Thursday, August 17, 2017

ROBBLOG #631



Day Two is at an end. At last.

We are in Thunder Bay at a KOA. Such a nice lot we have. There's:
A patio.
A Firepit.
A two-person swing- wood no less.
A table with 4 chairs and an umbrella.

When we drove folks were probably saying- "Here comes those rich "fags" from Orillia!"
I think it was the most expensive lot.
Worth every penny.

The Sign Says it All
Back up a few hours now and envision an Ontario Provincial Park in Pancake Bay just west of
Sault Ste. Marie
We started our day at 0730. That was sleeping in!!
It was cool in Priscilla.
I flipped on the furnace and nothing happened.
I checked the hot water and nothing!! I had turned it on- I thought, before bed last night.
It didn't work.
I was miffed.
Totally pissed really. Four letter words spewed forth like a woman scorned!
Tom told me to take a pill...well, it was something like that but a little spicier, so off I trotted in my little black flip flops, cradling a towel under one arm and my showering essentials- including my Jennifer Aniston face scrub in the other.
I had slipped on my Ray Bans so no one would recognize me or attempt to talk to me or throw a cheery "Good Morning!" in my direction.
Bah-Morningbug!!

I showered and realized I had left my hair brush back in Priscilla.
Damn. Double Damn. So, I flipped and flopped back as quickly as I could at oh-seven thirty-something and grabbed by brush.
So far, I hate this fucking day.

We took our time to pack things away and left Pancake Bay at 10ish.
10 hours later after a couple of breaks we arrived where we are now in Tunderin' Bay.
The drive was gorgeous.
Scenery spectacular.

A Bridge at Nipegon around 6pm
Words are hard to come by to describe the vistas but let me try- tree, tree, tree, lake,
construction, tree, rock, lake, tree, rock, rock and rock is the best I can do.
Let the photos tell the story.

In mid afternoon after a few texts and e-mails, I tried one last switch in Priscilla. This Motorhome if full of switches and they all serve a purpose. I flicked it while Tom went into an A&W at White River. By the time he came back we had hot water.
Thanks the Lord, I mean if there was such an entity to thank but this time it was pure luck and I just happened to pick the right switch.


Tom the Captain filling Priscilla to the brim with H2O
We arrived in this KOA at 8ish. It's actually in Shuniah- like in Twain.
I fed the kids. Tom hooked up H2O and power and Bless his little ole heart, he even got the shite pipe hooked to the sewer on our expensive, show-stopping lot.
I thought-"If my husband can play around with a shite pipe, I could cook him supper and I did.
It was Veggie Lasagna.
The oven even worked and I had to figure out how to light the pilot.
This RV thing is starting to click.

With the lasagna cooking away, we took the girls for a half hour spin through the park.
It was good.

It is getting late folks and the Captain says I have to be on duty- I'm the "In-charge" Priscilla Attendent. My duty day starts at 0900. We have an 8 hour drive to another KOA just west of Winnipeg and I will be sharing driving duties unlike today when Tom did the whole trip.

Wish us luck and if I get WiFi or tether this laptop to my Samsung, I will tell more tomorrow.




Wednesday, August 16, 2017

ROBBLOG #630




Well Kids, Day one is behind us!!!
We drove for 10 hours including lunch and gas and puppy pee stops.


However, the day began with a major Priscilla problem. We discovered we had no power on her right side and our fridge and freezer was not working. We tried a new fuse but no luck.
We were desperate, so we drove to Heidi's for service.
We arrived at Heidi's gate at 7ish and realized they didn't open till 8am. So, we waited.
To make a long story shorter it was a "short" in the bathroom ceiling light.

We got on the road at 930 with me in the driver's seat. I drove 4 hours to the other side of Sudbury.
A caution if you go up that way. Our friend Karen told us to top up when we saw a gas station. This is true. So true.
Once past Sudbury one travels a long, long way to gas up and the road is the worst.

Hwy 17 you suck- BIGTIME!!!
Our cats hated that part of today's drive. They were pretty calm by the end of the day though.

There is a ton of construction when traffic only goes one way at a time.
Hwy 17, you'll be great when you are done but today- you sucked!!


We had lunch at 2ish- I forget where. Then Hubbie took over the driving. The scenery is spectacular at times and view of Lake Superior was superb.
I will try to add a photo or two.

Eventually, we ended up in Sault Ste Marie- with me driving again, at a Wal*Mart of course!
Tom picked up a few items while I stayed with the "kids" in Priscilla.
We gassed up at a nearby Esso that conveniently had a Tim's next door and we were off again.

I took a little snooze at one point when Tom was driving and was jolted from a sound sleep when Tom swerved this way and that on a curve that was spitting distance from Lac Superior. Well, the fridge door flew open and chili sauce, water and half the fridge flew across the kitchen floor.
I screamed like a "girl".
Yuck!!
He pulled to the side of the road and we started cleanup. |I was a little pissed at his "swerve" but I got over it about 20 km down the road...
He did pick a pretty spot for the cleanup operation. Late afternoon sun glistened on Superior waters as we mopped the mess.
Breathtaking.
The lake not the mess.

Just after the Fridge emptied itself!!
Once past The Soo we had 76 kms to go to get to Pancake Bay where we would stay the night in our lovely- yet increasingly, costly Priscilla and that is where I am writing this blog. An Ontario park where we had only a quick opportunity to plug in our power before darkness fell...and
boy did it fall.
It's darker than a turkey's arse at fly time outside Priscilla!
Can't see the nose on top of one's moustache!!

Entrance to Pancake Bay Provincial Park
Tom let the girls- Missy and Koko, out for their last pee- after a supper of cold chicken and potato salad. I gave him the "Bear Horn" when he went outside. The one I had bought a month ago.
One never knows here in bear country.
What is left of the chicken we consumed is neatly stuffed in Priscilla's fridge instead of being thrown outside the RV's door.


So, it has been a long day but we managed it.
Good for us!

Time now for beddy bye.
I am beat.

If I can't get photos transferred over, it'll have to be tomorrow when I am fully awake.
Thanks for all your wonderful- yet sometimes teary, goodbyes.
Our heartiest, funniest, best goodbye came from our friend and neighbour Louise.
She came across the road from her house yesterday and says to me-
"So, the day if finally here!"
She started to cry. suddenly she stopped and added-
"Well, Fuck You!! ~pause~ "Yes, Fuck. You!!"
It was so unexpected and so funny and really- from the heart.

Each and every tear was appreciated by Tom and |I. We will miss you all dearly but we soldier on to our new home on Vancouver Island.


Good Night Irene...and the rest of you too!

P.S. Two pics loaded. I stayed up way past my bedtime just for you!






Sunday, August 13, 2017

ROBBLOG #629


I'm feeling a little less stressed this morning as you can see from the photo.

Up and at 'em at 703am.
That's right. There is a 7:03 in the morning just like at nighttime.
I mean who knew?

I have ironed.
I put more shirts and reading material (4 more books from the Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency series) into Priscilla.
I shrink-wrapped my "Lion" fountain.
Then, I put a new "umbrella" top on the bird feeder in the north yard and filled the feeder to the brim. I was concerned about the bird food, since the "Mama Dove" is up in the nest again on the front verandah. If it's the same Dove, this would be family number three this summer!
Gawd, she and the Mister must love kids!!

So, my  Samsung says "1 Day until Departure".
Yikes!!
Tom and I signed papers in Duncan B.C. for this "new build" house way back in February and now the reality is sinking in. Although we don't take possession until the end of September, we start our trek westward now to avoid adverse weather (READ: SNOW) in the Rockies in September. It could happen.

Our early departure means we spend 6 weeks in a lovely RV Park called "Country Maples" just south of Chemainus off Trans Canada 1. Chemainus is about 20 minutes or so north of our new home in Duncan.

A Garden in Duncan BC
Now then, to brush aside the fears of 365 days of rain on the Island that you may harbour, I want to make it clear that it does not rain 365 days straight. In fact the Island is working on a record of more than 52 days without rain. There are no active wildfires on the island. Those are in the interior of the province. We will, however, have to be aware of their location as we travel from Calgary to Lake Louise, through four National Parks to Sicamous- just east of Kamloops. After our overnight in Sicamous we head straight down the Coquihalla Highway (TV's Highway Thru Hell) to Hope and then West to Tswwassen, picking up our van along the way in Delta from Hansen's Rail Yard.

Our Duncan (Cowichan Valley) weather is one with a mild, Mediterranean Climate with four varieties of palm trees, huge Yuccas, Monkey Trees, large Rhododenrons, Arbutus Trees and more. We will also be cutting our lawn year round.
We can walk, bicycle, hike (yuck!) and golf (yuck again!) year round.
We can watch the dolphins, sea lions, eagles and whales frolic in the Pacific. If we were surfers we could surf year-round at Tofino on the Island's west coast. We have a mountain that is visible from our front door- Mount Prevost, with Mount Sicker just a bit further north. Victoria is less than an hour away south and Nanaimo- home of the famous bars, is about a half hour to our north.

Me on the Island in February- yes February in Canada!
Check it our on a map or perform a simple google search. Duncan is www.duncan.ca
That will get your started.

Okay. Enough blogging. I have stuff to do. It seems like this packing thing is never-ending.
I can hardly wait to get on the road when all I have to do is look forward to the future with my loving Husband Tom and our kids- the mini-schnauzers Missy and Koko, as well as the Boys- our orange tabbies Dickens and Doyle.

Stay tuned.

Friday, August 11, 2017

ROBBLOG #628


No, that photo is not me.
That's Bette Davis as Baby Jane in "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane"- The Movie.
However, this photo is pretty much how I am looking and feeling these days!

Tempus Fugit.
My Smartphone says 3 days till blast off.
By "Blast Off", I don't mean this is a grave warning that Kim Jung Jock Strap is prepping one of his rockets. It just tells me we have 3 more sleeps till we leave this popsicle stand and head for the Island.

Things are at a fever pitch.
It was an adventure taking the Swissshmobile to Hansen's rail facility Wednesday. This place on Nashene Road near Markham Road is amazing. High security fences and a security post to pass through when you arrive at the gate. Thank goodness the security people had our names in their computer. A half hour later we left the vehicle after talking to the friendly, helpful Hansen staff and headed downtown to The Village for lunch. Our friends Val and Bev came with us in Val's car as our ride home. We drove about 20 minutes from the rail facility when Tom discovers we have left our sweatshirts in the back of the van.
So, back we go to Hansen's. We are now on a first name basis with the security guard!!!

Lunch??
Lunch at the Church Mouse pub in the Gay Village was fun. We laughed and chatted with staff and had decadent desserts after a hearty lunch. The whole day was a much-needed stress reliever and we even found time on the way home to stop by Tanger Outlet mall to buy new Samsonite Suitcases. Of course there was a Fossil store there with out of this world prices on watches, so I bought myself one. I mean who could pass up that kind of savings and one must always pay one's self after paying for an RV from Heidi's!!!
See above blogs if you don't get the joke!!

Our Junkman came Friday morning and took a truck load of junk away for the cool sum of $260 bucks. I am now printing this stuff in the basement.
Dollars not junk.
Only kidding...

Friends came by in late morning to take a plant or a gargoyle in Darlene's case. Geraldine picked up some garden ornaments. Shane took home a bottle of Absolut Vodka- what else does one give a "girlfriend" as a parting gift? I ask you...
Our Friend Julie from a village near Niece in France popped in to say hello and tour Priscilla. I hear Niece is "nice"!
An old joke but I just had to do it.

Sorry Dame Edna, we gave lillies not gladdies
Then, we were off to Colleen's for a final hair trim. Aunt Shirley and Jim came along after our cut. Shirley to get her weekly blow and dry from Colleen and Jim...well, Jim is follicle free so he just chatted.
After Shirley was a looking rather gorgeous, Colleen surprized us with coffee and chocolate cake made from a Casino Rama recipe. Her Hubbie Basil joined us. The cake I had last year at my 65th birthday celebration was replicated by Colleen.. It was grand and Colleen receives top marks for all the chocolate contents.
Mmmmm.

Afterwards, we made a final trip to the bank where we said goodbye to Julie Emery and Stephanie- among others, who gave us a Bon Voyage basket of goodies.
Yum and Mmmm.
We emptied our safety deposit box after signing a bunch of papers and headed home.
Another busy day was almost done.

Finally, Swisssh and Starlite my online radio stations are "off air" as we say in the biz. I was set to pack up the studio Saturday anyway and with a little help from the evening's thunderstorm that flashed our lights and power, I decided to leave the stations off air a few hours early. Both will return from The Cowichan in early October.

Insert a huge ~sigh~ and a tear or two...

 


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

ROBBLOG #627


OMG!!
The Smartphone says 5 DAYS!!!

How  is that possible?
Time flies when you're packing.

Just a short update today. Priscilla is back from the shop. The wonderful Folks at Midas Orillia- Eduardo in particular, have her road-worth and safe. That's all we ask. Just get us to the Island.
After a further $2000 and change-add that to last week's $3000, you'll compute that's a heart-stopping, RRSP draining $5000 and so much!!
Yikes!
I know but it had to be done. We have to be safe on our cross-country trek and Priscilla is the main player in this journey. She has new tires, brakes, brake line, shocks and a bunch of other stuff that I can't explain. Fie on Heidi's for selling us on the 2003 Ford F450 with a safety check with up to 6 deficiencies. They will receive a letter pf disappointment and admonishment. I am composing it in my mind.



IN OTHER NEWS

Our Montana van- also a 2003, goes to Hansen's Forwarding in Toronto- Scarborough actually, to be sent by rail to Delta BC. We expect the "Swissshmobile's" arrival to coincide with our arrival in Tswwassen/Delta on August 21st.
Fingers are crossed.

So, Dear Readers, that's the up to the minute news.
Look at me, I sound like Charles Dickens- "Dear Readers" indeed.

A full day of appointments and stuff tomorrow and then the A-1 Junk Guys are still scheduled for Friday.
Whew!
Five Days?????

Lator Gator

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

ROBBLOG #626


We all know there's a right and wrong way to put toilet paper on a toilet paper hanger.
Right?

Over the past few weeks I have been wondering if there's a right or wrong way to place bubble wrap against the glass of a framed print. There are no instructions on the bubble wrap box we received from Uline. That's the company where we ordered all our boxes and packing materials from.
It was an excellent choice!

So, Bubble Wrap. We have used tons and tons as well as another magnificent packing tool- tape.
Lots and lots of tape. Also in the top 3 packing items I would have to lean heavily towards suggesting plain newsprint if you have a move in your future. This stuff is pure gold when it comes to wrapping practically anything. Again, Uline supplied us with lovely big boxes in huge sheets. Easy to handle. Fast to wrap. And Clean.
Sorry for starting a short sentence with "and". My grammar teachers would cringe. As an aside, I also cringe when someone place a comma before the word "and".
And suggest the comma. It's not needed. I asked a teacher that again a few years ago. Sorry I strated yet another sentence with "and".

6 DAYS LEFT!


That's the advice my mobile gave me when I fired her up this morning.
6 days.
Cripes! This is getting real.

There's till a bunch to do.
The Junk Guys A1- Junk Removal come Friday morning to take anything we are not.
Our van goes to Hansen's in Toronto tomorrow where it will be shipped west on rail come Friday. We will meet up with her on August 21st in Delta BC.
Outdoor stuff from the garage- like Knomes and a cement rabbit, need to be packed.
There are couple of boxes that will go to the curb for "Free" dispersal or perhaps to Value Village.

In other news, Folks have been dropping in to say goodbye.
Hasn't been too tough yet on the "tears scale" of one to infinity until my cousin sent a lovely e-mail thanking us for the lilies she picked up yesterday. It has been the best "tah tah for now" yet.
We have stopped the dinners and goodbye brunches. Too much to handle and time-consuming too when there is work to be done at home.

We are keeping an eye on the forest fire situation. Many friends are asking what we will do.
If we can't keep to our northern route through Lake Louise, Kamloops then to Hope via the Coquihalla and finally Tswwassen, we will go through The Hat and travel along Highway 3.
It's much, much longer but it will depend on fire, smoke and if towns are being evacuated.

So Kids, that's it for now. I have a list as long as Hugh Jackman's legs to get through today, so I had better get started.


Oh, one final note on saying goodbye.
Hugs are good.
Shoulder pats and hand shakes are as well.
"Take care" is simple.
"See you soon" is fine.
"We'll probably be out to the Island" is hopeful.
BUT
"God Bless You" is not.
Tom and I are Humanists- a nice way to say atheist.
Saying GBY to us can be compared to calling a Homosexual "Gay"-which is fine but "faggot" is not.
That example may be a bit over the top but you get my gist. Now, hand me a martini and carry on!

So please, no blessing from any "Gawd" because he doesn't exist and never has except in the occasional blog I write. Check out Blog #620 as an example. There are other Blogs too. Just go back a bit. Sorry Gals that I mentioned "Gawd" in the "male" context.

Unless God is helping with the driving, please think of another endearing term when saying "'See You in the Funny Papers".

Now, before this Blog takes another twist, I have to go and do stuff with 6 days to Go!!





Friday, August 4, 2017

ROBBLOG #625


I looked at my phone this morning. It says "10 Days left".
Yikes!

10 days before we say "so long" to Orillia and Ontario and move all the way west to Duncan BC in the Cowichan on Vancouver Island.
Why?
If you haven't read my ROBBLOG before, I'll tell you straight up- it's the weather. Unforgiving winters here in Ontario and a mild, Mediterranean Climate- with Palm Trees and Yuccas, out there!
Plus, both Tom and I are older- and retired!!

An Island Garden
So, our move is close.
We have boxes piled high all over the house.
We have been getting Priscilla ready. That's our RV.
However, Priscilla is being a bit difficult and has cost us $3000 this week- so far.
Then, yesterday we drove her to a garage in Barrie to get a wheel alignment and we bust a break line as we pull into the garage!
Between two garages, we have been told that Heidi's- where we purchased her from back in March, should not have passed the vehicle on a safety on up to 6 specific items.
No, we have not been in touch with Heidi's.

Priscilla
Priscilla is a 2003 Dutchmen RV and I can tell you right now that Heidi's probably doesn't give a damn. We had her back to their service centre within 30 days after we purchased her and told them to look at everything and fix or replace anything that needed replacing.
Guess they didn't understand what we meant.

Their word. Our word. 2 mechanic's word. Heidi's RV word.
I don't have the time or desire to start a fight. Right now we want Priscilla to be safe and fixed so we can drive her to our new home without difficulty.
What a mess!

So, packing continues here at Pine Tree House. I will probably fill another 10 boxes today. Gawd, we have so much stuff and this after 3 garage sales, purging over the past two years and a bunch of junk put to the curb a week ago. I even have another huge box of stuff we no longer want ready to go out to the curb tomorrow.

People have said that moving is one of the most stressful things you can ever undertake. It was stressful 25 years ago when we moved from Mississauga to Orillia and it is again in this move from Orillia to The Island- three time zones west!

Stay tuned. I am sure there's more to come!