Friday, September 26, 2014

"Good Times"

.....and I refer to the great title song co-written and performed by none other than Alan Jackson, the great bluegrass performing artist.  He was in concert in Abbotsford, this past Tuesday evening, and Jeanette and I took in the show. We really like this performer's music. 
Alan Jackson :: About :: About Alan Jackson - Biography, Chronology and Awards

Click on the line above to access the WEB site
It was a rainy night and the traffic was heavy trying to get to the Abbotsford Entertainment and Even Centre.  Poor traffic control created some chaos but once inside the facility, we were treated to a near full house of Alan Jackson fans who were looking forward to the gentle Nashville based performer.  He is not an energizer bunny type performer.  This country gentleman simply warms the crowd with his mild demeaner and genuine like for his gift of writing and performing.  His band was top class.

The downer?  Alan only performed for 90 minutes before calling it a night. The crowd was pleased, however.

Prior to his appearance, the opening act was none other than a popular local duo.  'One More Girl' kicked it up for a solid 30 minutes before giving the stage over to Jackson.  These two sisters are making their mark in the country music world.
One More Girl 

Click on the line above to access the WEB site
Booze fueled  fans were a sight to witness in the severe downpour that followed the concert.   Trying to drive away from the facility was a test in patience! 

On the home front, we took Brie and Easton in for two days (one overnight) when their mom, Ginette headed back for Edmonton this past Sunday.  She was there to present more seminars.  Her business is sure growing.  Trevor's mom took over the sitting duties for two days too before Trevor took both kids on the flight to Edmonton this past Thursday.  The entire family will return on Sunday.
Easton is hunting for strawberries in our back yard.
Brie is crawling now....and she sure shows a will to want to walk. 
Jeanette and I had a good time with the two grand kids.  And we kept them busy too!
Fun in the woods.....
Easton enjoyed riding over the early fall leaves.  The crunching sound is what attracted him to roll over these leaves.
Golf was rained out this week (Wednesday) so the Tee time was moved over to this coming Wednesday at a course we've played before. Avalon Golf Course (27 holes of golf) is located just south of Bellingham and north from Burlington, WA.
Easton donning his Nana's motorcycle helmet......!  Why?
Because I was taking him on his first motorcycle ride with me at the helm.
With his very first motorcycle ride under his belt while cruising with his dad, I now feel OK to take the little man with me on rides.  I insisted that his father give him his very first Harley ride.  Easton and I took off and rode the quiet countryside roads for several kilometres.  Back home, he asked to go on another ride.  We did just that!
Harvest in central Alberta
Jeanette's sister, Darlene is at the controls in the combine (photo above).  The fall harvest is well underway in Alberta.  Tom and Darlene work two or three combines at a time to harvest their numerous crops.  With the peas harvested, they are working the wheat fields now.
Rain was threatening but Darlene and Tom managed to complete combining this field before the wet stuff halted production.
Owen is one happy little fella.....and how could he not be?????
Deni texted this photo of Owen enjoying his brand new riding car.  The look on his face is a clear testament to the joy of ownership.  We can't wait to see this little fella cruse this neat car when we are back in Edmonton.

I am sure that Easton is quite taken with Owen's new wheels!  He, his sister and their parents are spending the weekend with Deni, Courtney and Owen before returning home to the west coast this Sunday.  I am sure they are all having a fun time.

So....the 'good times' continue.

That said, it's time for me to get rolling on another little project I've undertaken.....!

More on that later.

Thanks for dropping by.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

So Many Happenings.....

It is quite unbelievable to us just how quickly time has been flying by.  It has been spotty to keep up with regular blog reading; let alone trying to write a blog.  It is a good busy however. complaints on this front.  
Brie out for a walk with her Nana
Ginette flew off to Edmonton, last Thursday, to conduct a series of seminars.  She would be away for several days.  For two of those days, Jeanette and I had Easton and Brie at our home.  They overnighted with us. Following dinner with us on Friday evening, Trevor took the two grand kids back home.  With a 2+ year old and a 6 month old, Jeanette and I were kept busier than a one armed paper hanger.  It reminded us of the time our own two kids were small.  It was fun too.
At the local bicycle endurance track with Easton
Keeping the two grand kids busy meant keeping our own schedule busy.  While I kept Easton going with activities he enjoys, Jeanette kept Brie busy with the kind of play she enjoys.
Taking on an obstacle course
The kids do not have any issues staying over at our home.  We 'face timed' with their mom - from Edmonton - and their dad too once he was home from work.
A bit of playtime before bedtime
Brie still wakes up a couple of times during the night but Easton sleeps right through.  Keeping the two kids overnight made it easier for Trevor to get a solid sleep and avoid having to drive the kids back to our home on the Friday morning.
A walk in the park
Saturday was reserved to attend my cousin's daughter's wedding.  It was a first class event.  The bride and groom were full of fun.  The meal was one of the best we have experienced these past couple of years.  Congratulations to the the newlyweds.
The groom in the red shirt (white tie) and the bride along with one of her best friends.
Sunday morning had us up early, packed and ready to motorcycle out for a planned three day ride into Washington State.  More specifically, our ride took us to Sedro Wooley before heading east on Highway 20 and over the North Cascade Mountains.
Highway 9 - south towards Sedro Wooley, WA.
The border was seamless and we were over the 49th parallel within minutes. 
A great little coffee spot along Highway 20
We enjoyed a coffee at the Cascadian Farm on Highway 20 before continuing up and over the high mountain country. This roadside organic farm is a popular stop for coffee and ice cream lovers.  We are never disappointed.
This mountain highway remains closed during the winter months.  The roads are never plowed.  As a result, the highway remains undamaged and is in pristine condition when it is open for travelers. This is a motorcycle ride we plan for at least once every summer.  It is simply majestic!
Unbelievable mountain scenery.
Once over the North Cascade mountains, we arrived in the western town of Winthrop.
We always enjoy stopping in Winthrop and although we often overnight here, we only planned for lunch before continuing on our route past Winthrop and Twisp and heading south to Lake Chelan, WA.
A rustic yet most interesting western town.
Blackened hillsides that were ravaged by mid-summer fires.
Riding south from Twisp - towards Lake Chelan - revealed the vast devastation created from the raging forest fires that hit the area with catastrophic winds.  The fires destroyed so much land and several homes.  Some areas looked like a moonscape. The rebuilding effort is evident.
Arriving at the 'T' in the road, we headed south on Highway 97 to Lake Chelan, WA.
The gorgeous summer weather afforded us a most pleasant and scenic country ride through some of the nicest back roads in this north-west and north-central Washington area. Traffic was negligible. 

One of the lake-shore resorts on Lake Chelan, WA.
We had motorcycled through here before but had never made it an overnight destination.  Choosing to arrive on a sunny Sunday evening afforded us a wide choice in overnight accommodations.  We chose a nice place in town.  We could then walk everywhere we wished to visit.
And walk we did.  The town has a paved walkway that surrounds the extreme southern end.
With the summer tourist crowd long gone, we felt as though the place belonged to us.   What a treat to visit and escape the crushing summer crowds that take over resort areas like this. Early off season travel is something we cherish and take advantage of.
Beautiful Lake Chelan.
Following a mid-morning Monday breakfast in Lake Chelan, we loaded the motorcycle before heading north on Highway 97 and back into Canada.
Riding along Highway 97 north in the Okanogan countryside of Washington State.
This is wine and fruit country.  The area harvest of grapes was beginning and the fruit harvest was in action.  Every variety of apple is grown here.
Approaching the Osoyoos Border entry into British Columbia's Okanagan Valley
By early afternoon, we had arrived at the border to Canada.  It was not a long wait but when we did approach the border station, the Canadian border guard must have been having a bad day.  He was a miserable sod.  When he asked whom I worked for and I answered that I did not work, he showed his disdain. When he asked what I had done for work and I replied that I had been Executive Producer of a TV newsroom, he quickly sent us on our merry way.  Miserable man he was!  Mentioning that I had been involved in TV news made him nervous, so it seems.  He quite likely felt somewhat stupid about his attitude.  I hope he changed his attitude for the better after dealing with us. 

For your information, I did manage a TV newsroom for CBC-TV (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation).  
That was several years before I created and Executive Produced my own network television series 
and before I managed two TV stations; eventually leaving the CBC to open and operate
 my multimedia production company.
The port of entry at Osoyoos, BC, Canada
Enjoying a large apple at a BC Okanagan fruit stand in Oliver.
Jeanette and I chose to overnight in the small Okanagan city of Penticton.  True to form, the summer tourist season had waned and we had a vast array of choice for overnight accommodations. We chose a lovely place on the northern downtown waterfront.  We settled in and, once changed into summer clothing, we headed out for a very long walk around the Okanagan lake waterfront, the downtown and a couple of the local parks that dot the waterfront.  This is a great city to walk around.
One of the many spots to enjoy Lake Okanagan.
While walking on the extreme west side of the waterfront, we found what we believed would be a truly good restaurant for dinner. When we walked back there later, we were not disappointed with the menu and the meal.

Beautiful gardens along our walk in downtown Penticton, BC
The very last paddle wheeler to shuttle people and goods between Penticton (in south Okanagan Lake) to Vernon (at the very northern end of Lake Okanagan.
Tuesday morning saw Jeanette and I back in walking shorts and revisiting many of the same places we had walked the day before.  With a late breakfast completed, we loaded up and motorcycled further north.  Our destination?  Peachland.
Heading north along Highway 97 on the western edge of Lake Okanagan
Our principal focus in traveling back into the BC Okanagan was to spend a few priceless hours visiting our long time friends who live in Peachland.  Garry and Aline retired to their beautiful home after leaving White Rock, BC, several years back.  Their kids and ours grew up together.  We enjoyed many dinners and activities together.

Garry is living with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease).  Any opportunity to drop in for a visit is important to us.  He tires very quickly.  We had a good three hour visit before leaving Peachland by 4:00 pm. We headed for home, taking the Okanagan Connector Highway to Merritt, BC, then south along the Coquihalla Highway.  Our return ride had us back in our driveway within 3.25 hours.
A view along the Okanagan Connector Highway - heading west towards Merritt, BC
Back home by 7:15 pm, Jeanette and I unpacked before settling in for a bit of catching up on the news.  It was early to bed because I was leaving very early the next morning to join my foursome buddies for another round of golf.  Jeanette had previously agreed to drop in to Ginette and Trevor's home to look after Brie and Easton for a couple of hours while Ginette met with a client. 

Heading for another golf course.  Denis (left) and Fred (right)
We recently purchased a US Pacific Northwest Golf card that lets us play five good golf courses within 90 minutes from the border.  Last Wednesday we visited the Whidbey Island Golf course.  Established in 1961, this course proved to be a fun round for us.

I'll write a bit more about the Pacific Northwest USA golf card in a future blog.  The card offers some incredibly inexpensive golf rounds on some pretty amazingly lovely and challenging golf courses.

That covers things from here for now.  Our routine has returned to a more even balance.  We should be able to keep up with our favourite blogs and possibly contribute a few more regular blogs, from time to time.  We'll see!

Thanks for dropping by.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Mainly Detailing....

Although it has been several days since our last post, other than reporting on routine stuff, we don't have much to bring to the blog table.  We did get around and about and, with the few cloudy/rain days that were offered up, we got some things accomplished.
Needing an oil change
While Jeanette was busy with indoor domestic stuff, I put a few hours aside to change the three (3) oils on the Electra Glide.  It was due.  Harley owners know that the HD motor has three primary oil reservoirs; the engine, the primary and the transmission.  Metric (Japanese) motorcycles only have one oil reservoir that bathes the engine and transmission.
Engine oil draining
I opt to do my own service work on both motorcycles.  Not only do I enjoy doing this work, it gives me the opportunity to check everything out; nuts, bolts, tire pressures, brake linings and more.
Primary is also drained.
Once all oils were drained and the filter removed, I began the process of filling each reservoir with motorcycle approved synthetic oil.  I also replaced each 'O' ring on each plug.  They were showing some wear.  

Once the oil service was completed, the motorcycle was started and once heated up a bit, the engine was turned off and the hot oil levels were checked to ensure the fluid levels were correct.
The Fraser Valley farmers were busy...
With fresh oil and all checks completed, the sun broke nicely in the early afternoon and that got Jeanette believing that a nice ride out to Cultus Lake, in the eastern Fraser Valley, would be a nice activity.  And it was!

Another hay crop was being bailed and blueberry farmers were harvesting the last of their crop.  Farm fields were busy with human activity and vegetable farmers were also reaping the fruits of their work.
Meandering through many paved back roads in the area led us to Cultus Lake.  Always a treat to take a break at, Jeanette and I enjoyed watching the young families taking advantage of the waning days of summer.  Many frolicked in the water while other were warming under the afternoon sun.

We hung out at the lake for about 90 minutes before heading on towards Chilliwack.  Crossing the bridge over the Chilliwack River (photo below) revealed much slower and lower waters below.

It will not be long before fly fishermen ply these waters for the spawning salmon.

We always look forward to having Brie and Easton drop by.  Ginette often drops by our place during the week and we get to have some fun times with the grand kids.  
Brie is beginning to crawl.  It will not be long before she finds her legs and starts walking.
Jeanette and friend, Mariette, picked more wild blackberries and the result was an entire day of juicing the fruit to eventually make several jars of blackberry jelly.  Yum!  With blackberry, blue berry and yellow plums converted to jams and jellies, we're set for the winter months.

We did get out for our regular golf outing and this past Friday saw us return to Harrison Mills and the famed Sandpiper Golf Course at Rowena's Inn on the Harrison River.  What a treat.  What a day!

Putting in the labour on Labour Day Monday
I chose Labour Day Monday to detail the HD Electra Glide Ultra Classic.  Using the motorcycle lift, the bike off the ground made for easy work on detailed cleaning and polishing.  The process took a couple of hours. A pleasant activity, I might add!  Some nice music playing in the background added to the pleasure of working out in the garage. 
Even got the thin white wall tires to look fresh again.
All put back together.  With the cleaned hard saddle bags detailed and locked into place, the job is done. 
And that, along with the usual other activities we involve ourselves in, colours the last few days of August and into very early September. We have started to think about our winter RV plans and the dialogue is leading to firming up some dates and destinations soon.   

Thanks for dropping in.