Monday, October 16, 2017

ROBBLOG #662


Another week on the Island begins.


Yesterday was bee-you-tea-ful!
15c and sunny. We walked around the neighbourhood and chatted to folks. This neighbourhood is about three minutes driving distance to our new house. Probably not the area we'd be walking through with the puppies once we move into Stonewood Village.


Moving?


Not a lot of changes to the new house. The mudding on the drywall takes time to dry. Who knows maybe some painting will commence this week and the siding on the exterior looks like it's set to go. The house next to us has their siding finished, as does three doors up the street, so we hope we are next in line. I was thinking we would be in a bit earlier than mid-November but reality has smacked me up the face and I now think we'll be a month away from possession.
The Hallowe'en décor will stay packed away for this year. ~sigh~
What's a person to do?


Pine Tree House Hallowe'en 2016
Am I getting better at playing the waiting game?
Nope.
Its still hard and we both wish we had our stuff around us- now.


We browsed through some Downtown Duncan shops on Saturday- after the farmer's market, chatting with shopkeepers Leslie at Embellish and Heather at Khaya. Nice stuff at both stores. I could have spent a mint.  My Tom spied a Quebec spool-back chair with rattan seat. Apparently he just had to have it.


He had made a rule that we wouldn't buy anything until we moved into the new house but I guess rules are made to be broken since the chair is sitting here in our kitchen.


I would expect that the leaves are falling or have fallen off most of the trees back in Orillia, Ontario.
Certainly here in the Cowichan I have yet to see anyone raking their yard. So much is still green. A few trees are bright red and along the Island Highway yesterday heading up island, there were some that had turned a brilliant yellow. I expect once these trees shed their leaves the landscape will go back to green. I remember back in February when Tom and I first visited Duncan and the Cowichan, we were amazed at how green it was in a winter month- keeping in mind we had just arrived from snowbound Orillia. I guess this is where we separate the men from the boys. You in Ontario being the boys and we- "the men".


Bamboo green and lush
Our temps will stay pretty much where they are these days in the high single digits or the low teens.
Last evening coming out a local restaurant chain called "White Spot", we were amazed at how mild it was- warm, even. I mean not Hawaiian Island warm but I'll take it!


You see, our minds are still stuck in Orillia expecting crisp air and the hint of colder temperatures to come. Not so here on the Island and it is playing tricks with our mind and bodies.
We keep saying-
"Oh yeah, we're on the Island now."


Come on out.
It's fine.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

ROBBLOG #661 W E E K E N D Edition


Time for my first call from the "Big Guy" upstairs since arriving on the Island.
I am so excited!
So grab a bag of popcorn and enjoy...

~ring....ring~

Me: Hello?

HIM: Well Hello Rob. It's me. Your Heavenly Father. You know up here floating around on a cloud.

Me: Hey, it's good to hear your voice Lord. How are things?

HIM: Now Rob, I should be asking you that question. So now you're an Island Boy Eh?

Me: Yes, finally. It's quite a change. So different out here.

HIM: Yes it is different but goof for you- and Tom!!, I've been following you along your journey across the country in your Priscilla. She took good care of you- didn't she?

Me: Yup. All was good...except for losing our Boy Doyle. That was sad. Very sad....

HIM: Yes it was but this thing we call life throws up some roadblocks now and then.

Me: I thought you threw those roadblocks up just to test us.

HIM: Afraid not Rob. All that stuff is happen-chance. Nothing to do with me- or with my Son.

Me: Oh...

HIM: Look. Don't give up your Doyle. Tony is doing what he can.

Me: Tony?

HIM: Saint Antonius. Helps you earthly humans look for things. You know like your car keys and debit cards.

Me: Oh, that Tony. ~pause~ Hey God I know I've hinted at this before but I sure would like to meet you in person some day.



HIM: Oh Hell Rob, that would burn your eyeballs out. I mean I give off such a bright, white glow
it would knock you off your feet. It was part of the reason the shepherds were sore afraid. Afraid of the light and their eyes were sore if they peeked at ME. Like looking at the eclipse.

Me: Hmmm. I thought that was a "Multitude of Angels" floating over those fields.

HIM: Oh it was but I was there too floating in the background. I mean it was my "earthly wife" bringing forth my newborn Son. I had to be there in the waiting room. Boy, that Mary. Such a trooper. Rides an uncomfortable ass for weeks just to have my kid. My ass is uncomfortable just thinking about it. That's a joke Rob...

Me: So I hear.

HIM: Actually, Mary and I are going out for coffee later today. Joe's gone fishing over on Nebula at Lake Titicaca and it gives us a chance to bond and catch up.

~giggle~

HIM: That you I hear giggling Robbie?

Me: Ya, Lake Titicaca always makes me laugh!

HIM: Me too. ~Hah. Hah.~

Me: While I have you on the line Your Heavenly Majesty....

HIM: Oh Rob! Superior Being is fine. We're friends after all. S.B. for short.

Me: Right, S.B. Um, should we all be worried about North Korea and Kim Jong.

HIM: Well Rob, that will all play out eventually but you know my hands are tied. Some of the folks down there on earth actually believe I can wave my hand and fix that sort of stuff. I can't. It's just the way of the world. You folks have to figure that out and good luck with Mr. Cheesepuff  who seems to have an itchy trigger finger.

Me: Oh. That guy.

HIM: It's a good thing there are reasonable, smart people there on the blue planet- like your Justin Trudeau, who do things the right way. That French fellah is a good "oeuf" too. Listen Rob, I got a pedi booked in two hours before I have coffee with the Virgin Mum, so I got to get going.

Me: Okay...Still calling her that eh?


HIM: Yes. Tough to change some people's minds and besides she still gets a lot of "I want this and I need that" from the Catholics. Look Rob, I want to wish you and Tom good luck there on the Island. That Island is one of my favourite places in the whole solar system. Those ocean views and those mountains. I was hot that day my boy. I was really cooking when I designed that place. Heaven on earth and it all came together in one afternoon.

Me. Yes...well, imagine that. We think we'll be very happy here.

HIM: You will. I can tell you that. For sure!

Me: Have a good day Sir and tell your Son I was asking after him.

HIM: I will Rob. He's off with the boys again this weekend. They're off ballooning somewhere. Kids, eh? They never grow up. Buh Bye now and take good care.

Me: Bye. Nice talking to you again.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

ROBBLOG #660



I must have more time on my hands these days!


I sure am blogging more.
I find it calming and it gets many of the repetitive thoughts out of my head and down on paper- or at least a computer screen. Blogging fills some time as Tom and I wait to take possession of our new home here in The Cowichan. Still a few weeks to go if you have been following our journey since August 15th  on this very blog.


I have been blogging a long time before that date, however. You might wanna check back and read some of the stories I posted over the years like Bleeker Street with Baby Jane and Blanche or Blog #579 which is an interview with Sister Mary Margaret. There are a few conversations with the "Big Guy" upstairs too- or with his son at #548.
"It's Not Like That" is Blog #157.
There's of Blog about my Mum #536.
You'll just have to scroll through until you find something you might like to read. My first blog was published on February 13, 2010! It was mostly about my Rob Reid Online Website changing to the ROBBLOG here on BlogSpot.
Gee, almost 8 years since I started writing here.
Time flies.


Back to the present now and this 12th day of October in the year 2017.


We have some sun.
We have some cloud in this new community of ours- North Cowichan and the City of Duncan.
I still wake up some mornings thinking I am comfy under the covers in Orillia, Ontario. I get a small shock when I fully open my eyes and realize the bedroom's Roman shades are not the white, plantation shutters I was used to for 24 years.


We are gradually getting comfortable here. It is still going to take some time especially when we make another move into our forever house.


In the meantime, I thought I'd list a few things that I consider "odd" here in Duncan.


Don't Jig when you should Jag or this is the look you'll get!
Street signs.
Don't look for them on every street corner. You may get one but not usually one on every corner.
Be thankful if you see one. Some streets have none.


Stop signs.
Some streets- like two near this house, don't even have a yield sign let alone a stop sign. You come to a corner and you just...well....you edge forward. You look left. Then right. Then left and after it appears it's clear, you move on....cautiously.


In the open mall areas along the Island Highway it can be a bit of a nightmare. Streets are a variety of pavement markings with crosswalks, left turn only lanes, right turn only lanes, left and straight ahead only arrows and speedbumps and cement barriers and curves and more.
There are stand alone stop signs. The remainder of the signage is painted on the pavement. Huge arrows and yellow and white lines you drive within as you traverse the parking lot in front of  London Drugs, or Winners or Staples or Save-On Foods. At first all you see are lines and arrows and then more lines.
Eventually it starts to make sense.
These markings would never work in Ontario- especially Orillia. You wouldn't see then for 5 months of the year what with all the ice and snow. Orillia drivers always did what they wanted to begin with so this type of signage would only confuse all the elderly drivers and they would ignore them.
It would just never work.
Never.


The Boulevard near White Spot
One can never drive from A to B or even C here in Duncan.
One must drive A to B to C to D,E and F- sometimes G.
There are centre boulevards on the Island Highway that prevent a simple left or right hand turn.
On Coronation Avenue for instance, one can turn left or right into the Shoppers Drug Mart/Dollarama parking lot but when you leave you can only turn right- east. Even exiting from the lot onto the Island Highway, one can only turn right- or south, and travel a block or two towards the White Spot Restaurant, then circle around the Great Canadian Superstore (Like a Zehrs in Ontario) where you can turn right or left onto Trunk Road to head west through Duncan.
Tom and I have spent many a joyful time detouring, getting lost, ending up on the wrong side off the divided street and detouring again.


One day, we were on Canada Avenue heading to our new build to have a look at the progress. We were in the curb lane. Cars were in front of us. We couldn't see the pavement. The vehicles started to move forward with the light change when suddenly we realized we were in an exit only/turn right only lane.
We drove down the street.
Circled a Mobil Oil Change shop to turn around in order to head back to Canada Avenue.
Head-Ache!!


We are doing better than a few weeks ago but really Duncan-
Really?


I'll have more quirks in another blog.


Lator Gator.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

ROBBLOG #659



The first reported earthquake since being an Island Boy.


2:26am Wednesday October 11, 2017. 170 km out in the Pacific- west of Tofino, then down so many metres. No shakes and shivers here in the Cowichan but I have added Emergency Info BC to my Twitter account.
One never knows.
I do know, we have to have Earthquake Insurance here on the Island.


I was up "gawd-awful" early today.
I had my eye doctor appointment. Drops in my eyes to dilate my pupils so I can be checked for glaucoma. My Grandmother- my Dad's Mum, had it, so I have been checked these past 5 years or more. There are signs it is there- especially in my left eye, however, I am not on drops yet. I return in another six months.
Just a note here. If there is glaucoma in your family history go to an Optometrist to be checked. The Optometrist can send you to a specialist if need be.
You need to catch this early.






IN OTHER NEWS


I was a bit taken aback earlier this morning when I read that actor Terry Crews had been sexually assaulted. He is a mountain of a man. Muscles on top of muscles. He stars in the TV show Brooklyn 99- a funny show and a funny guy and totally into Jesus and the whole "saviour" complex.
Cripes! Who would have guessed?
Now, I am not into a lot of muscle.
Why I am sharing that- I am not sure...
I appreciate how he looks and I am amazed at how tight the wardrobe department is able to make both his shirts and slacks without him popping buttons and seams.
Anyway, apparently he was "grabbed in the swanstucker area" (pronounced: swan-stooker) at a Hollywood party in recent years by a big Hollywood Executive.
What?
Terry Crews.
I should imagine a lot of drink was behind it but it is still not right. I guess he turned the other cheek. Lucky for this executive he didn't find himself flat on his back at the end of one of Mr. Crews massive fists.
Creeps are everywhere and it appears with other current new stories, Hollywood still has it's quota of lecherous men and women too.
We have all heard stories of the "Casting Couch".


Oh, this brings up a question.
Was it alright that I wanted to take Hugh Jackman and press his gorgeous face and hunky body to mine when I met him at the stage door of the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto a few years back?
Is that bad of me?
I mean my Husband Tom was right beside me and snapped a couple of photos, so there was nothing dirty going on.
I mean I guess I thought dirty thoughts but I was a gentleman.
Ok...I giggled and blushed like a little schoolgirl but still...was I being a bad boy?


Mr. Hugh Jackman signing a DVD cover for me.
He wouldn't sign my left pectoral...
Meanwhile, here on the Island we had a nice afternoon and dinner yesterday with our sister-in-law Gudrun. We chatted and laughed and toured her around our new build. It was a terrific afternoon weather-wise but warm autumn sunshine gave way to frost on the grass this morning. Temps got quite cool overnight but they are rebounding to the teens again today- with more Island Sunshine.


Gudrun & Us
Our house is moving right along. We worked with the Interior Design Consultant Joanne yesterday going over our paint colour choices for inside the house. Then, we dropped into both the Benjamin Moore paint store and Dulux paints to grab some colour chips.
Good Gosh, we must be getting close to possession!
Painting then flooring then cabinetry and finally light fixtures. All have been chosen and awaiting their turn at installation.
Me-thinks and me-hopes we might get in a bit earlier than the proposed Nov 16 date?
Fingers and toes are all crossed.


Colourful later afternoon clouds
over Mount Prevost and our new house
Looking forward to hearing about your first snow on the ground back east when that happens- and it will happen.
Heh. Heh.


Have a good one and if you get a chance sometime in your busy day, Gudrun said I am to ask you to put a good thought out to the universe.
Ask Saint Antonius to help us find our boy Doyle and return him safely to us.
Any port in a storm.....





Monday, October 9, 2017

ROBBLOG #658 Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving.

I know you have better things to do than read this RobBlog on Thanksgiving but I wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving for the first time from the Island- Vancouver Island, about as far west as one can get in this wonderful country of ours. We- that would be me and Tom, would have to drive about 4 hours from Duncan through the middle of the Island and Port Alberni to get to the western shore and Tofino to get as far west as one can in Canada. Once we are in the new house, we'll do that trip.
Anytime of year is good but we have been told that winter surf is amazing and yes, they surf at Tofino.
Aloha!!

Hope you have family and friends around today or at least had over the weekend. We had two Thanksgiving invites. Not bad for first-time Islanders.
We are truly thankful.
Being away from family and friends isn't easy and it's 3 time zones back to Orillia, Ontario.
We are moving forward and are still building a whole new life here on the Island.
We refuse to think backwards but we are looking ahead for the years to come on this new "Life Adventure" of ours.

It is a big step but it was now or never and for those friends and family back "home" just remember, if Tom and I can do it- anybody can.
We are homebodies and it took "hootzpah" and whatever else we could muster to change our lives so dramatically.

I am looking forward to letting you know when it's 9 or 10c here in January when you folks back east are dealing with 20cm of snow and -20 temps and a windchill!! I mean Alberta has already had snow. Not sure about Northern Ontario.
I will be gentle however, sending only one picture of us grass cutting in February.
I promise...heh, heh.


Now, I have a quick Thanksgiving story, then I am done for today.

At a recent market I was looking for a home-baked pumpkin pie. There was a booth that listed pie for sale on a chalkboard and pumpkin was right at the top. A new friend Roy and I walked up to the vendor's table to have a look. All the pies were almond this and almond-topped that. As I was looking at the other baked goodies, Roy spoke with the vendor. After a few moments Roy says to me-

"They have pumpkin pies but they can't sell them. You have to go up and speak to the guy."

"..and say what?"- I questioned.

"I dunno..."- Roy grinned and pushed me gently to the vendor's table.

I stood for a moment with my market bag in hand then said to the vendor-
"Psst. What he was taking about." I nodded my head in Roy's direction,

The vendor gave a broad smile. "How much?"- I asked.

"Eight dollars." he mumbled.

I pulled out a ten, he gave me a shiny toonie back and I passed him my Wal*Mart bag.
Then, he ducked under the cloth that was covering the table.
He looked like one of those old photographers from years ago who had to flip a black sheet over their head and shoulders while taking a picture.
Seconds later he came out from under the table cloth and passed me my bag.

"Have a Happy Thanksgiving" he said.

"Same to you and oh...who made the pie?". I whispered continuing the covert operation like any good CSIS Agent would have done.

"My Mum and I." was the reply.

I walked back to Tom and said- "Got it. I'll tell you later."
Roy and his hubbie Jeff -who was innocent of any of this pie-buying, spy vs spy stuff- both chuckled.

A contraband pie?
Who knew?

It was going to be a decent Thanksgiving.



Friday, October 6, 2017

ROBBLOG #657 W E E K E N D Edition





Today, Friday, there was one final opportunity to try and find our Doyle in Winnipeg West


Maili who posts on a Winnipeg Missing and Found Cat Watch said in a post earlier this week that she would go out to St. Francois Xavier today and check out the area and the KOA Campground where our Doyle jumped out of our RV, Priscilla.
He was seen the following night on Aug 18 and hasn't been seen since.


Maili was true to her word and travelled to St. Francois Xavier Friday afternoon. We thank her from the bottom of our hearts.


Here is what she posted to the Facebook Page:


"Rob, I went out to St. Francois Xavier and checked around and asked a few people. No one has seen anything. I went to the camp (KOA) and looked around and sat down to listen (for Doyle). I talked to Kevin (Kevin is the Groundskeeper we met when we stayed there Aug 17th & 18th) and he said he has not seen Doyle. I posted on the St. Francois Xavier site for Doyle to add more exposure."


Not the result we were hoping for of course. We had hoped to have found a small shred of evidence that Doyle was lurking along the banks of the Assiniboine River but it was not to be.
Yes, miracles do happen.
Even this afternoon, I read of a cat being reunited with his owner 2 years after his disappearance. The pictures of cat and owner seeing each other again were heart-breaking. The puddy cat clung to his owner's neck and closed his eyes.
Safe again.
In her arms.
The way it should be.
Who knows where he had been and of the adventure he had been on.


However, with Doyle, it's time to leave it alone now.
It's been almost two months.
It's up to the universe to protect him- if he's still on this earth.
We'll be waiting here on the Island in case the info from his chip finds its way to us.
Friends are waiting back in Orillia in case he shows up on the verandah of our old house. That would be quite the trip Doyley-Boy.


For now, we think of all the pleasure you gave us.
From the day we saw you and your brother Dickens as 3 month old kittens. Boy were you two a handful. We kept you in a kennel overnight for the first 3 months.
As you got older you would snooze on our laps.
So content.


There was the meowing for your supper.
Coming down the stairs to the Keeping Room every night around 930 for a puddy treat.
How handsome you looked laying in the sunlight streaming through the dining room window, as you  sprawled across a favourite chair being bathed in the warmth of the sun's golden rays.
You cozied up in front of the fireplace on a cold winter night or plopped on top of a heating grate.


We hope you are warm and comfortable and loved wherever you may be.
You will always be "Our Doyle"


It's right that we should care about you

It's right to feel the way we do
Because, because we love you

It's wrong to say we don't think of you, 
You know it makes us blue

Give us a chance to be near you
Because, because we love you

(Lyrics from Because- The Dave Clark 5)


Have a Happy Thanksgiving one and all!!


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

ROBBLOG #656



I gotz a code ind by doze.


That's right kids, the re-gifting gift that keeps on giving.
A cold.
A freeking Island cold! Apparently once kids get back into school it's a hotbed of cold germs and they take and give them to anyone, anywhere. My husband passed along this cold to me and I did my best to stay clear but when you open your eyes in the middle of the night and he's 6 inches away from your face breathing on you, it's hard to stay healthy. So it's Buckley's daytime for me and copious amounts of tissue.


Yesterday we had our first chiropractor visit here in Duncan. Our new chiropractor is Dr. Darren Burry. Dr. Darren pretty much had all the same moves as Dr. Murray did back in Orillia. First, he did a massage- shirtless.
I mean, I was shirtless not Dr. Darren, although....


In 30 years of going to the chiropractor this was the first time I had to display my massive chest and rock hard abs but I did it!


~blink~ and ~shake my head~


Okay. I am back to reality now....I displayed my drooping tits, gray-haired chest and Pillsbury Dough-Boy stomach.
Look...
I am 66.
Oh, Dr. Darren says in conversation- "What are you 55..56..?"
Apparently, like me, he's terrible at mathematics.
"Nope, 66"- I say, "Born 1951. It's on the paper there."
I am taking that as a compliment and I like this fellah already. I have to go back again tomorrow. My neck is a stiff mess but it's a 100% better after yesterday.
Reminder to stop eating and do some sit-ups before I get there.


We are getting some cheques in the mail from back east. A nice one from Union Gas and a final one from our lawyer since everything is paid now. Still no apology or word on that lawyer letter from the Missus who bought out house that we received last week. The one that asked us for $3300 dollars because we had apparently lied about having a rental hot water heater and furnace- which we never had. Drop back a few blogs to read about it.


Pine Tree House
As far as we know our beloved Pine Tree House still sits empty, waiting for a nice person, persons or family to buy her and move in. Neighbours have said the yard is already showing signs of neglect.
I am not surprized.
It was a full-time job.
Usually by now I had harvest décor on the verandah and all the Hallowe'en decorations were sitting at the ready for mid-month spookiness.


I wonder what it's going to be like inside PTH come January with snow piled as high as your "ying-yang" and brilliant white walls inside.
Brrrrrr.


Our new house here in Duncan is repeating all the same colours we carefully chose back in Orillia and I am looking forward to the coziness once again. A December or January evening sitting next to the fire in my favourite Laz-Y-Boy chair. Lighting fixtures, ceiling fans and flooring will all be new but our furniture and antiques will be the same and allow us to feel really at home once more.


I know that time is coming sooner rather than later as the days and weeks pass by us.


Have yourself a great day and I hope your Thanksgiving plans are coming along.



ADDENDUM

Our friends Leanna and Jason from the Soup Shack just brought over homemade chicken soup.
Yumm. We'll be fixed in no time.
Then, our friend Brenda in Ladysmith- who we were supposed to see Friday and begged off because of the colds, is playing "Dr. Brenda" and suggests rest and vitamin C.
How nice|!
As the song goes- That's What Friends are For...







Monday, October 2, 2017

ROBBLOG #655



A cool, sunny start to the week here in the Cowichan.

We dipped to 5c overnight but 17c and Sunny today and a week of non-stop sunshine is ahead. I am told that come mid-October the weather will become damper. Keep in mind that this area of the Island has less rain than Toronto and Miami, so I am looking forward to the green all winter and of course cutting the grass in February.

Tom and I have had quite the story in the past 6 weeks and not all happy all the time. You remember we lost our big boy Doyle back at a Winnipeg KOA Campground on August 17th. We are still hoping for a miracle and I check the Lost Cat Facebook Pages in Winnipeg daily- sometimes twice a day. One of these days an orange tabby will answer to Doyle's description. I know the Universe is testing us.
Okay Universe, you can ease back now.

To add to our Island story, as you may know, our new house was further delayed until mid- November, although we hope it might be occupied by us a week or so earlier. Ya gotta have hope kids!

We had to trade in the Swissshmobile for a new Dodge Grand Caravan- an expense that wasn't in the budget. Priscilla- the RV that took us across the country and became our home for 30+ days, is now for sale at Arbutus RV in Nanaimo.

Presently, we are living comfortably in a "granny-suite" in Duncan about a 5 minute walk to downtown. Donna- our landmistress, is terrific and we get to look out over her wonderful English-Style garden with horses neighing and stomping just over the fence.

Our Doorway on Cedar Avenue
I tell you all this again because I want you to know that this is "our" story. You may be saying- " this move to the Island does not seem so great for Rob & Tom after all". However, this is all about a short period of time- just over a month. For the most part it's been smooth sailing. Yes, the waiting is not much fun. We'd like to be in our new house arranging furniture, hanging pictures and asking new Island friends over for coffee or martinis.
That will come.
In the meantime, if you have plans for a westward trek or my Blogs are leading you in that direction I say you have to take a chance. It's a big chance and it's a big, big change. You leave behind what you know and are comfortable with- not an easy thing to do.
I will say people here are very friendly and helpful. They know about and are living the benefits of the Island Life.
Weather. Air. Community Events. People. The Ocean. Mountains.
It's all here.

Tom standing almost at the top of  "91 steps"
 leading down to a park and The Cowichan Lawn Bowling facility.
This is a couple of blocks from us off Government Street in Duncan
I was checking out at Winners yesterday and I pass the cashier my Winners loyalty card.
"I hope this works outside of Ontario. We just moved to the Island"- I offer before passing over the card.
"Ontario?"- she says, "I've just moved from Ontario too. Thunder Bay."

This happens frequently here. The next question between former Ontarians is this-
"Why did you move here?"
Usually it's Family or Weather. Most often weather.
Then,
"How long have you been here?"
The Thunder Bay Winners gal says- "I came in June."
I say- "we bought in February and landed off the ferry on August 22nd!"

Do your homework.
If you have a yearning to come to the Island, I would say come and rent for a month or two. Get to know the area and the neighbourhoods. Then, look for a place to live- permanently. Much can be gleaned online but much has to be seen in person, Most folks are transplants. I could count on two hands the number of "born on the Island" folks we have met.

Right out of a BBC Serial.
 A Guide Hall just a couple of blocks from our house. How quaint.
Of course, if you have to work that is another consideration.
Oh, speaking of such, a local terrestrial radio station is supposed to be getting in touch with me all because a new Island friend knows someone who knows someone...
You know how that goes.
It may never happen but I am told they are looking for announcers at three stations.
Would I leave Swisssh and Starlite for a terrestrial job that pays?
Probably not.
Usually a radio station- at least in Ontario, would prefer to have someone less than 66 years of age-but it's nice to be asked to the dance again.
Never say never.



Finally, it's the week before Thanksgiving.
Hard to believe. It was only August yesterday...
Tom and I have an invite for Thanksgiving Dinner, so don't cry for us Argentina. We will be with new friends not far from where we currently live.

How nice.



Friday, September 29, 2017

ROBBLOG #654- W E E K E N D Edition


Friday and it's The Weekend Edition...which simply means I blog today and then not again till the end of the week. Somebody asked....


It's been a week where we have had both relaxing times and stressful times here on our Island.
Our lawyer called Tuesday.
She had received a letter from the elusive lady who purchased our Orillia Home- through her lawyer of course. It seems we were being accused of neglecting to tell her that we rented the hot water heater and furnace.
What the Farm Truck!!!!!
We did NOT have a rental H2O heater or furnace. In the letter was a request for us to fork over $3,300 to pay for damages- and heartache we guess.


Couldn't the owner have give us a ringy-dingy and simply ask- Hey Rob and Tom is my heater and furnace rented?
Nope...
She had to go screaming to her lawyer and ask for financial compensation. We are even dismayed at the Real Estate person who might have also taken the "tank by the tap" and simply asked us a simple, friendly question. Apparently, she wasn't in on this "buzz".
I'll bet somebody has got to pay for lawyers fees now.


We called the furnace folks to get info as well as Marc and Sue our neighbours who through Mark's company installed the hot water heater. They sent us our bill of sale. Sue must have dug very deep.
Much to our surprize it was 10 yeas ago! Thanks Sue and Mark!


Reliance Heating took longer to help us. Eventually over two days and between them and us, we discovered that the Missus had possibly asked for service and gave the wrong address. Our Orillia address included the word "North" because in Orillia there is the same address- only "South". We have had this problem for 25 years. The "southern" address would frequently leave the word "south" off their return address when mailing letters or leave the direction off delivery orders when calling for pizza or prescriptions. We even had police officers at our front door from time to time over the years!
I will say no more...



The man at Reliance was helpful but it took a while to discover that since we bought our furnace and hot water heater- without financing, we were no longer on their books as the initial warranty had run its course. Looking closer, the Missus had probably requested service at the address- leaving out "north". It just happened to fit that "south" had a rental hot water heater and furnace. We don't know how the billing worked or how she came to the conclusion that we were at fault.
The story hasn't ended- yet.
Tom and I haven't heard back from our lawyer.
Good times...


At Maple Bay with Salt Spring Island in the Background
IN OTHER NEWS


We got a gal to cut our hair. Sharlene's shop is called The Little Hair Shoppe. We see her Saturday to give it a go.
Poor Sharlene.
We told her Colleen- back in Orillia, had cut our hair for 24 years! Not much to live up to!


We also have a chiropractor- Dr. Burry. Our first appointment is this coming Tuesday.
In the meantime, Yaz Yamaguchi and his magic hands at the Duncan Farmer's Market will make us feel better.


Here in Duncan where we live, we are 10 minutes from the ocean and Salt Spring Island so Thursday we spent a couple of relaxing hours at Maple Bay.
Refreshing Pacific waters. We stuck our feet in.


Tootsies in the Pacific
The Sunshine was warm at 28c.
There were Sailboats and Kayakers. Trawlers and Motor Boats in the bay.
A little girl- probably about 10 years old and just home from school, seemed to float on the calm water, rowing along the shoreline in her turquoise blue rowboat- with just enough room for her, the oars and maybe one more. It was a picture.


Maple Bay Thursday Sept 28, 2017 Temp: 28c
We are looking forward to seeing our new house this weekend. It has been hard not to go to the site during the week since it's only two minutes from our apartment but we diligently wait to be surprized every weekend.


Have a great weekend whatever you decide to do.





Tuesday, September 26, 2017

ROBBLOG #653





Well Kids...another day on the Island.

First off, I probably won't be writing many more blogs about our move and the Island etc;
Not much new here.
We just wait day by day to move into our new house- which if you are a ROBBLOG reader you will know already- it's delayed.

It was a nice weekend and now here we are into the second day of a new week and we have been inundated with morning e-mails and texts telling us our home back in Orillia is on the market again. Folks who haven't e-mailed or texted us since the day we left Ontario are now all a flutter with the news that the house is back on the market as of today and at an inflated price.

We even know the exterior is all painted white (bleech!) except for the master bath. I guess one would call this a flip. We are not surprized.
The "owners" only saw the house once with us and a second time with an inspector. From the start Tom and I believed they had no real enduring interest in the house.
I can think of a song right now that would tell the tale.

It makes us sad to think that after 25 years this is where we are at present.
People looking to make a fast buck.
I could swear here but I won't.

All we hope is someone will buy this charming old house who wants a wonderful, home- albeit with no charm inside what with white walls and contemporary furnishings. Paint can change that- again, of course.

The thing is...
Not our house.
Not our concern.
Not our interest.
Not our future.
We are moving forward.

Our future is here. On the Island.

The view from the Duncan Canadian Tire parking lot.
IN OTHER NEWS

Geeze, we had a tough time saying goodbye to our Montana van last week.
Yes...there were tears!
You didn't want to see us driving away from our Orillia House early in the morning of August 15th either. ~sob~

Now, last week we were new vehicle shopping- mainly because the "Swissshmobile" couldn't pass the BC out-of-province vehicle test. Some rust underneath that required repair and we thought we'd start new- rather than repair old.

After four hours of  test driving and looking at two vehicles in particular- we bought a Dodge Grand Caravan. When we took our belongings out of the Montana and saw her sitting there alone and then being driven away to the back of the lot, it was too much to take.
We had tears and drove off the lot quickly.
~sigh and sob~
The truth of the matter is our inanimate objects- our machines, wear out. Tom and I have always taken care of our vehicles and we have made them last. Unfortunately, the provincial standards here were just too much for the Montana and she's been taken somewhere for re-sale or parts. We only got $2000 for her. She was worth more...

So, all this is just another change we have had to endure these past six weeks. We have also had to endure a bunch of bullshite too. Nothing is straight-forward dealing with stuff here and a few things back home- in the spirit of the season lets say are "haunting us", however, we are managing.

Just to confirm:
We love our new Island home.
We WILL love our new house when we move in.
We have met some fantastic folks here. Kind, friendly and supportive.
We love the mountains- three in Duncan alone.
The ocean is magnificent...and the palms and plant growth still make us give our heads a shake-
Are we really in Canada?
Yup.

Garden Centre Palms
That's it for now.
Have a great day.
We will.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

ROBBLOG #652 THE W E E K E N D Edition







The Weekend...again.

It may seem that I am slowing down when it comes to blogging daily. Probably true.
Some days there's just life. Nothing more.
Same old same old.

This week has seen some developments.
We moved into Duncan.
Not the new house but temporary digs where we can settle until our new house possession.
That took a half dozen trips lugging belongings between our RV at Country Maples and our new Duncan address. Why even Tom's lilies made the trip. They are now stored in the English Garden just outside our door- halfway between us and the horse stables.

I must say I am hearing the horses low....or is that just cattle lowing?
I am referring to the Christmas Song..."The Cattle are lowing, the poor Babe awakes..."
These horses neigh and clomp their hoofs and kick their wooden stalls. One morning during a pee break- for me, not the horses, I could see lights streaming through our kitchen windows.
ET?
Strange Encounters of the Duncan Kind?
I tore open the windows and threw up the sash...(another Christmas theme)
Nope.
Just a half dozen huge spotlights on the paddock. The horses were hungry and the keepers- and well- ~ahem~ Stable Boys were answering the call feeding the four-legged beauties and mucking out their stalls.

Friday morning I sat in The Island Sunshine with my Island coffee in hand and Missy and Koko strolling around the garden. The garden reminded me of St. John's Wood in England. The scents were familiar too. No taste of fall even though it was to arrive later that afternoon. So far, Autumn here is just like the past few weeks. Warm sunshine and blue skies. I think there is a day of rain coming this week but basically the weather is sunny and warm through to month's end.
How nice!

Garden Centre "Star" Topiary
Living here on the Island this past month we have learned some "stuff".
Things about one's licence and health card- both are applied for at the same government location. However, new plates and insurance go through another location entirely and never the twain shall meet.

ICBC is a new term to us. It's provincially controlled insurance.
I hear you!
What is this you say Rob?
Are you living in some kind of Russian State within our beloved Canada.
I don't think so but some things are different here.

Have I mentioned this already? It bears repeating.
Out of province licenced vehicles have to go through an inspection to receive BC plates. If you fail- or in this case your vehicle fails, you have to make the repairs to get a pass and get a BC Plate.
We failed on our first vehicle test and the result is a new Dodge Grand Caravan sitting in the drive tonight. The last thing we needed to buy right now but we were caught between a rock and a hard place. In BC Island terms- we were caught between Mount Prevost and Mount Tzouhalen!
Our Ontario insurance runs out the end of the month and repairs are costly. Locals tell us "BC" means "Bring Cash".
Could be true.
We'll keep you posted.

There is excitement in this "Gay Heart" over a new vehicle.
Why I thought my next new vehicle was going to be a scooter from Shoppers Drug Mart!

The Swissshmobile (a Pontiac Montana) was our child for 14 years and we were not without tears when we had to leave her behind at the car lot Friday evening.
We just have to work on letting inanimate objects go- like the c. 1882 Victoria Home we left behind in Orillia. However, I am convinced it is much harder for those left behind looking at the house where Rob & Tom lived for almost 25 years than for us leaving it behind.
I know this because I read your e-mails and to tell you the truth Kids- we have let that part of our past go now.
Our new Black, Metallic Beauty

So to our former van.
You served us well my Dear and kept us safe and took us wherever we wanted or needed to go.
Bye now....


One final thought about the new vehicle...
Yesterday when we were deciding what we were going to do- repair or buy new, I heard my Mum's voice in my left ear-
"Rob, she doesn't owe you guys anything..."
Thanks Mum.

The vehicle we thought we would buy in the spring just came a little sooner than 9 months. A premature babe- metallic black to boot!

Next on the agenda is Priscilla.
We have decided we can't keep her and no matter what the folks at Heidi's RV just south of Orillia say, you cannot and will not make money back selling an RV here on the Island- especially if she's a 2003.
It's just not true.
There is a depreciation factor at work and even though Priscilla has been well-cared for, she will not make any great return on our investment.
In fact, we will lose thousands.
We were led down the "garden path" by Heidi's- and not the first time.
Do your research.
I thought I had.

If you decide to move to BC and since my Hubbie Tom and I are residents now, we cannot convince you to come anymore- it's kind of an unwritten local law. You have to look into what the Island is all about for yourself. If you have a question however, we could answer that as best we can.

I can tell you that you should know-

The weather is great.
The Ocean and Mountains are beautiful.
Winters are mild.
A bakery in Ladysmith has terrific cinnamon buns.
There's less rain in the Cowichan where we are living than Victoria, Toronto or Miami.
Hawaii is less than 5 hours away- by air.
There are 3 airports on the Island with scheduled flights.
One of the gals from Sex in the City lives here.
Palm trees are grown in gardens and along roadways.
Most plants- Rhodies, Holly, Yucca's and English type plants are large and grow rapidly.
Gas is $1.29 a litre.
The landscape is green in winter and we cut the grass in January and February.
Health and vehicle licencing and insurance are different than Ontario. I am not sure about the other provinces and territories.
Wal*Mart prices are the same.
Island Time can be "ish".

A Bar Sign in Ladysmith, 20 minutes up island from Duncan
Have a great weekend and I am sure there'll be more to tell.
Soon....





Wednesday, September 20, 2017

ROBBLOG #651



Wednesday Already?
How did that happen. Island Time seems different. Could be because I am retired...or not.


I haven't been blogging because we have been busy.
You see, we moved out of the RV Park.
30 days in beloved Priscilla was fine but it was time for a change- especially after we found our new-build was delayed until the middle of November.


It was time.
This new spot where we are currently living was a fluke. We decided not to stay at the Country Cottage and then this house on Cedar Avenue (how cute is that? Cedar Avenue?) became available through our real estate. We asked how high we would have to jump and could we afford to jump and it turned out we could jump, so we did.


It's taken two days to move our stuff from Priscilla and we still have Tom's lilies to move tomorrow.
Donna- our Landmistress (Landlord) is Fab You Luss. Call it an apartment, a granny suite or an in-law apartment, it is just right for us.
Behind the house looking out our kitchen window through Donna's English Garden- which is still in bloom, is a riding stable and school- Queen Margaret School. We hear the horses neighing, whinnying and then hoofing the sides of their stalls to grab attention from their keepers to be fed- perhaps by a strapping, well hung stable boy or two (That's for you Shane. Now Dream My Dear...)


Horse Stables at Queen Margaret School
I even took the time the first night here in our new abode to hang the "star" lights on the patio.
How nice! That's a Date Palm sitting on the table.


Patio, Palms and Starlight


No update on Doyle, our beautiful Orange Tabby missing since August 17th. Some days I swear his brother Dickens is shedding little puddy tears...


Dickens our lonely boy...
The week- so far, hasn't been all fun.
Our van- The Swissshmobile, had to go in for a safety check before we could get our BC plates.
It was not a happy story.
She didn't pass with flying colours!
Although cosmetically- both inside and out, she looks marvellous, we were told we would have to repair some of the "infrastructure" that supports the van. Plus the one front headlamp has moisture behind it- which is a recent addition to this page full of checks to be made here in British Columbia. We've replaced the headlamp at least three times- twice under warranty, yet the damn thing still collects moisture. However, the bigger problem is the metal underneath. so, do we go to a body shop for an estimate or do we retire the good old Swissshmobile and buy new. Our Ontario Insurance lapses September 30th.
There may not be time.
What to do...
This is not in our current budget. We are decision making.


Oh, Priscilla goes for the same vehicle plate check next week. I can only imagine how that will turn out. We need to sell the stalwart old broad.
$37,000.
Any takers out there? Ontarians, you could fly out here and take her home or fly out here and stay here. The choice is yours and at only 37 thousand- what a steal!!!


Finally, over the weekend we travelled an hour up island to Parksville. Tom and I had toured Parksville back in early February. I remember it being green and on the ocean.
It still is.
Plants are beautiful.
The Ocean breathtaking.
The boardwalk along the ocean is an absolute delight and a stroll along the wooden boards in the warm sunshine is even better. Here on the Island it doesn't feel like autumn and folks are still in shorts and flip flops. Over the weekend we had our second rainy night and day since we arrived on August 22nd but as we drove through the showers on the Island Highway past Nanaimo and on to Parksville on Sunday, the skies cleared and it really warmed up quite a bit. Enough to have a blizzard at the Parksville DQ facing onto the Ocean.


Palms on the Pacific Ocean
Here on Vancouver Island when it's rainy or if it's early in the morning, the scents make me believe I am in England in December. It just has that English Garden smell about it.


Same climate actually as southern England and with the smell of stables and the sound of horses nearby- it doesn't get much better.


Tally-Ho!