Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Loved for Eternity

Daddy

March 8, 1940 - Sept. 12, 2021


He was born in London, England, during the war, joined the British Merchant Navy at 18, became an electrician and travelled the world.

But the irrepressible James (Jim) chose to make Canada his home, first in Saskatoon in 1974, then in Windsor, where he worked at Chrysler, because he wanted more opportunity for his children.

All the while, Jim happily lived his philosophy of rolling with the punches and criss-crossing the globe.

"My outlook has always been to see a lot of this planet while I'm on it," he said recently, while reflecting on his life, often with his characteristic, infectious laugh. "I've been luckier than most. Some guys live and die in the same town and never go anywhere. I went everywhere."

Jim was a go-getter who got things done, who remained optimistic even in the clutches of the cancer that finally took him, and who found love late in life. In the middle of the pandemic, he married Ann Pearson - with whom he did not have enough time and who he called his "soul mate."

Through thick and thin he said the thing that brought him the most joy was family, including his children Katherine (husband Brad), and Dave; his grandchildren Lee, Carey (wife Kelsey), and Landon; and his great-grandchildren Xzavia, Brooklynn and Royce, all of Saskatoon. He is also survived by his sister Ruth (husband Del) in the U.K., as well as his step-children Scott (wife Sue) and Craig (wife Bev), and step-grandchildren Carter, Kate and Spencer in Windsor and Oakville.

He spent his final days with wife Ann lovingly by his side. A tribute to his life was held at Windsor Memorial Gardens Cemetery.

Jim was thoughtful, kind, considerate and warm - a gentleman in every regard.

Though he loved travelling, he also enjoyed tinkering at home, fixing this or that, and spending time with those he loved.
As his daughter Katherine said...
"Dad was adored by many, respected by all and will be loved for eternity."

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Rogue Acres

So… yeah. Sorry it’s taken so long to write this but I have a lot going on at the moment.

We have secured ourselves 40 acres and will be moving to northern Alberta at the end of September.

Yes, we know it will be cold as ….  But I’ve been wanting a hobby farm for ( pardon the pun) donkey’s years. Now, we are finally going to get to do it. 

Eventually, it will take time of course, we would like chickens, rabbits, goats, pigs, donkey (great security guards) and maybe even a dairy cow! 

We’ll see how it goes but we are very excited!!! Never a dull moment around here and rapidly becoming ‘never a dull fractional second around here’. 

Haha, bet you didn’t see this coming! 

Rogue Acres

I know it’s a lame pic but I’m writing this on my cell phone, so…


Saturday, 4 September 2021

My Good Son visits

To be clear, this isn't the big news.

Stacey and I went foraging for Stinging Nettles. I am drinking Stinging Nettle Tea as a replacement for my Synthroid medication - again Doctor approved.

Separating seeds from leaves

The Mother-Dreaded Motorcycle (doesn't every Mother? Well, anyway...)

After spending some time with his Dad in the Vancouver area...
he popped over to Gabriola to visit with us too.

Brad showed off the garden

Lee has his Ham radio license and wants me to get it too. I plan to.

Robbie with a bone

About a week ago Stacey brought Robbie a rawhide bone and we thought he'd eaten it all but it turns out he only ate half of it. He had buried the other half in the side garden and only brought it out yesterday...

Yes, I know I have to post the good news yet... my Dad is not doing very well at all and I just haven't got to it with everything else going on that the good news requires, so I am just catching up on my pictures and I shall post the good news next, I think.

Tuesday, 31 August 2021

In true fashion...

If you've been here for awhile you know that I love watching Big Brother, haven't missed a season since I began watching at the end of season 3... 

... and if you know the show of Big Brother, you know to ....

Expect the unexpected.

Big news coming soon! 

Friday, 27 August 2021

Drought continues


Our area of BC went without rain for 55 days through June/July and then received 4mm (about 20% of an inch), since then we've had no other rain to speak of. Yesterday we did receive 0.6mm (0.02"), everything here is brown. 

The temperatures have cooled down to the low-mid 20C range (72F) but everything is struggling to stay alive on minimal watering, and the watering hole used for the orchard is almost empty.

Clouds have begun to move in which shows promise for the wet weather to come but the weather people have no precipitation in the forecast. Today I saw a news article describing 2020 as the driest on record but I think 2021 may well take that title before its over.

Thankfully, we secured a second water source for our garden but I feel for people who didn't have that option. We have been able to fill our landlords garden water buckets so he didn't have to dip into his orchard supply for his corn and squash that he plants in the orchard garden. Its been a difficult year for gardening, to be sure. 


Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Abbott & Costello 2021

Found on FaceBook. Definitely the way the world is thinking.  Yet no one sees the craziness.  Fear is amazing. After 20 years of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan for other people's rights, roughly 20% of people in provinces in this country (Canada) have had theirs taken away... in an effort to force them to do something against their will...

I want to be clear: I am not an anti-vaxxer.


ABBOTT AND COSTELLO’S ‘WHO’S BEEN VACCINATED?’ 😆😆😆

Bud: ‘You can’t come in here!’

Lou: ‘Why not?’

Bud: ‘Well because you’re unvaccinated.’

Lou: ‘But I’m not sick.’

Bud: ‘It doesn’t matter.’

Lou: ‘Well, why does that guy get to go in?’

Bud: ‘Because he’s vaccinated.’

Lou: ‘But he’s sick!’

Bud: ‘It’s alright. Everyone in here is vaccinated.’

Lou: ‘Wait a minute. Are you saying everyone in there is vaccinated?’

Bud: ‘Yes.’

Lou: ‘So then why can’t I go in there if everyone is vaccinated?’

Bud: ‘Because you’ll make them sick.’

Lou: ‘How will I make them sick if I’m NOT sick and they’re vaccinated.’

Bud: ‘Because you’re unvaccinated.’

Lou: ‘But they’re vaccinated.’

Bud: ‘But they can still get sick.’

Lou: ‘So what the heck does the vaccine do?’

Bud: ‘It vaccinates.’

Lou: ‘So vaccinated people can’t spread covid?’

Bud: ‘Oh no. They can spread covid just as easily as an unvaccinated person.’

Lou: ‘I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore. Look. I’m not sick.

Bud: ‘Ok.’

Lou: ‘And the guy you let in IS sick.’

Bud: ‘That’s right.’

Lou: ‘And everybody in there can still get sick even though they’re vaccinated.’

Bud: ‘Certainly.’

Lou: ‘So why can’t I go in again?’

Bud: ‘Because you’re unvaccinated.’

Lou: ‘I’m not asking who’s vaccinated or not!’

Bud: ‘I’m just telling you how it is.’

Lou: ‘Nevermind. I’ll just put on my mask.’

Bud: ‘That’s fine.’

Lou: ‘Now I can go in?’

Bud: ‘Absolutely not?’

Lou: ‘But I have a mask!’

Bud: ‘Doesn’t matter.’

Lou: ‘I was able to come in here yesterday with a mask.’

Bud: ‘I know.’

Lou: So why can’t I come in here today with a mask? ….If you say ‘because I’m unvaccinated’ again, I’ll break your arm.’

Bud: ‘Take it easy buddy.’

Lou: ‘So the mask is no good anymore.’

Bud: ‘No, it’s still good.’

Lou: ‘But I can’t come in?’

Bud: ‘Correct.’

Lou: ‘Why not?’

Bud: ‘Because you’re unvaccinated.’

Lou: ‘But the mask prevents the germs from getting out.’

Bud: ‘Yes, but people can still catch your germs.’

Lou: ‘But they’re all vaccinated.’

Bud: ‘Yes, but they can still get sick.’

Lou: ‘But I’m not sick!!’

Bud: ‘You can still get them sick.’

Lou: ‘So then masks don’t work!’

Bud: ‘Masks work quite well.’

Lou: ‘So how in the heck can I get vaccinated people sick if I’m not sick and masks work?’

Bud: ‘Third base.

And...scene...


Yesterday British Columbia announced vaccine passports, they are starting with restaurants (indoor AND outdoor dining), bars, indoor events and the like - by spring, who knows?! If masks work, why are we having to give up our rights?

This is Canada, right?! WTF... I absolutely do not agree with any of this, what is happening to this country?

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Been a busy time

Obviously its been a crazy busy time around here. I haven't written a post since Aug 3rd!! And with my memory I can only write about that which I have pictures of to recall. 

I have been unpacking and finding places and rearranging to fit all of our belongings that I brought back with me on my trip. A feat in and of itself, I assure you.


Regular use jar stand

Found this wine bottle stand (at GIRO, the local re-store) which fits my 'former spaghetti sauce' jars. The proper canning jars are too big but fortunately the spag sauce once which we have a lot of do fit very well.


We went for supper at a place in Cedar, just outside Nanaimo and it was fantastic! So reminded us of a pub in England just down the road from Brad's brother.



Beautiful outdoor (s)eating garden also. 

There are benches to sit and chat over a glass of wine, picnic tables for meals and just an all around fabulous atmosphere. The staff were amazing, such a vast difference from our current island that I cannot even begin to explain.

Tudor building to boot

Such a warm and welcoming environment

One happy dude

On a different topic -- the garden. We are still harvesting, processing, freeze drying, etc. 

1 of our zucchini

So far Betty is managing to keep up with the garden harvest but the tomatoes haven't 'really' begun coming ripe yet. We get the odd tomatoe here and there which we're mostly using for our fresh salads, I also made Picco de Gallo (Bruschetta) the other day and shared a bit with the people who were staying that day in the guest house next door (which is now a B&B, apparently until fall).

My 'Good Son' is coming for a night or two, he hopes (ferry scheduling issues with his work schedule) at the end of the month so I have been rearranging all kinds of stuff which was in Betty's room (which is the guest room) so that if/when guests stay we can just pull Betty out for the duration of their stay.

To be clear, I say 'my good son' because they are both my good sons. Its a family joke, I've always told them both they are the good son or favourite or whatever. And yes, they are both well aware that they both get the same blah blah from Mum. (also, remember the movie 'The Good Son?... jus sayin'.)

This particular 'good son' is my Army brat. Who is stationed in Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) literally just north of us - and yet something like 18 hours away. I will warn you now though, he does not like his picture taken nevermind posted online.


Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Home again

I am home. 

I cannot tell you how great it is to be home again after almost a whole month of driving. Minus, of course 10 precious days with my Daddy and a few days with my Mother-in-law and Grandkids.

My hips are telling me I'm not 20 anymore but I don't believe a word of it.... :D


Brad with his prized corn

Smoke in BC's interior

If you look closely you will see that this new spark is only about 300ft from the Trans Canada Highway.

We have unloaded the truck and sorted through 95% of its contents and done with them whatever needed doing. I'm tired and forcing myself to 'take it easy' which by all accounts is still 'normal' for everyone else...

Anyway, just an update that the road trip has been completed.

Monday, 26 July 2021

Made it to Saskatoon


I left Dad’s Thursday morning around 9am and drove to Sault Ste Marie, ON where I parked at a Flying J (very friendly staff) and Friday am I had a shower in their facilities and headed off to Dryden, ON.

Arriving in Dryden at 4:30pm I was receiving tornado alerts on my phone. Checking the weather apps there was a break along the highway where two cells separated north and south so I pushed on to Kenora, ON with the weather clearly behind me.

Reaching Kenora at 6pm and in typical Katie fashion, I asked Siri (iphone assistant) how far it was to Winnipeg, MB… 2.5 hours, okay what time is sunset in Winnipeg? 9:30pm. Perfect, and off I went. 

I didn’t see the point of sitting 4-5 hours in the truck (I’ve slept in the truck the whole trip) so I could then sleep a few hours.

I arrived in Winnipeg at 9pm and parked up at another Flying J where after a good nights sleep I was able to have another shower and beautify myself before heading northwest to Saskatoon, SK.

Because my Daughter-in-law runs a daycare and my Mother-in-law is 82, I once again wanted a Covid rapid test to make sure I was clean so stopped in Yorkton at a drive-thru one.

In case I didn’t mention it, I had a test done before getting to Stacey’s Mum in Nova Scotia and another before getting to Dad’s in Ontario. Shopper’s Drug Mart offers them in Ontario for $40. Both were clear.

Anyway, in Yorkton after stuffing the swab waaay up my nostril he tells me they don’t do the rapid test only the pcr which takes 3-4 days to come back. At least I didn’t have to pay for that one.

Off I went to Saskatoon to get the proper rapid test so I could see my Gkids, arriving at the facility just after 2pm. Once again Negative and headed to my Mother-in-law’s.

With her tomatoes

Now - Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia have removed mask requirements since Stacey and I left but I continue to wear it anyway.

Yesterday (Sunday) I picked up my Gkids and took them to ToysRUs with a budget each and then ice cream after, which we brought back to Meg’s (Mother-in-law) so they didn’t eat it in her car.




Brad meanwhile has prepped all of the garlic he grew to feed to Betty….


And picked his first ear of what he figures is about 200 corn which he then had for supper with a juicy steak.


Meg and I had a lovely dinner perfect for this Saskatchewan heat.

Right now the plan is for me to leave here Thursday and pick Stacey up in Calgary where we will continue our journey home.

Anyone who knows me will find this cute. 
I find it priceless.




Tuesday, 20 July 2021

We had to break him out


My Daddy

Ann and I went out to run an errand, One of those girly shopping trips that Dad had no interest in so we left him at home in his comfy chair.

We had forgotten to turn on the AC so I suggested we text Dad and ask him to do it. Well that was a bad idea…

He texted ‘ok’ to the request then moments later something gibberish. Then SOS.

We immediately headed for home while calling a neighbour we thought would be home and asked them to help Dad. 

Sure enough he had fallen. He lost a fair amount of blood from his nose and we called an ambulance. 

As he was loaded in the ambulance and Ann and I came out the door the door caught Ann’s arm somehow causing a bruise and small cut, nothing urgent but …

He arrived at the ‘Met’ hospital at 2:20pm. He then spent the next 6.5hrs in a hallway (now remember he is 81) with no food or drink but was given a warm blanket.



Because of Covid Ann was not allowed in to be with him until he got a ‘bed’, which of course didn’t happen.

Ann and I decided to break him out. Clearly he was not a triage priority and he has a pre- arranged home visit with a Dr in the am. Ann called him to see what he felt about that. 

He was in agreement so we grabbed the keys and went to get him. He came out of the hospital at 8:40pm.

Straight to Wendy’s for a chili which he loves and then home to unwind before bed.

Quite a day.

Mechanic was unable to find anything wrong with the truck. Checked batteries, alternator, starter etc and tested for a short in the wiring but came up blank. He said ‘Everything happens for a reason’.

Clearly it is not time to go yet. 

I will be here at least one more day to keep an eye on Dad and make sure he’s alright before heading off. 

I will also run the truck a few times to make sure it’s ticking properly.

Monday, 19 July 2021

In no particular order

Put the truck in the shop Tuesday to have the ball joints done as there was a wobble on the passenger side. Got it back Friday. Saturday I packed up the truck and tried to start my long journey home but it wouldn’t start. 

Called CAA and they sent a kid with a couple of battery charge packs but it wasn’t enough juice, he called a big truck to attempt a boost or tow me back to Evoy’s shop. 

Now to be clear, I’ve used Evoy’s before and they are Dad’s go to. 

The 2nd truck couldn’t carry my truck as it’s loaded and couldn’t get me boosted either. Batteries read ‘ok’ (11.83 is low but still good)  all 3 of us checked them. 2nd guy called a 3rd to tow me. Not a very friendly chap that 3rd one but he got her on and moved to the shop.




Meanwhile Brad sent pics of the garden…

Brussels

Whole 

Zucchini 

The Bunch

Legs for the new U.S-Canada bridge in progress

Corn

So just before we arrived here the Dr’s took Dad off the cancer pill he was on which was making him so deathly ill that we almost lost him. They said it ‘could’ extend his life but I can tell you that is no way to ‘live.

So in just the first couple of days after our arrival he made leaps and bounds. Of course this won’t cure anything but he will be comfortable and both Drs he has seen since we arrived now say they want to see him in 6 months which is fantastic. 

As his new wife is taking such great care of him, I am going to start making my way home. Unfortunately, as noted above the truck wouldn’t  start and so I’m waiting until the shop opens in about an hour (oops need to beautify). 

I’m sure that it’s just a ground wire or something that came loose during the repair and hopefully not a major problem. Fortunately my departure was not urgent and I could afford to wait the weekend out, and spend more time with my favourite Daddy!! 

I was meant to call some blogger peeps while I was here but it just hasn’t fit in so far. If for some reason I stay awhile longer I’ll call them and meet up. Sorry guys.

Monday, 12 July 2021

Out of the bubble

So I drove from Nova Scotia to Kingston yesterday. 

When leaving the Atlantic bubble, there were no Covid checks at all. Not a one.

In fairness, because of my harsh comparison of our New Brunswick experience, I must note that the entry to New Brunswick from Quebec yesterday (as I looked over on the way past) was a vast difference to what we experienced going in.  

So perhaps something had happened that caused such a force to be there when we drive in, there was but 2 police vehicles when I drove by on my way out yesterday.

This am I drove from Kingston to Windsor, through pouring rain, arriving at noon.

Because of my extensive travels I stopped in London and had another rapid Covid test done before coming down to Dads. Negative.


 My step-mother has a nice little herb garden going on her deck too.

As my brother likely doesn’t want his pic posted online and he’s on a run for fish & chips at the moment so I can’t ask him- I have not posted any of the family pics we took today.

Anyway, I am here - finally. 

I was unable to stop for coffee with friends in Ottawa due to timing but I do intend to call some bloggers ( you know who you are) during my time here, as and when I can.

Saturday, 10 July 2021

To Hell and Back

While I’m away Brad is holding down the Fort…

Preparing Stevia (sugar substitute) for Betty

So we went to ‘hell’ anyone familiar would be able to suss out where that is by now but I shan’t be naming names or offering explanations to everything just yet.

Still too much on the go there. So please don’t type it below either or I’ll have to delete your comment. The day will come.

Stacey and I managed to get all of our belongings out, and absolutely no desire to go ever again but there may be a need to at some point. 

Only time will tell.

The Covid check to ‘hell’ was a gong show just like everything else hell related. To be clear, we pre- registered for everywhere we went so there would be no delays… 11 lanes of 40 cars each , 1 man with a clipboard for half an hour before another 2 joined him… 45 min of our 1.5 hrs allocated to loading the truck. Oh, and the ferry was 45 min late too! So used up all of our allotted truck loading time. We needed to get back for our next booking.

I called the office and was told it was the Gov’t that was holding us up, not the company… except that I was a customer of the company and on the company’s property. But nope not even a ‘sorry’ ‘kiss your ass’ or anything, just tough.

Tried to talk to one of the guys on the ground he just said ‘right on, right on’ and walked away.

Stacey spent 2 hrs on the phone getting disconnected, given a wrong number to call a different dept., and never did get through. Even Brad emailed the head office about it to which an auto reply came saying they’d call in 3 days. 

We just went for it, got to loading and praying we’d get there in time but knowing we’d likely be turned back.

While Stacey’s cell played the ‘we appreciate your call’ bs, my phone rang and it was a rep from Nova Scotia who made a note on our booking that we’d be late. Thank you! 

We arrived after everyone else was loaded, last car in the hold. Whew! 

That boat only runs every 3 days… so, yeah… we could not miss it!  Or drive 10 hrs to another. 

Entry to ‘hell’

Yeah and in hell… Fish & Wildlife we’re checking people in. 

I tell ya you just can’t make this up.

Nova Scotia re-entry took 5 min. Smooth like butta. 

Friday, 9 July 2021

Entering Nova Scotia

 

Nova Scotia border check

Completely different experience. These guys didn’t even have booths. Just a line up and did you register? 

Much more appropriate to what’s happening in our world. 

Comparatively, New Brunswick must think it’s a zombie apocalypse or something. That was absolutely unbelievable and so far over the top that I just have no words.

Thursday, 8 July 2021

No exaggeration

We had filled out a ‘hey we’re driving through’ form before our arrival at New Brunswick. We were expecting a guard in a booth…

New Brunswick border

What we met at the New Brunswick border was a force. Literally, a crowd of officers, the term could only be ‘Gestapo’ ( a political state police force), about 20 cop cars, and a lot of attitude (not directed toward us). I didn’t dare get more pics and this one above does not show the extent of it I’m afraid, but believe me it’s harsh.

We had pre-registered, unlike a few hundred the day before (we arrived there very early in the day) - they were turned back. 

The show of force was unprecedented in Canada I’m sure- save maybe Oka in 1990. Very reminiscent of this pic below and with the same energy I can assure you.

1940ish

These guys were not messing around and are now absolutely fed up with people. 

Absolutely unreal in Canada. And in my opinion, should not be allowed. Unless they’re preparing for something else we’re not aware of…

On a lighter note, Brad did the market for me and had a big $$$ day! Naturally, I have the truck, so…


Even Robbie was wondering if he’s serious. LOL It worked as it was resting on the hitch. Good for a chuckle anyway.
 

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Wa Wa What?


We made it to Wawa, ON.

Wawa is known for it’s giant Canada Geese. They have more than one now. We assume that is the native word for them but I’d have to Google it and I only have my phone, so if you want to know- just look it up.

Ontario mustard fields



The original Wawa goose 

A new goose ( at least to me)