Friday, November 30, 2012

Voyageurs Are Back Home....

Jeanette, Ginette and Easton returned to the land of green after a week in snowy Alberta.  To say they were happy to get back to the coast is an understatement.
At Deni and Courtney's home in Edmonton, Alberta.
Their first stop away was an overnight visit with our son, Deni, and his wife, Courtney, who live in Edmonton.  A nice visit was enjoyed!
Brother and sister catch up while Easton quenches his thirst.
The next day had Jeanette, Ginette and Easton drive 160 km east from Edmonton to visit Jeanette's mom who resides in a long term care facility.
Baba Mary, Jeanette, Ginette and Easton
That's four generations!  To have the time to visit with her mom is quite special for Jeanette.  They had a lot of laughs. Jeanette brought this special present along.  It is a photo blanket she had ordered for Baba's bed.  What a great idea!
Beautiful photo blanket.
To spend time with Easton means so much to Baba Mary.  She does receive a lot of photos but nothing can replace the special one on one time with him.  She bought Easton that nice little reindeer seen in the photo below.  It's cheeks glow red when the right button is pushed.
'....hanging out with my great Baba'
Jeanette and sister Darlene got into the Christmas spirit and, along with their mom, chose to decorate her room.  Nice work of that.  The room has a definitive Christmas feel to it now!
Busy decorating.
Sister Darlene (right) joined in for this photo
It's always a treat to take Jeanette's mom out to the family farm for a visit.  Every visit recalls past memories for Mary.  It's always touching for her to see the place they worked, built and raised their family.
Dressed in true Christmas colours, don't you think?
Winter photos are lovely to look at.  However, we don't miss not living there.  Having moved to the Vancouver, British Columbia area, well over 30 years ago, Jeanette and I are true  west coasters.  As nice as it is to spend time visiting in these wintery conditions, it's always nice to return to the green west coast.  We'll take rain over snow any time!!!
Looking south from the entrance to the farm yard.
A few days later, the travelers drove the 4.5 hours south to the southern Alberta city of Calgary.  They spent the balance of their visit with Jeanette's sister, Deb, and husband, Bob. 
Deb is ready to take Easton our for a stroll in the snow.
They took advantage to surprise Jeanette with a 60th birthday of many she has had this past month.
Easton is always interested in seeing candles lit up.
The travelers spent some time contributing to the Calgary economy.  They went shopping and, from the weight of their travel bags upon return to the coast, they did make several purchases.
Shopping in a Christmas store.
Bob is either telling Easton something or Easton is trying to communicate something.  They seem to be enjoying their time together though!

One last photo before the travelers depart Calgary for the flight back to the west coast.
Not long after Jeanette was back home from the airport, a knock on the door revealed a courier with a large poinsettia plant.  It was a birthday gift from Jeanette's mom and sister Darlene, from Alberta.  Good timing!!!

A few minutes later, the telephone rang and our long time former neighbours (Al and Joan) called to ask if we had seen a little surprise package near our front entrance. Because we always enter the house from the garage, we had not checked the front entrance.  Well....there - in a lovely cloth cover - sat a very nice bottle of Pinot Grigio (Jeanette's favourite white wine).  They had dropped by our home earlier - while I was waiting at the airport - to deliver the present.  Good thing they called to tell us about the wine because we would not have discovered it till the next morning when I open the front door to collect my Vancouver Sun newspaper. 
A photo was taken with the poinsettia and the bottle of wine, for posterity.
When the travelers exited their flight, I asked how Easton fared on the plane.  Well, as it turns out, he entertained the passengers with his customary smile and he relished the attention in return.  Although only seven months old, this little fella has now flown three times.  He never squawks or complains.  That's a gift for any traveling mother.

Happy go lucky little fella!
Jeanette stated that most passengers around them were business people.  They thrilled in getting smiles from Easton and were quick to return smiles right back at him.  Several commented about how nice it was to share the flight with the little fella.  One father to be spoke of his hope for an easy flyer with their new baby.

With the travelers back home, it's back to the routine of life for everyone, for the time being.

Easton - along with his mom and dad - are booked to fly to Phoenix, AZ, to spend a week with us in the Gold Canyon area, this coming February.  We already look forward to that.  We're sure they are looking forward to that holiday too!

Deni and Courtney have plans to fly to the Palm Springs area this mid-March, 2013, where we will be and where Courtney's mom, Barb, and her friend, Doug, will be too.  We look forward to that visit.

Before that trip though, the recently wed couple (this past September, 2012) will be enjoying their official honeymoon on one of the Hawaiian Islands, beginning this December 30th.  Following a quick Christmas visit here with us, Barb and Doug, they'll be jetting off for some R&R in surf, sand and sun!
Looking forward to having the big wheels rolling south!
Only one month to go before the RV Voyageurs fly the west coast coop for the sunnier climes of southern California and Arizona.  In anticipation of that, I fired up our RV generator yesterday and exercised it before changing out the oil.  Tire pressure checks and other last minute checks will wait till we are packed and ready to roll out.

Thanks for dropping by.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Keeping busy...

Result of a deer encounter with the truck fender
Our F-350 dually is back from the body shop with a new passenger side rear fender.  Hard to imagine that a deer - taking a leap from a roadside ditch - could cause $2,800 in damages.  That was the final bill.  Thankfully - other than our deducible - the insurance company took care of the repairs.  The insurance company declared the accident to be a 'hit and run'.  Go figure!!!!
All new again!
With Jeanette, Ginette and Easton away in Alberta, I did manage to complete a few home improvement projects.   The master bathroom is now renewed with a fresh coat of paint to match the feature wall in the bedroom.  It looks nice.  All the fixtures and accessories have been re-mounted.  It's good to go.

Easton waiting to board his flight to Edmonton last week.
I received this photo  - taken with Jeanette's smart phone - while the travelers were waiting for the call to board the WestJet aircraft. They were off to visit our son and daughter in law in Edmonton and also to visit Jeanette's mom in the long term care facility she now resides in, a 90 minute drive east from Edmonton.
Another photo - sent via smart phone - with Easton and his mom shopping while in Edmonton.
Jeanette with her mom in front of the old homestead home on the farm.
Jeanette took her mom out to the family farm for an afternoon visit last week.  The original log home in the background (long now serving as a storage place) is where Jeanette was born during a snow storm 60 years ago this month.  The blizzard conditions prevented them from getting to the local hospital for the delivery.  She wanted this photo to remember that it was her dad (Dr. John, as she refers to him) who delivered her in that very log house. She was then taken to visit the doctor once the storm had passed and the roads were passable.
An early Christmas present.
Jeanette came up with the idea of getting a photo blanket made for her mom.  The photos are a compilation of events, activities and people who mean a lot to her mom.  What a neat idea this is.  Now Mary can have it on her bed.  She loved it!
With weather this nice, I made good on getting some outdoor chores completed. (Archival photo)
I managed to complete my Christmas shopping.  Yes, I no longer need to run around looking for Christmas presents.  What a relief that is for me!  I really do not enjoy shopping....but I am glad I got it done.

When back home, early afternoon yesterday, the sun was shinning as bright as the photo above and I thought it best to get the ladder out and install the Christmas lights on the house.  A couple of hours later and that too was finished. One more task that will not have to be done in the rain.
I even managed to wash our black truck and our daughter's car that is sitting in our driveway while she is visiting in Edmonton and Calgary.
Jeanette, Ginette and Easton have been in Calgary, Alberta, since last Sunday.  They drove down after visiting Edmonton and area for several days.  They are visiting Jeanette's sister and husband, Deb and Bob, and doing some running around the stores with the intent to boost the local economy.  Yes, they have been shopping!
Auntie Deb keeps Easton busy with play stuff!
Daughter Ginette sent this photo - on her smart phone - as they celebrated another birthday cake (while in Calgary) to recognize Jeanette's birthday tomorrow.
Speaking of tomorrow, the Alberta visitors return home on an early morning WestJet flight back from Calgary.  I'll be at the Abbotsford Airport to meet then and welcome them back to the land of green.  After a week of traipsing around the white stuff (snow) in Alberta, they will appreciate the weather back here on the west coast.

If not for smart phones, I would not have these photos to post.  I love the possibilities that modern technology offers us today.

That's it for now.  Thanks for dropping by.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

And The Beat Goes On....

With a sunny break in the weather, a few days back, I managed to get outdoors to complete the annual 'pick up leaves' task.  We purchased a Toro leaf vac last year and this was my first opportunity to try it out.
Rain, rain, go away....
The day after an incredible downpour, the skies opened up, the sun came out in force and that signaled my cue to get out and finally gather up the leaves in our yard.
Vacuum system works great.
Our previous home had a good sized - heavily treed - yard.  I could collect the leaves with my Honda mulching mower.  This new home, with a no lawn, called for a different strategy to gather leaves.
Mulching leaf vac.
This was my first attempt with the leaf vac and I was quickly sold on its merits.  The task of walking around the yard and gathering leaves was really easy. It's a great tool!

Within three hours, I had picked up all leaves in the back and front yard.  The bag collection system works great.  Alright!....another job done.
...and the beat does go on....
With the rain back in full force, I moved indoors to continue working on a project I have busied myself with these past few winters, before we head south.

We have a rather large collection of LP's.  These records contain a large selection of music tracks we quite like.
USB Turntable connected to our desktop computer allows us to create MP3 music files.
I'm quite enjoy converting the preferred music tracks to MP3 files.  About one year ago, I managed to transfer one large box of LP's over to iTunes.  Now, I'm focused on another box.

It is as simple as plugging the USB connection from the turntable to the computer.
My goal is to transfer the music of choice from this box to iTunes by mid-December.
I save projects such as these for rainy days when getting outdoors is less appealing.
I was surprised by the number of jazz records in our collection.  These LP's have been stored in boxes, in our basement for many years.
Let the music play....
The upside (or downside for some) is that the tracks can only be uploaded in real time.  Some could find that far too time consuming but I, on the other hand, quite enjoy listening to the entire cut while the computer does its work.

With one of our two laptop computers beginning to fade, I ordered a new Dell laptop last week.  It arrived a few days ago.  I have not had a lot of time to play with Windows 8 but I'm sure it will become old hat within a few hours of tickling the keys.
I made quick work of getting the camera out to steal this shot of Easton with his cat, Kuma.
Easton was over for a visit....and his cat came along too.  I'm baby sitting Kuma the cat while Easton, his mom and Nana Jeanette are off to Edmonton for a week of visiting family.  More on that later.

Tuesday had me visit our optometrist for my regular eye exam.  All was good on that front.  There is no need to change my prescription.  Wednesday was set aside for lunch with a couple of my golfing friends and, as soon as I complete writing this blog, I'm off to our dentist for a regular exam and cleaning.

Once back home, I have the option to either prep and paint  our master bath or continue digitizing LP tracks to MP3 files.  Hmmmmmm, what to do....what to do!

Thanks for dropping by.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Active Life - Live long!

With not a lot of exciting news happening around RV Voyageur land these days, I thought I would share the following video. The 71 year old fella, who is featured, has more energy than the EverReady Bunny!

 Video of Never Leave the Playground at

We're moving forward with home based projects.  Albeit small ones, the projects have been waiting for rainy days to get done.  Those rainy days are here in full force.  The weather prognosticators are calling for a long stretch of grey skies and rain.  Hmmm, why we are not in the sunnier southwest US climes begs reconsideration.

I will be curious to read blogger comments with respect to the video.

Wishing you a productive week.

Thanks for dropping by.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Easton Takes A Hike

You read right!  Easton took his Nana and Grand Papa for a hike recently.  While spending some time looking after him, Jeanette and I looked forward to taking him out on one of our favourite trails nearby.
Easton is hanging out with me at my computer
After some WEB/Blogging time, Easton kind of signaled that he had had enough play time on the floor behind my computer chair. It was time for some lunch before heading out on  a hike.
We loaded him up and headed for a well groomed trail nearby.
Easton's parents had brought their running and trail style stroller.  What a treat that thing is.  It's easy to push over rough ground.
"Come on you two.....let's get rolling!  There are things to see.....and time is a wasting!"
Easton was anxious to get going.  The weather was great.  That basically means there was no rain in the forecast.
His Nana had to teach him a few things about fall time and leaves.
Easton was quite taken by his natural surroundings and did not lack for new things to see, touch and smell.

Other than three other couples, we had the trail almost entirely to ourselves.  What a treat that was! 
"Come on Nana....push hard.....!  I want to see what's on the other side of the hill!"
Jeanette took the lead with pushing the stroller on the first part of our hike.  The park attendants had obviously been ahead of us to blow the leaves from the pathways.
Taking a little break.
Thinking Easton would quickly fall asleep, he proved us wrong. We were pleasantly surprised by his alertness.  He took in all the sights and sounds.  
Rounding one of the curves on the trail
When my time came to push the stroller, I too was pleasantly surprised at how easy the task was with those big 'air filled' wheels.  What a treat when compared to the small wheeled stroller we had when our kids were little. I sure remember how often we had to pick up the stroller because of soft ground, such as sand or mud.
Even plowing through this heavily leafed area, the stroller push was a breeze.
Nana is teaching Easton a thing or two about plant life and the four seasons.  He's taking it all in....but maybe that is because those leaves are so big.
He's nice and toasty in his stroller.  Life is good!
We stopped by a brook to watch the fish spawning.  Maybe it is late in the spawning season but the activity level was not what we normally expect in this stream.  There was some activity and that was fun for Easton to see.  He must have wondered what those things splashing in the water were all about.
It's fun exposing Easton to all of this newness.  Everything he saw on this hike was brand new to him.
When we put ourselves in his place, we wonder with amazement at just how much this little fella (7 months old now) has learned and will continue to learn.  It's all brand new!
"Fresh air and all of the activities just plum wore me down.....Nap time OK?"
Near the end of our two hour hike in the woods, Easton had had enough. He fell asleep as we neared the parking area.  That was a lot for him to take in on a cool and frosty day out on the trails.  
Nearing the end of our hike.
What a trooper Easton was.  He did not complain once.  Maybe the eye candy (stimulation of seeing so many new things) so captivated him and kept him engaged.  What a fun afternoon on a trail with our little grandson. 

Back at our home, Easton relaxes before dinner.
A fun day was had by all.
On the RV front......
I completed the winterizing of our 5th wheel, checked out our electrical systems and, after blowing out the water lines - including the on board washer and dryer, I emptied some RV antifreeze into the sink and shower traps, the galley sink traps, and the black and grey tanks.

We are looking forward to hitching up six weeks or so from now and heading away from this land of rain and clouds!

Thanks for dropping by.