Saturday, October 27, 2012

Kind of Quiet Around here....

Although it's quiet around here, I have been keeping busy helping our son in law, Trevor, with a couple of projects.  One of those projects is the renovation of one room in their home.  He is converting it to an exercise studio of sorts.
Trevor gutted what he felt needed to removed
After he completed the wiring clean up - once the suspended ceiling was removed - I came along to assist with re-insulating the ceiling and installing new ceiling panels.  The result is a ceiling that is about 1 foot higher than the original suspended one.
'Safe and Sound' insulation is ideal for sound and fireproofing
Once the ceiling was ready, we proceeded to cut and install  the new ceiling material.  This renovation will add a multifunctional room to their home.
New ceiling panels installed.
The weather of late mainly produces cloudy days with plenty of moisture.  The forest fire threats are long forgotten.

Easton came for a visit yesterday. He tried out his 'new to him bed' that friends of ours kindly lent us.  Whenever Easton wants to drop by and needs a rest or is here for a sleepover, he's got the right place to accomplish that. 
Other than catching up on some CFL (Canadian Football League) final regular season games, it's been a pretty quiet time around here.
Although the photo doesn't do it justice, it was raining 'cats and dogs' when taken this morning.

Because I have been busy with assisting Trevor on some of his work projects, I missed out on reading blogs these past few days.  When I caught up this morning though,  I learned that several snow birders have left the northern hemisphere for the sunnier climes of the southern US.   Although not in our plans this year, I think next year will see us leave earlier - like in late October or early November.  We would fly back home for Christmas though....likely for a couple of weeks....before returning to the US southwest.

When the weather turns grey and wet - here on the west coast - the outdoor activities seem to get dampened too. This is the time I catch up on my reading. There are several books waiting to be read.

I also need to complete some minor - fine tuning - projects on the 5th wheel.  The generator also needs an oil change!  I'm sure I will find the time to get that done.  I am also researching the drive strategy for heading south come December 30th. Musings....musings....musings!

Well, that sums up this short report.  

Thanks for dropping by.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Musical...A Ride....A Party!

The title for this blog sums up the past few days.  Friday night, we attended a musical as part of the season's tickets we have with the Arts Club Theatre Company.  The club present professional theatre but this one (brochure above) failed to impress me, Jeanette or our friends.  It is  a takeoff from actual ads found on Craigslist.  There were a few funny spots but, by  and large, it failed to keep me interested. That is only the second play - in the past ten years or so - that failed to impress.  This company is usually top class with its theatre presentations.

New shower door glass replaced and returned
Prior to leaving home, for the Surrey Arts Centre, the 'Glass Doctor' company van appeared in our driveway with our re-glassed shower door.  The technician had called earlier to say he would be at our home by 4:30 pm.  It fit like a glove and looks identical to the previous glass that - as readers will recall from a previous blog - had shattered and spilled its bits all over the shower stall and the bathroom floor.

A view from a back road leading us to Harrison Hot Springs.
Although the skies looked threatening, the magnet to take a country ride was overpowering.  Jeanette was up for the challenge of avoiding off we rode.
The Harrison River at Harrison Mills.
We skirted all rain spouts along the way but we could see the heavy clouds trailing us.  Just east of Harrison Mills, the rain began.  We were only a few kilometres from Harrison Hot Springs when we chose to turn around and head in another direction.  This was a rain avoidance scheme that failed miserably.
Log booms in the channel.  We eventually headed right into those mean looking rain clouds.
We hit rain and sleet!  The sleet was pounding hard on my face.  It stings but is not dangerous.  My eyes are protected and the windshield does deflect a lot of the punishment.  Jeanette has a pop down face shield which protects her well. 
Taking a break before riding into more storm clouds. If you click on the photo above, you can see Jeanette's heat connection wires under her motorcycle jacket , at her waistline. Once plugged in, the heat is oh, so nice!
When we stopped for fuel, the attendant there was expressing concern for our ride considering the temperature had dropped and it was raining steady.  When I explained that our riding clothes are heated, she was less sympathetic.  LOL.  We keep nice and toasty with heated vests, heated grips, thermal pants and,.... we never get wet.  That is how good the riding gear is today. 
Most interesting farm silo.
We chose to take a little side road which brought us to this historic pub.  The Dewdney Pub has been here for a long, long time.      Historic Dewdney Pub
Not ever having stopped by here before, we opted to try out the lunch menu.  Jeanette opted for a mid-day breakfast and I settled for lunch fare.  It did not disappoint.  The food is great and most reasonably priced too! We'll ride back here again!
The tributary across from the pub.
We saw a few hardy fishers, with the lines in the water, trolling for salmon. Everyone was dressed for the constant rain showers.
Entrance to the pub - made famous for its blues entertainment.

Nicely maintained pub and restaurant.  Check out the old cigarette sign.  Do you remember those days?
A typical old barn - one of many that dot the Fraser Valley.
Four hours later, we were back home - warm and dry!  I do have to put the bike on the lift and shine it up again.  I never ever mind doing that!

Last night saw Jeanette and I head out in two separate vehicles, in two different directions, to attend two different parties.  She was off to a nurses reunion of sorts, at a colleague's home, and I headed off to attend our son in law's mom's 60th birthday celebration.
Nurses reunion  party!  These girls all worked on the 2nd floor surgical unit at Peace Arch Hospital in White Rock, BC.
Jeanette had long ago committed to attending the nurses gig - which is a bundle of laughs - so at the last minute, I represented us at the birthday party.  Sandi and Bob had returned earlier that day from a three week holiday in Europe.  The surprise party for Sandi was just that - a huge surprise!  Jeanette and I got home within 15 minutes from each other.

Easton and his dad at the family cottage last weekend.  Cute outfit. Ready for a hike!
Yesterday - for the first time - Easton pushed himself up on all fours.  He'll be crawling soon.....!

I'm off to help Trevor,Ginette and Easton with a home improvement project today.  Best get off this blog post and get to it.  That's our story for now.

Thanks for dropping by.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Walking on Leaves....& Some Magic Too!

Following a weekend rain fest, Monday's skies afforded us some sunny breaks.  What to do?  Well, take a hike!  Why Not!

We drove to a nearby hiking spot.  It offers hills, deep woods, open meadows and several wooden walking bridges that afford us the opportunity to see fish spawning too.
Check out those maple leaves
Jeanette' favourite time of the year is the fall.  I much prefer summer although I'm OK with fall because I know it's just a matter of time before we can hitch up and go in search of dry, sunny and warmer climes.
This trail is well groomed and maintained.
The colours are stunning.
When walking a trail like this - in the rain forest - it's amazing to witness renewal of vegetation.  It grows anywhere and everywhere.  Take the photo below, for example!  The ferns seeded themselves on the trunk of a live, moss covered, tree.

I'm looking for spawning fish but the fast running water didn't present any on this hike.
Jeanette and I have both witnessed a flurry of excited fish creating havoc in the stream below but maybe their time has passed and they are further up stream.  Just listening to the fast flowing stream is sufficient.
A quiet pool.
We had a really good hike before returning the the parking area where the small leaf maples showed their colours.  Stunning, really!
No picnickers here today.
It won't be long now and the deciduous trees will shed all of their leaves.

Back home, Jeanette continues to press on with her sewing projects. 
A touch of Magic!
Do you see how I can magically put my had through the shower glass doors?
This is no small feat!  How can I do this?  It is magic...pure and simple...or, then again, maybe not so magical!

Well, all one has to do is wait for a small 'bang', check the entire house to see where it came from, give up after not finding the source and return to my computer.

Some time later, I hear Jeanette calling me back to the main floor and into our master bedroom.  At about 10:30 am - and all on its very own - our glass shower door exploded.  This is safety glass - similar to automobile glass - and it shattered. Most of the glass  stayed together, other than a large piece that crashed onto the shower stall floor.  Why it happened?  Who knows!!!!
I was the last one to use the shower at 6:45 am that morning.  The result is not so magical!
I quickly got a tarp down, knowing full well that once the door opened, shards of glass bits would come crashing down.  That's exactly what happened. After getting the Shop Vac from the garage to vacuum the mess, it was time to work on getting the door fixed.

So, I sourced our insurance policy, filed a claim and then began the process of finding a glass shop to undertake the work of replacing the glass. This morning, the insurance company authorized the repair - at not cost to us, and with no deductions either - and I made arrangements for the glass repair facility to drop by our home to remove the glass door frame, install a new glass at their place of business and return it to us when it is ready for re-install on the shower frame.  

 Weird things do happen sometimes!

 Other than watching the Presidential Debate last evening, things are pretty well routine.

The sun is out and the motorcycle magnet is drawing me to put on the heated clothing, turn on the heated throttle grips, plug ourselves into the electrical heating system and head out for a gingerly ride in the back country roads we so cherish in this area.  Just might happen!

Wishing you a nice day.

Thanks for dropping by

Monday, October 15, 2012

Quiet Indoor Weekend .....

It was the first wet weather in months that kept us indoors this weekend.  It rained heavily on Friday evening, all day Saturday and most of Sunday.  Heavy winds accompanied the Sunday rains.  It was anticipated and moisture was most welcomed.    Our area has been without any significant moisture these past three months.
Our rain gauge this morning  - proving that we have had some heavy rainfall - 2" of moisture
So, what to do when we are accustomed to outdoor activities?  Well, adopt other activities such as extensive blogging about US Health Care issues on Jana's blog   Tin TeePee/Log Cabin  .....indulge in reading, movies, watching the Golf Channel and working on hobbies that have not been touched in a long time.
Roadhouse Restaurant - South Surrey/White Rock

Friday lunchtime was reserved to meet with a good friend and work colleague I had not seen since visiting him in hospital about six months ago.  He is doing well and we enjoyed a good two hour chin wag while enjoying some really good food.
Our plants and trees are reaping the benefit of high moisture
Jeanette got busy with sewing and spent a good part of the weekend in her hobby room completing quilts and sewing bibs for Easton.
She brings her work into the kitchen when she's multitasking with dinner preparations
In her comfy crafts room
New bibs for Easton and friends
 We planned on watching two recent movies and the first was screened on Saturday evening. The other was reserved for mid-afternoon on Sunday. Most enjoyable!

Sure wish I could have been out on the links but......
....The Golf Channel served as a good distraction!
While working on updating our music library - on iPod and computer - I was screening the golf, on and off, for the better part of several hours on Saturday and Sunday.  I was also occasionally dropping in on Jana's blog  Tin TeePee/Log Cabin  to see if any bright ideas might emerge from the US health care discussion.

Because I did have the time - and being curious by nature - I sourced the 'Obamacare"  Obamacare Facts  and read all I could to better understand why so many bloggers were against what I had believed was a pretty good start to integrating a national universal health care program, for all US citizens.  It will be interesting to witness what, if anything, changes to improve the coverage Americans so well deserve.  I am not optimistic that anything positive can be achieved on that file because of so much disinformation confusing voters.  Jana's blog pretty well served as a tiny sample of the disinformation I speak of.  Too bad!

Editing our music library....of well over 2,000 cuts

Nice back yard fall colours
This pretty well sums up the past few days.  It was a very relaxed and enjoyable indoor weekend.  A few of those, on occasion, are fine by us....but....we prefer the outdoor opportunities more. 

A break in the weather today will find us taking a hike on one of our nearby trails.  With a few errands to run, the day will roll by....and, that means one day closer to gearing up for Christmas and eventually packing and rolling the fiver southbound.

Thanks for dropping by.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Dinner Out With Friends From England

Ten days ago I received an email from good friends from London, England.  David and Belinda were planning to be in Canada, and Vancouver would be one of the many stops on their travel itinerary.

David and I met when I moved from CBC-TV Calgary, Alberta, to the Vancouver TV station, over 30 years ago.  David was a senior producer in the newsroom and I was coming in as their new TV Director.  Being the gracious and caring fellow that he is, David was instrumental in making me feel at home very quickly.  We became life long friends as a result of our working relationship.  Years later, David was appointed as the senior producer on my network TV series, "The Best Years". Living in Toronto at the time, David was responsible for producing current and public affairs stories in Eastern Canada and abroad. A solid and accomplished journalist/producer, David produced many gripping stories for our series.  His Canadian broadcast journalism career also included stints with CBC-TV's flagship news program, 'The National', with Peter Mansbridge and with CBC-TV 'Newsworld'.
L-R   Jeanette, Belinda and David
David has had an interesting career in TV journalism.  He has worked in numerous Canadian cities, followed by a reasonably long stint in Hong Kong and major cities in the far east, and has lived and worked in London, England, for the past half dozen years.  Although retired, he continues to work as a freelance producer out of London.

David and Belinda were on a pan Canadian holiday that would see them land in Montreal (David's home town as a boy), then to Calgary (where his brother lives) then to Vancouver, Victoria and Toronto before returning home to London, England.

They were in Vancouver these past three/four days and we managed to get together in downtown Vancouver for a great dinner out....and plenty of chat.

Downtown Vancouver Hotel - The Sylvia Hotel on English Bay - British Columbia, Canada
We found David and Belinda at this waterfront, boutique hotel in downtown Vancouver.  The Sylvia is a stunningly beautiful heritage hotel, with commanding views of Vancouver's main harbour.

Nearby is this Inukshuk.  Clicking on the photo below will help you read about its status.

Although the sun would not pop out from under the low ceiling of fog, it was still fun to be in downtown Vancouver for the evening.
Vancouver's Burrard Street Bridge.
We rolled into the waterfront area at about 6:30 pm.  Having parked on the street near their hotel, Jeanette and I caught a few photos before entering the hotel to greet our European friends.
Interesting series of sculptures a block from the Sylvia Hotel.

We enjoyed a libation in the Sylvia Hotel lounge before choosing to walk over to the recently built Cactus Club Cafe' that overlooks English Bay.  The food was top class; our visit was even better!

Suffice it to say that we burned up a lot of oxygen just catching up on their lives and sharing ours.  Belinda was keenly interested in our RV'ing, snow birding, lifestyle.  She saw photos of our 5th wheel and was amazed by its size.  In England, caravans (trailers to us) are popular but they seldom exceed 20 - 22 feet.  Compare that to a 39 foot 5th wheel?  We invited them to come and join us in the US southwest this - or any future - winter.

The last time we had dinner together was five years ago when we met at the same hotel.  We chose to have dinner there at the time.  The meal did not disappoint.

David and Belinda commute between their London, England, flat and their seaside home in Hastings - in southeast of England.  It was fun to reminisce about our work world relationship and our current positions in life.

We received a gracious invite to visit them in England and that got our travel juices going.  We've been to England twice but it has been many, many years since our last foray there.  It just might be an opportune time to re-think some European travel.  We would especially love to motorcycle through western Europe.  Something to think about!
Hastings, England
Hastings Pier
Safe travels you two.  We look forward to our next visit - whenever and wherever that may be!

To our blogging friends, thanks for dropping by.