Archive forJuly, 2009

Boys And Their Toys…

Boys And Their Toys…


Our boat was ready to be hauled out of the water for a general bottom cleaning and check over. The area to store and do the work on it was also ready and waiting, and so with Brian on deck, I pulled the Absolut out of our slip and we headed over to the launch area. It went smoothly and I docked it without incident….whew. The truck and trailer were in place and soon the boat was slowly and painstakingly placed on the trailer for removal from the water. However, after several attempts to lift it, we were told by the guy doing the work that our boat was too big for his trailer and he couldn’t complete the job. Arrrrgh. The only thing left to do at the time was turn around and head back to our slip at the dock. Once again, Brian was on deck and I was at the helm. I backed it up and off we went. We had recently been moved to another slip as our boat has a wide beam and getting in and out of our previous spot was a little more difficult and slow. The new slip gives us more room for maneuverability, and I’m certainly not opposed to that. The only trick is that after approaching it, the boat has to be turned around 180 degrees before pulling it into the slip. I had watched Brian do it a few days before, and was pretty sure I could do it too. Using only the transmission controls, I slowly turned her. Wow, it was so cool to take the boat and spin it around… without hitting anything, and glide it into the slip…without hitting anything, and seeing the smile on Brians face…when I didn’t hit anything. Now we just need to find an alternative way to get the boat out without going all the way to Shelter Island in Richmond, which is where it was when Brian bought it.


Well that was a few days ago. Since then, Brians brother Mike decided to take HIS boat to Shelter Island, remove it from the water and do a little work on it. He asked Brian to go with him and not surprisingly, he said yes. The RV could be flooding from the leak in the seal of the window next to our bed and he’d still have said yes because the trip involved a BOAT. The next day we had barely arrived at the dock in Maple Ridge and the two of them were smiling and heading down the river, while I, the dock master and a few other regulars to the marina waved them off. You see, apparently it’s always MY job to get one (or both) of them to whichever boat they intend to move, see them off and then go pick them up at the other end….I KNOW! Let’s see, they get to play boat, and I (for hours) get to drive in a car without air conditioning, on roads with  lighted intersections that are always red when I reach them, constant construction and thousands of other cars with people behind the wheel who have no idea how to drive….sigh. As Brian likes to help when he can, this past week we (Brian more often than I) have made the hour and twenty minute drive to Shelter Island and then the hour and twenty minutes back. If we decide to put out boat there, at least we now know the best route to take depending on the time of day. And I’d like to add that when the Absolut pulls away from the dock, I intend to be waving from ONBOARD it this time. Just smile and say “Yes Dear” J



I DID leave them at the boat on Sunday and ventured into Vancouver to visit my son Michael, who lives downtown….Downtown Vancouver. I’m not crazy about driving downtown Calgary and I lived there for years, so heading downtown Vancouver was NOT something I was looking forward to. YES, a mother’s love knows no bounds and after taking a few detours, taking the scenic route getting lost and pulling over (4 times) to review the map, massage my temples, and re-chart my course, I made it to his place with enough time left over to kiss him hello, hug him goodbye, and head back to get Brian. And as a mother, I reserve the right to use that, not so great, driving experience JUST to see him, as a guilt card somewhere in the future. Love you Michael and it was great to see you…Mmmwah!


As if all that driving wasn’t enough, on Monday Brian and I went into Vancouver to find parts and charts for the Absolut. We stopped at a place I believe is called Popeyes Marine Exchange, which is full of marine stuff, hence the name. Most of it is used stuff and it’s like going on a treasure hunt (pun not intended but appropriate). After finding the oar rings we needed Brian headed upstairs to an open area that has books, charts, maps and such, while I browsed around on the main level thinking he’d only be up there for a short time. Oh silly me, what WAS I thinking? That man can spend hours browsing or reading over something if the subject holds his interest, and here we were in a building FULL of stuff that interests him. Eventually I just sat down at the bottom of the steps and waited for him, while cobwebs formed between myself and the railing. Other shoppers and store personel would see me, stop, glance up and spot Brian immersed in the maps, shake their heads, whisper words of sympathy, and offer to bring me nourishment or perhaps a pillow.


But the highlight of the day was meeting Fred. Fred runs a little shop that deals with, among other things, marine refrigeration. It was next door to Popeyes, and after brushing off the cobwebs, we decided to take a look for some air conditioning gauges that Brian wanted. We didn’t get the gauges, but that didn’t matter. Brian began to vibrate the minute we turned the corner of the building. Fred was sitting on his motorcycle and chatting with his friend “Honda Don” who owns 27 motorcycles. Now the bike topic alone would have kept Brians attention (he has two) but there was so much more. This shop had an amazing array of projects that Fred was in the process of working on as well as pictures of completed projects, including (from scratch) a sailboat AND a helicopter. Fred is working on making another helicopter (almost complete). It’s not often you walk into a little corner parts store and see a two man helicopter in the garage. He’s also working on a vintage car (Ford Model A) that will include a JaguarV12 engine. When asked why such a large engine, he simply said because he could, and also because he hadn’t seen it done before. He apparently likes to do things out of the “norm”.  The stuff he had and the stories they told delighted us both. Brian was grinning from ear to ear for the rest of the day, and if he’s happy, I’m happy.


So let’s see….I’ve been learning to handle a boat, and the next thing Brian wants me to learn to drive is a motorcycle. Hmmm…I wonder if there’s enough room in his shed at the farm to build a helicopter…Just a thought dear…J

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Help, I’ve Fallen And I Can’t Get Up…Again

Help, I Fallen And I Can’t Get Up……Again


For reasons unknown to me, I seem to be more fumbly lately. Now don’t tell me fumbly isn’t a real word. If “doh” and “meh” can make it into the dictionary (They did recently. I’m not making this up) then fumbly can’t be far off. I wasn’t much of a fumbler prior to boarding an RV and coming to BC with Brian. Hmmmm, coincidence? Perhaps not.

The worst fall I had was when I fell INTO the boat, bruising my right leg something awful as well as most of my ribs on the left side, leaving me to sleep sitting up and hugging a pillow to my chest for weeks. So I try to watch my step when at the dock in Mission where our boat is, as the walkway down to the parking area is sloped, and last week I WAS watching until Dan (one of our dock neighbors) pulled up in his truck unexpectedly and I looked up, for just a second, and next thing I know I’m on the ground, (OUCH!) with a twisted left ankle and no skin left on my right knee.  While voicing my displeasure, I was suddenly surrounded by Brian, Dan and others from the harbor, all talking at once and not seeming quite sure what to do with me, each one looking to the other hoping someone else will do something so they won’t have to. Men, need I say more. After my other half helped me up the steps (ouch ouch) to a chair, I was presented with a first aid kit by Dave the harbor master, and set to work icing my ankle and bandaging my knee. After all my years in EMS I can do this kind of thing in my sleep, which at the time would have been a welcomed state.

Brian pipes up with “What the hell happened? One minute I’m walking along and all of a sudden I hear a sailor behind me”, obviously referring to my verbal dialogue at the time. After relating what happened, and seeing the look on Dan’s face, I assured him he wasn’t to blame, and then he assured me I wasn’t the first one to fall down that slope (some consolation I suppose) although his recollections included alcohol or some other form of mood enhancer, which also at the time I would have welcomed. Did I say OUCH!?

Anyway, Brian was supposed to help Ben (another dock neighbor) with one of his boats and I didn’t want him to have to put it off by taking me back to the campground, so I decided to tough it out in Mission for the rest of the day, and go to the pharmacy to pick up first aid supplies needed to replace the ones I had used from the kit. The knee of my favorite pants (go figure) was shredded and bloody, and as I didn’t want to draw inquisitive looks from other shoppers, I took scissors from the kit and made them into shorts on the spot. Rolled up the cuff a couple of times and TaDaaa, perfect shorts. I AM good. After making myself presentable, I eeeeased myself into the drivers seat and soon learned that driving a vehicle with a five speed standard transmission is NOT good for a sprained left ankle.

The rest of the afternoon was spent sitting on a bench at the harbor watching my ankle swell up, painkillers in my system, and chatting with a multitude of well wishers, until Brian was ready to go home, at which point HE nearly fell when his foot caught the decline on the same slope.  I felt so much better knowing it wasn’t just me, but at the same time happy he didn’t get hurt as I wouldn’t have any help at home, hehe. Once back home, and after ten minutes easing myself out of the car and hobbling toward the door of the RV,  I stopped dead in my feeble tracks at the steps leading into it. Although there are only three, it looked as daunting as thirty and I was willing to put off climbing them until the following Tuesday. Turns out that wasn’t to be an option as behind me I hear “Come on old lady” (It seems to be his favorite line :p) as he unceremoniously assisted my backside up and into the RV. Hmmmph!

The next challenge was relieving myself without sounding like a sailor, and I had put it off as long as possible. Could somebody please tell me the reasoning for the height of RV toilets (at least in older models) Cripes! It’s one thing that the bathroom is the size of school locker (I’m not complaining, I’m just saying) but the toilet is all of six inches off the floor.  I’ve seen kids training potty’s that are higher than RV toilets.  WHAT were they thinking when they came up with these things? 

“Hey Joe, I think these toilets should be as close to the floor as possible so that people can give their legs some exercise since they sit on their asses for hours when they drive”

“Sounds good to me Karl. You’re always thinking. AND we’ll save on material too.  That should make the boss happy. Hey, maybe we’ll get a bonus for using our ingenuity”

“Ya!……Uh…What’s ingenuity Joe?”

So even on a good day plunking down (don’t go there dear) and then hoisting up (or there either dear) is bad enough. But when the ankle on one leg and the knee on the other don’t want to participate without causing PAIN which leads to sailor talk, these two maneuvers are torturous. Arrrrg!

Well, eventually Brian Nightingale had me settled back on the sofa, ice pack on the ankle and painkiller in hand…wink. Ahhhhh! Oh oh. I just remembered that fluid in means fluid out…sigh. 


Medicated :)

Medicated 🙂

 Cheers! J