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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12 responses so far

12 Responses to “Strange happenings & many changes”

  1. robert says:

    friendly reminder don’t forget to winterize the motorhome if you don’t go south this year

    • contessa says:

      Merci Robert. Colina actually spoke with an RV tech today about doing that. Now I wonder what we need to do to deter mice.

  2. Peter Kouwenhoven says:

    Another friendly reminder; Now is also the time to repair/replace the generator on the RV.
    Love your winter coats! The smoke here on Vancouver Island has now fog added for a little extra discomfort. A good time to stay inside and purge stuff…

    • contessa says:

      The generator is still in Mexico and we got an update that they are still waiting for parts. Colin thinks he has some coats somewhere. That is the next big thing to do, is find our winter stuff, if we have any and if we happen to have boots somewhere.

  3. Kathryn Tycho says:

    Are you working with the new blogger? If I don’t revert to the Legacy blogger every time I try to use my reading list the new blogger redirects me for each blog. It would seem they should have just left it alone and not made it “new and improved!” There are lots of complaints about the new format. Perhaps the new blogger is causing your problems. When we stayed home in the winter of 15/16 I had to winterize my wardrobe too. Love your new jackets. We of course will likely have to fly to Mazatlan this winter.

    • contessa says:

      Kathy I have only ever used Word Press. My problem is with Google which is the way I comment on peoples posts but it refuses to work. If you fly you might want to use Alaska/Aero Mexico via Mexico City. Westjet has already cancelled all flights to November 4th and may cancel more. If they don’t get enough passengers then they will cancel week by week.

  4. Dee Tillotson says:

    Contessa, I’m not sure what type of general heating system you have for your home, but when reading your past blogs in preparation for your trips south, you would speak of winterizing water pipes and reducing propane deliveries. Since you are staying home this winter, it would seem that you would be ramping up the appointment dates for substantially more propane deliveries and finding a way to insulate the water pipes (say with foam insulation) in lieu of antifreeze in the pipes while you were away. Down in the lowcountry of SC, we only have cold days (about 18 F.) for approximately 45 days; and if we lose electric because of a community overload, we hook up a Honda generator to provide us with lights and to keep the central fan running to disperse heat throughout the house from our natural gas furnace. We do have ice on the walkways during that cold period, but I just take my battery-powered trusty hair dryer dialed to high and melt the ice on the way to the mailbox! Ha!

    • contessa says:

      Oh Dee, what a good laugh.I can just see you blowing that hair dryer. Our home is heated by propane, both the furnace and the fireplace. We do have a few electric oil burner heaters as well. We have set up an automatic connection to the propane company that shows when we are loa that they come. However in the winter they come by every week and check every tank and fill as needed. We ( well I will ) be using a lot of propane which is cheaper than electric here. Colin will likely be still wearing shorts as I bundle up. We do need to do something to our hot water on demand box with is on the outside of the house. We also have to heat tape or ?? the water softener and the pipes under the house. Fortunately they say we will have a warm fall but winter will be cold!!

  5. SandyM says:

    Your “canning” looks colorful and will be appreciated when you pull it from the freezer this Winter. Thumbs up on the teal coat – while the other coat is nice I am not a big fan of hoods but the important thing is that it works for you. Hoping the smoke clears soon and you are back to blue skies. Stay well and stay safe.

    • contessa says:

      Hola Sandy. But the hood is detachable and even the fur comes off the hood if I want. The hood is only if I am really freezing. I love the length of the coat, right to my knees. The smoke is getting worse if that is possible as we are already at the extreme and has been extended for a few more days. I can’t complain compared to those living in Washington, Oregon and California.

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