Friday, November 15, 2019

Project End In Sight

The water line is in, buried and cleaned up. Next spring I will sprinkle some grass seed over the filled in trench and I will soon be back to mowing it.

The concrete work still has to be done but I was referred to a good concrete guy who specializes in small jobs. He has already torn up the remains of the old sidewalk and will be pouring the new one in a day or two, depending on weather. He will also repair a small section of the retaining wall beside the driveway that got damaged by the backhoe. The original plan was to just patch the sidewalk but he informed me that his minimum charge would replace the whole thing. Nice. The retaining wall repair will be billed directly to the plumbing company because it was their fault. the result of having to dig in a very confined area.

This is all covered by insurance, less my $1,000 deductible.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Slow Days

I have not been posting because not much is happening. We got back from our Okanagan / Alberta adventure and I dropped Penny off in Victoria and I returned to Campbell River to deal with the broken water line. In the meantime I developed the first bad cold I have had in years and then successfully passed it on to Penny during a short visit back to Victoria. This was not good because she has been told by her doctors to avoid colds because of her compromised immune system. We are both fine now but have avoided each other for a while to prevent the cycle of passing it back and forth.

The plumbing company started digging the trench for the new water line on Thursday and have at least one more day to go this week. The house is about 200 feet away from the water connection at the street and the new line must be dug into a very narrow strip of grass between a retaining wall and the driveway. This tiny space already contains the old water line, the natural gas line, the sewer and the pipe carrying the bank runoff water and therefore requires very slow, careful digging. What could have been a fairly simple job is turning into a major project. When the plumbers are done I will have to deal with getting someone in to lay a new sidewalk to replace the one they had to jackhammer out to expose the water line.

So all in all the last month has passed quite quickly. I have been making sure to get as much sleep as possible, stay warm and to eat well. The eating part does not come easily for me. It was easier when there were two of us but now I usually just look for something quick to satisfy my hunger and this is not always the healthiest choice. My weight loss has tapered off and is now (just now) 223 pounds. Down a lot from my maximum of around 260 and my more recent (5 - 10 yeas) "normal" of 240. I am happy with 223 as long as it does not drop too much further.

There was a deer in the yard earlier this weekend and when I investigated I found a section of fence about 20 feet long flattened with three steel posts bent right over at a 90 degree angle! A deer could not do this, this is the work of a bear! I will have to find some more posts, drive them in and re-hang the wire fence. Oh yes, the same bear got into my garbage can and spread the contents across the yard. This is getting old very fast!

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Norma Is Being Honoured

I received a letter from The New Democratic Party of British Columbia informing me that they would be bestowing an Honorary Life Membership (Posthumously) to Norma in a ceremony at the next Party Convention in Victoria on November 23. They want me to attend to receive the award on her behalf.

This is a great honour for Norma and reflects the last fifty years of dedicated work she has put in organizing and working on behalf of the Party.

I am very proud of her and the work she did and will be pleased to take part in the ceremony.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Feeling Better

The few days rest seems to have done the trick, I feel much better. My cold is not gone but at least I don't feel like laying around all the time. This morning I slept till 9, got up, did the dishes, drove down to the Advance Poll to vote, went grocery shopping, cleaned out the motorhome fridge and then climbed the bank behind the house and repaired a pushed down part of the wire fence that the deer were using to get at the few remaining flowers. And it's not even one o'clock!

Thursday, October 3, 2019

I Need Cataract Surgery But My Brakes Are Fixed!

I knew my eyesight was going slowly downhill and my exam yesterday confirmed it. The doc has me on the 6 month waiting list for cataract surgery so that will probably mean in April 2020. They are doing the left eye (the worst one) first and then after that, the right, He says the goal is to have me driving legally without glasses and he sees no reason why that can't happen. He also said that virtually everyone either has had or needs cataract surgery by age 80 so at 75 (which I will be when it is done) I am right on schedule.

Brooks' neighbour mechanic did the motorhome brakes yesterday. Only the rear needed work, the front are fine. The cost was lower than I expected at $1400 and that included an oil change which was also long overdue.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Home Again

Home Again!
We had one final "emergency" while parked in the RV friendly Abbotsford Walmart Thursday night when we suddenly lost our 110 volts from the generator. It was raining so I did not investigate but in the morning I found the main breaker on the side of the generator had tripped. Strangely, this has never happened before. I have overloaded the generator but that only resulted in the generator bogging down and quitting. This time it kept running but the breaker tripped.
Anyway after donating $285 to the BC Ferry System we got to Victoria by dinnertime. Minutes after we arrived at Penny's condo, the fire alarms went off and the parking lot was soon full of fire trucks. I grabbed my computer, Penny grabbed her cat and we went to stand in the parking lot with everyone else. It turned out that one of the owners had "smelled something funny" and hit the alarm. Thanks a lot, we all ended up wet and cold and decided we did not want to make dinner but ordered a Romeo's Pizza instead.
Other than that, it is nice to be home but sad that the little five week vacation is over. I will spend a couple of days here, visit Brooks for his birthday on October 1 and then head home to deal with the flood damage. Never a dull moment!

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Update On The Flooded Crawlspace

The plumber has been busy, He determined the leak was outside the foundation and jack-hammered a hole in the sidewalk to get at it. He dug and found a split in the pipe near where it passes through the foundation. He made a "temporary" repair with a vinyl sleeve and clamps and left it like that awaiting further instructions.
Brooks talked to the plumber and the recommendation is to replace the entire 150 foot line down to the road and up to the pressure reduction valve in the crawl space. A big ($) job.
The cheapest way to do it would be for Brooks to come up for a couple of days. hire a bobcat, dig a trench, buy a roll of water line, place it in the trench leaving a coil long enough to go into the house, cover it up and call the plumber back to make the final connections.
In the meantime my friend John is going to try to find something to cover the 3' by 3' hole in the sidewalk and make it safe and that will give Brooks and I time to decide what to do. In the meantime I have water to add to my scotch!

Sunday, September 22, 2019

A Quieter Day

A much less frantic day today! We had a leisurely breakfast and then drove on the east side of the lake road from Okanagan Falls to Penticton and then on to Naramata. We were amazed by the number of wineries on that side of the lake! We stopped at a couple of them and increased our wine supply a little bit. Then we had a small lunch and came home to cook a great dinner of Alaskan Black Cod from the freezer. This stuff is expensive but is oh so good....

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Stinky Problem

All the time we were boondocking at Tanis and James place in Vernon we were storing our sewage (black tank). When we got to Oliver I hooked up and dumped. I thought the black tank emptied quite quickly - as in not enough time to dump five or six days worth of poop but since I have not had problems with this for years, ignored it.

Until this morning. I got up and discovered a small river of water crossing the hall floor, following the wall to the door and forming a puddle on the ground! The tank was full and PLUGGED! On one of our middle of the night trips to the commode some toilet paper had become lodged in the toilet valve and opened up the water supply very slightly! This kept a slow but steady stream of water flowing which in time (very little) filled the system and overflowed the toilet!

I immediately turned off all the water and used a container to eliminate some of the water out of the toilet. I then checked the position of all the outside valves and tried to dump. Nothing going! After considering all the options I could think of (none of them good) I went to see Nate, the new owner of the Maple Leaf RV Park. He thought the best thing to do was to phone his septic tank guy who thought he could at least empty the tank without the contents ending up on the ground.

He came over and attached his pump onto the black tank and started sucking. This only resulted in the tank looking like it was being collapsed. No good! Next he thought of trying to suck everything out the top and gave me a pipe and valve to try to push down into the tank from the toilet. Well, it met with a little resistance and then it suddenly went down and the tank emptied on it's own! Success!

As he was loading up his equipment I asked him how much and he said that as he had actually done very little, $25 cash for gas would make him happy! Well, that made two of us happy as I was expecting at least four times that amount! I followed up by flushing the tank with my "Magic Wand" and many gallons of high pressure water from Nate's irrigation water supply. All fixed (well after washing the floor that is).

Later on we drove west to the Nighthawk Crossing into the USA and took a drive through backwoods Washington back to Oroville and the border crossing to Osoyoos, BC. We didn't stop except to take photos of several old barns and some landscapes. A great afternoon!

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Back In Oliver

We arrived back in Oliver BC yesterday only to be greeted with some bad news from home. My house sitter Kelly reported a flooded crawl space and reduced water pressure in the house! She called a plumber and he has determined the leak is in fact from the city water pipes. He thinks the leak is outside the cement wall and is getting inside under the foundation wall. He got the city to come and shut off the water at the street and is going to give it a day for the water to sink down through the sand and dirt floor of the crawl space. Tomorrow he will jackhammer the concrete sidewalk in front of the house to get a look at what exactly is going on and will plan repairs from there. My homeowners insurance is $1000 deductible and that is about what Brooks thinks the repairs will cost. There is no real damage in the crawl space, just the cost of drying it out which I may be able to do myself by simply leaving a fan on down there for a week or two to keep the air moving.

Other than that we are having a wonderful time here in the Okanagan. We left Robin and George's on Saturday, had dinner in Jasper and then drove to a hotel in Valemount, BC. Back to Vernon on Sunday where we spent three more days parked beside Tanis and James' barn. We stocked up on garlic and visited a couple of old friends.

We are now back in the Maple Leaf RV Park in Oliver where we went out for dinner tonight to celebrate Penny's seventh anniversary of being declared cancer free! A good reason to celebrate!

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