Sep 04, 2017

Que pasa

Apparently our province passed a new law.  We now only have three seasons, winter, flood season and fire season 😯


We were in Vernon late Saturday afternoon picking something up and all the way back we saw a plume of smoke. This is what we saw from our patio.

The new fire is the big flame on the left.  The fire that started August 24th is the one on the right.  Just to make it interesting, a new fire started today on the right side of the lake almost opposite the fire burning between Peachland and Summerland.  We are just a tiny bit above the word Kelowna.

Of course within the last 48 hours the fire has now grown to 1500 hectares and continues to burn out of control.  Close to 80 homes have been evacuated and another 250 are on notice to evacuate immediately.  They have determined that it was human caused.

Yesterday the smoke was the thickest we have had this summer.  We could not even see the highway nor the end of the lake.

Before we traveled to Medicine Hat to pick up the Jeep the end of April, we asked if there were any defects, chips, etc and the dealer said no.  So being who we are and how we think we hired someone from a body shop to go check out the vehicle before we drove all that way.  She found a significant nicks on the drivers door and sent us photos.  We contacted the dealer and they promised to have it repaired by the time we arrived ( a 2 day drive ).

This was the repair job. Certainly not acceptable. They told us to take it home and get three quotes and they would pay for the repair. All verbal, nothing in writing.

Before we got home it appears that the manager had quit and the new guy would have nothing to so with the repair.  He said we did not have it in writing.  At one point after at least a dozen phone calls I took the phone from Colin’s ear and told the new manager that we were going to walk and take the Mercedes back as we were not happy at all.  But we stayed an extra night so they could redo the repair and it still looked horrible which is why the old manager was going to pay whatever to get it repaired here in Kelowna.  He did not want to lose the deal and likely he knew that he would soon be gone.  I was pretty strong in stating to the new manger that why would we lie about something like this.  Colin sent the new manager the photos for a third time and he must have really looked at them and agreed that it was bad however they had no budget to pay for the repair.  All the quotes had come in between $2800.o0 and $3000.00, mostly because they had to blend the paint over two door panels.

Colin went from shop to shop and got names of some guys who worked on the side. We finally found someone who as you can see did an excellent job.  Cost $750.00 and the dealership where we bought the Jeep did pay for it.  Phew.

I guess this is a good time as any to let you know that I took a rather hard tumble on our patio yesterday and re injured my foot and a knee in the process.  Colin has decided that I should not try and do anything in the yard or the house as I am too much of a klutz.  Basically I am safe just staying put.  However he was out there weeding in the hot 34C sun and I thought that I could help just a bit.  Of course I had to trip over the hammock stand.  More icing and still sore.  I had really hoped to resume at least a bit of a walk by now.

About noonish today a police helicopter, likely the only one we have here, began going back forth in a grid pattern.  Today we had some blue sky.  Once the winds picked up in the afternoon so did the smoke.  Meanwhile Colin was able to get a job done today.

It was searching an area of the woods just off the lake to our right. As you can see they were very low and below the tree line. I watched for close to an hour, great pilot.  No idea what was going on.  Someone drove by and said that they were searching for a little girl.

After about 45 minutes they began to search along the waters edge in our park. Look at all the spider webs, they have been everywhere this summer.

There has been nothing the media about the search which I think is strange.  Someone did come by about 5PM and said that the girl had been found.  That is good news but no details at all.

Taken a few nights ago, not yet the full moon.  The moon is looking huge tonight but still two days to go till it is full.  The white pinpricks of light in the background are cars on the road while the softer lights in the foreground are Colin’s rope lites.

Thank you for taking the time to stop in and checking out the que pasa of it all 😎



Sep 02, 2017

Is it really already September?

Here it feels like the middle of summer.  It is hot with temperatures in the low to mid 30’s/90’s forecast for the next week.  The weather is described as sunny but it mostly is smoky or hazy.  In the early morning for the last few days we have had a few lovely clear blue sky hours and we cherish those.  Today we finally got all the ash cleaned out of our home.  We will continue to keep our windows open, I refuse to live in air conditioning.  Fortunately it was only two days of ash falling.  It certainly makes us appreciate when there is only smoke.

With a new month comes another calendar girl photo.  We continue to miss our girls so very much and every now and then I stop and shed a few tears over what could be but is no longer.  Be sure to stop and take the time to give your pets an extra hug here and there.  A memory of  that feeling is just not the same as the real thing.

On the road to Mexico.  Taken in October of 2016.



Sep 01, 2017

Steps and a serious foot issue

Last Sunday was day 46 of walking over 10,000 steps per day.  Since then I have just managed a few thousand per day.

My right instep began to ache while at the airport in Edmonton last Wednesday.  The day before while at the chiropractor he did a minor adjustment of my right leg.  If you recall I fell back in May on my right knee,breaking my glasses, etc.  Dr. McKenna noticed that I had a very small rotation to the left.  He adjusted that among other things.  When we left his office we noticed a shoe sale at a store that specialized in walking shoes.  I bought a pair for $100.00 which normally sold for $200.00.  I wore them back to the hotel and they seemed fine.  I did change shoes for the rest of the evening and we did a lot of walking along Whyte Avenue and the thru the Fringe Festival area.

The next morning I wore them for our morning walk and second visit to the chiropractor.  All of my adjustments had held and I had no pain.  I wore the new sandals till we got past security when I noticed my right foot aching a bit.  I changed back to my usual walking shoes, my Mephistos, which are good for strolling but not serious walking.

Last Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday I pushed through the pain and walked my 10,000 steps.  I kept hoping that I would wake up and the pain would be gone but it only got worse.  I began to realize that I had a serious problem with my right foot no matter what shoe I wore.  The pain was centered around my right instep.  I tried to walk Monday morning but had to stop due to the pain.

I like to analyze things and the only thing that I could come up with was that the chiropractic adjustment had altered my leg rotation a tiny bit and hence my instep position.  Likely the new shoes irritated the area.  Had I just worn my usual shoes I probably would have been fine once my body readjusted to where it was supposed to be.  I combined two news things and perhaps that is what caused the irritation.

There was also the possibility that the severe plantar fasciitis I had back in 2009 was making an appearance.  I saw my family doctor just two days ago on Wednesday.  She poked and prodded and believes that I have a soft tissue injury and need to be off my feet for over a week.  That means icing and elevating my right foot.  Of course I should have stopped walking at the beginning of the pain but I was stubborn and thought that I could just push through it all.

I am very concerned that this injury might affect my travels in the future so I have stopped my walks and am just doing a minimum of walking within the house.  I did have to go to the bank today and that really increased the pain. Overall I would say that the resting and icing is helping.   However I am distraught that I had to break my 46 day walking streak.  Hopefully I will be able to get back to it sooner than later and I sure hope that I will be able to wear those new walking shoes.  They would be perfect for Europe.  All I can do is take it one step at a time.


Aug 31, 2017

Laptop update, etc.

It is official that the hard drive on our two year old laptop, that only gets used 2 or 3 times per month, is toast.  As they say it was a lemon.  Only this lemon requires a $750.00 replacement hard drive.  Something about the year and model and I think I heard the words solar state hard drive.  Regardless either we spend the money or buy a similar replacement for $1500.00.

On a whim last Sunday while at the mall ( we only have one ) returning my new walking sandals ( more on that in the next post ) I stopped in at Best Buy and spoke to a guy at Geek Squad.  They have a program where you pay $20.00 per month and they are there to help you with whatever help you might need with your computer.  The monthly fee can be cancelled after 6 months with no repercussions.  It includes free data transfer from my desktop to the newly refurbished laptop at no charge.  It also gave me a 20% discount on the new hard drive.  They told me that the cost of the new hard drive would be $350.00 before the 20% discount.  Sounded like a great deal to me so I picked up my laptop from Simply Computing on Monday ( well Colin did ) and I took it in yesterday to the Geek Squad.

They looked up the details and told me that the new hard drive was going to cost me $750.00 not $350.00 😯   It appears that the first fellow had given me the wrong info but at least I would be getting 20% off and it would only cost me $599.00.  However I do have to pay the $20.00 x 6 months so I am pretty close to the original price.  However if the data is gone which Simply Computing told me it was then I would have had to pay more to transfer my data.  With the Geek Squad it is free.

So I thought I had saved us $400.00 but it turns out that it might just be $50.00.  Regardless we will have a working computer soon.  Of course it will be the upgraded version of OS that I will have to learn all over again.  When I had my data transferred in 2015 I asked them to keep certain things in the older version of OS that I still currently running, on what some might call my ancient desktop, such as iPhoto.  I do not like change.  Looks like this time I have to sink or swim.

But if I can slowly start to figure out my smartphone then perhaps I will manage with the new program in the laptop.  I have all winter to figure it out before we head to Europe in May.

Speaking of the iPhone, I kept getting texts the other day from someone I did not know and they would not stop texting me until  I gave them my name.  I wasn’t comfortable doing that but then they texted back an apology, wrong number.  Today someone kept trying to FaceTime me ( whatever that is ) and after the third time I figured out how to send a message that I had no idea who they where.  They stopped.  I am now showing three messages on the FaceTime app thingy.  No idea how to get rid of that.  I don’t want to play with it and contact the original sender.  I have someone I can ask tomorrow.

For all the RVers out there, in case you missed this, from the Houston area.

Meanwhile yesterday we awoke to some serious ash on our vehicles and everything else. In fact it had drifted in through the window screens and all the dresser tops and window sills were covered in ash.

It does look more like soot than ash.  The colored light is from the smoke and the white dots are sun reflections.

Colin did get a job done today ( he is still out there doing the final dusk or rather smoke shot ), the client wasn’t fussy about window view shots.   Colin did come home for a few hours mid afternoon and we were just starting to have a quick early dinner before he had to head out again when the phone rang.  We were pleasantly surprised by a call from friends living in Mexico.  We haven’t spoken to them for several months.  It was so very special to hear their voices. Thanks again for taking the time and making the effort.  Life is short, we should all take time to reach out to those we care about.

I took this yesterday afternoon, as you can see the sun is still high and no where near setting.  What crazy times we live in.


Aug 29, 2017

We now have the answer

My post yesterday wondered where all the smoke was coming from.  It appears that our neighbors from the south are having some serious fire issues.

The Diamond Creek fire is 32,000 acres and is burning right at the US/Canada border.  As you can see by the dark grey outline of the direction of the smoke, we here in Kelowna are in the direct path.  Of course my friends in Osoyoos are in the thick of things as well as my readers in Oliver, Pentiction, Summerland and Peachland and my many local readers.

I have heard and have no idea if this is true, that the US does not fight fires as we do here in Canada.  They rather tend to let them burn themselves out.  Of course they are there to protect homes and cities, etc.  I’m sure that my many US readers will have some input on this.  Just in late today,  the province/state of B.C. in which we live has spent well over 404 million in expenditures just fighting these horrific fires.  They also say that it is likely that the fires may continue well into the fall as hot dry weather is the forecast.  I apologize to you that I am spending so much time on these fires but seriously folks, our entire life is affected, not to mention the hundreds of thousand of others who live here in B.C.

I took this at noon today, looking directly at the sun.  It was dark and eerie.

At 5PM the sky has a pink orange cast to it.  It is dark enough that we have had to turn lights on inside our home.

In all our years living here and dealing with a variety of fires this is the first time we have seen it like this.  I can’t imagine what it is like closer to the actual fire.

Just now at 6PM we are seeing ash on our vehicles.  We just washed our cars late Sunday so we know it is not dirt.

So the mystery of where the smoke came from late yesterday has been solved.  But where do we go from here?

Thanks for taking the time to check in.  I promise to change the topic next post.



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