Saturday, October 31, 2015

Pre-Christmas Travel Plans...

I earlier mentioned that we would be laying out our winter travel plans in the next blog.  And that time is now.  By now, we would have the fifth wheel pulled up into our driveway in preparation for moving in and getting all the systems running.  And we would likely be heading south by the 2nd week of November.  Not this year though!
Our normal set up come November of each year.
Readers will likely remember that Jeanette and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary this past September.  Our plans included a fall trip to Europe.  With the expected birth of our 4th grandchild in mid to late September, we thought about Europe in October.  We were working on some loose plans when it became evident that Jeanette's mom was not doing well.  We held off on the European plans.  As most of you know, Jeanette's mom passed way this past September 30th.  As Power of Attorney, Jeanette had a fair bit of business to look after.  So.....a change in plans.

Maui in November
We still wished to do something different prior to Christmas so we booked a nice November holiday in Hawaii - and more specifically, Maui.  
This shoreline awaits us.
Once back from Maui, we will have sufficient time to prepare for Christmas, service and load our 5th wheel and - as of this writing - we plan to point the truck, 5th wheel and motorcycle south, on or about the 29th of December.

Europe is still in our plans but that will be fulfilled in the years ahead.

On the home front, we've been keeping busy with a variety of activities.  I have been helping a long time friend with a huge move he and his wife are making from this west coast to the east coast.  And a huge move it is.
They are moving their household goods from this home.......
......into four of these containers.
This is container #3.  It is nearly loaded and ready for truck transport to New Brunswick
Nearing the end of the large move.
These friends made the tough decision to sell here and settle closer to their two children, their spouses and the grandchildren, in the Province of New Brunswick.  They already have a beautiful house plan designed and, once their dream home is built on an acreage just outside of Moncton, NB, they will re-settle and move on with life.  They will be missed here on this coast but we will get to see them during the winter snow birding months, in the years ahead.
Lucky dropped by for tea.
Good RV and motorcycle friends, Lucky and Trena are soon to leave in their beautiful Class 'A' motor home for their winter home in the Palm Desert area of California. Lucky dropped by our home this past week, for a visit.  After laying out their travel plans (with motorcycle along) we shared our plans and now look forward to catching up with them early in 2016 for more southern California motorcycle rides along with other like minded riders we so well know in the US southwest. And we are sure looking forward to that.

We have also shared some quality time with our Langley based kids and their kids.  It's always a treat to have have Easton and Brie visit and even overnight with us.  They enjoy that; as do we!
Brie checks out some show cattle in our neighbourhood.
With a mix of outdoor and indoor activities, the grand kids keep Jeanette and I busy.  It's fun to get outdoors and experience all types of activities.
Crunching dried leaves is fun.
On those days that present with rain, indoor activities are fun too.  From snacks to working on little craft projects, Brie and Easton don't  have time to be bored. 

Brie is drawing something new on her favourite coloured paper.
And Easton works on some of his ideas too.
While I was busy helping our friends with their move, Jeanette had Easton and Brie outdoors often.  And the one thing that recently drives Easton's pleasure is tree climbing.  He's a monkey true and true.  There isn't a tree he sees that he does not want to climb.

With Halloween today (Saturday), Easton helped his mom and Nana carve out one pumpkin.
Moving the carved pumpkin outdoors.
Courtney and Deni, from Edmonton, Alberta sent this photo (below) showing Owen carving a pumpkin with his dad.  I bet he looks forward to running around their neighbourhood, gathering all kinds of goodies on trick'n'treating night out.
Owen is getting very close up look at the pumpkin carving.
We have been following RV travel bloggers who are on their journey south from their home bases in Canada and the northern US states. It is fun to read about the journeys and we wish all of them a safe journey to their intended destinations.  And we hope to see many of these folks in the months ahead.

Anyhow, that pretty well colours our activities here.  Thanks for dropping by.

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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Well.....Hello There....

It has been several weeks since we've last blogged.  And that time went by very, very quickly.  But....we're back.  

Winter is fast approaching and we set our sites on our snowbird travels.  That will begin in earnest this coming  November.  But we will be changing things up a bit.  More on that in a blog to follow.

So since we last blogged, we had left you at Barriere Lake in British Columbia.  We had spent a few lovely days there with our daughter, her husband and two grand kids.  It was fun being with Ginette, Trevor, Easton and Brie.  And the weather was great.  In fact, the entire summer, here in British Columbia, was fantastic.  

What else did we do?
Well......a fair bit of this.....
....and a fair bit of time with our Langley based grand kids, Easton and Brie.
Fun playing in the local parks, local forest and more.
Nana spent a good bit of time teaching them about the local flora and fauna.
I took the previous photos which proves that I was along for the hikes, play time and nurturing.
And I did get to spend time with my long time golfing foursome.
And we did get to play many of our favourite golf courses in our coastal area.
We also traveled to Edmonton, Alberta - on several occasions - and got to spend time with our prairie based family; Deni, Courtney and their son Owen.  He is seen pointing the finger (photo below) at a piece of construction equipment that struck his fancy.
"Hey, what's that?"  He is an inquisitive and energetic little fella....!  I call him the energizer bunny!
Having traveled to Alberta a few times, we got to take Owen to the local park near their home and to help his dad with a back yard landscape project. 

Getting set up to dig and place huge ties for the landscaping project.
Owen lends Dad, Deni a hand to mark some of the ties for cutting.
I dug the 5 1/2" trenches for placement of the 4X6" landscaping ties.  It was a project that transformed their back yard and gave it some nice lines.  It also cut down on the amount of lawn to look after.
Owen was busy watering flowers and more......
Deni is making it all fit.
Making headway on the landscaping job.
While we were busy with this project, Jeanette was about 75 minutes due east of Edmonton city on a visit with her mom, Mary.  She got to spend several days enjoying the visit and helping to celebrate a special 88th birthday too.

Jeanette's mom - only a few short weeks back.
Deni and Courtney were overjoyed when Kaylie, their beautiful baby girl was born this past September 26th.  Healthy and happy, little Kaylie has brought such joy to all of our lives.  Kaylie is our fourth grandchild.

How's this for a factoid:
-  Jeanette and I had a boy (Deni) and a girl (Ginette).
-  Ginette and husband Trevor have a boy (Easton) and a girl (Brie).
-  Deni and Courtney have a boy (Owen) and a new baby girl (Kaylie)'s BOY/GIRL for us all.
Kaylie, Courtney and Deni
Jeanette (Nana) flew out to Edmonton and got to meet Kaylie only a couple of days after her birth.  Brother Owen is overjoyed with his little sister.
Jeanette also flew out because her mother  - who was earlier thriving - had taken a quick downward spiral, health wise, following an infection.  And although it was felt she could rebound with IV and antibiotic intervention, her health continued to slide.

After a nice visit with new baby Kaylie, Jeanette headed further east to where her mother was receiving medical intervention.  The news was not good.  Mary was slipping and the medical intervention was not working.

Only a couple of days after Jeanette' arrival on the scene - September 30th, at the long term care facility - Jeanette's mom passed away.  She was 88 years of age.  It was more sudden than anyone would have expected.  After all, she had been doing well only weeks earlier when Jeanette had been with her on one of her visits.

When I received the call from Jeanette, I planned to drive the 12 hours from our home, on the coast, to Edmonton, Alberta.  The plan included a stop in Edmonton to meet Kaylie, hold her and spend a bit of time with brother Owen, and their mom and dad.  I was looking forward to meeting baby Kaylie.  And what a good baby! 

Following the visit and time spent with Kaylie, I was on the road to one of Jeanette's sisters' home in the country where everyone would gather to plan Mary's funeral.
Meeting baby Kaylie for the very first time.  And what cutie!
The birthday cake that Jeanette and her sisters presented to their mom only weeks before she succumbed to an infection that would subsequently end her life.
Mary is celebrating her 88th birthday.
And only a few weeks later, she was laid to rest here, along side her husband, John.
We are all of the belief that Mary willed herself to refuse food and drink - as she battled a survivable infection - and it eventually (quickly too) led to her demise.  It is not unheard of for older folks to refuse intervention and choose their own demise. spite of all the spring, summer and early fall visits, it came as quite a surprise when we all had to gather to say good bye to a truly wonderful person.  My mother in law was quite special.  From the very first time I met her - going back 43 years - I was always treated respectfully. There is a lot to miss with her gone.

Jeanette and her sisters were very, very close to their mom.  Her passing leaves a huge hole in their collective lives.  Their memories are strong, however.
We remember Mary with fondness.
With the funeral and internment concluded, there was a good bit of business - legal and accounting - to look into.  As the enduring Power of Attorney, Jeanette had a busy post funeral agenda.  I took the time to visit with my sister Paulette and to have dinner with my brother Bernie and his wife Rita.  Both live within 30 minutes from where we were. Bernie and Rita call Yuma their winter home.

Deni, Courtney, Owen and baby Kaylie were enjoying some fun while at Jeanette's sister's farmfor a family Thanksgiving day.  Deni trailered his quad out for the day.
With the funeral, and all the business that goes with it, concluded, Jeanette and her sisters mounted a special Thanksgiving Day dinner that was enjoyed by everyone. Under clear blue skies and fantastic temperatures, we could not ask for better weather for a family gathering.  Although many farmers were busy with harvesting, we too lent Tom (Darlene's guy) a hand with harvesting.

Maintenance and adjustments once the wheat crop was harvested.  Canola was next.
Jeanette got busy making the meal while Darlene was operating one of the two combines.  With barley safely stored in the bins, wheat was the next harvest.  I drove several of the grain trucks that Tom had running from field to home. The bins were filling up quickly.
Busy with the Canola harvest
Everyone took a break for a noon time Saturday Thanksgiving Dinner.  Although I did not capture any photos, I know that many were taken by others.  Suffice it to say that everyone enjoyed a five star Thanksgiving meal that no one will easily forget.  

While some enjoyed sitting outdoors to digest the fine meal, others got right back to a busy harvest.  And it was such a fitting way to remember Jeanette's mom and dad who were long time farmers in this area. The dinner and farming activities were a nice follow to the sad loss of mom (Sept 30, 2015) and dad, John only three short years ago.
Back in Edmonton and focused on the new arrival, baby Kaylie.
As it is in life, baby Kaylie was the joy that so quickly filled the sadness of losing Jeanette's mom.  

Our summer and fall was a whirlwind of events and activities.  I skimmed over the major ones in this report.  We'll fill you in on more in the days ahead,

Jeanette and I now focus on a special 40th anniversary trip we have planned for next month.

Thanks for dropping by......and for your patience during out blogging furlough.

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