Nov 23, 2020

Let the holidays begin!

Now that the fence was complete and the landscape rocks were in place, it was time to begin with some Christmas magic.

Of course everything here is a first for decorating, both outside and inside. So last Saturday was the day. It wasn’t raining nor snowing and the sun was out.  Some would’ve called it warmish.  I wore a pair of long johns under my pants and was warm enough.

First we put up three strings of icicle lights. It actually was a challenge to get them to stay tight. Colin used bungie cords to secure them to each of the fence post tops. The awesome thing is that these three sets of lights are exactly the length we needed.  Even more amazing is that we found these in a bin under the house the that we packed up 20 years ago. Neither of us have any recollection of having used these lights in the past.

Next up was setting up our new outdoor tree.

Thanks to a very special fellow blogger who has become a very good online friend in the past years and in particular these past months. She mentioned this particular tree on a recent blog post.  Her blog can be found here. The tree is everything we hoped it would be and super easy to set up. The third step of our outdoor set up required us to somehow attach three sets of lights on the inside our windows.  Easier to do from the inside ( less damage ) but much more trying on the nerves, but we did get it done.

Certainly not a good photo but you get the idea. My only complaint is that the new coloured lights we purchased for inside the windows are a different colour than the tree lights.  However in the whole picture of life this is nothing.  Bottom line is that it all looks great and festive.

The lights on the two trees on this side of the fence. Isn’t it great having that slice of moon up there?

There is a reason we are all being locked down yet again!





Nov 22, 2020

The end of the story

We have gained close to three feet of yard.  As you can see that area is a mess of old landscape cloth and a mix of pea gravel and other stuff. The plan was to wait until spring but Colin wanted to fix it right now.

So even as Frank was finishing the fence on Wednesday, Colin started to lay fresh landscape cloth. This way nothing will grow up out of the ground.

He worked tirelessly. It was so cold that the best I could do was pop out onto the landing and take a few photos.

We had made arrangements for Oyama pink shale to be delivered  first thing Thursday morning.

We wanted 5 yards and ended up with 5.84 metric tonnes.

A lot of shovelling involved which neither of us were going to do. I went online Wednesday morning and found a handyman to come and fill the wheelbarrow and to move  the rock where we asked. And repeat and repeat.

All together we have 142 linear feet of new fencing. That bit to the left is a mini garden area for ‘things’. We will cover that with fresh Oyama pink shale as well.  Too windy to grow any flowers. We tried over and over and gave up. So I have put my Dad’s fossils there and a few other things there.

It was so cold that I never ventured out to get photos. Yes I am a wimp, while these two are out there working so hard. Tony, my handyman, did the hard part. Colin raked the stone where needed, added more landscape cloth and also shovelled shale as needed. All I had to do was open the door and say, more there or rake that area higher. So you can see we three all worked hard, I was the warmest though:)

We were out most of the day Friday. So yesterday was the first opportunity to take photos of the completed project.

The lawn ornament is covering the spike that comes out of the ground that our piece of art sits on in the summer. Knowing me, Colin decided to cover it  with this guy, so I did not trip.

A cool Saturday but what a wonderful blue sky. So we have an 8′ height from left to right.  Then we drop down for one section to 7′ and the last section ( in the shadow because we angled the fence at that point ) down to 6′.  As per our revised arrangement with the neighbours ( giving them 2.5 feet of our property ) we can move that last section up to 7′.  Even then they can see into our home. But every inch helps. We would love 8′ the last two sections but felt it only fair to give them more of a view from their home.  As per our agreement, they wanted more of a wide view and did not care about the height.

From inside the yard next to the shed ( which will be moved in the spring ) and the gate.

We like the look, 8′ high along the side and then down to 6’6″ in front plus the 3′ high, 8′ long mini fence, just to complete the project.

From the driveway going into our yard. Definitely a doxie proof gate.

From the front steps looking down the yard to the lake. Neat that you see both rain chains and the back steps.

The pink shale looked white. Likely from the crushing. Once washed by the rain and snow it will all look like the top four pieces. I love the colour, it looks so alive.

Many of you have expressed concern as to how close our fence is to the neighbours home. They only purchased in June and they always planned to build a new home in the large part of their lot.  Only recently they have decided to move this older house and place it in the wider part of their lot and have it renovated. So please don’t worry, this has all been done with their approval and all the official checks. Not our fault that the previous owners somehow managed to get more space towards our property. We were not living here then. Not only did we give the new owners the extra 2.5 feet lakeside, they also received an extra 4 inches the entire length of the fence. They are doing well because of this fence.


Stayed tuned for the next project.  Christmas may be involved 😉




Nov 20, 2020

Our new fence

It will be the only fence we ever build as it is vinyl. It certainly will outlast us, but they are certainly expensive. This only happened because we did not go to Mexico this winter. Each time we look at this fence in the years to come we will remember Covid 19 and the winter we were forced to stay home.

The first thing that our fence builder, Frank, did on Monday was to cover the cemented steel posts with the vinyl posts. As you can see our neighbours view of  the lake from their their pie shaped lot is the narrow end of the pie.

He was ever so careful and kept measuring and checking with his level. You can see how this home has been misplaced on their lot. Our fence will be just a few inches away from this home. Colin actually gave up four inches of our property, the entire length of the fence, so that there was space from their house but is is still very very close. You can’t walk between the house and our property.

It was very cold as you can see and was snowing up in the hills. Mid afternoon it started to rain.

Frank said that our fence incorporates five different fencing styles. He did this corner for us to see how it would look so that we could make any changes before he got too far. This was his first ever two tone fence and he really loves it. I could not have designed a fence any other way. Doesn’t it look great.

We returned home on Tuesday from the vein clinic to this first view of our fence from the street.

While we were gone he completed the side from the street to the lake end of the fence. The first thing we both saw was not acceptable to us.  We really should have stayed home but I booked the vein treatment months ago and I could not change it. So we asked him if he could please redo the last three panels and offered to pay him for that. He said no, that we would do it as it was part of the job. It was even colder Tuesday than Monday as you can see by his increased layers of clothing. Of course we compensated him for this as it was partly our fault. We had mentioned that the property dipped down towards the lake but wanted to keep the fence looking level. At some point we also mentioned that we wanted the fence to be as close to the ground as possible so that any future puppies could not get out.

So Frank went with keeping the fence lower to the ground. We came home to the third panel from the end dropping down to the right about three inches and was very visible. He had said that it would not be noticeable but it certainly was. I neglected to take a photo of the before ( ( I was upset ) and this is the after.  He fixed the entire problem within 30 minutes. The rail at the bottom of the arrow was sloping down the three inches to the right and perhaps because it was a lighter colour was very noticeable. As I said, this was the repaired photo. It looks perfect.

This photo shows our neighbours enhanced view. Our property actually cuts into their deck by at least two inches. The string line for the fence came onto their deck. The first fence post that was cemented in was touching this deck. Of course the neighbours were upset, they had just purchased this lot in June. Perhaps they did not do their due diligence. All the survey pins were in our favour. By moving that post and by turning out our last fence section to the right, we gave them an additional 2.5 feet of view. In return I asked if I could increase the height of that last fence section from 6′ to 7′. They were so happy to have the view, the height was not an issue. For me, privacy is everything. We had an 8′ plus hedge there and I had total privacy. Even with the increase to 7′ they can still stand on their deck and see directly into our home. I think we made good compromise, not perfect but everyone is happy ( well mostly ). We now have to wait for the materials to increase the height to seven feet.

By raising the fence to keep it even, left us with too many inches between the ground and the bottom of the fence panels.

Colin was already working on it with some smaller rail ties that we had. Both panels are the same colour, the camera was being cheeky.

Frank ran out of time to complete the fence Tuesday. He tends to get a late start in the day so we didn’t see him until shortly after 10AM on Wednesday. Another bitterly cold day and it wasn’t long before the wind started to blow hard off the lake and the rain begins to fall.  In fact it rained so hard that our street was flooded. Because of extreme water conditions I did not take any photos. Frank insisted on finishing the install which he did shortly after 3PM.

Sadly I never took any photos of the completed fence on Wednesday due to the wet cold weather.

So tomorrow promises sunshine and we will make a point of getting some completed fence photos. Those photos plus what happened on Thursday ( yesterday ) will complete the install of our fence. Hard to believe that this all started just three weeks ago on October 3oth with the hedge removal and now it is all complete.





Nov 19, 2020

A bit of this and that

Somehow while working in the yard today I pulled a muscle in my back so I don’t want to be online too long tonight.  No worries the fence photos aren’t going away.

I just wanted to share that I am the Canadian collector of donations for helping fund a Christmas Eve dinner for those in need on the Isla. Today would have been our second day on the Isla.  They are hoping to feed two hundred families this year, that includes a whole chicken, rice, beans, vegetables, oil and flour. It is anticipated that it will take approximately $16.00 CAD to feed each family. The following is what has been sent out.


Cheryl can you please send this out to everyone that you have an email for.
Please take a moment to read the following written by Dallas & Rocio. Just because many of us Canadians as well as some Americans will be unable to travel to Stone Island this winter, it doesn’t mean that we can’t help the folks on the Isla have a wonderful Christmas dinner. Fellow Canadians, please e-Transfer your donations to myself @ I will make sure that your donation gets to Dallas & Rocio by December 7th, so that they can start preparing to make the Christmas meal happen. Americans can email via PayPal direct to If you don’t have PayPal then send your donation to myself by e-Transfer. Of course some of you will be fortunate enough to be able to deliver your donation to Dallas in person?
Hello. Christmas is just around the corner so we are gearing up for Rocios 6th annual Christmas Eve chicken and despensa giveaway to the less fortunate folks here on the Isla that might not be able to have a nice Christmas Eve dinner. Unfortunately due to Covid we will not be seeing as many snowbirds this year so we wont have as many people to help by bringing clothes to donate. There wont be as many people to come to the fundraiser lunch the first week of December (more information on that at a later time) so we are expecting a shortfall in funding and as a result we need all the help we can get.
Prices have gone up this year on the items in our despensa and the chicken. These are the current prices at the mercado and could possibly change a bit by Christmas Eve. We are downsizing the chicken from 2.25 kilos to 2 kilos this year in an attempt to save a little on the cost.
Rice (arrroz) 1kg $26.00 pesos
Beans (frijol) 1kg 36.00
Cooking oil (aceite) 1 L 24.50
Flour (harina) 1kg 14.50
Carrots (zanahoria) 1kg 15.00
Potatoes ( papas) 1kg 15.00
Chicken (pollo) 2 kg 100.00
total $231.00
The first year we did this we delivered 18 packages. The program grew to 82 delivered the second year. After that we decided to give out tickets to the people that will receive the package and have them come to meet us at the park in the Colonia here on the Isla. We increased to 165 packages last year. This year our goal is to give away 200 packages. That is $46,000 pesos. I have $5000 already and a promise of $6500 more from a wonderful friend in Canada.
If you are interested in helping we have paypal, we can pick up in Maz and our friend Contessa in Canada will be collecting there to forward to me here in Mexico. We can make arrangements to pick up any clothing donations from folks here in Maz.
Please help if you can. Thanks.
Our email for paypal is
Canadian donations should be e-Transferred to, if possible no later than December 7th and she will forward to us.
Back here in Canada there has been good deal of Covid talk and information sent out today. We here in B.C. are now required to wear a mask pretty much all the time while out. It was expected before but now it is mandatory. Also other than those living in your home, you can no longer have anyone visit.
The ban on social gatherings inside homes that was implemented in the Lower Mainland two weeks ago has been extended across the entire province until at least Dec. 7, and masks will now be mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces.
Very serious stuff, as well as being asked to stay within our area and that only essential travel is allowed. Plus the Canadian/US border is now officially closed until December 21st.
The following is some interesting up to date information.

This is how easily one person can infect 48 others.

The next few months are not going to be easy for any of us. Hopefully we all make the right choices.



Nov 18, 2020

Things are moving slowly or quickly

Colin watched the entire launch ( Sunday ) and docking on Monday  of the Space Shuttle. I liked this shot of the Canadian Arm as it neared the Space Station.

I remember being at the Calgary zoo looking at the monkey exhibit when it was announced that man had first landed on the moon. What a world we live in now.

The fence is moving slowly. In part because of the weather and in part because there are so many measurements with this custom fence.

The fence did arrive on Monday.

Tuesday we awoke to a low snow level and low clouds.

A different view of the mountains as we headed home.

I had Colin stop the car before we neared our turn. I wanted to show you our home from the highway. Hard to see  in the photo but actually it is easy to see because  of the colour of the house.

As we were out for a few hours on Tuesday ( yesterday the 17th ), we of course came back to a fence problem. We had him redo three sections as one was very obviously sloping down a few inches on one side. It was because the ground slopped down toward the lake. We wanted it straight across the top. The fence guy is very good at what he does but he did say that this is the first time he has done one like this and it also involves five different fence types. Plus we always do things differently than most 🙄

A most unusual sunset Tuesday. It did not last too long but was very pretty.

Zoom! Last night was our first experience with the online Zoom platform.Things are moving fast for us. Because of Covid we could not have the annual grand dinner and presentation at the Country Club. The company arranged a one hour event complete with a few fun things and a big treat.

At one point we were asked to open our front door and to check what was there. Sure enough two white boxes were sitting there. We never heard anyone come near the house. There was this apple and the other was a pear. They were from Karat, a chocolate store here in Kelowna. These delicacies included a good deal of chocolate mousse, one of my favourites. What a lovely way to end the evening.





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