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Lantzville, BC

Monday, 24 July 2017

Ode to Mum (Doris Irene Kyle) RIP

Sunday, July 23rd

Doris Irene Kyle (Rene) with William Verner Kyle (Bill)

Five minutes before Ray was leaving to see Mum at the carehome, he received a call she'd passed away 10 minutes earlier. We expected this outcome sometime in the next few weeks, but not the next day after her care plan was changed. Even though you know the time is coming, it still feels like a shock when it actually happens.

Mum lived on this earth for 93 years, her birthday June 18th, 1924. She lived for spending time with her family, spoiling all of us by taking us out to various restaurants. She loved to try new foods. Mum had a wonderful group of friends that she made over the years from volunteering in Burnaby at the Edmonds Community Centre and her singing group. All of these people came to visit her at the hospital and carehome over the past 2 1/2 months since her stroke. Mum was absolutely crazy for dogs. She always had treats ready for any dog she would come upon.

Mum always was up for a new adventure. We even took her fishing for the first time about 10 years ago where she caught her first fish.

She was a very independant lady, living on her own since Ray's Dad passed away in 1986. Mum was in her own apartment until last fall when we moved her into assisted living as she was unable to cook for herself anymore and found herself slowing down with her atrial fibrilation. She loved living at Courtyard Terrace with her own apartment and especially loved the food that they served there  and actually gained 5 pounds after she moved in.

Years ago at Rathtrevor Beach

Christmas in Port Alberni

Barbeque at Fort Camping

Christmas at my Dad's in Coquitlam

Spoiling us again with dinner out.

The last dinner we were all out for together, Garrett's birthday dinner March 31st, 2017

Garrett's Birthday Dinner
May 7th she unfortunately had a stroke which she never recovered from and after 6 weeks a place was found for her at Dania Home in Burnaby. They took fantastic care of her and we were very pleased with how friendly and attentive the staff were with her.

After receiving the news, Ray had trouble sitting around so I sent him off to the Darts Hill Garden Park, located a couple of miles from Dad's house.  He wanted to have a walk and take some pictures in memory of his Mum. She loved the pictures of places we've been and loved gardens. Mum  had volunteered at the gardens of her seniors apartment complex she lived at for many years when she was able to.  Whenever we returned from our travels, Ray would prepare a chronological slide show so she could enjoy our trip.

It being Sunday, I stayed to look after my Dad.


Darts Hill Garden is the result of over 70 years of work and dedication guided by the clear vision of Francisca Darts. Along with her husband Edwin, Francisca took a logged piece of land, turned it first into an award winning orchard and then into the unique garden that is Darts Hill today.
Francisca’s curiosity and love of the new and interesting has resulted in the most diverse collection of mature tree and shrub species in the Pacific Northwest. Many were planted from seed collected from around the world.
In 1994 Edwin and Francisca Darts donated their 7.5-acre garden to the City of Surrey and its citizens.  Their intention was to give Surrey its own garden to be used as a horticultural centre for the preservation, enhancement, and development of plants.  The non-profit Darts Hill Garden Conservancy Trust Society works in partnership with the City of Surrey towards these goals.

RIP Mum. We know you have wished for this day for at least 5 years. Now you are with Bill and no longer in any pain. We will miss you lots.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

The roof is finally done and another week goes by.

For those of you that are interested in our travels this is not it! This is Blah, blah, blah about not travelling at the moment. Hopefully we will be on the road again early September.

Thursday, July 13th.

Well the roof is finally finished, all flashing and new skylights put in and the garbage bins have been taken away. It sure looks fantastic. The roofers said when they were taking off the shingles, they were surprised that it had not leaked yet and certainly would have next winter.

Remember ... the old roof looked like this!

Not much happening this week other than visiting Ray's Mum and finalizing her wheelchair ... the electric one was given back. She was a danger to herself running into walls and not taking her hand off the controls to stop the forward motion of the chair and screaming ow, ow. Her doctor has upped her pain medication and she is to get a brace for her flacid left arm to help with her pain they hope. She still is only drinking liquids and turning down any soft food except icecream.

Ray's sister and husband came up from Tacoma on Saturday to visit with her. We met them at the care home for a short visit with mum and then went with them for  an early lunch at Whitespot on Kingsway. Ray and I went home after and they went back to spend some more time with Mum. It was great to see them.

Later on Saturday we met up with our friends Gerry and FranCeen at Moby Dick's in White Rock for a beer with fish and chips. to catch up. We last saw them at the end of May. The evening was warm and sunny so they came back to Dad's to spend time sitting out in "our front yard".

Saturday night at 7 pm, we received a call from the care home that Mum had fallen out of bed onto the floor. This had happened 2 hours earlier and the doctor was brought in to check her out. She seems to be okay, nothing broken. I am sure it will be apparent in a few days when her bruising starts which parts of her body hit the floor first. She was hallucinating again that she was in her old apartment and needed to get up to go to the bathroom. Mum has been confused a few times regarding where she is over the last 2 months, probably somewhat due to the pain medication we think. I cannot believe she actually got out of bed as she seems so weak and can hardly move everytime we have been in to visit. Apparently she has a new "bed sore" from the fall, splitting open her backside. Poor Mum. They have engaged the alarm on her bed now so if she is moving too much the alarm will alert the staff to prevent any more falls.

Sunday, Ray was off to visit Mum to check on her and I spent the day at home as it was my day to look after Dad. Country Ribs in my Instant Pot was on the menu for tonight as well as Georgia Peach Pie. with fresh peaches. It all turned out pretty good.

Monday, July 17th

We met up with our friends Steve and Dianne for lunch at the Big Ridge Brewery for their Monday special. They were in town from Tunkwa Lake to take their truck in for servicing for the umpteenth time. After lunch they followed us back to Dad's and we had a lovely visit sitting in the sunshine. They do not get back to Vancouver until September 11th and we will be leaving hopefully on September 7th so we will probably not catch up to them until Utah this winter. :( Word is the truck has a little more "pep" but they wont' know if the exhaust brake is fixed until they are towing again.)

It's Tuesday again! The time seems to be flying by even though we are not travelling. I've planned a week away next week, to celebrate our 40th Wedding Anniversary and both Ray's and my 60th birthdays this year. We leave next Tuesday ... Yeah!

Larny and I spent a couple of hours this afternoon getting ready for the Garage Sale on Saturday to get rid of some more stuff. There actually was less stuff than I thought but it needs to go. Betty must of bought a dozen or more brand new picture frames that have never been used with the original price tags in a box tucked away. After the sale is done it, will be time to get another garbage bin from the bagster to get rid of the last of the junk from the old shed etc.

Next after the garage sale it will be time for Larny, Mark and I to drag all of the pruned branches in the back yard (cut by Garrett, Mark and some of it done by Ray) over the last 2 months, to the front yard where we can rent the Country Woods Association wood chipper to get rid of that mess as well. There are piles of branches everywhere in the back yard. Here are some pictures taken summer of 2013 to show the overgrowth in the front and back yard. (Of course this all grew more in the past 4 years!)



After, now you can see a little of the house behind the yard with the shed gone.

After, showing our "White Rock"
As you can see, Dad's gardener has been slacking for the past few years as the lawn is horrible! He is just now using moss killer, fertilizing and aerating the lawn as per Ray's instructions. This should have all been done early spring. The lawn is just now finally starting to grow with us watering it as much as we can given Surrey's limited watering schedule (Tues, Thurs and Sat 4 - 9 AM)

Wednesday, July 19th

Ray's brother Ryan, is coming over today from the island to visit Mum, hopefully their visit goes well. (It did not go well, Mum was quite out if it and not making very much sense. He only stayed a short while then left as he could not stand seeing her that way.) Ray knows the feeling.

Our friend Gerry, is a retired contractor, and when he was here on Saturday he saw the cracked floor in the family room. He told Dad that he could fix the broken tiles in the family room and fix the gyproc in the bathroom skylight ceiling from a previous roof leak. He sent us a quote yesterday which was extremely reasonable and will start the work tomorrow. When we were clearing out the garage Ray found about 30 extra tiles so it will be more than enough to get that job done. We had ants crawling in through the cracks earlier this spring so I will be glad to have that done.

And so ends another week.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

They huffed and they puffed and the pushed the shed down!

Dad's new roof is pretty much finished, just some last cleaning up and putting the screens into the soffets. We had asked JJ Roofing for a little extra $$, if they would take down the rotten shed in the back yard and take it away in the dumpster when we accepted their quote a month ago. They gave us a cheap price of $200 cash. Today was the day they knocked it down. Wow it was stubborn. I think a lot more trouble than they had anticipated, but as for most men, they love to be able to destroy something.

Here is the video.

A tree branch fell on the roof 3 years ago and was not repaired so now the whole inside of the shed is rotten.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Touring Tsawwassen

Monday, July 3rd

The roofers were back at 9 am to do another section of the roof. Only 3 guys today as 2 of them took another day off with the long-weekend. So far only 1/3 of the roof is done. I think it will take them to Friday to finish completely including taking down the rotten shed in the back yard.

In the morning I did a few errands driving into Langley. Came back at noon for a bite to eat and then off to get a long overdue haircut. While I was gone Ray did a little more pruning in the yard. Every day he does a few minutes here and there. He loves getting out into the yard but can only do a little at a time which he finds a bit frustrating. Once the roofers are done we will have the people who did the pruning in the front yard come back to chip all of the piles of branches that have been accumulating. After we get that done we will have to organize a garage sale to get rid of a bunch of stuff that we have cleared out of the house. Finally, we will get Bagster.com to pick up another bag of garbage that we have cleared out of the yard ... old plant pots, metal shelving etc. By the time all of this is done at the end of summer, we will be able to go back on the road if Mum and Dad are stable and in reasonably good health. Fingers crossed.

We got a surprise visit in the afternoon. Garrett and Kat were in the area and stopped by to visit Dad and us for an hour or so. Great to see them.

Tuesday, July 4th

Another sunny day. Today I will go off to the carehome as Mum is supposed to get her electric wheelchair today. There could be a lot of waiting involved so I am going instead of Ray. Mum had asked me to make her some homemade soup so yesterday I made a batch of chicken soup to take with me to the carehome. As it turned out the new wheelchair is not coming until Thursday. Oh well, mum loved the small cream cheese and cucumber sandwich I made her and she did eat some of the soup for lunch. Her pain was quite bad when I first got there but after her shot she perked up and was able to get into her manual tilt wheelchair for lunch. Two of her friends came to visit so I left at noon to come back home. She was sporting a new haircut that had received the day before.

As you can see, they are trying to keep her well-hydrated since she does not eat very much.
The roofers spent a long day from 8:30 am to 7 pm working on the house. At 4pm more crew showed up to help so a total of about 8 guys. The back of the house is cleared of old shingles and now is sheeted with plywood and the new synthetic membrane applied ready for shingles. They have filled one bin full of old roof and are getting another bin to take the rest. With all of the dust and bits falling on the driveway my poor floors in the motorhome are filthy every day after I clean them from the dog. Oh well they should be done by the end of the week.

The back half done.

Wednesday, July 5th

Ray and I woke up at 3:30 am to the CO detector going off again. Usually you can just reset it but not this time. We actually had to get wire cutters to stop it from beeping. We've known it needs replacing for the last month but have been too busy. Well the time has come now. Took a while to fall back to sleep but we managed.

Another gorgeous day. Ray's brother is coming over from the island to see Mum today so we have a break from that. I have stuff to do here anyway. Tomorrow I will go there to meet the guy bringing the new wheelchair at 11 am.

Today the roofers are taking out the old skylights and covering the holes with plywood until the end of the job when they will be flashed and the new skylights put in.

The weather being so beautiful I was in need of a "beach fix". So by 10 am Ray packed his camera gear and I packed a small picnic. We headed off to Tsawassen as we had never actually driven into town ... just passed the turn off from going to and from the island ferry. First stop was Centenial Beach.

There are lovely walking and biking trails. You can even walk or bike down the main Dyke Trail that goes 16.4 km one way.

The tide is way out there.

The tide was way out so we only did a short walk allowing Ray to snap a few pictures and then it was onto the Beach Drive and happened upon a little city park called Diefenbaker Park.

Lots of carp in the pond

A short walking path

Real funky tree

Water Park for the kids
They also have a coverd picnic area but we did not take a picture as it was full of people. The park sits in a big bowl,  Ray didn't take a picture of it but the back side of the park has quite a steep hill. I am sure that last winter with the snow, the kids had a blast tobagganing.

We continued down the road near the beach on the other side of the spit but there were only houses and no access that we could see so after an hour driving around, it was time to go to our primary location, the Tswassen Ferry Terminal Beach. I found us a parking spot where we could set up right there so no lugging the chairs etc. right at the end of the road and near the out houses. We spent about 1 1/2 hours reclining in our chairs enjoying the day, watching the ferries come and go.  Freya enjoyed swimming too. The tide was coming in so quite a few boats launched to set their crab traps. The road in is certainly bumpy but I just drove in really slow.