Friday, 15 June 2018

Options


Flyer out yesterday shows just what a difference we in Canada pay compared to our American neighbours for alcohol. That bottle of Smirnoff Vodka as an example, we paid $14 for in AZ.

Shhh Don't tell Ace, but we kinda stepped out on him yesterday and did a little browsing of other RVs. There was a big sale going on so we drove out and had a look but didn't see anything worth switching rigs for but we're still keeping an eye out. We'd prefer a couple of extra feet, more bay storage, somewhat larger kitchen, better seating and of course 3 season.

Drove around and looked at a couple of local RV parks on the way back to the city

We found one we really liked (I forgot to take a picture) but it is currently full.

We are in quite a scheduling kerfuffle at the moment since THE DEAL WAS SIGNED ON OUR HOUSE YESTERDAY!!!!! So now we'll likely have to go back out East to our house and get our stuff in July... Brad's Mum left yesterday for the UK and we are looking after her house until the end of June when she returns. All conditions (only house inspection left) must be removed from the deal by the end of June and then we can head out there to get our stuff. Possession is mid August. So we have no idea, really, if the sale will be finalized and won't know for another 2 weeks. Then we have to get out there, grab our stuff, clean house and bring our stuff back out West. So no idea when we'll be needing a place to put Ace. 

I've been all over the internet trying to find boondocking in this country and specifically Saskatchewan to no avail. There are plenty of overnight spots but we'd like to avoid living the Walmart life if possible. All I can find so far are Provincial/National Parks which are expensive and have a maximum 2 week limit. I know there are some Regional/City parks and they are an option too but likely we'll end up in a RV Park somewhere for convenience sake. 

Any boondocking suggestions in SK, AB or BC would be much appreciated. We have all this solar...

We've talked again about getting a sailboat, and we may yet, but I think we need a 'home base' first. Sure we could live in a sailboat for the Canadian summers but we have 'stuff' and frankly we need somewhere to store it all. Brad is not the 'get rid of it all' kind of guy and he needs that 'home' for his own warm fuzzy sanity. As regular readers know, Brad loves to garden so I'd like to give him that since he has indulged my travelling gypsy life, seems only fair.

As liberating as it is to be retired so young and have the ability to go/do whatever you want, having so many options available can really bog you down. We could buy a house at the lake, build a house at the lake, buy an RV site, buy a condo in the mountains, get a large catamaran that can hold all our stuff, get a sailboat and keep our stuff in storage, sell everything and move abroad, live in the prairies close to family, live in the mountains, live on the ocean.... aye aye aye. 

We haven't got the foggiest idea what we'll end up doing so until we figure it out - Nobody move! 

We've made a few decisions which were not the brightest in the last 8 years. It was my idea to move to the area where our current house is - that was a terrible idea, it turns out. But worse is that that bad decision led to so many other bad decisions. Now that we have an accepted deal on the house, we are actually feeling like that dark cloud is lifting and we can get on with our lives.

Although in fairness, had we NOT moved to that area and experienced the things that we did, we would not have been able to retire at 44 and 48 years old and be in the position that we are currently. Was it worth it? Yes, I suppose so, but just barely.

Perhaps its because of all the crazy stuff we've had go wrong these last few months but since that deal was signed yesterday, man I feel like a million bucks! It really has had a major uplifting effect on our psyche and we've even been able to laugh. Not that we've been miserable or anything but lets face it so much has been going wrong, what was there to laugh about?! Now with the dark cloud lifting we are really feeling the positive effects and once again look forward to the future.


Monday, 11 June 2018

Gardening finished and a New View for Ace



All that gardening we were doing is finally done. Not that there won't be more to do, there is, but the bulk and the worst of it is finished, ie the weeding. Brad's Mum is heading out in a couple of days for her second 'holiday', going to England this time for a couple weeks, hoping she can come up with a to do list for Brad since he gets sooo bored sooo easy.


During our return trip to Canada, somewhere along the way this chip/crack appeared in the windshield. We genuinely didn't have time to deal with it when we first arrived 'home', but we did eventually manage the time to find an installer Showtime Glass and they dealt with our insurance company, ordered the new glass and in just 3 weeks it was here in Saskatoon so they called to schedule the install. The windshield was installed Friday morning and we let Ace sit until Sunday noon to make good and sure it was set before we jostled it around on the roads.




Brand new windshield. The pro's at Showtime Glass tell us that a lot of RV's are repeat customers every year.... we will be making damn sure we have glass coverage since this windshield was approximately $5500 of which we paid $1000... getting a lower deductible once we have her switched to Saskatchewan plates too.

Brad has filed the documentation to get Saskatchewan Veterans plates and it has been approved so we are awaiting their arrival in the mail. Meanwhile, next step is to get the Saskatchewan safety done on Ace so we can plate her here. Since we just pulled her out and put her back in storage, I'll be trying to get her in for safety somewhere around the end of the month so we're not such a pain in the arse for the RV storage people since it is a large storage shed on their home acreage that she is stored in.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Last Mountain Lake, SK

We are still awaiting word on the deal for our house... told you it was in the boonies, everything takes forever there.

Meanwhile, in an effort to figure out what we want to do with ourselves next regardless of when the house sells... yesterday, we drove down to Last Mountain Lake to see what it was all about.

Nice lake, with homes right on the waters edge that have their own docks - perfect for what we want. There are several options on our list of things we could do next and since we are here currently, we figured why not take a look around and see whats what.

I didn't think to take any pictures of the actual lake.... typical, I know... but if I didn't have all these quirks, you wouldn't love me half as much.

Calf in a field

Brad had quite the time hitting every puddle and destroying our recent car wash on these dirt/mud roads

Prairie land lovers

Beautiful valley down by Regina Beach

While the lake was great, there were no amenities particularly. Regina Beach is very old and the Mom & Pop Greek restaurant we went to for lunch had an overwhelming stench of mold and the food desperately needed some salt but the owners were extremely nice and friendly, so we didn't say anything. Considering how much we love to eat out, not having reasonable restaurants around would be a huge problem. I hate to cook and he hates to eat what I cook.

We only checked out the West side of Last Mountain Lake and we may go back to check out the East side mostly for something to do at some point. 

Monday, 4 June 2018

Dog food update and Family

As I mentioned in a previous post, we have changed Robbie's diet to the Raw Food Diet. He has been on Kibbles & Bits since we got him 8 years ago. I've also previously mentioned that this dog sheds a chihuahua every day. When we got Robbie we were moving to a desolate, isolated part of the country and being unsure what dog food would be available I opted for Kibbles & Bits because I was confident we could get that anywhere and it turned out we could.

In a past life (ex-husband), I had another dog that was on the Raw Food Diet and she didn't shed AT ALL. With the amount Robbie was shedding, I wasn't sure it would make a difference but decided it was worth a try now that we are in civilization once again... He has been on the raw diet now for 2 weeks and it has made ALL the difference. We started noticing a change after just 3 days on the new food but now 2 weeks in, we have brushed him, washed him, brushed him again... almost nothing is coming off of him.

After only a couple of days in my son's car... this was the mess

On the Raw Food Diet and loving it

If you have a shedding dog issue, get your pet on the Raw Food Diet. It works. When you consider that dogs are carnivores and not accustomed to this dry chemical crap 'they' have convinced us is what your dog needs... it only makes sense. Anyway, its working for us - incredibly so and we are grateful for that.

Saturday night my son and his wife had asked us to babysit while they went to see a comedian they like that was in town. Kevin Hart. Having not had little ones for a hell of a long time, we were very scared of what we'd have to deal with, but fully braced and ready for whatever they could pull out of their hats - we arrived at the allotted time and off the parents went...

P A R T Y!!!

We made sure the kids ate all of their supper, gave them popsicles and took them out to the yard to blow off some steam. Once things cooled down outside we went back in the house and kept them amused until bedtime.



I don't know how the kids (parents) did it but my kids never went to bed that easy. Not a once. They got pyjamas on and climbed in, asked for a drink and were out cold instantly. Super duper good kids and us old fogeys were stressed over nothing. Angel children - they get that from my side!

Our youngest Granddaughter had a dance recital on Sunday and her parents bought me a ticket ($30 - insane to watch a 4 yr old in my book) so Sunday was all about dancing. 3.5 hours watching everyones kids dance until she finally came out for her 90 seconds of fame. Her troupe did a great job, especially being so young. I took a few pictures and her mother got a video.

TCUP is no small stage

Show no fear


I've been having great difficulty since hitting the road with trying to keep up with my blog, twitter, instagram and youtube. In fact, I ditched youtube shortly after heading on our adventure - way too much work. Because I couldn't keep up with it, I also stopped bothering with twitter and instagram. 

Well, I've decided to give those one last attempt. I went through my follow list and edited it down to a more manageable size. My apologies if you didn't make the cut, I tried to keep those I was familiar with and who I recognized as interactive. If I balls'd that up, I will notice and begin following again. I just had so much on my feed that it wasn't functional. 

I have already begun adding people back on but I do need to keep it to a reasonable number otherwise it just all becomes a blur when your scrolling and the personal (I want to say relationship... ) vibe with each that I follow suffers.




Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Hospital, Yard work and an Offer

I managed to pick up whatever bug this is going around - no doubt from Brad who was sick with it for 2 weeks... I only had it for a week but I had other complications it turns out... I just kept thinking it would get better eventually as it did for Brad, but I had symptoms Brad didn't have. Now keep in mind that many years ago I had a stroke and it took me 3 days to get to a Dr, I don't go to the Dr unless things are dire.

So Sunday night, having intended to go to the Dr on Monday morning I was in such a bad way that I had Brad take me to the ER at Royal University Hospital at 11pm. I hadn't slept for a week, hacking, blowing, unable to swallow. I was given some ice chips to help while I waited, after hours in the waiting room we got put into a room an hour later we said to hell with it... by now it was 3am and City Hospital ER opened at 5am, maybe they could help me. So I stopped by the desk to ask for another cup of ice chips before I left. The nurse assured me the Dr was coming momentarily so we returned to wait. Within 5 min he was there, same guy we'd seen wandering around the last several hours. He did get me sorted in short order and they took some blood work to CYA and sent me packing with a 4 day prescription to clear up my throat. It did.

RUH Emergency

While we were waiting to be seen in ER, Brad went out for a smoke (vape). He got to talking to a guy, turns out there is a thing about Vaping... if the nicotine level is too strong it can effect your throat. Monday morning, I researched and found this website with nicotine levels from a large assortment of cigarettes available in Canada. They don't print it on the package anymore!

I had been vaping at 18mg of nicotine for 3 weeks... most cigarettes come in around 10 - 14mg... oops. Knowing that the vape comes in 0mg, 6mg, 9mg and 18mg I realized that what I needed was 9mg so I went back to the vape shop and the same kid was working, I explained what had happened (he was the one who told us at a pack a day we would need the 18mg) and that it put me in the ER. Not in a nasty way, just so that he wouldn't make the same mistake and potentially kill someone down the line with nicotine poisoning.

Content with that, I started doing 9mg and blended the 18mg & 9mg for Brad giving him a 13.5mg. Yesterday I realized that I was low on the 1 bottle of 9mg I had so went back to the vape shop for another and I also wanted two 0mg to blend with the 18mg which would then give us more 9mg once Brad was ready to reduce again.

The Manager happened to be working so I explained to him what happened with the ER and too much nicotine, he advised he would be discussing it with the kid we dealt with. Again, not nasty just making sure the kid understood the importance of what he is selling and how it can affect a person's health. The Manager asked me a couple of questions and it turns out there are two different coils for these vape machines... a 0.60 and a 1.20... the .60 is for a straight to lung inhale (crazy to me) and the 1.20 is for more of a cigarette inhale (this is us). The kid sold us the .60's.... effectively turning our 18mg into 36mg!!!! Holy Mother of God! That's like 6 cigarettes in 1.... No wonder I got so damn sick and couldn't swallow.

The Manager has sorted us out and while Brad (and I) are not impressed that this happened, at least the problem was acknowledged and dealt with to save anyone else from being adversely affected.

We've been puttering around the yard here at Brad's Mum's while she has been away on vacation and got quite a bit of weeding done, put some grass seed down as the lawn was getting some bare patches and even touched up some staining on the deck. I've been too sick until Monday to do much of anything and with Brad's back/neck problems it was a very slow process.



We got an offer on our house!!!!!!!!!!!!

Late Monday we received an offer from our Realtor for our house that we have on the market. So excited! Anyway, it was low as you might imagine (well we expected it anyway, because of the state of the market in our locale), so we have countered. We are waiting to hear back from them as they made the offer and then had to leave on a business trip abroad. Their realtor assures our realtor that he will be able to contact them once they have arrived at their destination and that they are expecting a counter.

Meanwhile another woman was checking out our house so our neighbour took her in to see it. She loved it and apparently intends to contact our realtor to have a proper viewing with her husband.

None of this changes anything until it does obviously, but its a glimmer of hope and after everything we've been dealing with, we'll take it. So nice to get some good news for a change. I've even gone so far as to start thinking of what we will do once the house sells.... no spoilers though.

Incidentally, Brad started his new medication about a week and a half ago and all is well on that front.

Friday, 25 May 2018

10, 9 and 5



I have been 10 days now without a 'cigarette', I am using a vape - not one of those ridiculous things the kids are using that looks like a bong... but a much more subtle vape gadget - more age appropriate, if there is such a thing. That sounds ridiculous, I know. I was not interested in Vaping because what I'd seen were just these bong looking things and that just isn't - well, it isn't me.

Image result for vape aspire breeze
The Aspire Breeze is the one we chose


Image result for vape
This is the one some of the kids are using... note the difference.

Anyway, 10 days now and while I am still getting the nicotine that my body craves, I do not have the smoke aspect and have actually noticed a difference in my lungs. Not that I was having lung issues, but considering I've been sick... I'm surprised by the noticeable difference I'm feeling.

I'm finding the last couple of days that I'm not connected to the thing as much as I was in the beginning. I was carrying it everywhere with me. The kid at the vape store did say that would happen. "You'll be tied to it for the first while and then you'll notice you start to leave it sitting around"... he was right.

Brad has started to integrate his vape in with his cigarettes, he's pretty concerned about switching but is completely impressed that I have had no indication of any trouble with it. No 'nic fits', no moodiness, no nothing...

The machines cost $35CAD each, the vape juice was $25 each (I expect 1 will last us a month) and then you also have to buy replacement atomizers... I don't remember how much they were but roughly $15 for 5... also expected to do 1 person a month. Considering we were spending approximately $900CAD on cigarettes a month (WOW putting that in print is shocking)... I'd s,ay we can manage $40/month...

The trick will be to reduce our nicotine levels as soon as possible before the price of this stuff goes up.......

9 Days ago we switched Robbie to a raw diet. I know I've mentioned before about sweeping up a chihuahua every day that falls off this dog and it drives me crazy... In another life I had a dog on the raw diet and absolutely loved it but when we got Robbie we knew we were going to be in the middle of nowhere so I put him on Kibbles & Bits knowing I could get it anywhere.

At the time the raw diet was still relatively 'new' on the market and wasn't easily accessible. In the coming years I forgot all about it. Now that we are back in civilization it was brought to my attention once again. I wasn't completely convinced that it would be enough to make a difference considering the amount this dog sheds.... I was shocked. Within about 3 days we started to notice a difference, and honestly, there is still some minor shedding going on but considering how bad it used to be.... I believe that over time it will disappear. It's only been 9 days and we can't brush anything off of him anymore so after a month..... I'll keep you posted.

The other benefits to the raw diet are that the dog doesn't smell like a dog... you know that smell, I'm sure... not that Robbie stinks, but if you get real close... anyway, in another week of so I will take him for another doggie wash and see what happens... Also, because the dog/cat is using all of the nutritional value of the meal, his poops are only a fraction of the size.... not exactly dinner conversation, but a bonus I thought I'd mention. There are other benefits if you want to check into it but these are the ones I can think of without looking it up.

I am on Day 5 of being sick. It totally sucks. My throat feels like there is a razor in there and I have a hell of a time swallowing. I've found that hot Jasmine tea really helps but there is only so much I want to pee in a day.... I've been basically drinking Jasmine tea back to back all day until just after supper... then 2 Advil helps for a while and another 2 Advil before bed allows me to fall asleep - at least for a few hours. Also, chocolate... seems to coat my throat and offer some relief for about 10 minutes. Handy if I'm just trying to get through until an appropriate time that I can take some Advil.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

I don't get sick

We had my oldest good son over for burgers the other day, though Brad was still sick he was feeling much better.


We took a drive on Sunday to Gardiner Dam on Lake Diefenbaker to check out a campground not too far from there and while it looked relatively okay, it wasn't quite what we were looking for - spoiled, much?. We will however, keep it on our list should we not find such a place as we want in SK.




Yesterday, after 2 long weeks of being sick, Brad finally woke up feeling normal. This was exceptionally good news since I woke up sick yesterday!!! Yup, unreal. I'm not nearly as bad as he was but my throat feel like its in a vise and I tire very quickly. Not sure why I'm tiring because I'm not congested and breathing isn't an issue at least at this point but I guess all my internal 'fix it bugs' are busy trying to get me fixed. 

I don't get sick. Almost never. But when I do...... Fortunately, at least as of day 2 it isn't too bad except sore throat and tiredness. 

Friday, 18 May 2018

Much ado about nothing

We've been ridiculously busy - doing nothing, really. It has been such a welcome nothingness after the last few months of craziness.

We have literally been sitting around the house, ( in fairness, Brad has been sick for 2 weeks - some bug going around the Dr tells us) we went for a drive around the city to see all the new neighbourhoods that have popped up since we left 13 years ago and we went for a drive in the country just to see the sights.

I have transitioned easily to the Vape, Brad hasn't started his yet because he's sick and the Vape is not disposable... he has a lot going on at the moment.

He went to the Dr because he is still having hostility issues having come off that medication a while back and she has given him a new prescription which is not so difficult to come off of should he need to in the future but should still help him with the day to day stuff.

So he is currently: sick, awaiting the start of a new medication and planning to switch to the Vape. Given what his body has been through these last couple of months, he doesn't want to push anything so we've been taking a rather laissez-faire attitude to all of this.

I appreciate that this makes for a boring Blog and we appreciate those of you who are hanging in there while we get through this.

Good news is: the RV windshield has been approved by insurance and ordered by the installers so we await word of its arrival and appointment to install.

We have begun looking at what we'll do once Brad's Mum returns from her holidays (leaving today for 2 weeks and mid June for another 2 weeks). I have found a new app which has great filters for finding places to stay in an RV and we will be taking a couple of trips to check out some of them in the Jeep. Saskatchewan backroads are questionable at times and most campgrounds are dirt/mud so we want to make sure of where we're taking the rig before we actually go - and we have time so road trips are in our plans.

I will further discuss this new app once we've checked into its usefulness.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Mother's Day Trip

We have decided to bite the bullet. We are going to attempt to quit smoking...


We each now have a 'Vape' and while I'm not promoting vaping because frankly to me it's just as bad and possibly worse given its limited time on the market, making it an unknown entity possibly worse than cigarettes, but we need to do something. We've both been puffing about a pack a day and that is just insane... appreciably it has been a stressful time lately but neither of us is happy with how much we've been smoking lately. We are both feeling the effects of this, so... I figure, right now we have nothing to lose by trying to wean off using a vape.

Yesterday was Mother's Day so we took some time to chillax. Jumped in the Jeep and drove down to Elbow, SK. It's a quaint little town and we seem drawn to it a lot. Not quite a 'resort or beach town', but it has a couple of restaurants and some shops. We stopped for lunch at our usual haunt and then headed down to the beach.

The coolest part of Elbow, to me anyway, is The Sod House. You'd almost think this would be a prairie staple but its the only one I've ever seen in these parts.




Very quiet this time of year but in no time it will be packed. Yesterday, we had the beach to ourselves and even got Robbie to go in the water (he hates water) to fetch a stick.

Robbie and I

Only others around were across the water also enjoying a quiet beach.

Deserted beach

Jeep in the background on the grass

Robbie in the water - a rare occurance

Ready to go Mum

Trudging through the sand back to the Jeep

Brad bringing up the rear

My husband is awesome. Taking us to the beach even though he's been really sick the last several days - hence the bunny hug in 25C temperatures.  I hope the sunshine and fresh air will help him feel better. It is massage day today, but last night he was sure he wouldn't be able to go. If your sick they advise not to get a massage, something about the massage spreading it throughout your body....

We drove around to check out the RV 'Resorts' in the area...

Definitely not The Ranch

Seriously, thankfully it was dry but you can clearly see that isn't always the case, and what a mess.

Boating and Marina 

18 Hole Golf Course

Sailboat on the left, Pontoon on the right

House Boat dock -- which got me to thinking....

Barely visible in the pic there is a deer just left of the road

So my thinking? Wouldn't it be awesome if we could winter in California and then return to Canada and summer in a sailboat - the sailboat being what originally started our RV life, Brad's dream.

Lake Diefenbaker is over 800 sq km. A massive lake that you could do some awesome sailing on without freaking out your wife! Keeps us close to family too. Perhaps we could buy a lot in town and build a smaller version of our current house.... Anyway, we need to sort out some stuff before we go worrying about that just yet. Options, options....

There are a ton of lakes in Northern Saskatchewan but there are always forest fires up north so being in the South Central area would be better, I think.


Saturday, 12 May 2018

Jeep Then and Now

The way she was


Lifted version

Lifted and new tires/rims

Now, I know a lot of you will say it doesn't look any different.... and I would agree. However, to Men it seems like a whole other world.... apparently.

It is harder to get in to thats for sure, and the black rims certainly give it a different look but was it worth the money? I don't think so... but then, I'm 'just a girl'. 

In any event, it is done and I'm glad of it.

Shout out to Kal-tire on Faithful Avenue.

I have now listed the original tires and rims with built in TPMS on Kijiji and hope we can sell them to recoup some of the cost of this 'procedure'...

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Lifted

First thing yesterday we needed to have the Jeep over to Tiger Automotive for the lift kit by 8am. Since we were over there, we decided to text my son and see if he was available to open the gate at shop where he and my brother work so we could put the RV in the yard.

On Sunday we had driven the RV to the windshield repair shop and dropped it off so they could take the necessary measurements to order a new one on Monday morning. This is an insurance claim so not out of pocket, for a change. Unfortunately, we weren't able to leave it for too long as it is a shared parking lot.

Timing the RV move to the shop was difficult because both my son and brother's jobs are pretty much 24/7 so its hard to pin them down to a time. However, he was oddly available so we took advantage of the opportunity and moved the rig over. Only problem with this park spot is the potential for mice... we'll be doing some kerfuffling today around the rig to hopefully protect it. I have already stuffed holes with steel wool but every little bit helps considering all of our stuff is in it and I'm sure as hell not emptying it out just for a few weeks.

Brad wants to make some inquiries about a proper RV parking spot today, so I'll call around for an indoor storage, however, getting the RV out of the yard will be just as complex as getting it in was... and when we were driving in and I made calls, you may recall there was nothing available...

Brad went for his weekly massage and before he returned Tiger Auto had called to say the Jeep was ready... so we scooted over there to pick her up...

Lifted 2 inches

Our tire and rim guy called to say he could move us up a week and get them put on on Friday, bonus!




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