Friday, 3 April 2020

Got corn and 4X as far

Written: Friday April 3rd. Yeah, yeah I know.... I'm doing the best that I can...

Update: Houston, we have corn! -- that is all I'm saying on this subject.

I managed to walk 4X as far as I did the other day. You may recall that we went for a walk and I had to stop just passed the neighbours driveway.. (again, these are 5 acre plots here)... today I went to the 4th driveway before stopping, waiting for Brad & Robbie to go the rest of the way and back before joining them again to continue the walk home.

Its actually snowing, fluffy hail. We can't hear it in the RV because of the trees but once we got to the top of the driveway we realized it was raining... by the time we got to the next driveway the rain had turned to snow - we could see it on Brad's dark blue coat. Our inside gadget tells me that it is +4C outside ( I don't know ... something like 35F).

Once back at the RV we put out the awning and sat down to enjoy some fresh air. Our neighbour lady was leaving her house and we knew from Facebook that it was her birthday today so we went to the end of our site and sang Happy Birthday as she drove by... she put her window down to say thank you from about 10ft away. She is 24 today.

We then sat back down outside for about 10 minutes before I cracked and had to come inside for the cold. I'm just a girl after all! The cutest in the world, admittedly... but I don't like the cold! LOL

Really beginning to wonder if this is Covid but no way to know as there is no fever, cough or anything other than difficulty with some motor skills, heaviness and charlie horse muscles - my nose has been running but it has been for ages because of the hot/cold furnace flow which causes me to yawn - which makes my eyes water - which makes my nose run... its a vicious cycle... I tell you I sure do miss central heating!!



Wednesday, 1 April 2020

April 1st but this is no joke


April 1st finds us isolated, yet somehow communities are closer than ever... banging pots, singing and/or generally making noise at 7pm to show support for our front line workers.

Who would have ever thought that those workers many considered to be 'invisible' would be the saviors of our society...  putting themselves at risk even knowing from first hand experience just what the end of that risk looks like... loneliness and fear. Unable to have family with you when you pass would be very difficult and these front line doctors/nurses/aides are stepping up and being there for our loved ones in that circumstance. For this, we thank them yet again.

What was once considered an 'inconsequential' job by some, the local stock boys/girls at the grocers have now become our front line soldiers that the world would not survive without. This virus will teach many of us (some in my family, that shall remain nameless) that the idea of a 'class' of people is a ridiculous notion -- everyone matters!!

The idea that age is a factor turns out to have been only because it originally showed itself in an old folks home with close proximity and lack of privacy and not due to age at all. Babies, 30's and 40's ... all ages are dying of this now...

WTF is going on with Trump?! Finally he seems to have got it - they must have told him that all these deaths would affect his re-election chances because his sole focus has not been on health this whole time... 2 months of economic blah blah, market manipulations while giving bad advice to the populace as a whole is now devastating the entire country... and they have no idea how bad it is because they are so far behind the curve now that they (he) honestly believe they are first... Absolutely disgusting what has been allowed to go on down there. Our condolences to all Americans as they begin this very long and now devastatingly painful journey, the likes of which the world has yet to see.

You may recall a few weeks ago, I calculated - using China's numbers (they locked down everything instantly) that the US would lose 3.75 Million lives - even Trump is now saying it could be 2.2 Million deaths - if everyone keeps apart, yet no national order to do this has been put in place... I noted then that they were looking closer to Italy's numbers at that time...

Now, 2 months in - the US is in a ballpark all its own- having played fast and loose with trying to keep the stock market from crashing and burning at the expense of letting this virus run wild through their populace- I cannot even imagine how bad it will get as they are now so far off of even Italy's numbers... Spring break in Florida, Mardi Gras in New Orleans... what a mess!!

Personally, we are coming up on 3 weeks in Quarantine now, although we 'reset' our 14 day count every time we have to go somewhere... Brad follows all possible precautions with mask/gloves/goggles, cleaning everything before putting it in Quarantine in our outdoor shed for 5 days when we then allow it to come inside, since 'they' say the virus lasts on items for up to 3 days, we do 5 to be sure and I also track when/where he goes so that if something comes up (someone on a local Facebook page noted last week that she was at the grocers on Mar 13 and is now ill), I am able to check and he was not there that day - as an example.

I am feeling better, having no idea, of course if what I had was Covid or as I believe - a magnesium deficiency. I was able to get a bunch of transplanting done yesterday and will likely try to do a decent walk this afternoon assuming the bloody rain will stop, as 'they' say it will. Feeling less 'cloud covered' in my head - I'm sure you understand what I mean by that...

Stay home, stay isolated, stay safe!!! Do it for you, for me -- for 'them' - whoever 'them' is for you.

Friday, 27 March 2020

Keyhole Kaibosh

After my personal struggle of just physically trying to sort out the garden, and yesterday I was unable to secure some items that I require to put the garden together without breaking quarantine...

Also with posts on local FaceBook pages from island farmers who are unsure what they will be doing with all their products come selling season given that Salt Spring Island's world famous Saturday market has been cancelled indefinitely... and no tourists can be expected at this point...

I have decided not to finish the garden.

We have joined both an island vegetable and a meat CSA to provide us what we will need for the season.

Now I just need the rain to stop so that I can dismantle the cardboard mess I have created on the landlord's property...

I will do a proper keyhole garden some other time assuming the pandemic will end at some point....

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Day 2 of Keyhole garden

Having made progress with my French Vanilla Cappuccino this morning I was full of energy (maybe not full...) but I did some work on the garden and went with Brad & Robbie on their daily walk in the afternoon.

So I trimmed out the keyhole with cardboard,
not pretty but certainly cheap - so glad I've been saving cardboard the last few months just in case I could do this garden. I used a few larger pieces of branch just to hold the cardboard down, then 1-1 1/2" branches for the rest.

Saturated it with water

Began loading it with dead wood from the forest around the property, still plenty more to add yet

Our landlord put a second circle of deer fencing around it for me to help keep the deer out.
Very thoughtful of him.

I need to create the walkway to the keyhole center with something I have yet to concoct but I'm sure I'll think of something and create a 'doorway' so the deer don't get in through the front door. 

Fill it in with dead wood branches, leaves (carbon), greenery such as grass clippings- sloping down from the center, then a layer of animal bedding (nitrogen, to help break it down) from the chicken coop another layer of dead grasses - and a roughly 6" layer of garden soil to finish it off and it is ready to == Plant. 

Each layer gets saturated with water as you put it together and a compost in the center of the same vein (carbon/nitrogen/greens) to feed/water it throughout the growing season. Sounds simple enough, right?!

Minimal weeding 'they' say and high yield... I'll keep you posted on that. My garden is growing pretty good in the pots across from our site, I look forward to transplanting those in the garden and then starting tomatoes in the pots.

If this garden works correctly, each year it will only require refreshing these main body layers before replanting. Assuming the deer don't destroy it first.



Monday, 23 March 2020

I started the Keyhole garden

A couple of weeks ago Brad's computer crashed. So we took it in to Best Buy's Geek Squad in Duncan... needs a new motherboard or some such.... sending to Vancouver... yadayada $600 later they are sending it back via courier -because we are in Quarantine. Well it wasn't wrapped or protected in the box and when we opened it, voila -- smashed to shite. As you might imagine that caused a stir, so we called Best Buy and Brad had to 'suit up' and go across to Duncan with the computer, they would replace it for us. 

Turned out they didn't have one so they gave Brad $100 to go to Nanaimo to get one that would work and they put all of his files etc on an external drive which I then just had to transfer to the new computer. The 'kid' (just 19 yrs old) was fantastic! I will be calling and getting his name then writing a very favourable review for this, I even had a problem with the upload and he talked me through it on the phone when I called the next day. Apparently, he is the only one who was willing to work during the current situation so he won't be hard to find.

Smashed compooper

The making of my Keyhole garden

Keyhole gardens are great for drought prone areas, which we are in - believe it or not... we find this hard to believe given the tic tic tic we've listened to for the last several months.

From Wikipedia:
 keyhole garden is a two-meter-wide circular raised garden with a keyhole-shaped indentation on one side. The indentation allows gardeners to add uncooked vegetable scraps, greywater, and manure into a composting basket that sits in the center of the bed. In this way, composting materials can be added to the basket throughout the growing season to provide nutrients for the plants. The upper layer of soil is hilled up against the center basket so the soil slopes gently down from the center to the sides. Most keyhole gardens rise about one meter above the ground and have walls made of stone. The stone wall not only gives the garden its form, but helps trap moisture within the bed. Keyhole gardens originated in Lesotho and are well adapted to dry arid lands and deserts. In Africa they are positioned close to the kitchen and used to raise leafy greens such as lettuce, kale, and spinach; herbs; and root crops such as onions, garlic, carrots, and beets. Keyhole gardens are ideal for intensive planting, a technique in which plants are placed close together to maximize production. Plants with wide-reaching root systems such as tomatoes and zucchini may not perform well in a keyhole garden.

My original outline was incorrect at 6' radius (12 ft diameter) - which should be a 6' diameter (total width). I thought it looked a bit big... sure enough, blonde moment. Redo.

Although it doesn't look like I did much, the chicken (deer) wire was tangled in the back forest and had to be untangled, removed, stretched and flattened. I also had to gather the rocks which required driving the Jeep (because the truck won't fit down in the area) down to a spot of the property where I was able to grab the rocks I needed then after returning the Jeep to our site, I hand carried (in a shopping bag) a couple/3 rocks at a time up the steps and across the flat to the location we have chosen where plenty of sunshine will provide the best spot for our garden to grow... I then 'tucked' the wire under the rocks while twisting and turning it to create a circle.

What I haven't written about yet is that I've been struggling (not 'sick') with my muscles for about a month now, turns out I am short on Magnesium...  Yes, yes it is a self-diagnosis with Google's help, but I am comfortable with that given the world today (Dr's are busy with more pressing things) and that all of my 'symptoms' fall under 2 conditions both of which are caused by low Magnesium - and given that Brad has already (3 mos ago) had a Dr diagnose him with low Magnesium for similar symptoms. At the time, I said that if he was low on it and we eat the same things then I should be taking it to, and I did - for a few days - until I forgot... and didn't think anything more of it... until my 'symptoms' got bad enough that I googled them.

So I've been struggling just to move around and had a 'tingle' under my nose - but knowing it is essential to keep moving, I pushed on with the garden. Anyway, I've been taking Magnesium now for 3 or 4 days via pill form and also topically and it is much much better. Yesterday (Saturday) I had a nap (shocker, I know) but the day before (ie. Friday) I had 2 naps. That should tell you how bad a state I was in... because I DO NOT NAP -- like, almost never... I have also stopped the new 'diet' and returned to my less food 'normal' diet. 

Warning: Too much information: On top of this back in January I tried to stop drinking my French Vanilla Cappuccino every morning (which helps my IBS) because clearly that can't be healthy... unfortunately the week that I did not take my drink backed things up so bad that even now I am still 3 weeks behind (corn is the tell tale indicator of this). Trust me this whole thing is Too Much Information... so I will leave it at that.

Suffice to say, I've been a bit sluggish the last few months.

Robbie helped me with the garden

A sunnier spot across from our site

Brad wanted to move the Jeep closer to where I needed the rocks but I begged him to leave me to it because it was forcing me to use the muscles that I knew I needed to maneuver and he eventually - though reluctantly, left me to it. I took a few rocks at a time and Robbie tagged along so I could send him for help if I needed it.

Not where I was taking the rocks, this is just half the climb up to the spot where the new garden is further in the backwoods clearing.



Wednesday, 18 March 2020

A chill St. Pat's Day

After watching the spiral that was Monday, we stayed mostly around the RV today. With the rules changing seemingly every hour on the hour, its almost an advantage to already be Q'd... who can keep track?! Gheesh, the world is a very different place than it was just a week ago. What will it be like in 30 days, 60 - 90?!

Big Brother Canada contestants were in their own isolation without any knowledge of any of this since they were 'put in' the house before the end of Feb... they were apparently told about the situation today. The world may well be unrecognizable to them when the show is over.

This news story just came out tonight: Feds look to invoke the Emergencies Act to combat COVID-19 and in tomorrow's joint news announcement I expect they will be closing the borders to all but essentials.

My dad and his fiance sure timed their cruise well, just a day or so before they disembarked was when the 1st cruise ship was quarantined.... they managed to tour the cays before flying home to Windsor and I'm thankful to say that was a couple/3 weeks ago so they are clear of that at least. Although it gives me great concern that they live in a highrise 55+ condo complex... but there is only so much you can do, and they are taking precautions.

If you have not, stock up now. Shelter in place will be rolled out likely Wednesday or Thursday. This will impede any movement. Essentially 'Martial Law'.

Happy belated St. Patrick's Day Everyone... even if it was cancelled...

With the truck finished and the Jeep returned to its usual parking space, we needed to tidy up our outdoor living space.


All tidied up and rearranged to take the best advantage of what is still a winter's sun there is another sunnier spot but it is just outside our little spot and I'm still considering that option and watching it for amount of sun, etc.

Everyone parked in their respective proper places once again

Our back garden forest

We did take Robbie for a walk yesterday (Monday) afternoon and I intended to take pictures but as we were walking out the door I realized that all of our electronics had been drained by the spiral that was Monday - and needed to recharge so I chose to recharge them all rather than try to get 1 picture when I was at 12% before I even left home. This is why there was no new blog this am (Tuesday). Remember, I am writing in the evenings now and scheduling the posts for 4am PST the following morning. Hence, it is Tuesday 940pm PST as I write this.

Our temperatures are expected to rise this week with some rain predicted for next week. I have quite a few plants to sort out tomorrow as roots are overwhelming the pods already in garlic, green onions and peas and 'they' say we are past overnight below 0C temps so its time to get them in bigger pots.

I will try to keep something charged for our walk tomorrow.



Monday, 16 March 2020

3 days in Q (uarantine)

As I have begun writing in the evenings - in present tense- and setting the blog to post in the mornings, I realize my posts seem to be 'off'... Hence, the post saying we Q'd  (Quarantined) 'last night' posted Sat am but was written Friday pm, meaning we actually Q'd Thursday at 7pm.

With that cleared up -!?!?!?   ie. I'm writing in the evenings and it posts the next morning.

I do want to say that although it's felt -and evidently, read- as though I've been being alarmist about Covid-19... I am neither an alarmist, nor a prepper. I have been paying attention though and when the powers that be so much as suggest something as extraordinary as closing all borders it is what they call a 'trial balloon', to gauge the people's reaction. No one reacted, so they know its 'on the table' as Trudeau said today...and THAT is politispeak for 'coming to a theatre near you'.... so I have been trying to warn other RVers that this was coming down the pipe. I would suggest that the borders will likely be closed on or before Wednesday. Sooner if Trump trumps Trudeau.

Moving on:
It's been fine so far. But it's only been 3 days, we have been fortunate that the outside temps even during the day have been rather cool so this has helped us adjust to our new reality and I hope it bodes well for us moving forward. We are homebodie types anyway.

I saw today that others in my Pickleball group have also Q'd now. We live next door to Washington state which is a hub of Covid-19 outbreaks and we are a highly sought tourist destination island, and we have seen tourists already for the last couple of weeks. As such, this part of Canada has been asked to Q already, while other areas like our hometown of Saskatoon have a bit more time.

That being said, I recommend being in front of the Q curve - not on the backside of it... pardon the pun ;)

Remember, they are now saying it's a longer incubation than originally believed. Most countries are locking down, significant events are cancelling, Canadian government has now officially warned Canadians to 'return home while you still can'... its not just about you - it's also about who you infect upon your return.

They in the US are now saying this will last 6 months up to 2 years... I sure as hell hope not but I think it could already have spread so far in the US that even if Canada's lockdown is effective no one will be allowed across the border until the US gets it under control. As stated previously, Trump's concern is the economy - he is a business man, after all. Health care is not his forte. Well at least it's warm down there.

The numbers they are quoting are completely skewed as they (here as well) have no tests available and are only testing those who are presenting ill, the tests and the people to take and process those tests are just not available.

It is important to keep in mind that getting 2 weeks supplies won't help much if you are infected today, Q tomorrow, then become ill yourself in 10 days and have only 4 days of supplies left.

Especially with all the closures, shops could be closed and no restocking available... also everyone who stocked 2 weeks worth will likely be restocking all at the same time - if that option is available. Being ill and having no food will not help your body fight off this bug and you won't be allowed in the shops if your ill anyway so don't mess about- get plenty of food - and decongestant - and kleenex. Assume you are already infected -what do you need? (stock illness supplies) stock as though you will be Q'd for 2 weeks and become ill in 2 weeks time. They are also now saying you could get this virus more than once. Yikes! I recommend a couple of months supplies and get things you can eat with a sore throat, soups and the like.

The only item on my list I could not obtain was a thermometer, our old one is dead - so we'll just crack an egg on the others head to check for fever.. LOL

Consider that the US has 350M people. Following what we've seen in other countries - China, 25% will likely become ill. For ease of calculations we'll use 300M people, hence at 25% = 75M infections and approx 5% are dying of it...=  3.75M deaths.

These numbers are based on China's numbers but at this point the US is more aligned to Italy with the lack of response applied to the problem - even to this day. China literally welded high-rise doors shut to contain this - you won't see that in the US, certainly not - in an election year!

For the record - and ease of calculation, Canada has approx 30M people so just delete one 0 off of the numbers above, not sure we did that much better than our US neighbours, so... at least our government is now learning from Italy's mistakes and asking us to Q asap, can expect around 375,000 deaths.

Tomorrow is going to be another brutal day on the markets, with pre-market trading already at the maximum capacity of negative 5% (- 1040 points). Of course, I say that but the market should not be as high as it is now anyway, and the players keep struggling to keep it propped up. Let her drop boys, it'll be a long rough road anyway.

On a lighter note:

Our temperatures, when I looked this morning are expected to climb after today and we will be out and about, so expect some pics... so excited to get out in that amazing sunshine.

Saturday, 14 March 2020

Self-imposed Quarantine

Given the S*^#@! storm that has become our world today, everything being cancelled and/or closed... Disney... wow, you know it's bad when... even the cruise lines are shutting themselves down for 2 months... where is the leadership - it's so bad down in the US that there are just no words.

When businesses are voluntarily shutting down, but the leader (who is likely infected won't test and insists the world is rainbows and chocolate) - when Corporatocracy is regulating itself at a financial loss because the government just can't bring itself to the new reality... and is putting people at risk by refusing to test because he doesn't want to lose control of the economic profitability of his own businesses. It's time to worry.

So we have self-quarantined. According to those who haven't a clue, we do not have any cases on this island as yet but we know its coming and with a minimum 2 week incubation - is really likely already here, we decided to shut it down last night.

We also received a message from our house sit which was scheduled for today and they have cancelled their holiday because our Government (Canada) has advised all citizens against travel and is considering closing all borders and advising people (including RVers) to get home... so that is great, we were kind of hoping they would cancel - as much for them as us.

2 bags of potatoes planted

2 bags of re-growth carrots planted
1st pot

2nd pot, each bag has 5 although they are not all visible here-they are sticking out, I will add more soil as they grow.

So we have some food, etc stored and we are in isolation. Not much will really change for us except no running downtown for this or that. What we have is it -- so here's hoping its enough. We will still be out puttering around our site - maybe helping the landlord with this or that (at a distance, of course) and we are fortunate that we have a hiking trail not far from us that a very few people use so we can still get out and walk, exercise, etc. 

With the travel restrictions we are keeping our eye out for a good deal on a house rental we could slip in because-if there are no tourists, the rents will be cheap on this island... could be a good opportunity for us if we play our cards right.

People in Canada are fighting with each other in the stores - so that has made it across the border. You know things are bad when Canadians are turning on each other. Shelves are already empty, Costco and Walmart - people are hoarding and now selling Toilet paper for $3/roll and it's not the soft teddy bear kind... 

Brad just read online that a man was stabbed somewhere in the states over a case of Dasani water and taken away by ambulance. Scary times.

I have more stuff to plant but tonight and tomorrow night are going to be soooommmeeee cold so I will wait. What is planted will be put inside the shed and I will hope they hold on.

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Caprese Chicken

Caprese Chicken


Ingredients for 2 servings:

3/4 tsp Olive Oil
2 Chicken Breasts
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tps Pepper
1Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Clove Garlic - minced
6 1/2 Cherry  Tomatoes
1/2 Tbsp Basil - chopped
1 oz Mozzarella Cheese (slice)

- In large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat
- Season chicken with salt & pepper and cook to golden and cooked through ~ 6 min a side. Transfer    to plate.
- Add balsamic vinegar to skillet to deglaze, then add garlic and stir until fragrant, 1 minute.
- Halve tomatoes and season with salt. Add tomatoes to skillet and let simmer until soft, 5-7 min. Stir    in Basil.
- Return chicken to skillet and nestle in tomatoes. Top with mozza and cover with lid to melt cheese.
 - Spoon tomatoes over chicken and serve
 - Serve on top of pasta or rice for complete meal

Nutrition facts per serving:
Calories 137
Carbs 4g
Fat 5.5g
Protein 34g

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

A surprise sit request

So this am I awoke at 6:45am and headed downstairs at our house sit. Today (Monday) was going home day as the owner is returning this afternoon and the house needed to be cleaned and bedding stripped and washed, all that fun stuff.

Pop the kettle on to boil, turn the Keurig on to pre-heat the water for His Lordship should he arise and start a fire to warm the place up because I cannot stand being cold.

Check phone for overnight dingers (thank God for Do Not Disturb) and someone sent us a message on www.trustedhousesitters.com So a week ago we had applied for a 5 week sit here on our little island which would take us to just before we leave on our nationwide trip... eventually they chose someone a friend recommended and so we decided to stop applying for sits before the trip with the Covid-19 thing going so strong right now - we'd just see what happened with it and go from there...


Turns out the person they chose to house sit for their holiday in Palm Springs is American and doesn't want to get stuck in Canada -- perhaps they read my last blog LOL... so they called us to see if we could still do it. After much discussion we decided to go ahead and agree to the sit, now if things go to hell (BC had its first covid-19 death today) they obviously won't be going but as of now they still intend to follow through.

They have a beautiful blonde full size poodle named Annie, so we (except Brad who had a massage -- it's Monday people, keep up!!) met at a local park to make sure the dogs were okay together. They got along famously and turns out they play head games with their dog the same way we do with Robbie... sure hope they get to go because I think it would be great fun with these two dogs... and the woman and I have met previously as she was in a 'showing' I did of our campground for the local Information Center last spring.

We will all meet again at their home on Wednesday so they can show us the lay of the land and then likely we'll 'move in' on Friday as they catch the red eye ferry Sat am. Upon their return we will then have about a week at our home until we leave on our trip - all things being equal, of course.

Daffy front and center, the prancing girls pulling up the rear

This last sit was fun but with the accident and some other things on the go we didn't get out much. Sgt Major Daffy Duck and his duo of prancing girls were funny to watch, and I did -- back and forth waddle waddle waddle, squalk squalk squalk. Daffy couldn't walk without commanding his troops at the same time, it was hilarious. You always knew when they were moving because you could hear him barking orders... 1,2,3,4 - 1,2,3,4...

When we went to Courtney for that 2 week sit we felt it was too long (perhaps the rain everyday was the problem), this latest duck sit was only 4 nights and we have to haul a lot of stuff just for 4 nights, our clothes, CPAP, Robbies kit, our groceries, the Keurig and his kettle was broken - so our kettle too - a lot of work for just a few days. Plus I had to take my garden sprouts because they would get very cold left in the RV...

5 weeks and 2 days for this next sit so definitely worth the haul and being on our island we don't need to deal with long drives or ferry schedules for Brad's massage or Dr appts so I don't think it will be a problem. Very much looking forward to it as they have lovely views from their place and the weather is getting nicer now.

Sunday, 8 March 2020

Covid-19 prep thoughts

Garden growth

I did not start this garden with Covid in mind, however it sure could be handy in difficult times. Though hopefully by the time anything comes from the garden, this whole virus thing will have passed.

My garden of herbs and peas yesterday

Garden peas today... I put in a shameless plug for our friends at Buzzy's to show scale. But you can plainly see with the light switch on the wall that they have doubled in size overnight. Sunshine works. 

Garlic on left, carrots central and green onions on right

Carrots in the middle 2 rows are coming in very well. 
This grow from scraps thing works fantastic so far!!

Covid-19 Prepping thoughts

Given the number of people on our little island who work in Vancouver every day and given that Vancouver is a hotpot for Covid-19 we are actually beginning to talk about 'the when'... WHEN do you isolate yourself? 

No one really knows but with an approximated 2 week incubation and 'those who know' saying not to panic (always the first clue as 'they' are concerned with the stock market and panic does not bode well for the markets). I don't think it is panic worthy yet but I do think 'they' have lost control of it. 

Our BC 'keep them calm' Covid-19 spokeswoman was almost crying today in her daily briefing... so while its never good to panic and certainly not appropriate to beat each other up over toilet paper as is happening in some places around the globe (Australia as just 1 example) the time for isolation does seem to be nearing and every area is different. Our friends in Ottawa for example are showing no cases on the tracker I will link to below.. hence they have more time before prep becomes a consideration.

One thing we did do ages ago is we ordered a foraging book for our area. Who knows how long this could last, a few cans of stuff won't last long but especially here in this climate and really anywhere in summer - foraging is a great alternative. Save the canned food for fall/winter should they still be needed and forage as much as possible, away from other people. 

Our Berkey is a great water filter should we need it and we have solar on our rig but the rig is parked in the trees, so we won't likely have power if everything goes to hell and 'they' stop keeping things like water/power running - we will still have water, we know how to build a fire and the basic principles of building rocket stoves, etc.

We are not 'preppers' per se but do believe in being prepared in a survival situation (thank you Daddy) and so have always studied these types of informative videos/books, etc. I actually made things like re-useable toilet paper waaaay back (Brad called the 2008 collapse way before 2005 when we started dating) and we happen to have some of that stuff with us because you never know when you'll need it and since we were going bookdocking originally, I took it along.

While 'they' are telling us not to get the masks, think about how many people on the news you have seen treating the ill without a mask/goggles/gloves - None. Common sense will carry you far. 

RVers coming back from the US should hurry - I suggest. You don't want to get stuck down in the states without healthcare coverage and they are watching the borders especially Vancouver (Washington state is a hotpot) if you sniffle you could get stuck in Quarantine for weeks. 

Here is a link to a real-time Covid-19 tracker which will show your area in near real-time. 

Remember: nowadays, Everything comes from China! If China is down.... nothing is available and even if it is available -- if the local mailman is down...

Panic won't help anyone. Just be aware and think things through. If no one goes to work then no one is keeping the water pumping and the electrics on... what plans do you have then? What are your needs? Try to plan for 6 months... life saving medications, shelter, food, water, heat/cool.

Reality is, this could get very bad. OR they could get a grip on it yet. It could just fizzle out like has happened with pig flu, bird flu, sars, to name a few recent examples... keep in mind they do this fairly regularly... the world is ending -- oh never mind... its just a manipulation of the stock markets - usually.

Our government had $7million designated for Covid research and just increased it by $20million today so clearly they are expecting it to get worse.

Just be aware. Consider both the source (don't believe everything your told) and consequences (if what your told OR not told happens). 

The US has ordered 20 million masks for a population of 300 million + so just because they tell you they have them ordered to make you feel warm & fuzzy does not mean you will be deemed worthy of getting one and -- they are single use as once the seal is broken from your face - with an airbourne virus, that mask is now contaminated, do not put it back on... Now how many masks do you think Trump alone will require if this goes on for any length of time... and the US Gov't alone is vast, there just aren't enough masks to go around for 'those running the show' - hence, they tell the 'disposable population' not to get them. 

Unfortunate, but that's just the way it works. 

Back to: use common sense and consider everything.

Saturday, 7 March 2020

Staying close to 'home'

Because our girl took a holiday -- I know, right?!! -- Brad didn't get his massage early in the week and we were both booked in with her on Friday, thankfully because Brad needed it after the accident. I needed it too it turned out but I wasn't suffering with it. Anyway, we've been staying close to the 'house' just trying to recoup from the last week, it was a bad one. Here are pics of the property.

Garden/Duck waddle area

Top of the driveway done up very nice, would be gorgeous in summer, I'm sure with the little bridge there.

The Ducks, there are only 3 somehow I thought it was 5 but nope. The front one is the male and he is very aggressive about protecting his girls... hissing and threatening to come after you, etc. So far its just bravado, he better hope it stays that way...

Pathway to the garden/waddle area

The ducks walk around the property all day, they are let out in the morning and put in at dusk so the raccoons don't get at them. That's the extent of it other than a little feed in a bowl. 

They have a pond at the other end of the driveway, the gate is never shut but they do not wander out - this is amazing to me... but I've been watching them closely and they don't. They waddle all day long back and forth: pond to grass beside house and around the back then down to the pond again, etc. all day long. It's amusing to watch and the girls are so cute with their little warrior leading them around everywhere. 

Can't believe its Saturday already, we're back home again on Monday. Seems like we just got here...

Accident update: Since it happened on private property and we cannot find a witness who saw it - unless they went to the police on their own - there is nothing the cops can do. A claim has been filed with ICBC - there has to be some consequence. As far as I'm concerned the guy should have just owned up to it as ICBC will be more expensive in the long run than a ticket for a couple of hundred bucks.

I just hope he learns something from this so it won't happen to an elderly person or small child next time.

Thursday, 5 March 2020

New sit, hit and run and cleaning

We were set to start a new house sit today at 1pm and around 1030am Brad went to town to grab a coffee before we loaded the Jeep and set off across Salt Spring Island. 1230pm and he hasn't returned... something is wrong. Or is it? You can never tell with men, can you?!

Has he gone by Buzzy's and got chatting and forgotten? Do I take the big truck and go without him? Where the hell is he? He knows we have this appointment to meet the owner of the house...

Now at 1130 ish I was talking to the landlord about that diagram I've been teasing you with... and switching the laundry around the same time... Well at 1245 I got up to go to the bathroom and just happened to push the button on the phone to check it as I passed by. Sure enough Brad had called around 1130 from the Police Station. Someone had driven into him and he was heading to the ER....

W T F?!?!?!?!?!?!  I grabbed my purse and took off running to our friendly neighbourhood landlord for a drive to the ER and he quickly obliged -- thank you, kind sir.

Apparently, after checking our mail Brad had stopped to help a little old lady who's car wouldn't move and she was stuck in the driving lane outside the post office. She was not strong enough to strong arm (car wouldn't turn on) the car while he pushed so 2 others joined in the effort, once she was secured in a spot out of harm's way the others left and then Brad turned and began walking back to our Jeep. BAM!! Some guy in a little yellow smart car literally whipped out of his parking spot -- backwards -- and straight into Brad. As per, Brad did not move (anyone who knows him, knows what I mean by this) --anyway, the guy mouthed to Brad that he was sorry and drove away.

WELL! Several people witnessed this event in the parking lot of the local post office. Brad got the plate number and went to the cop shop trying to remember the plate number while trying to speak to someone at a small island police station... suffice to say, he got the last number wrong. However, he had seen the car turn towards Moby's and so when the police insisted he go to the hospital he decided to find that car enroute to the hospital (opposite direction)... and he did. Directly across the street from Moby's there it was at the Harbour House Hotel.

He provided the police with the proper plate number and they were off to do whatever they do when someone hit and runs a body... I'm not sure what that is, but I'm damn sure it isn't good for that guy.

Doc in ER says he has whiplash and will likely have a lot of bruising but nothing is broken so he'll be sore for several days to a week or 10 days before hopefully recovering. Clearly, Doc says, he has been thrown out of alignment (his RMT and Chiropractor are not going to be happy about this either).

Even with all of that going on we still managed to arrive shortly after 1pm to meet the sit and then went home and Brad looked after Robbie while I loaded the first of two loads of stuff to haul over to the house sit (2 door jeeps hold almost nothing, do not buy one)... the truck would make sense except this island is not designed for such a large vehicle and I'm not sure it would make the turn into the driveway to be honest... the Jeep doesn't seem like it would fit either but it does...

On the way home we stopped at Buzzy's for lunch - it was a bad day after all. They couldn't believe Brad had been hit by a car! And yet completely believed he had been hit by a car as people drive crazy on this island, its just insane and summer hasn't even hit yet. Barbra Streisand has been punted for Meghan and Harry, she declined to comment.

The new house sit. 3 Ducks, kept outdoors, obviously - I assume that's obvious....
Robbie in the TV Room watching BBCan8

Spent half an hour cleaning the kitchen so I could make dinner only to realize I didn't have anything out so Brad drove to town and grabbed Pizza for us as Big Brother Canada season 8 began at 7pm and I was still scrubbing the kitchen at 630pm.

Living room

Remember my peas? With herbs on the left. Coming up nicely.

In yesterday's blog post I'm sure I posted a pic of this and no carrots were coming up yet (middle) between the green onion on the left and garlic on the right... well 6 have sprouted today. Still no peppers but I learned today that peppers take 1-4 weeks to sprout depending on the type and I've no idea what the type is other than Organic...so I wait...

Okay so that diagram: has been squashed I think. It was an earthbag dome building we were planning so that company would have somewhere to stay when they visit but after much consideration and with the layout being so sloped and nowhere to drop a literal tonne of dirt except at the bottom of a big slope we have decided to just build a normal cabin. Given our trip and the mountainous amount of work to build an earthbag dome, I think its safe to say we have chosen another path with the cabin idea.

Now I say this but we haven't exactly all had a chance to digest everything that has happened today, however I spoke to the landlord and mentioned it to Brad today and I think everyone seemed to be in agreement on the cabin. I will revisit this again in a few days once Brad's pain level normalizes and we can speak more to the landlord. It was exciting while it lasted but I think with everything we have on our plates already that this is probably the best option all around right now. Sorry Meg/Mum.

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

More truck & garden changes

When Brad went to the wreckers the other day he came home with a new bumper and a new grill -both of which had been a sore point on the truck because the bumper it came with was pushed up and crunched and the silver wrapper on the grill was bubbled.

The new grill came black so Brad sprayed the Ford emblem to match.

He had also ordered wheel trims which arrived and were put on in short order.

Before attaching wheel trims, we sanded, primed and repainted the body where some rust was a concern.

Old Bumper

New Bumper

Looking good. 
When we return from the trip, the cap will be removed and a tonneau cover put on - assuming we keep the truck at that point...

New Bumper and we also have our hard earned Veteran's plates -- took a year -- !

Left to right, my peas are sprouting on the left... and some herbs on the right.

Garlic and Green onions.. no carrots (in between them) yet.

No peppers yet.

Today we took the truck to Duncan to have our taxes done at H&R, Brad has always done them but last year we had so much going on and we liked the girl so went to her again this year.

With that pleasant chore done -- obviously a return is coming, eventually-- we drove through Victoria to a UPS to ship out a faulty Amazon purchase that caused a breakdown on the side of the main road here on the island.. We had to re-order one from Ford and it was here the next day and all turned out well. 

The Amazon company authorized a return and we simply had to drop it at UPS -- not available on our island and permanently closed in Duncan... we then caught the ferry home at Swartz Bay and got home just in time for supper.

Speaking of supper, Jan & Steve called yesterday from Victoria to say they have had a change of plans and will be available to visit with us when we drive through Ontario after all. I asked if they wanted to do dinner -- so Brad & I went across to Sydney last night and met up with them for supper at a beautiful little stone building turned restaurant. Surprise bonus: they bought us dinner. Love these two LOL They are heading back to Ontario very soon so this would probably be our last time with them before seeing them in Ontario on our trip.

We were able to show off everything we have done to the truck since we bought it as they were there when we originally looked at the truck. We are proud to have accomplished all the things we wanted to accomplish before this trip, and then some. 

We stopped at Canadian Tire to return a couple of items including the pet barrier (Robbie won't cross the front center seat if it is up so we didn't need the barrier in the end), and ended up spending more than we had returned, including a backup camera for the truck - with this huge cap on it it can be hard to see just where you are and we're not used to the size of this thing yet so this backup camera just ensures we don't hit something.

Also, the other day we received the necessary permissions to do what I wanted to do with this:


So that is exciting and something to look forward to. Some detailed planning has begun with plenty more to be done yet and then we can settle on a timeframe which could be complicated with our trip causing a significant delay, no doubt...

I think that's everything I had to update you all about... probably not but its all I can think of at the moment.

So it's a good night to all and to all a good night.

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Wreckers and more gardening

Quiet day today, Brad and Robbie took the new truck for a test spin to Nanaimo. Brad wanted to look for a new rear bumper at the wreckers, not necessary but he needed to put some kilometers on it as we need to change a filter at the 500km mark... apparently he's only half way there now but closer than he was this morning, so... and he bought a new bumper... and a new grill... neither of which was needed per se. 

Shop door to the main working garage from inside the office

Bathroom at the wreckers, pretty unique

While they were out gallivanting, I called up a girlfriend (Dana, the new campground manager) and we went for lunch. After which I stopped to grab the mail and another gadget Brad bought for the truck was in. Arriving home I was advised that the fender covers had been delivered to the campground so I drove up quickly and grabbed them before starting the laundry and cleaning the bathroom.

Time to plant some garden goodies:

10 each of Red, Yellow, Orange Bell Peppers and 20 Green

Labelled them too

Remember the carrots? this was 2 days ago

Lots of little nobbies have popped up so they are rolling along

Garlic and Romaine 2 days ago

Garlic and Romaine yesterday.

I planted the ginger yesterday and today its time to plant the garlic according to all those who know about these things... I know I'm waaay ahead of the curve on this but I want to give them a good start before they go outside, especially the slow growing Peppers, they will take awhile and let's face it - it will be March here tomorrow.... March last year was almost like July in Saskatchewan, so I'm not worried. 

What I am worried about and have to figure out is how to get some potatoes to sprout in short order... suggestions?.... anyone?... I bought 3 potatoe bags with the flappy thingy but forgot to set some spuds up to sprout... I'll be researching the fastest way to do that today. I also have to open and peek at the lemon seeds and see if they are sprouting yet as I have no idea how long that will take in soak.