Aug 23, 2020

A variety of musings

First off, just wanted to let you know that the fire is still not under control and that those that were evacuated remain that way and the 3,700 homes under evacuation alert continue to remain on alert.

BC Wildfire Service says 170 crew members, 16 helicopters and eight pieces of heavy equipment are fighting the Christie Mountain wildfire Sunday. 

“Fire behaviour has somewhat increased, but they continue to make great progress,” reads an update. 

The estimated size is still at 2,035 hectares. 

We are dealing with some smoke but that is nothing compared to those living in the Penticton area.

A neighbour and his friend cooling off when we had our high 90’s temps.  First time in the 17 years that we have lived here that I have seen someone on a float on the lake. The lake is not great for swimming but it is has improved in the past 19 months what with clearing the beaver dam at the far end of the lake and improving the inflow at the other end.  Who knows, perhaps in a few years we might be able to swim out there.

Our life continues to revolve around medical appointments, a bit of grocery shopping and working in our garden with a daily walk.  The garden is doing great and we are trying to preserve as many vegetables as possible. In the past week we had our massages again although she was too aggressive with Colin’s neck which resulted in a few problems. Two steps ahead and fours steps back.  Tuesday I had my veins done on my left leg. I need to do a thirty minute walk after the vein treatment and we ended up doing that at Costco as it was 99F outside and way too hot to walk with a heavy compression stocking on. Quite painful this time and I will spare you the photos of all the bruising I am enduring.  We did some local Lake Country errands on Thursday including my first time stepping inside a bank now that they are open. There was no one else there and with my mask I felt quite safe. Friday meant chiropractor appointments and a good shop at Superstore.  We are now good for a week or more grocery wise.  We have been looking for Clorox wipes for a month now and they are nowhere to be found, not even online.  Any suggestions?

Colin continues to make the best banana bread ever. Look how fat this loaf is – pushing out the sides of the new silicone loaf pan.

We watched a very good action/thriller movie the other evening called “San Andreas” based on the plate shifting and creating massive earthquakes. It was well done and obviously a huge production with a budget of 101 million. It was released in 2015.  Yesterday I finished the novel “Treasures from the Attic – The Extraordinary Story of Anne Frank’s Family” by Mirjam Pressler. The book was written based on thousands of letters written among the family over the years. It is a great read if you are a fan of Anne Frank and truly fills in the blanks. Now I need to reread the diary itself and perhaps try and find the movie online.

Our tomatoes are finally turning red. The glass on the sill is from Murano / Venice and the wine glass is from Guadalajara.

Our second zucchini boat meal but this this time we used canned tuna mixed with pesto and other yummy things. Another great success.

I am still simply drifting through the days. Not sure how I am going to get myself motivated. On the one hand I say why bother – especially if we are going be here this winter. I am not a fan of cold and snow and ice and suspect that the worst is still to come. My main inspiration these days is the garden but I won’t have that in the winter. We love our home and I know that I will he happy here if I am forced to stay. Colin has an idea that might make our home warmer over the winter but our carpenter is not being receptive to our phone calls nor texts. We have heard that all the RV rental sites in our park have been rented for the winter and that all the RV parks south of here to the US border are full as well.  I guess the prairie snowbirds are coming west where it is warmer with a less severe winter. On a positive note I still have all of our cupboards to go through and clean out, that should keep me occupied for a month or two. We have had Christmas on the road in the RV now for twenty years so if we are here this will be a novelty.

Thanks to a blog reader, Kay and her advice, we decided go buy a vacuum food sealer to help preserve our abundance of vegetables.

I already had a spiralizer that I had purchased perhaps 4 or 5 years ago but had never used. This is its inaugural use. We were grating zucchini. Next time we will try zoodles.

What a great little machine. I have zucchini chopped for additions to soup or a stir fry in the future and some grated zucchini for a loaf.

I had already frozen some green beans using a ziplock bag. The package is already getting some ice crystals in it. The vacuum sealed beans look much better.

Meanwhile Mother Nature does pay us a visit every now and then.




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16 responses so far

16 Responses to “A variety of musings”

  1. Linda and Russell says:

    So glad you’re enjoying your garden’s bou ty!! Sounds like we’ll miss you on the Isla this year?
    BTW you can make your own Clorox wipes from a roll of paper towels…just google it.
    Stay safe…

    • contessa says:

      Thanks for the tip Linda. If we can we will be be on the Isla, however we need to be able to drive through the US first.

  2. MJ WARREN says:

    Dear Contessa,

    In a pinch you can make 2 types of disinfectant wipes.


    Bleach ( at least 1000ppm sodium hypochlorite)
    Paper towels or cloths
    An airtight storage container


    Isopropyl alcohol or ethanol (also known as grain alcohol) :))
    Paper towels or floths
    An airtight storage container

    When it comes to bleach, you can’t just “grab a gallon” and go. You really need to read the label carefully . Regular bleach is the only kind you want for disinfecting surfaces or treating water, not one of the other formulations. If there is anything other than the word “Regular” describing your bleach, relegate the use of it to laundry only. The thick cling, splash-less and scented varieties contain extremely harmful chemicals that actually can create as much harm as the untreated surface or water.

    PS: Still love your blog no matter where your and faithfully read it every morning.


    • contessa says:

      Muchas gracias MJ. Brilliant suggestion and likely much cheaper in the end. Plus we can keep a container in the vehicle.

  3. SandyM says:

    Hope the fires are soon brought under control – so very scary. Couple questions: how do you prepare the veggies you use to surround the entree on your dinner plate? Are many of them raw or just steamed a bit? Your garden has produced so many good veggies for you this summer.

    Does Colin bake his banana bread in a microwave oven or a regular oven – when silicone pans are used I think microwave oven but I am probably wrong – have not used any so wondering about that.

    Nearing the end of August already and wonder about the Winter ahead – must start looking for a new Winter coat as we will be staying in WV this Winter

    • contessa says:

      The fire did not grow over night which is a good thing but again today there will be high winds which is a bad thing, fingers crossed.

      I purchased the silicone pans from as gift for Colin mostly because of making clean up easier. My understanding is that they can be used in a regular oven. We do use the convention oven to bake which is a part of our microwave. We have the same convention/microwave in the RV which we also use for all of our baking, casseroles, fish, pizza, etc.

      As to our veggie prep, we eat the peas, carrots, tomatoes and of course cucumbers raw. I steam the beet tops, kale, Swiss chard and green beans. Sometimes I mix two greens together for steaming. Beets are boiled. Zucchini thus far has been grilled on the BBQ, used in stirs fries and soon to be featured in some casseroles. Instead of butter we often use a bit of flax oil on our cooked veggies.

  4. Carol says:

    we bought a Food Saver years ago when we first got the Alfa One of the best things we ever bought. It is almost 20 years old and still doing its job.

    • contessa says:

      Good to know. We are having fun with it. Eventually I imagine we will use it for things other than veggies. Colin is experimenting on freezing tomatoes, the whole mini ones.

  5. Kay says:

    Contessa, you will love that wonderful machine. I have also a cheapy hand held unit so when I travel without my RV, I put my body wash and hair products in a bag and seal them so if they leak… they won’t leak onto everything. I also use my sealer for flour and sugars… I break down the 10 bags of flour and sugar so I can keep the flour in my freezer taking up less room! And my white and brown sugars I am able to lay flat. Such space saving in my RV cupboards. I use “Fruit Fresh” and my fruit to keep the colors, and seal them. And, my biggest tip is when you travel by plane… to beat the baggage fees, seal your clothes!!! you can take more or have more space to bring home trinkets!!! Just take a small scissor and the hand held sealer with. Have fun and your veggies look yummy!

    • contessa says:

      Thanks for all of the great information Kay. You gave me and my readers some great ideas on how to use the sealer for other things.

  6. Jim and Barb says:

    Beautiful sunset shot over the lake!

  7. Judith says:

    It was with horror that I saw your report of 99 degrees in BC. There goes another fantasy shot to smithereens. That was one degree hotter than here, in the middle of Texas. Maybe if you have to spend the winter it will be warmer than usual…..good grief. All your food looks lovely, and well done on the preserving! Colin’s bread looks magnificent. He seems to be a fine cook. So, you’ve got him, and a beautiful view, and a fine garden, even if it’s beastly hot outside. Enjoy. Stay safe. Hope your leg gets better and better.

  8. Contessa says:

    We don’t have those highs very often. Actually we do have pretty good weather most of the summer. The big thing is that we have relatively low humidity unlike Texas.

  9. Nancy Beglaw says:

    Hi C&C – I found “wipes” at Westcan Auto Supply. Sounds strange I know but they had a nice bucket of them. The top has a little pop up. Apparently, they are better smelling than the Clorox/Lysol Wipes, although they are slightly smaller in size. My husband took two buckets to his workplace. I have one in our motorhome but haven’t used it yet.They are an auto suppl store and they had tons of wipes, gloves, N95 masks and regular masks here in Langley. Maybe try a local auto supply store.

    Hugs and stay well…..

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