Friday, October 31, 2014

Trick or Treat?

It is Halloween....but there are no tricks up our sleeves!  Treats?  Oh yes!  And a lot of that for those costumed goblins who grace our door this Friday evening.
Front door decor at our home.
In years past, we've noticed a decline in door knocks so we prepared ourselves for maybe a dozen or so trick and treaters.

Easton and Brie brought their pumpkins to our home and their Nana and mom got down on the floor, designed some scary (or not so scary) faces and then got to work gutting and cutting.
Two pumpkins to carve.
Hard at work
Digging deep...
All done....
Easton's favourite....

The pumpkin seeds were cultivated, placed in a roasting pan and then roasted in the oven.  Easton really enjoyed chewing on those roasted did I.

Other than pumpkin carving, I got the long step ladder out and cleaned out the eaves-troughs.  I do this task often enough so it was not a long job to complete.  The water will continue to flow well this winter.
Cleaning the eaves-troughs.
Almost done.
Fall scene in our back yard.
We have been more or less hunkered in at home with the near continuous rains, these past several days.  We do get out to walk though.  The following photos are from our meanderings in the neighborhood.
Neighbourhood street scene.
Local elementary school
Our back yard maple is starting to drop its leaves.
While waiting for our Open Mic Sunday group to congregate for our Sunday morning coffee, last Sunday, I took a few photos at White Rock Beach.
The pier at White Rock Beach.
Check out the palm tree at the tourist information booth.
A few yard tasks remain to be completed before we roll out of here for the US southwest.  Saturday, our neighbour will assist me to winterize our underground sprinkler system.  Once ours is done, we'll tackle his system.  It is not a hard task.  In fact, we'll attach the air compressor to the underground main valve then open each zone (one at a time) till we no longer see water blowing out.  That's it!

The other simple task will be to empty, clean and winterize the hot tub. The back yard pond is now turned off.   Other than using our Toro Leaf Vacuum to collect the fallen leaves, that should take care of the outdoor chores till spring time.

I am considering pulling the 5th wheel out from our side yard storage, on Monday, and starting the slow process of sorting stuff out and getting it ready to roll out in a couple of weeks.

So that covers things from from here, for now.  Thanks for dropping by.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Locking in our RV travel plans.....

We've been mostly around home but getting out and about with friends for dinner, movies at the cinema, golf and my regular Sunday morning 'Open Mic' coffee sessions. Jeanette and I also get out for walks when the rains hold off.  We have been inundated with rains these past ten days or so.

We have also been focused on our RV winter travel plans and have made several decisions.
Wet, wet, wet....
Friday's weather forecast was picture perfect, however.  That said, our golf group got together for 18 holes.  It was a great day on the links.  The golf course we chose - Pagoda Ridge Golf Course - has great drainage and not once did our golf balls gather mud or plug.  The greens were incredibly good.  Seven of eight golfers showed up for the round on Friday. 
L-R   Rick, Clark, Fred, David, Denis, Al and me....
Yesterday (Saturday), Jeanette and I had appointments to get our flu shots for this year.  Jeanette got her flu shot last year but I did not.  I paid the price!  She was fine! I ended up with an awful bout of H1N1.   

If  you have not had this dreadful flu, take it from me, you do not want to experience it.  I have never, ever been so sick.  And it spoiled my Christmas, last year. So, a bit of ammunition to ward off the flu this year was in my planning book.
Some might argue that the flu shot does little to ward off the flu but those years I did take the flu shot, I did not get sick.  The one year I took a break - no flu shot -  I was hit with a whammy! I am 99% certain that the H1N1 flu I caught last late December was while on board the Allegiant Air flight from Las Vegas back to our home for Christmas. Within a day or two after getting home, my head could not lift off the pillow.

Back from a walk between rains...
Our Langley grand kids and their mom dropped by our home a couple of times last week.  On one of those occasions, Jeanette had Easton give her a hand to place fallen leaves between the gourds and pumpkins near our front entrance.  With Halloween around the corner, the little display looks quite nice.

Easton was interested in showing Brie the nice Halloween display....but she seemed more interested in playing with the large maple leaf.
We 'Face Timed' Deni, Courtney and Owen in Edmonton, Alberta.  All is well with them and it was fun to watch Owen try to grab the iPad during our conversation.  He crawls around quickly now and it should be only a matter of weeks before he discovers his feet and legs and starts running around the house.
Owen with his cool car.
Last week also had us lock in our flights home for Christmas.  We will fly from Las Vegas, on the 18th of December, and return on the 5th of January 2015.  We also reserved secure storage for our 5th wheel and our truck while away from the US southwest.
Soon to hitch up...
Our current plan is to pull the big wheels out of the driveway on or about the 16th of November.  Our first day will take us through Washington State and into Salem, Oregon.  From there, we'll continue south on I-5 and into northern California.  

Should the weather - and road conditions - prove safe to cross over the Sierra Nevada Mountains, we'll head east from Red Bluff, CA for northern Nevada.  Otherwise, we'll continue on I-5 south towards the San Diego countryside (Plan 'B').
Last November in Pahrump, Nevada - Death Valley   Pahrump, Nevada - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Should the Sierra Nevada Mountains prove clear to travel into Nevada, we will head back to Death Valley (Plan 'A').  We were rained out while there last November and we did not get the pleasure of motorcycling and touring the area.  With a Plan 'A' and a Plan 'B', we have two good options.    Images for death valley national park

The leaves have changed colour but still remain on our trees
That sums things up from here for now.   Thanks for dropping in.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Few More Tasks Completed....

Jeanette returned from Edmonton, Alberta last Wednesday evening and her accounts (with over 250 photos taken) while away were fun to listen to.
Jeanette with her mom, Mary.
At 87 years of age, Mary is doing quite well.  Her four daughters drop in to visit, on many occasions, and Jeanette, being the oldest of the girls - and living the farthest away - is always excited when she visits.  To have the four daughters together for Thanksgiving was a treat.
All shined up and ready for storage
While Jeanette was visiting in Alberta, I got busy with some other home based projects.  One of those was to detail, shine, store and cover the Harley Davidson.  It is now plugged into a battery tender and will sit out the next five/six months.

With the Harley stored, the Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad was brought out of sleep mode.  It was completely serviced with fresh synthetic oil, clean new air filter, new spark plugs and tires inflated to required pressures.  It is now ready to mount the swivel wheel, behind the 5th wheel, for our southbound journey, one month from now.
Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad
Courtney, Deni and Owen enjoying an outdoor afternoon this past week.
The North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton, Alberta
Before flying back to the coast, Jeanette spent a few more days with our son Deni, DIL Courtney and grandson Owen.  Other than Deni, who was busy at work, the others headed to the river valley, off the downtown core of Edmonton.  The paved pathways are second to none.  Edmonton has so well preserved its river valley but also opened it up to great paths for hiking and bicycling.  
Owen enjoys any outing, anytime.
Courtney with Owen taking a break along the walkway.
Back at home, Owen is crawling and that leads him into discovering all sorts of new things.  He seems to enjoy crawling in and over the undersides of a few end tables in the living room.
"Hey, this is fun....."
He clearly enjoys the TV remote......
Anything he can do to get someone's attention to take him outdoors is a plus.  I gather he enticed his Nana to do just that, and more than once too.
Happy little fella.....                  "Let's go Nana!"
Jeanette got the opportunity to have one more visit with her mom.  On Tuesday past, daughter Darlene drove Mary to Edmonton for an eye appointment and Courtney arranged to serve lunch at her home.  Deni took time off his duties to come home for lunch too.
L-R  Mary, Courtney, Owen, Deni and Darlene
When she returned home Wednesday evening, Jeanette knew full well that we would be looking after Brie and Easton for the day, Thursday.  The weather was nice.  So, off we went to the local forest trails at Aldergrove Park for some fun in the leaves.
Easton loves to ride; anywhere, anytime, any place.  He learned a few things about leaves, mushrooms, moss and lichens from his Nana.
Another important lesson on deciduous trees
Brie was OK with the information but she was far more interested in looking at the big tall trees, watching her brother ride his bike and just generally taking in all the sights and sounds.
Easton got to learn about different types of mushrooms.
This mushroom's head was at least 5 inches in diameter.
Easton rode up and down this little incline with the wooden bridge.  Great fun for speeding down the hill and climbing right back up to do it all over again.
Easton and Brie just before we loaded them up in the car for the short drive back to our home.
Little Brie at 8 months.  This happy little girl is a busy beaver.  She is crawling a lot now and it seems she will walk in the not to distant future.
Jeanette and I were at our physician's office for our routine medicals yesterday (Friday).  I will donate some blood, in the week ahead, for the routine analysis but all seems well with the old frames, engines, fuel and exhaust systems.  The electronic ignitions (brains) seem to be fine too.  So, it's all good on that front for us.  No prescriptions, no medications, no interventions!   Good to go!

And that's about it from here.  Thanks for dropping in.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Fall Time...

It got windy here, this early Thanksgiving Monday morning.  The weather is a mix of sun and cloud but the rains of winter are predicted too.   We cannot complain with our weather though.  We live in a very temperate climate.
The view from the street at one of my friend's home.
The colours of fall are evident now.   Some leaves are on the ground now but it is still very green.
Easton @ 2 1/2 years - and at the golf course with his Grand Papa.
Last Thursday morning afforded some nice sunny weather.  I called our daughter, Ginette to see if Easton was free to join me for some golf fun at the Langley Golf Centre.  He was quick to say yes.  By 10:00 am, I was at Easton's home and, with golf clubs in hand, we drove off to the golf centre.
Local golfers were pleasantly startled to see Easton carrying his golf set as we headed for the pro shop.
We started on the putting practice area and, as expected, Easton would get distracted when a mower came within earshot.  He did manage to focus long enough to sink a few putts and it proved to be a fun time; as it is always meant to be.  Golf has to be fun! Once we had exhausted the putting practice, we headed to the driving range where Easton practiced striking golf balls with his 7 iron.  He did hit a couple of balls to about 15 feet from the mat.  Not bad!  He is getting a better handle on how to hold and strike the 7 iron.  His driver and 3 wood (other clubs too) remained in the bag.  The 7 iron was the club of choice for this practice time.
Owen is enjoying a nice outdoor walk in Edmonton with his Nana
Jeanette flew the coop and headed off to Alberta for a visit with our Edmonton based grandson, Owen, and his folks, before heading further east to spend some quality time with her mother.  Tied in with the visit was a planned family turkey dinner on Saturday.  

Deni, Courtney and Owen drove out for the meal and a nice visit with Jeanette' side of the family. 

I, on the other hand, kept the home fires burning (so to speak). 
Owen is welcoming his dad back from work.
Jeanette would text me regularly to state she was enjoying her visit with Owen, Deni and Courtney.  Several photos were included with her text messages. 

Her sister and husband, Deb and Bob (who were our guests only one week back) drove up to Edmonton, on Thursday evening, from Calgary.  They collected Jeanette and headed off to the small town of Two Hills, Alberta, where Jeanette' mom resides in a long term care facility.  
Easton is at the Langley City fire hall with his dad
Thursday evening saw Easton spend time with his dad at the local fire hall.  Trevor is a paid on call firefighter and Easton was invited along for some one on one time.  Talk about fun!
Easton at the wheel of the big ladder truck
With his little fire fighter's suit and helmet, Easton fit right in with the crews.  Trevor told me that the three fire trucks at that hall had all lights on and Easton was thrilled with that.  Easton has also decided to wear his firefighter's pants, jacket and helmet on his Halloween door knocking.  Good fun!
Friday morning country joy ride.
Friday saw Jeanette and her mom drive around the country side in the Two Hills/Vegreville area of eastern Alberta.  With no agenda in mind, it was just a fun outing that kept Mary (Jeanette's mom) reminiscing about their lives on their farm.
Easter Dinner table all set.
On Saturday, Deni, Courtney and Owen drove the two hours from Edmonton to Jeanette's sister's farm for an early Thanksgiving dinner.   From the photos they kept texting me, everyone had a great time and Darlene and Tom's turkey dinner was top class.
L-R  Deni, Jeanette, Owen and his great grandmother.
Owen sure travels well and he too enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving dinner at Tom and Darlene's farm in the Myrnam/Vermillion area of eastern Alberta.
Owen had his mom and dad bring his favourite car/wagon along for some outdoor fun at the farm.
Owen get to have some quality time with his Nana and great grand mother, Mary.
Enjoying an Alberta style Thanksgiving turkey dinner.
L-R  Nana Jeanette, Owen, Uncle Bob and Auntie Deb.
With a great meal had, Deni, Courtney and Owen packed up and headed back to Edmonton on Saturday, late afternoon.  Others visited much later before heading to their respective overnight accommodations.  Jeanette stayed over at Darlene and Tom's home.
Love that little toy car/wagon.
It is Canadian Thanksgiving Monday as I write this post.  Jeanette will catch a ride back to Edmonton with Bob and Deb, later today.  Once at Deni/Courtney's home, Bob and Deb will continue the drive to their home in Calgary; about 2.5 hours south of Edmonton.  Jeanette will spend two quality days with Owen and his folks before I meet up with her at the Abbotsford airport this Wednesday evening.

And that's what up with the RV Voyageur bloggers.   Our sights are now set on readying for our mid-November departure for the US southwest.  Along with those plans are locking in flights to return home for Christmas.  More on that in the weeks ahead.

Wishing all of our Canadian friends a Happy Thanksgiving......and to our American friends, we'll be in your land when you celebrate your Thanksgiving.

Thanks for dropping in .