Sunday, December 22, 2019

Papa Noel Getting Ready!

This is a repeat of the post I did when we spent Christmas in New Orleans.

While Santa is up in the North Pole readying his sleigh which is pulled by reindeer, way down south in Louisiana, his alter ego, Papa Noel is preparing his Pirogue (pea-row) to be pulled through the swamps by his eight pet alligators, Gaston, Tiboy, Pierre, Alcee, Ninette, Suzette, Celeste and Renee and, if it is misty, Nicollette, lighting the way with her glowing green eyes.

In the tiny villages and communities along the Louisiana Bayous, residents gather to light community bonfires to show Papa Noel where there are children waiting for his visit.

It will be a busy night for both Santa and Papa Noel!

Papa Noel!
No photo description available.

Monday, December 16, 2019

New Bed

I am treating myself to another early Christmas gift, a new bed! The old one was my parents bed and I got it in 1994 when my mom died. So it has twenty some years on it (it was not new when I got it) and was beginning to show some sag.

I looked around town for something and eventually settled on a BeautyRest Queen size from SleepCountry in Courtenay. With a set of new Egyptian Cotton sheets and a mattress pad it came to just over $1,400 with free delivery and disposal of the old bed. Bed salesmen are a lot like car salesmen. They advertise the bed for $900 but by the time you get out of the store you have spent $1,400.

The new mattress is 14" high, 5" higher than my old one so I might have to keep a step ladder standing by. It also has a "Gel Pad" on the top surface which makes it non flippable but they say to swap it end for end every time I change the bedding.

I have been waking up at five or so every day so it will be interesting to see if the new bed gives me a better sleep.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Early Christmas Gift For Myself

Several years ago (decades actually) Brooks bought us a 42" Plasma TV, state of the art for it's time, As I recall it was around $1,000. It served me well and had the added feature of being able to heat the bottom room as that thing put out a LOT of heat!
But over time it started to seem a little fuzzy and I became envious of the larger size screens available so I have been watching. I finally found one at Canadian Tire's Black Friday Sale, a 58" "Smart" 4K Chinese brand for $365. too good a deal to pass up. I did a quick search for reviews on line and determined it was worth buying. If I didn't like it I could always return it.
Well, I like it. If it was set up beside one of the better known ($$$) brands it might be a little inferior but for my 74 year old eyes it is just fine and it is 1/3 the price of the better known brands. I am happy!

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Norma Honoured!

Norma was honored today with a (posthumous) Honorary Lifetime Membership in the New Democratic Party of British Columbia! I was very pleased to accept the award on her behalf from our friend Premier John Horgan on the stage of the Victoria Conference Centre at the 2019 BCNDP Convention.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

In Victoria

I came down to Victoria a couple of days early to get my bearings and to pick up some clothes to wear on Saturday to Norma's presentation of her Honorary Life Membership (posthumous) in the New Democratic Party of British Columbia. This is in recognition of her decades of dedicated work with the Party.

My friend Penny, who lives in Victoria, offered to help me choose some clothes and I was surprised to find that I had dropped yet another size of pants. A few years ago I was size 42, then 40, then 38 and now I am 36! Mark's had a buy one, get one for half price sale on so we chose two spiffy shirts and two pair of chino pants. I am going to look pretty sharp at the ceremony but will have to work to keep my weight stable. I do not want to lose any more and nor do I want to gain any back! I will try to find someone to take my photo at the Convention.

I passed the clothes over the change room wall for Penny to hold while I got dressed and when I got out I found she had already paid for everything! An early Christmas gift she had been secretly planing since she heard about the award ceremony for Norma during our trip to the Okanagan and Alberta when I would not let her pay for anything. It was too much although very much appreciated. I will have to work on a Christmas gift for her. I have a couple of ideas.

Hopefully the work on the house repairs will be completed by the time I get back on Tuesday. The concrete guy has promised to have the sidewalk done by Friday. The plumber's bill turned out higher than the estimate because of the difficulty burying the water line down the driveway. They could not use the backhoe very much because of the proximity of the gas line, sewer, bank drainage pipe and the old water line in the tiny strip of land they had to work in. A lot of digging had to be done by hand and this was very time consuming. I hope the insurance company is understanding. Right from the start they told me they has a limit of $10,000 for this job and the total will be just under $6,000. Fingers crossed as the original estimate was for just over $4,000.

The weather has been "OK" for mid November with days around 10 C and nights around 2 C (35 F - 50 F). there has been no rain in Victoria but Campbell River has had some rain.

I am sitting in the Victoria Cancer Centre's visitor's lounge waiting for Penny to complete her once a week volunteer shift, something she enjoys doing after being a patient here herself seven years ago. They have excellent WIFI here. We will be going back to her place for a dinner of Wild Sockeye Salmon over pasta! Portion size designed to keep my waist at 36"!

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.