday. They did a great job of telling you what you needed to do to protect and change prior to Friday. I did a good job of following all the directives for both our personal and business accounts. So today when I went to log in with my previously obtained new temporary  code ( as recommend by the  bank), it failed me on both accounts. Today was the first full banking day and I really needed to do some important things online. I held for 90 minutes before I was able to speak to someone. Then she guided me through the sign in with yet another code and various passwords over and over and over again. It did not work. We tried a new virtual member account number and three different passwords that were generated and nothing worked.  She then told me that it was my computer that was broken.  No way 😈 I have been through this so many times. I told her that she could not get off the phone until this was sorted out. Long story short, after my insisting she contact her tech team, we eventually got it sorted out. I thanked her for sticking with me and she thanked me for teaching her something new – things she did not know about this new program.

Meanwhile an e-transfer that I was expecting did not come through and the guy says that the funds have not come back into his account and won’t resend the monies 😯 Why oh why does life have to be so complex? So after 2 hours and 45 minutes I was exhausted and rather tearful.  Three hours of my day ( and what was to be my walking time ) were wasted.

I really could have used this chair earlier. Thanks for sharing these two Nancy.


Sep 17, 2020

A bit of this and that

Since my last post the smoke has remained but lifts somewhat at times.  Early mornings have not been so bad.  Today was the best in that we were able to go for a walk before Colin left for his photo shot late afternoon. I can’t remember the last time I walked, first because of my buckling knee and then because of the smoke.  I need to get back into a routine pronto. It did feel good to get out there.

We did not have mail delivery either Monday nor Tuesday because of the smoke.

I surprised Colin last Sunday by making him a zucchini loaf. We both thought it was perfect. Not too much cinnamon and there was also a bit of nutmeg and ginger. It felt strange to be baking something. We never bake for ourselves as we usually don’t eat sweets. But Colin started making banana loaf  when we got back in March and it has become his thing. It seemed to take me forever to put the loaf together but it all turned out well in the end.  Somehow all of the kitchen counters were full.  I did manage to get all the dishes washed before he got back 😉

Saw this in the park the other day. Nice colour.

His Monday photo shoot was cancelled because of the smoke. Hopefully sometime in the end few weeks perfect conditions will return. So with Colin staying home to photoshop all of the photos I was free to take off in the car.  If Colin spends 10 hours doing the photography then the editing and photo shop take at least the same amount of time. He can take 10 to 14 photos that he needs to put together in layers in order to get the one final perfect shot. That is how he controls lighting, balancing the inside with the outside views. Quite complicated. Then there are details like adding paintings to walls or putting flames in a fireplace and putting a picture on the TV screen.  Hours and hours of work.

Tuesday I had a bone density test for the first time in four years I think. I am shrinking. I remember being 5’4″ but now I am only 5’2″! That explains why I can no longer reach up to shut one set of our bedroom windows.  I did a wee grocery shop at Save on Foods and then headed over to Walmart to pick up a few items. It was the first time that I did shopped there since last fall before we heard south to Mexico. They have done a huge remodel and it looks so different and of course I had to do a lot of walking to find things. While there I stopped in at the computer/cell phone department and they were able to fix a glitch on my iPhone. I was glad to get home again. This was my first big drive into Kelowna since we have been home. Since we got back we have done everything together and Colin has done all the driving. I did do a small local drive here in Lake Country just be make sure I was good to go. I never drive in Mexico so it has been along time not being behind the wheel.

The was our harvest on Tuesday. Four cucumbers and more coming. This afternoon I picked the same amount of beans and tomatoes. We have so many tomatoes and our freezer is almost full. We had a slow start to our garden because of all the rain in the spring but is certainly is paying off now.

Yesterday, Wednesday, I had a massage ( Colin cancelled his to stay and do more work on the computer ). From there I made stops at Robinson Lighting to pick up special order bulbs, a quick stop at Walmart to return something, a big shop at Costco ( we haven’t been for three weeks or more ) and finally to pick up books here at the local library. I had been gone over five hours and was tired but felt good about all the diving I had done.

We have had an RV tech here trying to sort out a problem with our hydraulic pump.  Neither the jacks nor the slides are working. We had no problems other than a small leak which this RV tech looked at and did some adjustments. That is when things stopped working. He has since put in a new solenoid which made no difference.  Colin has since been in contact with our RV tech in Mazatlan.  Eric had three suggestions to try before spending money on a new motor or a new pump. So we wait for this RV tech to be free to come back and try the suggestions 😯

I am constantly seeing bare shelves here and there in all the stores I shop at.  The one thing I have been looking for since we got home is napkins. No one has any except Superstore and they are so thin that they are useless.  I looked online earlier and it seems that most napkins are out of stock.

This is what I have been purchasing for years. I finally picked up some more expensive and fancier napkins at Costco. I hope I have some of the others in the RV.

There was a flyer in our mail yesterday from the same store that I had purchased my winter coats at. They are offering 25% off everything in the store for the next three days. Because I can return my purchases for a full refund, I intend to do so tomorrow and then repurchase the same items at 25% off. That puts $84.00 back in my pocket. Perfect 😎

Our government is lagging in announcing an update about the Canada/US border closure which expires on September 21st.  I have heard rumours that it will be closed for another month but I had also heard that a higher up government official leaked that it will be closed until after the US Thanksgiving, perhaps November 27th. So many snowbirds are waiting for the announcement as it will affect their winter plans. All we can do is wait and see.  Hopefully tomorrow we will know the que pasa of it all.

I bet this is really happening in schools.

Who swims with a mask on?

Smoke gets in your eyes. Best sunset shot in the past few weeks.



Sep 13, 2020

Strange happenings & many changes

Google is controlling my computer.  It won’t let me make blog comments to other bloggers.  It is also is putting your comments into my junk file. These things have happened a few times over the past two years but they always rectify themselves – eventually 🙄  Even my mail inbox is giving me grief today. I had to quit the program and restart it in order to get my emails. Sometimes I think life was better and less stressful in the olden days, even if you had to make your own soap, bread, etc and watch out for the Indians.

A view of downtown Kelowna this morning.

We awoke this past Wednesday to much less smoke from the US fires and were fortunate until now.  This morning, Sunday, we woke up to the smell of smoke. It slowly crept in overnight. I heard and saw a fire truck with its siren going towards Kelowna at 10:30PM.  Then again at 2:30AM and yet again at 5:30AM. At 2:30 I could smell smoke and it reminded me of the morning of the big fire here. I got up and closed all the windows except the four in the bedroom. Colin was sleeping soundly and I didn’t want to disturb him as he had a big job today in Salmon Arm.  Yes another home to photograph. There was some smoke there but he didn’t think it was quite as bad as here. Turns out he was wrong.

The view from my back yard. Total white out.  It has been this way all day and still is at 7:20PM ( and now 9PM, it takes a long time to write a post ).

At noon toady they did an update on the air quality and said that it was “very high risk”. 10 is the highest on the official chart and we were at 11+.

Very few were out unless it was to walk their dog. The smoke in the air was thick. I did have to go water the garden mid afternoon and for the first time I wore the KN95 mask that I had purchased for Colin’s birthday back in July. It was amazing, I only got the odd whiff of smoke. The mask actually adhered to my face so there were no leaks and my glasses did not fog up.  However at times I felt I was hyperventilating. It will do in dire conditions like today with the smoke but not to go grocery shopping with.  I will stick with my clear face mask for that.

Fall is in the air. As you know we visited with our friends on Wednesday and Thursday Colin did a 13 hour photo shoot.

We each had a massage booked for Friday and I had a physio appointment while Colin had his massage.  Good use of time as we only have one car on the road at the moment.  I don’t believe that I mentioned that my knee has been buckling on me since September 1st. I would walk just a few steps and then could not move and was in danger of falling.  So I stopped walking and stopped doing my knee exercises.  I couldn’t walk alone when Colin was working. About the 8th I could walk a bit and the buckling subsided. Knee buckling is a sign of a meniscus problem and I was very fearful that something had happened to my operated knee. The physio lady restored my confidence and proved to me that it had nothing to do with my January surgery back in Mazatlan. She said that possibly my knee cap had caught on ‘something’. She gave me a daily exercise to do to prove to myself that my quads were perfect, gave me an ultrasound treatment and taped my knee cap so that it was higher. I do have fluid on the knee and some inflammation but have had that since the surgery. Now I can resume my walking ( once the smoke clears ) and exercises.

This is the building that both the physio and massage are in. The tree from the photo above is the tall tree in the middle. Usually I read while Colin has his treatment and he plays his silent guitar while I have my massage. We never ever waste time.

Next we did a few errands. Printer ink was first on the list. Best Buy is where we get it and as we turned in I remembered that Marks was in the same mall. So we parked and Colin did the ink which has increased by $12.15 since last fall. Isn’t that a lot? Meanwhile I went to Marks which a few people have told me is a good place to buy a winter coat. The store had just got its first winter coat shipment. I have been worried about finding the right coat. So I was very happy with what I saw.  Colin came to find me as I was trying one on.

This is going to be my heavy duty coat. It is good to -25C/-13F windchill. It comes down to my knees, has storm cuffs and the hood comes off. The faux fur even comes off the hood if I want. Very good quality.  Of course I love the colour, rose.

And this is my second coat. Yes I got another one. I love the colour teal and just showed this to to Colin because of the colour. He asked me to try it on and it is really nice and comfy and light.  It is rated for -15C/5F windchill and because it is lighter it will be perfect for walks on a not freezing cold day.

As Colin said, the cost of both is only one tank of diesel for the RV, if we were heading south. Now I need to find some boots. But I am relieved to have winter coats and I have 100 days to return them for a full refund – that is December 20th. I should know what I am doing by then. Next we stopped in at the Kelowna Real Canadian Superstore for a few grocery items. First I was shocked that there was no sign of any sanitizer whatsoever.  We were wearing our masks as usual but then I recalled that this chain had made mask wearing mandatory, effective August 29th. There was no one to enforce that and many were not wearing masks inside the store. Then we found that many many of the shelves were empty. We decided that we will have to return to shopping at their Vernon store, ten miles further away (one way). You can be rest assured that I will be contacting the Kelowna store about what we discovered. Perhaps even the media.

Back home we quickly unloaded and headed over to water the garden. This Mountain Ash is over full with berries.  That usually means a cold winter.

Someone has a lovely sunflower display in their garden.. You can see that the trees in behind are already losing their leaves.

Another garden has two of these gigantic sunflowers. The birds are feasting on the seeds.

Saturday we did some seal – canning as we call it. Three meals of fresh green beans, two packages of zucchini for a stir fry or a pot of soup as well as some tomatoes.  We have so many so why not freeze them and use them in chili or soup over the winter.  We were only able to seal one of the packages of tomatoes. I know that you are supposed to put the entire tomato in the bag and freeze it, but we are getting very short on freezer space, so I cut these tomatoes in half to save space by being able to stack them. At least once it gets cooler we will be able to store the beets and carrots outside. I really would like to freeze more Swiss chard but time will tell.

Colin just called and he is on his way home. He left at 6:45AM and will be back here about 10:00PM ( 15 hours ).  He takes breakfast, lunch and dinner with him when he does these big shoots and eats on the run. He never takes a break mostly due to the amount of photography required and needing perfect conditions.  Because of the extreme smoke his 13 hour shoot for tomorrow has been delayed. For all the hours he spends on site taking photos he spend the same amount of time on his computer doing photoshop for each home. That means that tomorrow he will be working, but at home. Usually he does this for four months but because of Covid he only has had eight homes to photograph with two more waiting for perfect conditions, blue sky and no smoke.

Yes, lots of changes in our lives. Normally I would be shopping for medical travel insurance and special Jeep and RV insurance for Mexico.  As well as things that I buy that I can’t get in Mexico food wise and even things that I can buy but are cheaper here. Instead I am buying winter coats and looking for boots. I realized today that I need to get a special carpet for when we come in with wet or snowy boots.  The other night we were sitting in our recliners reading and both wanted the lamp closer to us. I checked yesterday and the tri light is only 30/70/100 which is wonderful for ambiance but we need much stronger for reading. We have many minor changes to make as the days get closer to winter. Colin has to find out if the M & S  ( mud and snow ) tires on the Jeep are good enough, he also has 4 wheel drive and a setting for driving in the snow so do we really need to get snow tires?  We don’t think so but good to check. Also trying to sort out a few other things to make the house warmer inside.



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