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Winter sunrise, Lake Cowichan, B.C.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Last week before USA September 26 - 30

Boy has the time flown by! Monday and Tuesday other than going to Dad's we stayed at home and rested up. Ray's back and my foot needed some time off! Wednesday we were back at it, getting prepared for our trip and picked up Dad and Larny, taking them to Ken and Norma's for a get together before we leave. Thanks for the chinese food and good company Uncle Ken and Aunty Norma! (We did not get Norma in many pictures as she was not feeling well and managed to escape the camera!)

Dad and Ken

Larny taking a "selfie" with Dad

Larny, Dad and Me

Dad, Ken Deb, Ray and Norma
Great to see you all and Ray and I hope you all "winter well" and will see you at the end of March when we return.

Thursday shaped up to be a very busy day for Ray and I. We left Freya at Dad's with Larny and headed out to Burnaby to Ray's mum's moving day. Mum had arranged for movers to come and take all of her furniture and boxes to the new assisted living place. Ray's brother Ryan and his husband Paul, had come over earlier in the morning to move all of Mum's clothes to the new place which was great.

While the mover's were loading her furniture and boxes, Ray sat in the car during the process as he cannot stand for any period of time. When the last load was being taken out, Ray and I drove her to the new place about 20 minutes away.

Here we go!
The new apartment

It took the mover's a total of 4 hours to pick up her stuff and move it in to the new place. Again, Ray had to wait in the car where it is more comfortable for him. Dinner was served for Mum at 5 pm so I sent her along to the dining room and directed the movers where to put her stuff as per her instructions. The first order of business was putting her bed together and making it. Once that was done Ray was able to come back and lay on the bed while I unpacked her boxes for her. Within an hour I had unpacked everything with her putting stuff away other than 4 boxes she will do herself. Ray and I are so happy that she is settled before we go. Unfortunately we did not take a picture when it was all set-up :(

Hopefully Mum had a good night as she was really tired when we left at 6:30 pm. Ray and I had made arrangements to have dinner out a short distance away with some friends of ours, Laurel and Derek, who we hope to meet up with us this winter in Arizona. They're off to Cuba and don't leave for the US until Nov 1st. As this will be their first time travelling to the States, our brains were truly picked clean by the time we left.

We all had a great meal at Brown's Social House near Brentwood Mall. Great Service, Great Food and Great Company! See you guys down south.

Today, Friday, Pauls RV Repair Service is finally coming at 2 pm to install our new front jack and replace our rear jack on the passenger side with our spare. Hopefully with this finally done (all 4 jacks now all replaced) the jacks will retract by themselves without us having to manually assist. I will be doing the last of the laundry and readying the coach for travel tomorrow. Yeah! We will have dinner at Dad's tonight and retrieve Freya. Larny wants to keep her!

Dad's favorite place to be! Notice the cookies Larny prepares for him for his afternoon snack.
The last shop at Walmart in Surrey before we left the local fireman were canvassing for Muscular Dystrophy. Ray and I used to do that in the Charlottes. This was their firetruck on display. Wow.

Monday, September 19 to Sunday September 25

Nothing of interest to report .... busy doing busy stuff! Good news though, Ray's MRI came back with "no significant changes" from three years ago.  Apparently there is one particular pinch point that is causing most of the nerve loss and this spot hasn't changed since the last MRI.  So hopefully the he won't lose any more nerve function than he already has. The MRI did identify a new herniated disc between the shoulder blades he will just have to live with. His specialist just told him to "stay the course". Do as much as you can for as long as you can... we certainly will try!

Even better news, Ray's mother has been accepted into assisted living and we will help her unpack next Thursday in her new apartment. She will have movers come in and move the furniture and boxes. It sure gives us some peace of mind knowing that she is not on her own while we are away this winter. When we checked out the place today, (Thursday) they were doing their exercises in the lounge getting ready to do their Flash Mob Dance next week. Pretty cool. Told Mum I expect her to partake!

Getting ready for the "Flash Mob"
After viewing the facility and helping Mum pick out the suite she would prefer (she had 4 to choose from) we took her for a drive through their old neighbourhood a short distance from the assisted living place. Below is the picture of Ray's old house as a young boy,

Mum was really surprised that the house was still standing.
Next it was Ray's grandparents house a few blocks away from their house. Again still in really great shape.

My Dad is doing pretty good with his caregiver Larny, his nurse Bev and his great doctor, Dr Britts who checks him from stem to stern. He does have health issues but is doing the best he can he tells everyone. He is very lucky (and me) that he is getting such good care. They are all excellent with him.

Saturday afternoon, Garrett and Kat came to Dad's for dinner (which I cooked) from Squamish and after an enjoyable evening they stayed overnight. Freya sure enjoyed playing with her sister in Dad's large backyard.

 Family Dinner - Thanks for all the help guys.

Sunday morning we all took Dad out for his third annual birthday breakfast at the IHOP. Thanks for buying breakfast Garrett and Kat. His birthday is October 15th but we will be gone. I cannot believe how much food Dad packs away at breakfast. Kat and Larny helped me prep for Sunday night dinner as our good friends Steve and Dianne were coming over to Dad's. Larny even reset the table. She is a treasure and even baked us 2 apple pies for dessert for both dinners. I unfortunately had a huge case of plantar fasciitis come upon my right foot after taking Larny shopping on Friday. By Saturday morning I could not put any weight on my foot and had 2 days of activities planned. The only cure is resting the foot, ice, ibuphrophen and wearing my brace. Garrett and Kat managed to find a pair of crutches in the garage so Sunday morning so I became more mobile and was able to attend the birthday breakfast. Thanks for all the help guys.

For Sunday dinner between Ray and Dianne (I had everything prepped) they were able to follow my instructions so we all ended up with a wonderful Prime Rib Dinner. Larny came home after her day off just in time to have dinner. We all dispersed by 8:15 after a wonderful day, Steve and Dianne to Fort Langley and us to Peace Arch RV Park. Monday morning I woke up to a foot feeling much better but I will need a couple of more days of rest so I will be in good shape for our trip south.

Steve and Dianne (notice the foot brace, my friend for the next week!)

We are getting excited about starting our winter adventures.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Weekend at Garrett and Kat's in Squamish

Garrett and his girlfriend Kat moved to Squamish last month and now commute to Vancouver for work. Apparently it takes almost the same amount of time it used to from North Vancouver! Garrett and Kat drive to Park Royal and then Garrett rides his bike into downtown (20 min) and Kat takes the bus (15 min) for a commute of about 1 hour each in the morning and about 15 minutes longer coming home at night. I will miss not being able to see them as much when we come into town.

We left fairly early Friday morning hoping to sail through after the morning rush but it was still bumper to bumper from Kensington until we started up the hill on the other side of the Ironworkers bridge. Unbelievable the traffic at 10 am! After that it was pretty smooth sailing into Squamish. With rain forecasted in the afternoon/evening we wanted to beat the weather. Ray and I had also hoped to take the new gondola up the Squamish Chief while it was still sunny. We used to live at the base of this mountain in Valleycliffe years ago. After finding out it was $40 each for a 10 minute ride up and back and we could not leave Freya in the car we decided to give this one a miss.

I had messaged and old friend via facebook from the kids preschool days, Delle Booth and her husband Chris, the day before. She invited us to their house where we had a wonderful lunch. It was great to catch up. Ray and I had not seen them since they stopped in to see us in Port Alberni on their way to Tofino 20 years ago. As always with good friends, the years just melted away and we both were babbling to each other like usual. Ray and Chris have a lot in common with both of them working in the logging industry and knowing some of the same people. Thanks for a wonderful lunch Delle. As always your soups are amazing. Freya had a blast in their back yard chasing around for at least an hour with their 11 month old aussie shepherd Jacee, so when we got to Garrett's she was a lot calmer than usual!

Ray and I arrived at Garrett's about 3:30, picked up Kira and went for a walk along the dyke on the Squamish River. The dogs sure enjoy playing with each other. Soon after it started to spit with rain so I walked back to where we started and brought the car closer so Ray would not have to walk so far.

Is Garrett and Kat Home Yet!
Garrett and Kat arrived by 5:30 and after a beverage we all went out for dinner to the Watershed Grill right on the banks of the Squamish River. I was hoping to see the eagles but it is too early yet and the water is still pretty high so no fish for the eagles. We could not take outside pictures as the rain had begun. This is the view from their patio from their website.

Picture from their website.
Good thing we went early ... the place soon filled up.

We had a few appetizers to share, the mussels were to die for! and several entree's to share, butter chicken and Ray had the house special burger. Everyone was full by the time we left. Back home Garrett walked the dogs and then we chatted until Kat, Ray and I went to bed at 9 pm ... all of us way too tired.

Saturday morning (the dogs got us all up shortly after 6 am) we had coffee and then Garrett and Kat took us out to this little cafe for breakfast. Yumm. We all ate enough that we did not need lunch. Kat and Garrett took the dogs to the dog beach and they had a blast. Garrett the dog whisperer had all of the dogs paying attention to him as he was going to throw the chuck-it.

"Throw it already!"
Kat making lattes
 Later, Ray and Kat went out to the Farmer's Market to pick up something fresh for dinner tonight.

Garrett was sleeping upstairs and I was quietly sitting in my old lazyboy chair working on our winter trip plan. I think the dogs were tired after their run at the beach! They did not move for an hour or so until Ray and Kat came back!

Freya needing some Daddy Time!


What a meal Garrett and Kat came up with. Beautiful poached cod fillets with ritz cracker crust on top of a bed of nicely herbed risotto with fresh sauted green beans. I've taught my boy well! He plated it and decorated it before he served us. Lovely Garrett and Kat, thanks for a wonderful dinner. The only job I had was to be the "taster" of the risotto to say when it was done.

Sunday morning we were up at 6:15 again ... those darn dogs! Garrett took the dogs for a bike ride for half an hour. I think they are finally tired! After leisurely enjoying our Carolanne Latte's that Kat makes sooooo goooood, they prepared a wonderful breakfast of special bacon from the farmer's market and the Kyle Family Waffles. Way to go guys, you thoroughly spoiled us rotten. It was a wonderful visit and I love their new townhouse, very spacious. The guest accommodations were great as well.

Garrett making the famous waffles.

Freya making sure we are actually leaving ... she's too tired to climb up and down the stairs!
When we left to come back home to Surrey the clouds split up and the sun came out. We were treated to a spectacular drive home. Unfortunately Ray had two bad nights sleeping with back pain so after putting our stuff away it was time for him to have an afternoon nap. Hopefully a hot tub tomorrow will help as well. We find that when Ray is not in his "own bed, own chair etc." and not doing his own routine, he just seems to have a worse time with pain. So he deals with it the best he can as he does not want to miss these adventures.

Friday, 16 September 2016

September 9th - 15th ... Lots of running around still!

This is not the most exciting post ... mostly so I can remember next year what we did!lol

After getting back from the island Thursday afternoon we just vegged out at the motorhome. Larny, Dad's caregiver, begged us to let Freya stay overnight one more time so we picked her up Friday morning.

Friday, Ray was able to get out for a hot tub and we did some shopping for ourselves. We went back to Dad's later as Larny was making us dinner.

Saturday, was my day for housekeeping chores ... we had been so busy so I had not been able to get anything done since we arrived other than throwing in laundry in here and there.

Sunday was Larny's day off, so Ray ad I went over to Dad's about 3 pm so we could visit and cook him dinner.

Monday morning I was back at Dad's by 8:30 to pick up Larny to take her shopping to Costco and Walmart etc. Did not get back to the coach until 2 pm ... long day for Ray waiting for me to get back.

Tuesday it was off to the hairdresser for my annual highlights and cut. Rosie did a great job as usual.

Wednesday we were into Burnaby by 11 am after dropping Freya off at Dad's so we could take Ray's mom to Londsdale Quay in North Vancouver for lunch. We spent a lovely time walking through the market and then going to the Tap House for lunch. They specialize in carrying in lots of the lower mainlands craft brews. After dropping mum off we headed back to the coach for 1 1/2 hours to rest up and then went back to Dad's for dinner and retrieve our dog.

Mum sporting her new light walker that we got her for an early Christmas present.

Sea Bus heading back towards Vancouver

Thursday it was Freya's turn to see the vet for her annual check up and shots. She had been favouring her right hind foot for the past few days and for the last year on and off her left hip seemed to be sore. We had her xrayed and sure enough she has started to develop some arthritis in her left hip but no knee problems or hip dysplasia. Fortunately her arthritis is in it's early stage and we are now to give her something similar that humans take "glucosamine" only it's is a bit different for animals as it contains "cow trachea" and absorbs 60% instead of 10% with the glucosamine. $180 for 250 pills, 3 pills a day for 6 weeks and the 1-2 pills for life. Ouch! Apparently you can get something similar from Pet Smart in the states .... I will certainly be checking it out! Anyways it should hopefully prevent her from getting any more arthritis noticeably in that hip for another 2 to 3 years.

After her appointment we met up with our good friends Steve and Dianne Colibaba and brought them to the Beatnik Bistro in Fort Langley for lunch. It was great to catch up.

Tomorrow we are off to Garrett and Kat's place in Squamish for the weekend. Unfortunately the weather is supposed to be wet.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Back to Suburbia and Peace Arch RV Park Surrey, BC

We left Merritt by 8:30 am and arrived at Peace Arch shortly after 12 noon after a 15 minute stop at the Aldergrove Rest Area to stretch and walk Freya. The trip was pretty uneventful as it was Thursday before the long weekend and any of the holiday traffic was going in the other direction. After a minimal set up we relaxed for the rest of the afternoon. As usual coming back to town the first week or so is incredibly busy.

Friday morning by 9:30 am we went over to Dad's to check things out and he had a whole list of stuff for me to do for him, paying his lawyer, banking etc. After dropping Ray off at the motorhome, I went out to complete Dad's stuff while doing a little shopping for us. That night we had a lovely dinner at Dad's that Larny, his caregiver, prepared.

Saturday morning first thing, I took Larny out to Costco and Superstore for her to get all of Dad's shopping completed. As she does not drive, she waited for me to get back to town to give her a hand with the "heavy, bulky stuff. That night we went to Ray's mom's for a quick visit and then back home by 5 pm. Both of us exhausted. Ray's back was really bad as well so we definitely needed the night off.

Sunday as it was Larny's day off, Ray and I went to Dad's in the early afternoon so I could make him and us dinner. Ray was able to get out and go for a hot tub at the White Rock Pool so his back eased up some. Again we were tired so dropped off into bed by 9 pm.

Monday we dropped Freya off at Dad's as Larny is looking after her for us while we go to the island for our doctor appointments and Ray's MRI. We also took Ray's mom out for dinner at the Keg and had a good visit with her during the afternoon.

Prime Rib Dinner at the Keg

Freya would go into Dad's room and sleep until Larny went to bed and then move into her room.

I'm ready for bed Larny! Are you coming!
Yup, she's still here at 4 am!
Tuesday morning Ray and I packed up and headed to the island for three days to take care of our appointments and visit with Kristi and Jason at their rental house where we stayed. We stopped in and saw Kristi's new medical office and met her Medical Office Assistant. Our art work that she has borrowed temporarily looks pretty good on her newly painted walls! After a bit of shopping we met Jason at their house. When Kristi arrived home at 6:30 it was off for a Chinese Food Buffet for dinner. We are such exciting guests that Ray and I were again in bed by 9 pm. (Kristi was in bed too!)

Yup it's official! We have a Dr. Kyle in the family!
Dr. Kyle's Office

Wednesday, Jason and I, with Ray stupidvising, emptied out some of our storage locker so that Kristi and Jason could use some of our packed furniture. We managed to get the extra queen bed out that Jason and Kristi will take to my Dad's later this week with their utility trailer so we have a comfortable bed to sleep on when visiting. Tonight, Jason is going to cook us dinner and as Kristi has office hours today she will be home early.  Ray's MRI appointment is at 8:30 tonight so hopefully he gets right in as it takes almost an hour in the machine. (He was done in 1/2 an hour as he did not move at all!)

Thursday, after our morning doctor's appointments, we are having lunch with Ray's old boss and his wife at our favorite Sushi Place called Nori's near Costco. Depending on the time we finish we will try for the 3:15 pm out of Duke Point. It will be nice to sleep in our own bed again. Boy did our first week in Vancouver go by fast!

Sheila and Bart with us at Nori's in Nanaimo. A great visit.
We managed to catch the 3:15 ferry back to Tsawwassen but Larny had told me she wanted to keep Freya overnight and we could pick her up Friday morning so that is what we did. Larny enjoys having Freya to fuss over and so does Dad.

Next week should be a bit slower  with a hair appointment and Freya to the vets and catch up with our friends Steve and Dianne who will be arriving at Fort Camping in Langley on Saturday... but we will spend the following weekend in Squamish with Garrett and his girlfriend Kat.

Sometime before the end of this month we need to schedule some motorhome maintenance items too. The month of September is going to go by fast I think.