Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Comes to a Close....

I have not had a lot of fodder to include in a blog, these past few days, mainly due to inactivity and the endless flu symptoms I have been plagued with.

So, I open the front door to our home, this early morning, to retrieve our home delivered copy of the Vancouver Sun newspaper and the first headline I see is, 'Man Flu':  The Truth That Women Don't Want To Hear.  Now that got my learning juices going, even before I had ingested my first cup of java.

‘Man flu’: The truth that women don’t want to hear  
(click on the link to read the article)
The article states that, "a new study suggests men may actually suffer more when they are struck down with flu - because high levels of testosterone can weaken their immune response."   This study, by the way, was conducted by the Stanford University School of Medicine. The article goes on to state that, "It has long been suggested that  men might be more susceptible to bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic infection than women."

I now understand (or believe to understand) why this darned flu bug I caught is taking its sweet time to exit my body.  Yes....I still have lingering effects from the H1N1 virus.  I hate that darned bug.  Go away!

Our little man has taken advantage to visit as often as possible.  We thoroughly enjoy those visits.
Easton sure loves to get outdoors....and he often asks to go out!
Due to the latent effects from this awful flu bug, we've stayed close to home and enjoyed many visits from our favourite little man, Easton.  We even had him for a sleep over, a few days back, and that too was a treat. 

Knowing full well that there is a lovely park, with wonderful kid type play stuff near our home, Easton looks forward to donning his boots, winter clothes and heading off to the park.  Jeanette took him there a few times. 
What is not to like when watching a young little fella thoroughly enjoying himself on this play centre.  He is all smiles.
This is a huge park and the other activity Easton enjoys is to run as far away from us as possible.....teasing us to chase him.
Not having participated in the Christmas morning gift exchange at Ginette and Trevor's home, when they came by for a visit - and to drop Easton off with us - we exchanged a few small gifts.  I was most excited to have Easton open his special little toy gift from his Grand Papa. 

It is a little Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Easton was so thrilled by the motorcycle toy!  He treats it with kit gloves.....and emulates the engine sounds.  I think I was almost more thrilled than he.....but the little toy did excite him.

The night he stayed over with us, we took him out to stroll the neighbourhood after dinner and before his bed time.  Our area has the Christmas spirit; as witnessed by so many homes that have been lit up. It was a nice evening to check it all out.  

I keep checking in on the temperatures down south and although our weather here on the Pacific Northwest coast has been exceptionally nice, I still long for the sunnier and hotter climes we are missing in southern California and Arizona.  We look forward to our return there on the 19th of January.
Deni and Courtney........new parents to be.....very soon!

Up in Edmonton, Alberta, Deni and Courtney have not yet called with news of their new baby....so we wait for that news before heading up there for a visit.

So....not a lot more news to report from here for now.....so, Jeanette and I  sign off with a BIG WISH for a healthy, happy, successful and prosperous 2014 to all of our family, friends and blog readers. 

Thanks for dropping by.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Post Christmas....

Although I didn't have the energy to participate in the Christmas day gift opening at Ginette, Trevor and Easton's home, I did garner enough energy to join them at our good friends home for dinner.
Jeanette drove out to Easton's home for the Christmas morning gift opening.  He was in a festive mood; as were his parents.
Once our family gift opening was over with, Jeanette returned home while Trevor and Ginette prepared their home to receive Trevor's siblings and parents to celebrate the festive day.
Easton is 'Face Timing' with his aunt Courtney and Uncle Deni who called from Edmonton.
Easton is more accustomed to 'Face Time' now and responds quite well when he sees a familiar face on an iPad or iPhone.
This wonderful wooden rail set seems to have hit a strong note for Easton.  He absolutely loves this toy set.
Trevor's mom and her husband bought this car and slide set for Easton.
So Easton, Ginette and Trevor enjoyed a nice Christmas at home. 

Earlier that Christmas morning, Deni and Courtney 'Face Timed' us at home.  They were enjoying a quiet day in their home and anticipating joining some friends for dinner later in the afternoon.  They are also anticipating the birth of their first child any day now.  All is well with them.

It is now clear that the flu virus I attracted is the H1N1 strain.  All symptoms described by the virus were those I suffered with.  It packs a powerful punch - something I have never experienced before (nor wish to ever experience again). I am far from over this condition but life has greatly improved.  I am sleeping well, again, and other than some latent body pains and congestion, I am on the mend.  I need to work on gaining increased energy though.  That will come. 
Sure do not wish this on anyone......!
Christmas dinner with Lorne, Mariette and their son, Justin, was very nice.  Although I had not eaten much, the previous three days (other than soups and dry toast) I managed OK.  It was an awesome meal.
Mariette (L) welcomes Easton, Ginette and Jeanette.
With such a great festive meal, it was clear that a good part of their day was spent in the kitchen.
L-R  Mariette, Easton, Ginette and Lorne.
It has been our custom, for many years, that we alternate hosting Christmas day dinners.  Mariette and Lorne wished to host this year.  

They also have a son, daughter in law and a granddaughter who live in Edmonton, Alberta. Their younger son, Justin, lives in Vancouver and he was there to celebrate dinner with us too.
Easton was so surprised to see me when he arrived at Lorne and Mariette's home.  Not having seen me in a few days, he was somewhat startled by my presence.  It was sure nice to see the little fella on Christmas day. 
There was a little gift exchange......
......while Justin kept the home fires burning....
.....and before long, we settled into a five star Christmas dinner.
As expected, Lorne and Mariette hosted a fantastic dinner that was enjoyed by all.  It was my first real meal in several days and it was good.  I did not come with much of an appetite but I did manage to taste everything. 
Before choosing to attend Christmas dinner, I knew that I was no longer a threat to spread the virus.  By all medical accounts, the virus is usually transmitted before one gets ill.  
Ginette, Trevor and Easton left long before we did but by 10:15 pm, I was fading and looking forward to getting back home. 

We've rolled back into the post Christmas routine.  Once our newest grandchild is born, Jeanette and I will drive to Edmonton, Alberta, to welcome this new family member. We will also get to visit Jeanette's mom who lives about 90 minutes east from the city of Edmonton.  

We did get to 'Face Time' with Jeanette's mom on Christmas Day afternoon while she was enjoying dinner with Jeanette's siblings.  Mary was so surprised by the quality and ability to see and chat with us in real time.  She was quite taken by this technology.  Now that she understands it's potential, I can see us 'Face Timing' her whenever one of the daughters visits.  Great stuff!!!!

That is about it from here.  Thanks for dropping in.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

All I Want For Christmas Is A........

....return to good health.  Note to Self:  Get a flu shot next season!!!

Boy oh boy did I ever catch a horrible flu bug!  I guess that sitting in a confined aluminum tube with a hundred + other folks - on a 2 1/2 hour flight - with recirculated air - is quite likely the culprit.  Jeanette (wise as she is) always gets the flu shot and is never sick with the dreaded bug.  I, on the other hand, sort of put it off....and now I am paying the price.  Yuk!!!

Yesterday was the worse day of the past three.  Every bone in my body ached and I could not rid myself of a horrible headache; aside from all the other symptoms that occur with the flu. I wanted to blog but simply could not find the energy to even do that. 

We have a full day of activities with Christmas events but I may only attend the evening dinner at our good friends' home; Lorne and Mariette.  I just don't have the energy to subject myself to a  a full day of noise and activity with people.  A quiet dinner with friends should be fine though. I'm not sure I even have the appetite for dinner but only time will tell!
Lunch with our golf group @ Northview Golf and Country Club.
To trust a waiter to take a good photo is risky at best.  Although not a good photo, it's the only one I could use.  Sunday, 22nd of December, and the day I began to feel somewhat ill, was when our golf group got together for our annual Christmas brunch.  That was a fun event.

That evening, our SIL, Trevor's mom and her husband arrived at our home for dinner and a sleepover.  They drove in from Peachland, BC, in the Okanagan Valley.  (Sadly, no photos were taken).  We enjoyed a lovely dinner and a great visit.  They left to visit family and other friends on Monday morning and that is when I crashed on the sofa....and began the healing process.

Photo taken from our front yard on Friday, Dec, 20th......
Typically, when it snows on the west coast, few people shovel because if one waits a couple of days, the rains return and the snow dissapears.
Our front yard, Monday, Dec 23rd.  Snow is mostly gone....
While I was convalescing, Jeanette kept busy with baking, preparing Christmas foods, running errands and visiting with Easton.
Easton enjoys playing on his road track in his bedroom
His Nana also enjoys playing cars on Easton's road track
Easton and Ginette - who is expecting a little baby girl this mid-February, 2014.
We await word from Deni and Courtney, up in Edmonton, Alberta, who are soon to become new parents.  Once we hear from them, Jeanette and I will head to Edmonton for a visit and to meet our new grandchild.  We're quite excited about that.  We'll have the opportunity to visit Jeanette's mom too.  
Deni and Courtney at our home - November 10, 2013, when we celebrated Christmas in November.
And that sums up things from here.  The weather is great.  Sunny skies with mild temperatures are in the forecast.  No complaints...well....one complaint, maybe!  I want this flu to go away!!!!!.

All right!  Back to resting up before Christmas dinner out.

To all our family, friends, and all of you blogging friends, we wish you a most Merry Christmas.

Thanks for dropping in.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Mother Nature Dumped Some Work on Us....back home!

What a contrast in climate!  Leaving Las Vegas for home was eventful - with the thrill of seeing Easton and his mom greet us the Bellingham, WA, airport - and waking up the very next west coast morning to snow....and lots of it too!
Our flight from Las Vegas, NV to Bellingham, WA.
The flight back home was quite full.  Other than us, most folks were returning home following a few days of gambling in the sin city.  Two and one half hours after take off, we were on the ground, 20 minutes from our home in Langley, BC.  Ginette and Easton were at the airport to greet us.  And what a treat to see our little grandson again.  It was five full weeks back when we left home.  To see him again was a thrill. Oh....and it was equally nice to see daughter Ginette too!!!!!
Jeanette presented Easton with a Mustang Cobra metal car.  He loves cars...and this is one more for his collection.
Easton was quick to try his new Mustang out on his hot wheels garage set up at our home.  We heard a lot of 'vroom...vroom'.... !
About an hour back home and Easton and his mom left for their home.
With the water turned back on, the hot water tank set back to normal and the thermostat re-programmed for indoor living, we settled in to a quiet evening.
Awake at 5:00 am the next morning (Friday), I sensed more than the usual daylight bleeding through the curtains in our bedroom.
Watching the local news on Thursday night, we were told of a snow storm rolling into the south coast of British Columbia.  Now, where we live, it's unusual to see snow but, on the odd year, snow does come down here.  Within a few days, the rains return and the snow disappears. 
Very pretty and bright.
The Thursday night temperature dropped a few degrees below 0 Celsius (approx. 28 F).  That was enough for rain to turn to snow.
It was fun to watch it too....from our front window.
By-mid morning Friday, Easton dropped by to have some fun in the snow and here (below) he is learning to throw snowballs (I taught him to throw) at his Nana.  Good fun.  It was not cold and the snow was just moist enough to easily make snowballs.
Easton is helping his Grand Papa shovel snow.
We all played outside in the snow - fully realizing that it would disappear within a couple of days.  Today (Saturday) it has sufficiently warmed up and the snow is quickly melting.  There is no more snow in the forecast and temperatures are set to rise to about 7 degrees Celsius (44-46 F) in the days ahead.

A much needed snack following a fun time outdoors - check out the rosy cheeks.
I also installed the Christmas lights on our home.  We had to get with the program, considering that most of our neighbours had their homes brightly lit.
Ginette and Trevor had planned their Saturday to paint the bedroom for their new baby girl to arrive in mid-February.  We offered to take Easton for the day.  Why not!  And fun we've had!  

I am able to write this blog while Easton has a nice afternoon nap and Jeanette is out on a grocery run. I guess we wore him out with indoor and outdoor activities.  Heck, I could use a nap too....but, I am not a natural napper and never have been.  So....why not blog???
Two kids enjoying playing cars on a hot wheel mat.
And that about covers our activities here since our return home - about 40 hours, or so, ago.  It has been a very busy time but we've enjoyed every minute of it.  With Christmas only a few days away, we have a busy agenda ahead.  We look forward to all of the activities.
That's it from here for now.  Thanks for dropping in.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Soon To Leave Sin City

Yesterday, we cleaned, packed, sanitized, drove, stored, drove some more, stored again and spent a nice evening in Las Vegas. Today, we are hanging out here, before our early afternoon flight back home.
Leaving Lake Havasu City, AZ, and heading north on I-95.
Jeanette was busier than I yesterday (Wednesday) morning.  She had to contend with cleaning out the two fridges and disposing of food stuffs that would spoil.  Now....not a lot of stuff needed to be thrown out.  The careful shopper that she is, only a very few items needed to be trashed.  Cleaning and defrosting both refrigerators was needed and while she was busy with that - and other indoor stuff- I was busy outdoors, stowing, sanitizing and winterizing.
By 10:00 am, we were rolling north; heading to San Bernardino County, California, where our fiver is now stored.
Only 45 minutes north from Lake Havasu had us arrive at our chosen RV storage facility, near Needles, CA.  We booked our spot over seven weeks back.  There is security, the facility is fully fenced (with barbed wire too), is well lit at night, and one requires a key card to access the large entry and exit gates.
Backed in to our storage site.
Once we were backed in and had our jacks down, I remembered to drain the hot water tank and drain the on board washer lines too.  With the hot water tank emptying, the washer lines gushed water out quickly.
I chose to install the locking front pin stabilizer jack too.
10 gallons of water had to be drained from the hot water tank.
The very last activity required, before we drove out of the locked compound, was to cover the motorcycle.  That done, we did a final check - inside and out - locked up and drove off towards I-40.
That cover will keep the sun off the bike.
A view from outside the secure gate and fenced storage facility.
We took our small travel bags before driving out of the facility for our 100 minute drive west and north to Las Vegas. 
Traffic was light on I-95 north.
It was a fairly easy drive to the city of sin.....and we arrived very early in the afternoon. We drove to our overnight accommodations - a Best Western Hotel - located near the Las Vegas Strip. We got a really good deal here, having booked it online about five/six days back.  We qualified for a manager's discount.  Cheap...cheap!  It is a very nice facility.

Once registered at the hotel, we drove the short distance to this stunning five start RV facility, on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip.
Although this Las Vegas RV resort could not store our 5th wheel, it could store our truck for a most reasonable price.  That suited us fine.  Our truck is securely stored in a locked compound, that is part of the RV resort.  And what a resort!  Nice facility!!!!
The RV sites here are quite nice. 
The RV resort facilities are stunningly beautiful.
The resort called us a cab and we rode the short trip to our drop off on Las Vegas Boulevard at Mandaly Bay. From there, we walked the strip.

We discussed taking in a show but neither one of us felt the urge to do that.  We just enjoyed browsing in several resort hotels and searching for a possible dinner spot.

Although we have walked into and through so many Las Vegas Resort Hotels, over the years, we had never been in the Tropicana.  Nice!  I particularly like the brightness inside this facility.
We found a nice Italian restaurant in the Tropicana but it was too early for dinner.  We walked more of the strip and found a nice 2 for 1 beer spot.  I was looking forward to a beer and Jeanette, who seldom drinks beer, was keen to enjoy one too.  All that walking made us thirsty!  We opted for two Coronas.
More walking about burned some energy and, by dusk, we were hungry. 
Walking back toward the Tropicana, and to the Italian restaurant we had spotted much earlier in the afternoon, Jeanette spotted an Italian restaurant name we cavorted and so enjoyed during our recent stay in Gold Canyon, AZ.  Our Montreal friends, Gerry and Pauline, had invited us to dinner at the Mesa, AZ, Buca de Beppo.  Having spotted the restaurant at the Excalibur Resort Hotel, across the street from the Tropicana, we headed there.  We were not disappointed.  
We had great service here....and the food was even better.
We both enjoyed our dinner choice.  Great place!!! Leaving the Excalibur, we chose to walk the 30 minutes to our overnight accommodations.  Although a shuttle service was available from the Tropicana, our decision to walk was a good one.  

We will hang around the hotel till about 11:00 am then take their shuttle service to the airport.

We are looking forward to seeing Easton and his mom at the Bellingham, WA,  airport when we land there this mid to late afternoon.
Face Time
We 'Face Timed' Ginette and Trevor last evening.  Easton was already sleeping.  We had clear and bright Face Timing reception.  Once we signed off with them, I chose to 'Face Time' my brother and sister in law in Yuma.  We clicked on and had a good chat with them too.  They are quickly adapting to their new iPad with the Millenicom hot spot option.  Nice.

That's it from Sin City, NV.

Thanks for dropping by.