Archive forSimone’s Journal

Come On Baby Light My Fire…

Light My Fire…

 

Staying in a rain forest can put a damper on having a campfire. Literally. So when the weather permits, and Brian doesn’t think “There’s already too many fires going. We don’t need to add more smoke to the air”, we light one. Like most people who utilize campgrounds, I enjoy sitting around a good campfire, relaxing and watching the flickering colorful flames, while sparks burst out in search of the nearest tree, clothing (preferably new) and exposed skin. Then there’s the roasting of hot dogs, which, of course, is the only way to prepare them. I realize that hot dogs are a questionable source of nutrition and we seldom have them, but there’s just something about a campfire that makes me crave a hot dog, so I figure what the heck, you only live once. Anyway, Brian doesn’t have any patience when it comes to waiting in line ups at the grocery store (or any other store for that matter) and yet he’ll take hours, truly, to roast his hot dog. Waiting for the fire to burn down to coals, holding the stick at just the right distance while slowly turning it until, as the sun is beginning to break over the horizon, the hot dog is evenly cooked. Forget that! Put the hot dog on the darn stick, thrust it just over or slightly into the flames, turning it until it splits or actually catches fire, and be done with it. So what if it’s a little burnt crispy on the outside and there’s a bit of ash residue after it fell off the stick and was rescued. And so it may or may not be done on the inside. That’s what condiments and coctails are for.

Anyway…The other day the weather had cooled down quite a bit. I was enjoying the fire that took mister, I have to tediously and methodically place each stick just so and then move them around endlessly while the fire flares up and dies repeatedly, 45 minutes to get going, and watched Brian as he removed 3 good size rocks from around the fire pit and placed them into the fire.

“You realize that’s not wood” I said, wondering if, perhaps, he had consumed more coctails that I had.

“I told you the other night that I thought we should heat up some rocks and put them in the RV and see if it warms up.”

“Uhh huhh.” was all I could think to say, as I scrambled to recall that conversation.

Over the next hour or so he tended the fire as only a wannabe pyromaniac does, and we discussed where the rocks would be placed and what they would be placed on once inside the RV. I don’t care that hundreds of years ago they place hot rocks inside the bed to warm it up. Heated rocks were NOT going into our bed. Microwaveable wheat bags take care of that rather nicely now, thank you very much.

The floor near the entrance of the RV was the chosen spot. I was a little leery of his suggestion that the rocks be placed on top of wood blocks but he was confident that they wouldn’t burn as he didn’t think they would be THAT hot. So I sat on the edge of the sofa right next to the door and watched as he first placed the wood pieces on the floor and then……The first rock is brought in and I immediately smell and see the smoke coming from it as he places in on the wood. As my eyes begin to react, the second rock is brought in adding to the interior smoke, and just before he shows up with the third rock, the fire alarm goes off and I quickly reach it and pull the battery off so the neighbors don’t come running or worse yet the fire department. I wasn’t sure how our explanation of warming up the RV with hot rocks, when we have a perfectly good furnace and space heater at our disposal, would be received by anyone coming to offer aid and there wasn’t enough coctails left to go around. At this point we leave the door open while it clears. The smoke dies down, but the smell of burnt wood is still strong, so Brian moves one of the rocks to find the wood….drumm roll please….burning underneath. Now, I’m not one to say I told you so, so I won’t. His next idea to place the cooking grill from the bbq under the rocks first was put into action and did indeed work, and it wasn’t long before we were curled up warm and comfy in the RV.

 

hot-rocks_3Note that there were 3 original rocks, but one split in 2.

 

This is the point where I’d like to give Brian credit. He has such an inquisitive mind, and he’s always thinking of how things work, how they can be improved or simply done differently and sometimes, as in this case, just for the fun of it, put something to the test or in this instance his test, and although the result may come by a different route than originally anticipated, which is usually half the fun, it’s always a learning experience.

And so after making sure the cell phone had a full charge (in case of emergency, wink) we climbed into bed and turned out the light, while the rocks continued to provide heat.

“Goodnight Dear”

“The fire extinguisher is by the door, right?”

“Yes Dear.”

J

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This And That…

This And That….

 

There’s this…

We recently took the motorcycle to the farm to load it on to a truck and take it out to British Columbia where our RV is. As we were going to be at the farm for a few days and the truck was being used for other purposes (see last post) the bike would be left out by the driveway, uncovered and at the mercy of whatever the weather wanted to throw at it. After I queried Brian about maybe putting a tarp over it for protection, he informed me he had one in the truck, although it might be a little worn. I assumed that worn meant thin, faded and perhaps a little raggedy. He did indeed produce a tarp. A green tarp. And with each of us taking the 4 corners, we shook out the green tarp with the intent of covering the bike. Well as it unfolded, the “worn” area was exposed, along with anything on the ground underneath it. Oh, it was worn….worn right through and down the middle producing a big gaping hole. The picture below is worth much more than a thousand words.

 

 

 

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While he failed to see the humor in it, I laughed so hard, I could barely speak, and as I tried to suggest that we dispose of it, Brian the “I Can’t Throw Anything Away For A Least 20 Years” guy, reminds me it can still be used to lay on when working on one of the vehicles, to which, between the snorts I’ve now developed, I say “Yes Dear”. So as I pick myself up off the ground, dust myself off, and wipe away the tears running down my face, he neatly folds up the tarp and places it ever so carefully back on it’s shelf in the truck, to be used another day. And so the bike was left at the mercy of the weather. We now have it in the rain forest with us, and Brian did put a blue tarp over it a few days. Then he soon took it off again as, although it looked ok to me, he thought it looked horrible as it had a bit of dusty white patches. I looked around us at other RV sites and see FAR worse than his tarp, which probably would have been easily washed up, but noooooo. The way he went on about it, you’d have thought it was going to bring complaints from the neighbors or worse yet bring down the property value. Oh wait, we don’t own any property here. We’re in a campground. And so, once again, the bike is left at the mercy of the weather, plus the neighbor dogs, and a variety of feathered friends.  

 

And then there’s this…

As you know we, live in an older model RV (No roll outs). This, of course, means dealing daily with small spaces. The bedroom, aka closet, has room enough for a mattress with three out of the four sides of it against the walls, with a 1’x1’ cupboard attached to the outside edge, at both ends, in case you can’t decide which end is the head. This makes the bed 1’ away from the kitchen. The upside to this is that can we make coffee every morning without actually getting out of bed. The downside is that the door is an accordion style plastic kind of thing that glides along a slider at the top, and if you want to go to the bedroom in a huff because you’ve just had a “difference of opinion” with someone else in the RV, you loose the dramatic effect of slamming the door. Try slamming THAT and all you get is a wobbly accordion plastic door that pretty much goes nowhere… I KNOW! Hmmmph.

 

And finally…

Get out your pencil. The Campground is owned by:

a)     A nudist colony

b)     Tibetan Monks

c)      A local chapter of Hells Angels

d)     The Green Party

 

We were chatting with one of our neighbors the other day, and we discovered that the campground we stay in has been owned and operated by a nudist colony for over 30 years. Yup, I said nudist colony. Nope, I’m not posting any pics. Apparently it was an active colony years ago, but has settled into a “regular” style campground over time. The adjacent property (We wondered why the fence was so high) is still used for those who wish to camp in their birthday suits, but rumor has it that it’s the same “Old” crowd. Eewww! I can just picture a few old naked Tibetan Monks sitting around the campfire with a few old naked Hells Angels chatting it up with a few old naked members of the Green Party…..On second thought that’s a visual I can do without.

 

And that’s that J

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ONE MORE TIME ….

One More Time ….

As you may remember from my last post, we had just returned from Alberta and I was enjoying being home in the RV again. Well that lasted 3 days. Yup, 3 whole days and we were on the road BACK to Alberta…again. I KNOW! Why, you ask? Hmmm, let’s see. Could it be we already missed everyone? Sorry but no. Perhaps we craved the never ending construction zones? Ah, no again. Or maybe there was an emergency? Well not as I saw it. Brian, however, found online, in Alberta, a big old 1972, 361 cubic inch displacement, Fargo truck that apparently needed to be rescued and he was just the one to do it.

“Why do you want a big old truck that isn’t running?” I ask, hoping

he’s joking.

“Look at it! It’s fantastic!” He replies while practically jumping out

of his seat with childlike excitement. Damn, he’s not joking.

“What if it needs a lot of work? How and when will you work on it,

and I thought we were fixing up the boat right now to sell it?”

“Oh, it’s just the timing chain. From what it says here, I’m sure

that’s it. I can fix that easily.”

Don’t you just love it when guys say things and expect us to believe it in hopes we’ll quietly go along because perhaps we really don’t understand much about the topic at hand? Now I know he’s quite the mechanic, but giving a “sure” diagnosis from a description given by someone trying to get rid of an old truck taking up space in his yard, is like me saying I’m sure you have the Swine Flu because you sneezed after visiting the petting zoo yesterday. Just not enough information. That, and the fact that I’ve witnessed his “It’s not hard to fix”, “The parts should be easy to find” and “It’ll only take a couple of hours”, turn into “@%&#. Whoever designed this should be shot!”, “@%&#. I can’t believe the parts are so hard to find!” and “@%&#. I should be done this by now!”.

“How are you going to get it to the farm?” I ask.

“I might be able to fix it right there and drive it. If not then I’ll use

my diesel truck (It’s at the farm,) to tow it. I replaced the fuel pump

last week when we were there, and it ran. Aaaand we could also use

the diesel to bring the motorcycle back here. Pretty smart, eh?”

I hate when he makes a valid point, as we did want to get the bike here. The Fargo truck, however, was another matter, but the look on his face told me we were heading back to Alberta to at least take a look at it and if nothing else, we’d be bringing the motorcycle back. So after making a call to verify the old truck was still for sale, we packed up the car, with more tools that luggage, and were out the door the following morning, heading for Hope and our morning coffee.

The next day (Sunday) we ventured off from Calgary to Mossleigh, Alberta. Quaint little town, Mossleigh. I thought Busby (Where the farm is) was small, but seriously, this towns “Welcome” sign and “Thanks For Visiting” sign were within 5 feet of each other. We had to turn around and approach it again at a crawl, and sure enough at the 4 foot mark, we knew we’d found the right place, because parked at the entrance was THE big old 1972, 361cid, Fargo truck.

Now trying to make a long story short, let me just say that all the parts were NOT put together. Some were, although at the moment not clarified, in the back box of the truck. One or two were MIA, or better yet MI-unA . The tow bar was rather questionable in its reliability and legality and there was not a gas tank to be found. Anyway, we left with a promise to call the seller one way or the other. By the time we got back to Calgary, it was my understanding that Brian was not buying the truck as there was probably too much to be done to it. Sounded good to me. Our next step, then, was for him to drive the motorcycle, with me following in the car, to the farm, where said bike would be placed on the diesel truck and taken home to the RV.

On Monday, we did indeed make it to the farm. However, that’s when another chapter was added the story. When Louse and I went outside for some fresh air and a chat, the guys (Brian, Terry and James), began discussing the old truck, and sure enough, by the time I came back in, plans were made for Brian and James to take the diesel truck and go back and get the Fargo truck….I KNOW! You can’t leave them unsupervised for a minute…Aaack! So on Wednesday, James spent his 30th birthday with his dad on a mission to make it to Mossleigh (4-5 hr trip), pick up the Fargo, and get back to the farm (6-7 hr trip with tow) before dawn. After spending and hour or two finding and renting a reliable and legal tow bar, they headed back with one geriatric truck towing another larger, geriatric truck, and at 03:02 a.m. …yawn… both the men and the trucks pulled into the yard. They were tired. They were smiling. They had completed their mission. Cheers!

Thursday had the guys spending a bit of time checking out the brakes and such.

Definition of Such: Whatever is in, under, attached to,

hanging from or appears to be in any

way, part of a vehicle.

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At this point the truck is parked out back to be…SURPRISE…tinkered with another day. Friday we returned the tow bar, which meant an extra trip back to the Calgary area. We spent the night with James and Natasha and hit the road on Saturday, where I spent 10 hours staring at the back of the diesel truck and the bike, with my trusty walkie/talkie at hand in case the bike looked like it was becoming unstable. In the end it was mostly used for letting Brian know I needed a pee break. But we’re back now, the diesel truck is at Mikes car lot as Brian wants to sell it, and the bike is being enjoyed in the nice weather. Oh the boat? Well it’s still in the water, still floating and still on the To Do list.

Sorry we didn’t have more time to visit with friends and family, but if our track record is any indicator, plus the fact the Fargo truck needs to be worked on, we’ll see you all soon. J

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On The Road Again…

On The Road Again…

 

Well we ventured once again to Alberta. I had a growing desire to go and take care of Nolan (grandson) while Mandy and Dave attempted to get some packing done for their move to another house. On Tuesday night, Brian, after sensing my restlessness, not to mention that I kept bringing it up, asked if I’d like to go to Alberta. When I replied YES and asked him when, he simply said “How fast can you pack?” He can be such a sweetheart…J  We were on the road the next morning by 06:45. Our first stop was in Hope to grab a coffee. This is a regular stop for us when we go east, and an important one because coffee must be consumed within a certain amount of time after waking up for the day, or Brians brain synapses won’t function and he’ll just stare off into space for the entire day. I, on the other hand, function 24 hrs a day, although the definition of “function” may be up for debate. Getting dressed in the appropriate attire?…Functioning. Putting one step in front of the other without falling over or into the nice police officer?…Functioning. Putting cream in the coffee maker instead of water?…Not so much. Anyway, our trip was the usual stop every 2 hours so I could pee. Well maybe I should make that every hour and a half. Ok, Ok (shrug) every 45 minutes. We did take a quick detour when Brian took the Jasper turn off instead of the Banff turn off and not realizing it for about 15 minutes when the terrain didn’t look familiar, not to mention another sign that said Jasper xxx km. Why didn’t I notice it, you ask? Well, as the passenger, unless otherwise requested, I think I have the right to let my mind and eyes wander aimlessly. Am I right or what? Now Brian, just say “Yes Dear”…;-)

 

After seeing the grandchildren and spending a couple of days in Calgary preparing his motorcycle for the trip back, Brian headed off to his parents farm. His attention span with young children, who at this stage can’t debate or discuss the finer points of the Stern-Gerlach experiment (you’re on your own there), sailboat jibs, or fuel pumps, is limited, and the farm always has enough to be done to keep him occupied. So while he was tinkering there, I was pretty much Nolan’s playmate. It was an exhilarating time for sure and bedtime (mine) was a…yawn…welcomed moment. Mandy and Dave even managed to get some sorting and packing done. I’ll take toys in the toilet, reading the same book over and over, lost (but must have) sippy cups, and of course diaper changes, over packing to move, any day. On Saturday, they took a bit of a break and we went to Heritage Park to take the Tommy the Train ride. It began cloudy but pleasant, and then as soon as we started walking from the parking lot to the entrance, which is a mile away, under construction (go figure), and a gravel path (not easy to push a stroller on) it started to rain. Dave picks up Nolan, and opens the animal (I’m not sure which one) umbrella that complete with ears keeps them dry from at least the waist up. Did I mention there was a strong wind? Well, there was a strong wind. So as Dave and Nolan weather the storm, Mandy and I trudge along while Mother Nature not only relentlessly hurls water at us, but adds a good bout of hail…Sting…Ouch! By the time we get to the entrance we’re soaked through and our faces are patched with red blisters. Fifteen minutes later we board the train. At least I think it was the train. My sight was still obscured by the water running down my face, although Nolan seemed to be enjoying himself, and that was the main thing. The rain continued during our 2 hour stay, but shortly after we got home, the sun came out…..arrrrgh. Anyway, my stay was great, and after a few days I boarded the Red Arrow bus for Edmonton and a visit at the farm, where new calf’s were being born, trees were cut down and turned into fire wood, rocks were picked out of the fields and pies were consumed.

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Our stay was busy and enjoyable as always, but I knew we had chosen the right time to leave when we got up on Sunday to find our bags sitting at the door. And as we headed down the road I looked through the rear view mirror, and his parents were waving joyfully while doing the dance of joy.

Just kidding, and thanks for your hospitality J

 

 

We never did take the motorcycle back to BC. The weather just wouldn’t cooperate…sigh. This means that another trip isn’t far off. What’s that?… You’re selling the farm and moving to Brazil?     

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Roll Up The Rim…

 

Roll Up The Rim…

 

Well folks, it is indeed Spring and with it comes the list of stuff Brian wants/ needs to do. First off, we removed the skirting and tarp from the RV which, I’d like to report, was a whole lot easier than putting it on and, thank goodness, a lot less repetitive J.  Then following that was removing the plastic from the inside of the windows. This was gleefully completed by myself (he wasn’t home), at a decent time of day (he wasn’t home) and without the aid of a bottle of rum (he wasn’t h….you got it!). Ahhh, what a joy it is to look through the windows and instead of everything being out of focus I can clearly see lush green foliage, trees bursting with new life, and colorful flowers. Brian mentioned the men around here seem to be smiling more, implying that perhaps THEY could see more clearly too, reminding me to dress BEFORE opening the blinds in the morning…Doh!

 

So, the next thing was rotating and replacing two of the RV tires plus tackling the spare tire and rim issue. Removing the inside rear tire, which was being replaced by one of the front tires, showed four loose nuts and one broken off stud. Not a good start. Finding the proper size socket for the (I’m quoting Brian here), “locking nut, for the hub bearing”  was our first venture into the world of We Don’t Have That, Try The Other Guy. It took five “Other Guys” to find it, and then when he got it home, it was WRONG. Brian managed (go figure) to get the damn thing off himself, which turned out to be easy and about $33 cheaper. Then on to the problem with removing the front two tires. You see, they didn’t want to be removed. As I watched and offered all the moral support I could muster, Brian worked vigorously, while enlightening me with his extensive use of the English language, to loosen the bolts, and during this process he pulled a muscle in his back. So now we’re BOTH recovering from injuries…I KNOW! But he did succeed in removing the tires and new ones are now in their place. Then there’s the spare tire/rim thing. We realized after we made the trip from Alberta to BC that the spare was useless because the rim is completely different than the other tires and won’t mount on to the hub (It’s a 10 bolt rim and the others are 5 bolt) . Good thing we didn’t need it during the trip! But, really, what the hell was the previous owner thinking? We doubt he even knew it was different as it had the same paint job as the tires, plus the same weather beating, and Brian says it doesn’t look like any of them had ever been changed. The poor guy has been on the lookout for the past 2 weeks, online has been a bust and we skipped once again through the world of We Don’t Have That etc….Phone calls and road trips have been made. Posters complete with pictures have been placed under windshield wipers, taped to lamp posts, fences, and printed on milk cartons. If you or someone you know has seen a Budd 5 bolt rim #R89340, 19.5 x 6.00, please call our toll free number at 1-800-Rim-Find. Anyone with information leading up to the location and purchase of this item will receive a $5000 $5 reward and our sincere gratitude.

 

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In the meantime, what started as a simple tire check and possible replacement, turned into broken nuts, rusted stubborn back breaking rod bending bolts, and a frustrating quest for what appears to be an obsolete rim. And now Brian is apparently doing something with the brakes so he can do this, that, and the next thing with….well….this that and the next thing (I’ve given up trying to sort it out, but I know it involves a leak). As I look out the now clear window, I see the picnic table covered with tools, rags, containers and misc. parts. At least it’s not the kitchen counter. Hmmmm…..Maybe I’ll just close the blinds. 

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Where’s The Brake?!

Where’s The Brake?!

 

Oh my, where to start…hmmmm.  Well, as much as I’d like to forget about it, I guess I should own up to it in print. Besides, Brian won’t have it any other way….. :p So here goes…

 

Brian’s cousin, Ester, and her mother-in-law, Maria, were here from Holland. The weather was nice (22c) and so Brian, Ester and I took the boat out for the day. We docked at Albion and went for lunch, showed her Mikes boat and then headed back to Mission. All was going as planned. I piloted the boat up the “street” and approached our slip. I brought the bow in, no problem, and then……umm….well…umm…..People, and yes that included Brian, started shouting…a lot…and it startled me…a lot. Now being the alert person I am (hehe), I soon realized the stern was NOT gliding into the slip as I thought it was, but was swinging outward in the direction of another boat and the bow was going too far forward and in the direction of another boat….AAAACK! I had mistakenly put the transmissions into the wrong gear….I KNOW…I mean really, how often am I wrong (Shhhhh now Brian). Anyway, Brian was using a push pole and a couple of guys on the dock, had a hold of the ropes and all were doing their best to keep the bowsprit from hitting the boat ahead of us, while Ester was using a push pole at the stern while doing her best to keep it from hitting the boat across from us AND dock dolphins (Giant Posts). So, although trying not to panic become overly concerned, one part of my brain is screaming saying WHERE’S THE BRAKE?!  while the other part of my brain is screaming saying THERE IS NO BRAKE, REMEMBER?!  All of a sudden I hear “Cut the engines!” Now I HAVE been known to do what I’m told from time to time (Uh huh, Uh huh) so I immediately cut the engines. The boat is now MUCH easier to just push/pull around, and soon the guys on dock have hold of the ropes and tie it ever so nicely to the dock…I was never in doubt…Really. Oh I’m sure most people would experience a multitude of emotions like relief, stupidity, frustration, and embarrassment. But as I’m not most people (nuh uh) I was calm, cool and……Ok, ok, I did feel all those things, and I should throw in deflated for good measure. I must say though, that everyone that was around the dock was very supportive. They shared stories of their misfortunes and have assured me that EVERYONE has them, even the experienced boaters. That did help a lot, and I thank them for their encouragement. As one of them put it “There is no real damage (minor, repairable, tear in the canvas of the boat ahead of us), no one got hurt and the boat is still afloat, so it was a good docking”. And Brian was still talking to me….whew! I’m not afraid to take the helm again, and he’s not afraid to let me. I don’t think there’ll be a problem anyway, as the boats nearest to ours have all moved…Hmmm…I’m sure they just wanted to be closer to the filling station. J

 

A few days later, Brian and I headed to the boat to do a little work. My job was to scrub the dinghy, so I put on a pair of coveralls, got out the bucket, brushes, etc. Now instead of getting on the boat by using the swim grid and the little door at the back of the boat (I was sure they were for aesthetic purposes only) we often choose to just sit on the edge of the boat, and swing our legs over. Brian has long legs, so he really just puts one leg over, followed by the other. I, on the other hand, have to actually swing my feet over and turn in. USUALLY not a problem. However, USUALLY didn’t cut it this time and it didn’t go quite so well. As I swung my legs up and went to turn my body inward, I lost my balance and FELL, HARD, into the boat, with (once again) onlookers at the dock….I KNOW!  Now, you’d think I would have just landed on my butt, bruising my pride and maybe a cheek, but Nay Nay, not I. You see, Brian had lifted the fiberglass engine compartment cover and set it against the inside of the boat. The side that I was attempting to get in from. Yup, my ribs made contact with the upright cover, my right leg slammed against the raised ridge along the edge, and then my butt made contact with the floor. OUCH, swear, gasp for breath, OUCH, swear, gasp for breath, as Brian grabs my arm to help me up. My E.M.T. training kicked in, and I instructed him how to help me check for injuries, all the while going OUCH, swear, gasp for breath. I assured everyone that I wasn’t about to expire (at least not at that moment). I slept upright for 3 days, howling at even a tiny cough, and damn near killed myself when I suddenly sneezed. Can anyone say DRUGS?  Legal ones of course…;) Ahhhhh…. Anyway, you know how things often come in three? As these last two incidences have happened on the boat, I’ve decided to stay away from it for a couple of weeks. I see no need to tempt the mishap gods. Nay Nay.  And I’d like to report, that I did eventually get checked out at the hospital, complete with x-rays, and although I badly bruised 5 ribs, my leg AND my butt, I will live to entertain the others at the dock another day. Besides, Brian says I still (eventually) have to scrub the dinghy….sigh.

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Continuing Education…:p

First: It’s 20c out today..Woohoo!

 

And now:

 

Continuing Education…

 

“What’s this?” Brian asks while pointing to the H on the periodic table of the Chemistry book. Well I’m pretty sure I learned the alphabet correctly some time ago, so I confidently respond with “H”, to which he replies “No. That’s not what I’m looking for”, which gets me to thinking…If he’s not looking for the H, then…a) Why point to it?..b) What letter IS he looking for?..c) Why is he asking ME? Surely he knows the alphabet and can find whatever he’s looking for himself… Clarification comes with “What’s the name of the element?”  “Ohhhhhhhh” I reply with raised eyebrows as I realize that school is once again in session, and Chemistry is the subject for the day.

At this time I’d like to say that I admire anyone who grasps this topic easily. During High School, you were the ones I envied as I struggled with basic Science, Math and my locker combination. If I wore a hat I’d take it off to you. I, on the other hand, openly admit that I have a BIT of a problem sorting out what atoms, mass numbers, quantum something or others, molecular orbital and other theories ARE, never mind how they relate to the body, rocks, our car or toilet paper. Anyway, there I sat, trying my hardest to grasp the material presented to me, as I asked question after question while Brian opened another beer and developed a tic in his left eye. After a couple of hours, I came to the conclusion (Sorry to disappoint Brian) that chemistry may not be my strong suit, which is ok with me. I mean, if we were all into nothing but the sciences, then dull would replace fun in social moments, because there wouldn’t be anything new to discuss as we’d all be on the same page. I think diversity is a good thing. If not, then chances are there wouldn’t be any Tim Hortons….I KNOW!  Anyway, I haven’t given up on Chemistry……yet. And Brian hasn’t given up on me……yet. Also, class wasn’t a total washout, because with his much appreciated patience (his tic has lessened considerably) I did learn a few things…. 1) Cr stands for Chromium … 2) Everything is made up of Neutrons, Protons and Electrons … and 3) Sleeping with the teacher does NOT guarantee a passing grade……hmph 😉

 

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There And Back…

There and Back…

 

Well we’d been in Alberta for 9 days. The weather for the first half was really nice. Mandy and I took Nolan, now 14 months, out for walks and to the park, and it was great watching him step onto the grass and suddenly stop as he realized the feeling was completely different from the floors at home. Taking tentative steps at first, and then laughing as he decided it he liked it after all. Mandy and Dave will have a wonderful summer ahead of them as they watch him discover nature this year. Penelope is 5 months younger, but will still be a joy for Kim and Josh to watch as she too begins to discover a new world outside. And Olivia, 3 years old, should keep them going ‘til they drop. I’d love to find a way to bottle her energy. I sure do love being a Nana. All of the grandchildren are so much fun, but instead of tiring THEM out, they tired us out. So then it was time to go out to the farm (Brians parents) for some R&R.

 

Brian had headed out Friday and I was to follow on Sunday. Well that was the plan, but not surprisingly, the plan changed as soon as Mother Nature threw a winter storm warning at us. There we were, enjoying nice, go outside, light jacket, breathe in fresh air, play in the puddles kind of weather, and then BAM, winter again. Whoever pissed Mother Nature off (And you know who you are) should be sent into the Arctic with nothing but a smile. As we all know she can be downright bitchy unpleasant (I don’t want to get her going again) when she chooses and so before the wind and snow settled in I cut my visit short in Calgary and headed off to the farm northwest of Edmonton. I was doing pretty good too, until, ahead of me, a sport utility vehicle, a half ton truck with a small trailer, a car, and a semi truck began a multi-vehicle synchronized lane change. The only problem being they WEREN’T very synchronized. The car started it all when he (the driver, not the car) didn’t merge into traffic, but rather spewed out black smoke (the car, not the driver) when trying, without much success, to pick up speed while entering the lane in front of the semi truck. Suddenly, cell phones went flying, vehicles zigged and zagged, horns blew, brake lights flashed, tires squealed, and shorts were filled (NO, not mine, but it was close). All the while, I was thinking –You people cannot get hurt right now .Don’t you know I’m on my way to the farm, I’m tired, I’m hungry and damnit I have to pee.– I realize that sounds a little self centered, but I really did have to pee, and you know how I am about THAT…ah huh. Anyway, they did get themselves sorted out and the flow of traffic resumed to normal (I didn’t say safe, I said normal). About 15 minutes later, I began to wonder why the signs and scenery weren’t familiar to me. I pulled off at a gas station and inquired about Hwy 44…Aaack…I’d missed the turn off during the lane dance! Oh well, as Brian says, I had broadened my map. And it included a washroom. 😉  So I headed back, found my turnoff and without further distractions, I arrived safely at the farm.

 

The farm was definitely still in the throws of winter, with more snow and chilly weather expected. It arrived the next morning…brrr.  Brians sister, Jennifer, and her two children, Isaac (5?) and Sophia (20 mo), were visiting from Ontario. His son, James and his girlfriend Natasha were also there. Add us into the mix and it was a busy household. Talking was non stop, food was eaten, puzzles were made, games were played, food was eaten, music and song was enjoyed, and OMG more food was eaten. Kudos to Terry and Louise for putting up with and feeding all of us! We both developed colds (Jenny and Sophia are sharing kind of people) and I almost lost my voice. Oh yes, I realize that most, if not all, think that would have been a bonus… :p Anyway, we were the only ones left at the farm on our last day, and although we really enjoyed seeing all the others, it was nice to spend it alone with his parents.

 

Up early to find breakfast and coffee ready (Thanks Terry). Brian was feeling better, but my nose was dripping worse than a faucet without a washer. We headed out shortly after breakfast, large box of Kleenex in hand. The trip was uneventful, so I don’t have anything else to add. I KNOW…Me short on words. Who’d have thought.

 

Until next time, remember:

          There’s always a lot to be thankful for

          if you take the time to look for it.

          For example, I’m sitting here thinking how

          nice it is that wrinkles don’t hurt.

J

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Alberta Time…

Alberta time…

 

Well not much has happened since I last posted. It’s misted, it’s dribbled and it’s rained. On the plus side, the rain forest and surrounding areas are green, and I can let nature wash the car, although that will quickly change when we’re in Alberta.

 

It’s time:

We headed to Alberta on Tuesday (17th) to visit with the families and go to the dentist. Well I’M actually the one going to the dentist, as I’d like to eat solid foods again. I don’t WANT to go to the dentist, but then I don’t know of anyone who really does. But I have learned through my many years (Don’t go there dear) that if I don’t deal with the toothache now, I’ll suffer a whole lot more later, not only in the pain department, but in the financial department. When you think about it, it’s kind of weird. I mean, you’re in pain and then you go to the dentist and he gives you MORE pain to take away your original pain, and you PAY him to do it. I don’t know about you, but I for one, do not like parting with my money to have someone poke needles in my mouth. Give me one anywhere else and I’m fine, but my mouth simply screams NO! And then they lie and say it’s just a pin prick. I’ll tell you who the prick is and it isn’t the needle (just kidding Dr. hehe). Plus they never leave it at one shot. Oh, Nay Nay. There’s one for the gum, one for cheek, and one for the hell of it. And what’s with the x-ray plasticboard thing they cram in there? It never fits well, and when they tell you to bite down on it and hold until otherwise instructed, it’s, yet again, painful….I KNOW! I’d like to tell them to bite THIS. Then there’s the vibrate through your bones drill, the suction your oxygen out of your lungs thing, the air blowing all the crap he drilled out of your tooth down your throat thing, the soldering (well that’s what it smells like) thing, and the never ending drooling thing. I have a theory that the “hell of it” needle is the dentists’ idea of a joke needle. It keeps you frozen long enough to go back out into the public arena where you of course can’t feel that you’re drooling down your chin and onto your shirt, looking like you’re an overgrown baby in the throws of teething, which really, if you think about it, is what STARTS the whole need to go to the dentist in the first place…hmmmm. On the other hand, my dentist DOES give me happy pills to help keep me calm so I won’t try to wrap my dribble bib around his eyes, while trying to get control of the needle, pointing it at his head and telling his assistant to back away or the dentist gets a brain freeze like he’s never had before.   

And, of course, throughout this experience, my mind is trying to calculate, as I have no insurance, how much this is going to cost. My son-in-law Dave is doing my tax return for me this week…Thank you Dave, and I should be getting some money back…woohoo, which I will then turn over to the dentist office…sigh.

 

Post Dentist Visit Note: Happy to report that my dentist visit went well (New Happy Pills). It cost less than I expected, and no dentist was hurt during this production…J

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Bits and Pee..ses

Bits and Pee-ses…

 

Here’s a Bit: First I should remind you that I’m 4 yrs older than Brian. So, I was listening to the radio (that would be CBC…uh huh) and I heard something about big houses, blah, blah, blah, and I queried why people would want to live a house big enough to get lost in, unless, of course, the purpose was to loose unwanted house guests, to which Brian replied “Well, dear. In a few years, you’ll get lost in the RV”. He thinks he so funny, but just wait ‘til that time comes and he can’t find me, and has to find his (Refer to Dec.4-7 posting) “bag of stuff” by himself…:p

 

A Bit more: I nearly forgot (shame on me) that the other night, Brian and I played our first game of cribbage together. I realize that it doesn’t sound like much, but what makes it worthy of telling (at least to me) is that I WON. As you know I’ve lost many a game of crib to Mike, and Brian has won against Mike. Now as I seldom beat Brian at games, I was quite tickled to realize (my hand was more than enough) that unless he pegged out (which was unlikely due to his location on the board) I was going to win the game. Keeping a straight face was difficult, but I pulled it off. But the best part of the evening was winning the bonus game of …you guessed it…Scrabble…I KNOW! Two games, two wins! I assure you that I was quite graceful in my victories…Really…Well, ok, I might have cheered (a little) and gloated (a little) and did the Dance of Joy (a lot little), but I did it all gracefully…;-).  

 

Not so gracefully, however, was trying to pee. Ok, maybe that needs some explanation. As moorage renters at the Mission Harbour we have a key that IS a key, and a key that’s a card key. These get us access to the boat dock as well as the laundry room and the washroom. Up until this point, I haven’t had to gain access to anything other than the boat. So, we were on our way home from Vancouver after visiting Michael (I got my mothers hug quota for a little while) and suddenly I had to pee. I didn’t immediately bring this to Brians attention as I thought “It’s not bad. I can make it home”. I really DID think I could make it home. Anyway, as the urge grew and grew,  I  mentioned it to Brian (driver) and he’s like ”We’re not near anyplace to stop. We can stop in Mission and you can go at the marina” (we go right passed it).Well Mission was 30 minutes away, but seeing as there was nowhere else to stop before that, I didn’t have much choice. So with 30 minutes to go…

             

  • 7:10pm: Agree to stop at Mission
  • 7:15pm: Shift in my seat. Brian glances my way.
  • 7:22pm: Try taking my mind off it by counting the headlights of oncoming traffic.
  • 7:23pm: I now have to pee AND I have a headache…sigh.
  • 7:28pm: “You ok?” he asks. “Mmm” I reply, shifting again and squeezing whatever will squeeze.
  • 7:33pm: Shifting, squeezing and praying “Lord, help me make it to the marina and I’ll stop cussing, I swear” with Brian telling me to “Hold on, we’re just about there” Like I’m not holding on already to the seat and door handle hoping to minimize the effects of every little bump, which by the way I’m sure he was getting sadistic pleasure from hitting.
  • 7:37pm: Pull up to the marina. Wrestle with my seat belt, and the door handle. Walk briskly while squeezing (Brian referred to it as the “PeePee Dance”) and trying to get the key out of my pocket. Then UP the ramp, the 5 steps (seemed like 20) and around the corner to the door. Put the key in the deadbolt lock. It turns..Yes! Turn the door handle. It opens…NO! Aaaaack! Door handle is locked. Try the key in the door handle lock. Nothing! Squirm, squeeze shifting from one foot to the other as I dance my way around the corner, and down the steps heading back to the car while hoping none of our dock neighbors are watching. As Brian sees me coming he rolls down the window and I tell him the key only works in the upper lock, but not the door handle, all the while dancing on the spot. He gets out and I watch him approach the problem himself. After trying his key, he simply reaches into his pocket and pulls out the key CARD, swipes it over the panel beside the door and the door opens. Well Son of a… (I stop myself. After all, a deal is a deal). But I mean, really, what’s with TWO keys for the washroom? There’s no high tech toilet made of gold that should require tight security in there that I know of…sheesh. Anyway… As I begin the dance back again, Brian goes in to use it, and I’m thinking, as I ignore the ramp and the steps and head straight up the incline next to the parking lot and climb between the fence boards, that he damn darn (I’m trying) well better open that door by the time I get there.

 

In my defense, I’d like to point out that women in a TPB (Toxic Pee Buildup) moment are not legally responsible for their behavior…Really…Ask any female judge…And the running shoe impressions on his body only lasted 2 days…I swear…J

 

                                                      

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