Thursday, 30 July 2020

Deck refresh

The back deck has been black since we moved in. Yesterday I finally got around to doing something about it. The mildew had filled in the grooves of the wood planks and the deck had become 'slick'.

Moved everything out of the way

My handy dandy RV brush and a bucket of bleach & water

1st of 2 coats



While the wood is still dark in spots, the grooves are back and it looks so much better. While it didn't come up as well as I'd hoped it would - it is still a vast improvement from what it was.

I also made 4 jars of Blackberry jam and a jar of blackberry cordial yesterday from berries I picked in our back yard, so nice to have such a glorious environment.

Intermittently doing 53 in a 55 zone

*** Written on March 17, 2018 at the RV resort and not published... but as it was being 'sorted' I didn't post it. It was one of those 'background events' that just doesn't get published. ***

Anyone who has driven this section of California Highway 79 will tell you that it is long, windy and hilly and there are no 'pull out' sections.

Yesterday, Brad and I went to Temecula to get a few groceries. We were finally enjoying a day out after a couple of weeks of being cooped up while Brad was recouping from the final reduction of his current PTSD medication. It was so nice to see him out and about - while not quite fully recovered, at least recovered enough that he could be in public. He has been having a very difficult time with this final reduction and has basically been secluded inside the RV as his temperament has been very volatile.

We drove home after getting everything we needed and as we pulled into our driveway, suddenly there was a guy on our lot. He explained that he had followed us from Temecula and wanted us to know that our speedometer might be broken because we were intermittently doing 53mph on a 55mph road... he explained that there are apps which will tell you how fast you are going....  Immediately, I was concerned that Brad would go half cocked at this guy, but was pleasantly surprised when he just let it go.

I mean what can you say to that anyway? Gee I'm terribly sorry I wasn't speeding?

The guy left and we carried on putting groceries away, etc. Then I noticed Brad was gone. Whaaa.... He had decided to take the Golf Cart and go find out where this guy lived in the park and let Security know so that they could have a word with him about going on people's property. When Brad couldn't find the truck, he went to Security who then advised him (it was a new guard - 1st day apparently) that the truck had left. The assumption being that it wasn't a resident but someone who just followed us in to the resort, slipping in behind us before the owner's gate closed.

Concerned for the safety issue this gap at the gate creates, Brad posted the event on the owner's FaceBook page noting that the Board should look into this.

About 10 minutes later, the guy shows up at our lot. All bravado and attitude. Brad immediately tells him to get off our property, which he does. Standing at the edge of the road he proceeds to start a massive argument with Brad. Well, Brad is never one to step down from a fight and things were getting extremely heated.

I was trying to diffuse the situation by telling this guy that Brad had recently reduced his medication and was a little on edge. What I didn't know was that Brad had already told him, first thing, before I even had an opportunity to exit the RV. The guys response? Your not the only guy who's ever reduced PTSD medication..... not the brightest response, but...

Anyway, finally the guy gets in his Golf Cart and tells brad, 'get out of the way or I'll run you over', not a second later he hits Brad with his Golf Cart!

Holy mother of God! Brad lost it. Yelling at me to call Security and the Cops. Incredibly, neither of them had laid a hand on each other except for this golf cart incident. Security arrives, 2 of the HOA board members arrive (having seen the Facebook post) and the Cops arrive.

What a hullabaloo! Our neighbours who just lost a close family member within the week watched the whole thing. Likely the last thing they needed at this time in their lives. Later, I went over to apologize if the event caused them any undo stress.

The situation was finally diffused and while it took a while for me to calm down, we managed to get to bed at a reasonable hour.

All that over 2 miles an hour. Who cares?! We did learn that the law states that if you are going slow and there are 5 cars behind you, you are required to pull into a 'pull out' and let them pass. However, we were doing 2mph below the speed limit and this stretch of 79 does not have any 'pull outs'. The police advised us that we did not do anything wrong and the guy has been warned to stay away from us.

Turns out he is an owner here at the resort and the HOA will be bringing him in for a 'chat'. I mean, I still can't even believe this happened. Wow.

Huge Kudo's to Brad for managing to maintain control during all of this, I know I wouldn't have had it in me if I was in his position. I would have absolutely 'Gone Postal' on this guy's ass. The amount of restraint and self control that must have taken is beyond my comprehension, I can assure you of that!

The entire thing just boggles the mind.

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Garden updates

Brad was puttering down the garden a few days ago and came home with:

Our 1st Cucumber


Another bag (I made 3 of these)

This is the same Tshirt bag shown in a previous post

as is this

and the snowflake bag

Carry version

Shoulder version

Sailboat jealousy

Seal and pup (which went under the water as this pic snapped)

I bought this off a local FB page. Only to discover that although it is expandable... And in my mind this is my size.... turns out that is incorrect. Hoping it will still be useful at least for pics of the bags (as above) and as I don't make much without shoulders.... maybe I can still use it.

1st Onion

I've been picking blackberries

I spread them out on a tray and flash freeze them before putting them in a freezer bag, this ensures individual berries instead of a solid mass.

Haven't shown this before I don't think but if any bread (I make a small loaf each morning) goes stale I make croutons out of it with a bit of oil and seasoning.

The garden is filling in very well. Coffee is the trick for slugs!!!!!!!

Butternut squash has begun

Cucumbers, I cut another 3 biggies off yesterday. I slice, flash freeze and vacuum seal before putting in the freezer

Trimmed down my basil, slow baked, crumbled and put into a jar

Oregano too

Grapes are getting huge, although they look small against this hanging basket... you will see below the size of these hanging baskets.

Peaches are ready for picking (but we don't touch these as they are part of the 'orchard crop' and we have been provided some for us).

This red hanging basket was on deaths door a few weeks ago from being in too much shade. Now it is voluptuous once again.

Brad keeps these baskets and they are doing fabulous

There are 2 purple baskets on either side of the woodshed, hard to see in the evening shade

Red basket on left, purple on right of the orchard gate

Piece de la resistance. These beauties frame our front door.

Brad was spraying me with the garden hose

Almond. There is an almond tree in our front yard. Looking forward to trying these.

Dad & Ann have set their wedding date with the church finally (3rd week of August) but it doesn't appear that we will be able to make it. Dad understands though because its a very long way to go for a 15 min ceremony, and the risk with Covid especially for them and their friends as well is just not reasonable. They will try to arrange a Skype or such for us to watch on.

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

New Deal

I reposted the RV on Kijiji Saturday and I added $5K to the price since I listed it too low last time.

Sunday a couple from another island to the north of us called and wanted to see it that day if possible.... Another trip across but off we went.

But first, we had a pre-existing appointment to look at a sailboat. Yup, you read that right. We're looking at sailboats once again. However, it had significant mold so in the end that was out.

Showed the RV to this couple who absolutely loved it. Apparently I forgot to mention the auto levelling jacks in the ad so they were pleasantly surprised about that and the man has a CPAP so the RV being kitted out with solar just for that purpose was a great benefit to them as was the 2ft residential king mattress and all the accessories were included.

A deal has been made, deposit paid and the arrangement to be finalized on Saturday.

It is so sad to sell her as we know we will never find another as good as this one but we just don't anticipate needing it anymore. Now with the sailboat idea popping up again...

Never a dull moment around here.

PS The court documents were filed yesterday with regards to the house.

Friday, 24 July 2020

Happy Feet, Garden and Sewing

Wednesday was massage day this week so off to Salty we went. My shoe inserts were also ready so that was great and I now have proper support, although I've had these before so we'll see how long they hold up - pardon the pun - but I must say they do feel stronger.

On Tuesday, while waiting for the RV inspection we went to Home Depot and picked up some 2X2 for the tomatoes - the stakes for which keep getting bigger and bigger. 
2X2X4 to hold the tomatoes as they were collapsing under the weight of themselves.

Only 1 broccoli survived. We chose to pull the rest as they just weren't growing properly.

My transplanted Romaine are holding well and the cauliflowers are massive

Pepper plants are not growing much, we've tried everything. Any suggestions?

The Cucumber plant has outgrown being propped up on a tomatoe stake 

Brad made this Cucumber Condo, there are roughly 12 cucumbers already and plenty more still in flower.

Tomatoes with new stakes in front of the green beans which have been providing nourishment to us for weeks already. The Corn is not ours.

Romaine, Carrots, Chives and Onions

Can't recall if I mentioned it but I had the idea to make shopping bags when we were on Salt, however there were plenty of others selling them in the market. At this market, there aren't any being sold so... I've been buying material from thrift shops on both islands and yesterday I made some more. Hoping to make a stock in time for the Xmas market and go from there.

Placemat to...

Bag with phone pocket - I made 2 of these yesterday.

These next 3 I had made a week or so ago

Some christmasy (faint snowflake) curtains made another bag.

Tshirt bag

Tshirt bag

My sewing machine was getting bunged up yesterday, the needle was catching and pulling bobbin thread through creating a mess so I stopped before it frustrated me. Today I shall fix it (I hope) and create some more.

The T-shirt ones are super fun and easy but I've run out of Tshirts to use and the local thrift wants $4 each so I'll keep an eye out maybe in Nanaimo for a better price. 

Used to be that you could get brand new at Walmart for $5 - $8. Perhaps not so much anymore but I don't want to pay $4 each, simple as that. I'm hoping to sell them for $5 - $10 and send the proceeds to the local food bank as Brad does with his lasagna.

So we heard back from the next person interested in the RV and we will be speaking again tonight. I sent him the inspection report which was forwarded from the previous deal. His wife has yet to see the RV in person so perhaps we will do that tomorrow. He has a 5th Wheel he needs to sell first and will be dealing with that today. I suggested that with a deposit we would hold it for him until he can sell his (time frame obviously) since we are in no rush. We shall see what transpires as the process moves along.

Can honestly say that this whole process has become such a burden that we almost pulled it off the market all together but I really don't want her to go to waste sitting in storage, so we'll see what comes of this deal and go forward from there.

Thursday, 23 July 2020

No deal

Well, we had a deal for the sale of ACE.

We waited almost a week for it to be inspected to provide peace of mind to the new owners - even though it has just passed an interprovincial inspection last year and has full bumper to bumper comprehensive cover-absolutely-everything transferable (to new owners) and extendable warranty with 10,000km and 1 year left on it.

It was inspected Tuesday. What was supposed to be 1 hour took 3.5 hours and I was there when he got the results. They could not find anything wrong, even though they took it completely apart. Nothing.

We were to go to Nanaimo today to do the deal but he called last night and backed out. Apparently, a friend has an older RV and sold it to them cheap.

Just don't even know what to say about that.

We didn't even get a deposit because they seemed like the type you wouldn't need one from.

He told me last night that he was going to email the report over to us to help with finding a new buyer, we haven't received that as yet.

To say we're disappointed would definitely be an understatement. While we don't mind keeping her ourselves, its just frustrating to go through all the emotions of selling a prized possession for a week and a half and then ...

There was another buyer who wanted us to let him know if anything went wrong with the deal but, of course, that was 10 days ago. I sent a message to them late last night but have not heard back yet.

Should we have to start over - IF we start over and continue this journey of selling ACE, I will definitely be putting the price up as we learned through this that we listed it too low. Every cloud has a silver lining, I suppose.

Sunday, 19 July 2020

The cat was away

Brad went off island for his weekly massage and because it was so hot outside we decided that I would stay home with Robbie. He prefers the comfort of home these days to sitting in a hot vehicle waiting on the damn ferries for hours on end.... good news on that front later in post.

While the cat was away.... I got down to work... 

A second hose

Okay this was already done but (FG will be happy to know that) the bath/shower water is barely enough to cover all of our gardening needs and so nothing is being regurgitated to the holding tank. I have however put in a second hose so we have the option to load the front barrel or the rear barrel depending on water levels.

Transplanted some dill to the side garden

Poppies new spot

Poppies were finally sprouted so they were planted in the side garden, hopefully they will take there.

My herb garden in the kitchen window: L-R Oregano, Dill, Parsley and Basil

The basil had been so plentiful that I picked some, blanched and froze it for use later.

Parsley had also been too tall for the window so I dried some and put it in a spice jar (I've been saving them just for this purpose)

Made 2 banana loaves

1 White bread

Went out in the orchard and picked a bowl of Blackberries... tried to coax Robbie off the shaded deck but he would have none of it and happily sat watching me sweat in the heat.

Blackberry crumble didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped. Pie next time.

This basil had been planted in the side garden but the slugs had had their way with it and it was not doing well at all. Brad was going to pull it and throw it out but I saved it, transplanted it to this container and put it in the morning sun window. It now thrives.

Baked the banana peel and egg shells from the banana loaf, crushed in the blender. This will be used for potassium and calcium on the garden.

Planted cherry pits

There is a cherry tree down at the garden area and I couldn't resist trying a couple (okay 3) of red ones. Saved the pits, soaked them overnight and planted them in this container with a clear plastic container (from diatomaceous earth) over top to provide a greenhouse effect. Hope it works.

Our deck garden of romaine lettuce was getting large and crowded...

Moving day, romaine are off to their new home

So we hauled it in our handy wagon and transplanted it down in the main garden. I had previously planted some leftover seeds and they have cracked open and are ready to go in to the deck containers. We picked up more soil yesterday and will transplant the seedlings today.

I spent an hour or so cleaning the dog hair out of the Jeep yesterday. Man alive that dog!!! Good thing we love him.

Now about those ferries. The Transport Minister, in his/her wisdom has finally acknowledged the problem of island residents being able to get home with the overwhelming abundance of tourists clogging up the ferries and the risk to said residents of Covid from said tourists. So effective Monday, the ferry will be putting residents first and tourists can fill up whatever space is left.

As an island resident, I can tell you this will be a game changer!! Instead of having to get in line 1.5 hours ahead of expected departure, this should help alleviate those wait times. When you are just going across for a quick to do about something and spend 3x as long waiting in the ferry line, it gets old fast.

Thank you BC Ferries

Unfortunately, there is no resident proof required. It is being done on the honour system... so it has yet to be seen how effective it will be but here is hoping it makes a difference. Not sure whether it will be implemented on the island side due to space restrictions but hope they can find a way to arrange that too.