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Sunrise at Tombstone, AZ

Sunday, 31 March 2019

Spring showers are here! ... apparently not yet!

Monday I went to Duncan to get some shopping done at Walmart, my monthly pedicure and back home before our company arrives. Our RV friends Brad and Katie from Gone Rogue came over from Salt Spring Island for an afternoon visit and then treated us to dinner at our neighbourhood watering hole "Jakes at the Lake". They arrived around 3pm and we spent a couple of hours sitting outside on our sundeck under the radiant heaters and fire table. We were all quite cozy although Katie felt the cold more. As usual, when we are with these guys we all forget to snap a picture or two!!! They are having some repairs done on their motorhome in Duncan and are staying at an AirBnB in Maple Bay. They may have to stay an extra night on Wednesday, if the repairs take longer than anticipated so they will stay here if that happens. The predicted rain started around 5pm so we came in and went to dinner at Jakes. It rained all night. we sure need it. The lake only came up slightly so much more precipitation is needed.

Tuesday am I was off to Nanaimo for my doctor's appointment and ran into an old next door neighbour, Lori Sherriff from Port Alberni. She now lives in Nanaimo and works for Paladin Security providing security for the Port Place Mall where my doctor's office is. She was right in the thick of it with the "tent city" across the street from the mall for many months. It's amazing with all of the times we have been to the doctor since moving here we have never run into her there at Port Place Mall! It was nice catching up with her and hopefully she will find time to come visit us at the lake this summer.

Lori Sherriff
Got back home by 12:30pm and it was so nice out we decided to have a campfire. What a lovely day, Ray and I spent a few hours sitting out and enjoying our view.

Wednesday morning, Ray was out the door by 8am taking the motorhome into Revy RV to finally have that passenger window that was broken from the breakin last December, put back in after it was fixed. With all of the snow and cold weather,  we've been unable to drive the motorhome out of our driveway to get it done. It will be nice to get it back and levelled properly so I can finally get in there and clean it up from all of our stuff thrown everywhere from the thieves. I know what I will be doing for the next few days. lol

Ray was back by about 10:30 am with the new window installed. Fabulous. Unfortunately on his way to Duncan the cardboard flew off on the highway and the roller blind was sucked out the window and ripped off. lol Oh well, that blind did not roll back up very well and we were thinking of replacing it, now it is going to be replaced for sure, Revy is sourcing it out now. We also need to get our caulking done so they can put the blind back in at that time. Good weather is needed though as they don't have a bay tall enough to put the coach into to do the work so it needs to be warm and dry outside for this job.

All fixed.
Ray spent some time levelling out the coach for me so I could open the slides, now my work begins, first up was taking out all my linens and washing them. After a few hours of that it was time to sit outside out of the wind and enjoy the sun.

By the end of the day you could not see my dining room table with all of the clean linen. lol I won't be putting it back in until I have wiped out all the cupboards. I had the motorhome detailed inside a while ago, but after sitting unused for 18 months and the recent breakin, it sure needs a good cleaning now.

Dane from the landscaping company was here earlier this week ... they should be starting in a few weeks to put in our lavender hedge between us and the neighbour on the right and plant the garden on the left. Ray has a few things to be done in the back yard.  These include a dry stack retaining wall, some planting of gardens, fixing all the damaged grass from construction, etc. They have a horticulturist on staff who will pick out deer resistant plants for us.

Thursday morning I spent 4 hours working inside the motorhome. A lot of carrying stuff to and fro ... Managed to get the carpets cleaned inside the bathroom sink cabinet, closet and under the kitchen sink with my little carpet shampooer. Tough being on my hands and knees for an hour, but the carpets came up great. I even made my own shampoo for the machine instead of buying a bottle of it with ingredients I had anyways. Thanks google.  You can also use this in a spray bottle if you don't have a carpet shampooer.

The bathroom has been wiped down inside and out of all cupboards with new liners and now ready to be restocked. So far so good no evidence of critters inside after 18 months of non-use!

Another fabulous sunny day. Again, we sat outside on the slate patio overlooking the water for a couple of hours relaxing. The forecast had called for a possible shower ... we did have some dark clouds pass by but stayed dry. Still no significant rain.

We had Price Alarm's here this afternoon to install a motion sensor in Ray's workshop. A lot of $$$ in that room that was not protected since the walls went up so the sensor in the main area does not reach that area anymore. Dean was also able to get the infrared working on the camera under the sundeck. For some reason it stopped showing the night shots after hanging for 5 months during the reconstruction of the deck! lol All good to go now.

Ray was able to get the lift for the hot tub cover installed today finally. We had been waiting for 4 1/2 months to receive the correct hot tub cover and lift system to work. (We had to exchange the lift they sent the second time while we were in Vancouver and now have the correct one.) Now Ray or I can use the hot tub whenever we want without having to have two of us lifting the lid. We definitely gave it a try yesterday after all the work I did in the motorhome and it worked beautifully.

Friday was spent with Ray working/painting our "bat cave boards" to put screening up in our front entrance to keep the bats out of our entrance pooping. They are back .... I carried dishes back and forth to put in the dishwasher out of the motorhome. After lunch Ray and I sat on the dock enjoying the sunshine for an hour until some big black clouds came up and we could hear some thunder in the distance. Time to come inside before it rains ... which it did not. Half an hour later the clouds moved off and the sun was back up but the wind made it too cold to go back out. Even if we did not go back outside, there were 4 young boys swimming at the park!!! Brrrr. I noticed them because of their screams and splashing in the water.

Checking my facebook on my phone noticed an alert that a Cougar had mauled a 4 year old boy. After delving deeper noticed that it happened on our street about 1/2 km away. Yikes. Called my neighbour Pat, to warn her regarding her 2 grandchildren.

COWICHAN VALLEY GAZETTE NEWSPAPER:  Police have confirmed a cougar has mauled a child near Lake Cowichan. At about 5:40 p.m., RCMP spokesman Cpl. Chris Manseau said “front-line members are currently working along with BC conservation officers in an attempt to locate the cougar.”
6:20 p.m. Lake Cowichan mayor Rod Peters has said a four-year-old boy sustained non-life-threatening injuries to his arm and was flown to hospital in Vancouver.
“It was in the Point Ideal subdivision right near the centre of town down by the marina,” Peters said.
“There were at least two and they think maybe three cougars,” he added
Peters said he went to the scene at roughly 5:30 p.m. and while he was there the conservation officers had located and shot two small cougars and were still scanning the area as they think there might be one more.
“They had the cougar hounds out,” he said. “They were just small cougars, yearlings or something like that.”

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I walk Freya down our road. Wow. Told Ray to take his big "walking stick" when he takes Freya to the park behind us for the next while. We do live very close to the wilderness here and sometimes the "wilderness" spills into the residential spaces. There had been reports earlier this month of 3 cougars roaming together which is very unusual as they are solitary, at the other end of town in the "Slopes" subdivision and they were caught on a trail camera just behind the subdivision where residents walk their dogs. These were probably the same bunch of cougars which leads me to suspect that there is one more out there. No other news about this so far.

Saturday morning dawned sunny and 3C. Another glorious day with light fog blowing off the lake and the reflections of the trees in the water. Supposed to get up to 17C again this afternoon. This is my first day of wearing summer capris on March 30th ... Our son Garrett turns 38 years old tomorrow. Wow hard to believe.

I headed into Duncan to talk with Canadian Tire about our dock solar lights ... all 16 of them are not working. They were not cheap so "what to do". Even though I did not have my receipt they were able to look it up from the beginning of last October. They kindly told me to bring them all in and they would exchange them. Thanks for that! They list as weatherproof but all of them had water in them... we shall see what the next batch does.

While in Duncan I also had to pick up some things at Walmart and realized that it was the Duncan Walmart's MacDonald's where some person drove into the wall on the outside!

UPDATED: Car crashes into Duncan’s Walmart

Driver taken away by ambulance ... apparently the lady had a medical emergency.

Lights out ... No french fries for you!
Sunday morning was foggy but soon the fog burned off. Another beautiful day on the lake. I spent more time working on cleaning everything in the motorhome, and Ray puttering with his projects, including our "bat cave".

About 12:30 pm, Ray decided to take me out for lunch and get me away from working so hard. What a nice hubby. He decided on the pub at Maple Bay. We had great fish and chips ... enough leftovers that Ray will have the rest tonight for dinner. What a beautiful afternoon. Our view from the pub.

As of next Wednesday they are predicting about 6 days of rain ... we sure need it for the lake levels so I won't complain much. lol

And that pretty much was our week.

Monday, 25 March 2019

Is it Summer or Spring?

What a difference from last week. Tuesday, March 19th is spectacular. Temperature is 20C at 3:30 pm. Ray and I did our chores in the morning and spent a couple of hours in the afternoon sitting in the sun on the dock. There was some wind down there so we needed our fleece.  In our driveway, at the front of the house, you could have been in shorts and a t-shirt! Unfortunately our lake is really low and the weir has not been put in yet.  Hopefully, when they install it April 1st, it rains for a couple of weeks or we will be in trouble this summer. See how much beach is showing ... it should be up to the shrubs at this time of year.

Wednesday morning, up early dealing with the paperwork for Dad's final Estate Taxes that are due by the 23rd of March. Just received paperwork from the accountant at 9 pm last night and will have to priority post it back this morning. This should be the end of it other than waiting for the Clearance Certificate. Then I will be able to shred all the boxes of old tax info that I have stored. Shaping up to be another stellar weather day.

Ray and I headed to Duncan to pick up a few things and then back home for the first Wiener Roast of the season at our neighbours, Pat and Darryl's with all of the grandchildren and family. It was a balmy 20C out. What a great way to spend a few hours. They have a beautiful sandy beach in front of their house.

Pat's grandchildren, Ashton, Sevie and Emily.

Pat's family.

The hostess with the mostess, Pat!

Thursday was also a nice day although not as warm as yesterday. We did manage to sit for an hour outside on the back lawn out of the wind to enjoy the sunshine.

Friday morning, David Coulson and the tile guys showed up around 9am. David is definitely supervising them himself and he is also doing the hearth for the propane stove downstairs himself ... he really does want us "out of his hair". The feeling is quite mutual.

The new hearthstone will take about 2 weeks to be manufactured after the template was made so work still to be done. So here we go from finished to "unfinished" again due to poor workmanship and not having the correct materials on site ...we had asked for slate and agreed to the stone only because they did not have it and did a crappy job using stone. At least Dave agreed with our opinion.  Stripped down now for the slate piece.

The tile guys finished shortly before 3pm... David gave up about 1:30 pm complaining his back was too sore and he'll have to stay supervising.

Glad today is over .... and the deck is finally finished since it was demolished on September 4th, 2018, only 6 1/2 months later!

Clouds are coming in with rain forecast overnight. We certainly have not had many days with that just snow. lol

Saturday morning Ray was up pretty early ... I did not get up until 6:15 am, a sleep in for me. lol

Once we had our weekly Saturday morning coffee and Carolan's and later breakfast,we headed into Duncan to the Farmer's Market for my massage. Here is a picture of the old Duncan Train Station which is close to the market.

Next up was to Dinter's Nursery to discuss deer resistant shrubs.There appears to be quite a few choices for me to further investigate.

Image result for dinter's nursery
Picture from google

On the way back we stopped at the Old Farm Market. Several people have told me that they have great mostly local produce with reasonable prices. I found this to be true. Definitely an eclectic place.

They have a really huge oak tree out front.

They also have a small deli restaurant attached to the market. This place is hopping in the summer.

Next up, a place we have talked about checking out since we moved here, Red Arrow Brewing. They are owned by the people who own the Craig Street Pub in Duncan and Jake's at the Lake here in Lake Cowichan. This brewing company makes all their beer for both places. On site at the Brewery they have a Food Trailer called Jake's on the Road where they provide burgers for the clientele visiting the brewery. Lunch was great and we shared a flight of 3 brews. You could eat inside or out on their patio. We started at the patio but it was too cool so went inside.

Nice and cozy in here.
After lunch it was time to come back home to rescue Freya. A lovely morning interlude doing something different. Back home to relax for the afternoon watching the "moods of the lake" with the sun and clouds and sprinkles of rain.

That was our week.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Trip over to Vancouver on the ferry to visit friends and family.

Busy weekend visiting Garrett and Kat, then John and Joane and finally Aunt Norma and Uncle Ken.

Ray and I were up early at 5am Friday morning to catch the ferry from Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay to spend a couple of days with Garrett and Kat. It rained a little on the way but by the time we arrived in Squamish at 11 am it was bright and sunny. Garrett was home but Kat was working in Vancouver and would be home later in the afternoon. After dropping off Freya and our luggage it was time to meet our good friends Delle and Chris at Howe Sound Brewing for lunch. Garrett came with us. (We have known Delle way back when Garrett and her daughter Jodi, went to preschool together.)

Garrett, Ray, Chris and Delle
After a great lunch we went for a short stroll to stretch our legs. What a great visit catching up.

Once Kat got home for work it was off to a new restaurant in town called the "Salted Vine". One of the best meals we have had at a restaurant in a long time. We all had different entree's and shared them. My cocktail was called a "Vegetable Garden", a fancy caesar.

Back home watching movies and to bed at 10. Freya certainly had fun with her sister.

Saturday morning we were all up to 7am. Garrett and Kat made waffles and bacon for breakfast. Yumm. We sure are getting spoilt. Coffee with Carolan's was also on the menu.

Kat getting to hug Freya ... Kira does not tolerate this so Kat loves her time with Freya.

The "expert" waffle maker.

After breakfast our tour guides took us for a drive to the spit and then after to the Mamquam River to see where Kat and Garrett go to beat the heat in the summer with Kira. What an awesome sunny day.

Yup, going for a car ride.

Looking up the harbour towards Mt. Garibaldi.

The metal container is for the wind surfer club's gear.

Next off to the Mamquam River.

Squamish sure has beautiful scenery, surrounded by water and mountains.

Back home to chill out for a couple of hours so Ray could rest.  Went out for a lovely dinner at the new sushi place near their home called Sushi San. Lots of laughs and good food. We ate early to beat the rush at this restaurant. By the time we left there was a lineup to get in.

Back home, Kat served her homemade peach tarts with ice cream for dessert. What a great day.

Sunday morning we were all up by 7 am. After coffee, Garrett and Kat made Eggs Bennie for breakfast. Fabulous guys. By 10:30 we were on the road heading to West Vancouver to meet up with our good friends John and Joane Mahon. We chatted for an hour or so before heading out to their favourite sushi place, Kin Sushi in Ambleside. The food was wonderful, some of the best sushi we have had. Very fresh. Forgot to take a picture of them .... so I stole one from Joane's facebook from this past Christmas. lol

John and Joane Mahon
Before heading off, Ray and I took Freya for a short walk down the Ambleside Seawalk. What a gorgeous day. They have great little sitting areas in shaded gardens.

As well as great views of Vancouver and the Lions Gate Bridge.

Lots of people out enjoying the sunshine.
 After hugs goodbye, it was off to Coquitlam to see my Aunt Norma and Uncle Ken where we are staying overnight. We had a lovely afternoon catching up before taking them out to dinner at Mr. Mikes. My cousin Pam and her boyfriend Rick joined us. Another lovely visit and it was nice to meet Rick for the first time. Back home and in bed by 9:30 pm. This has been a long travel day for Ray and myself. 

Norma, Ken, Rick and Pam
Monday morning after a leisurely start and breakfast it was off to Langley to exchange our hot tub cover and a few other stops. We tried to make the 12:45 pm ferry back to Nanaimo but ended up being the 11th car that did not make it on and had to wait for the 3:15 pm ferry... bummer. Fortunately it was a lovely sunny day so we were able to leave the tailgate open for Freya and Ray and I just stayed in the car with the windows open reading. Made it home at 6:15 pm. It was 18C when we reached the house. We left with it still winter with a lot of snow still on the ground and cold on Friday morning, to come back on Monday with most of the snow gone and hot. Felt like it was summer! Wow what a change. 

It was a fabulous visit with everyone but both Ray, Freya and I were happy to be home in our own beds. Long days for Ray and we are very happy to be back in Lake Cowichan. Fortunately I did all the driving and our car seats are fairly comfortable for Ray but he still was a hurting unit.