Friday, 10 March 2017

The end

That's it for winter of 2016/17 with us returning to Canada on March 1st.  Our plans will probably not see us head south until after Christmas 2017, stay tuned.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Wednesday, March 1st

Well you all know the old saying about March - In like a lion our like a lamb or vice versa.  Well from our day today, it will go one way in some parts of the country and the other in the rest. 
  We had breakfast in the hotel and were on the road by 7:30.  The traffic was light as we were on the north end of Salt Lake City, so we set the cruise control on 80 mph and cruised.  We made it through the balance of Utah, then Idaho and finally Montana.  The roads were mainly good, even through the mountain passes in Montana.  The exception was in the Monida pass where there was a lot of snow on the road sides and then just south of Shelby, Mt where we had snow falling and the roads were starting to get an accumulation.  The passing lane was pretty much snow covered, but I was still able to maintain 70 mph when I travelled out on to it.  I think it was the weight from all the stuff we pack around in the truck box, but traction was no problem today.
  When we got to the border, we faced the usual list of questions.  I prefaced my answers by telling the agent we were over on liquor because we were returning to Grande Prairie to deal with a medical emergency at home and planning to stay until April, we were unprepared to head home this early.  A nice young man, he wished us a good day and sent us on our way.  Our deportation went smoothly.  LOL
  When we pulled in to Lethbridge is was about 6 PM, so we decided to stay her for the night.  You can imagine our surprise to find our regular hotel with no available rooms and several other with no vacancy.  We finally got a room at one we had not previously tried and were fortunate as it has just been renovated.  We also found the reason for the no vacancy sign on many places, a shortage of chamber maids.  No one to clean the rooms, who would have thought.  I seem to recall Dave C who owned the Trumpeter saying one maid could do about a dozen rooms a day.
  After checking in we went to a BBQ place next door and had the ribs.  They were very nice, well not quite Tony Romas', but good and our waitress was very pleasant.  A nice end to the day.  Yes I left her a decent tip.  LOL

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Monday - Tuesday, Feb 28th.

Let me see if I can recount the last couple of days.
Monday - We had a busy day packing stuff and loading it in the truck.  We had a very good start on the project, the truck box was about 90% full when we finished.  We got the electric meter read and settled that account with the park, put a move notice in our mail box, etc.  I got the awnings put down on the outside of the trailer and fastened in place.  I dug out the reflective insulation that we put in the windows, it really helps with the intense summer heat and got about half of the windows covered.  Marg cleaned out the fridge and cupboards.  She packed what will travel and gave the rest to Doris.  The rest was quite a bit, in fact about 8 bags full, too much for them really, so she shared it with two other gals in the area.
  She saved enough food for lunch, so we had a sandwich and then went out to look for a few things.  We had a last minute call asking her to look for a few things for Vanessa to wear post surgery and had a bit of success at Ross's.
  Then it was back home where I cleaned the BBQ and then we started putting some of the stuff in the Az room, like my bike, the folding chairs, etc.  Next project was to put some support pieces on the fence around the back patio.  It just sits above ground on cement deck blocks and fell over in a big storm 2 years ago.  Marg cleaned the place and washed the floor.  A difficult day for her as there were visitors off and on most of the day.
  We made it to happy hour and said farewell to some very good people.  We were so busy that we never had time to go around the park, so it was pretty much whoever we happened on to for that part.  Fortunately supper was no problem as Doris & Kenny had us over.  She made a lovely dinner with country fried steak, and all the trimmings finished off with a pineapple pie.  She had made one for the park wide sale, but I never got any.  It was very good and we were all glad she gave us an opportunity to taste it, her pies are legendary.
  The rains started, late in the day, so it was a good thing we got the outside stuff done.
Tuesday - We got up early and packed the rest of our stuff and loaded it.  By then the back seat was pretty much full as well as the box. 
  I put RV antifreeze [it doesn't evaporate or freeze] in the drains and covered them with a zip lock bag filled softly with water.  These are to prevent critters from coming into the place through the drains.  To illustrate how big the problem can be, the pic is of a cockroach, the big ones that can come out of the sewer if the traps dry out.  Then I put cling wrap on the toilet tank and bowl to keep it from drying out as well as a couple of the zip locks in the bowl.
   By 7:45 we were done and on the road.  By 7:46 we made our way back to the trailer and I turned off the water.  By 7:48 we were really done and on the road.  It was raining, fairly hard actually until we got through Mesa.  We took a guys advice and went right through the centre of Phoenix in the HOV lane and it worked very well, so we stopped in Goodyear for a bite at the golden arches.  After that the roads were dry and bare.  Stopped in Kingman for fuel and picked up a bite to take on the road.  Made it through Las Vegas in fairly light traffic on the freeway.  With each mile the temperature kept getting lower and the fuel prices higher.  We were in Spanish Forks in good time, so drove all the way through Salt Lake City, stopping in Layton; 775 miles today, but we are well positioned.  How low did the temp get, well minus 3 C with snow on the ground in northern Utah. 
  Must get some rest now.  Will try and update you tomorrow.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Sunday

The forecast was not all that great, but the sun shone and it was a nice day.
  I went to the church service in the rec hall this morning and it was well attended.  The pastor's wife came over to ask me how many more Sunday's I would be with them and I told her this was my last as we would be leaving for home this week.  It was a nice service and as usual Pastor Don gave a meaningful sermon.  Then I took the truck down there to pick up a dozen chairs.  Gary gave me a hand picking out the chairs and getting them loaded, well the shower was for his new grand daughter, so I guess he had a stake in it.  By that time I was getting peckish, so she made fried eggs and toast, even some cinnamon bread toast, that just hit the spot.
  Marg in the mean time was getting the food prep finished and the place laid out the way she wanted it.  One of the ladies helping made a cake & punch and the other brought a veggie tray.  Marg had a couple platters of wraps, a cheese tray, a bunch of crackers, the chocolate cake, the chocolate balls covered in white chocolate, salsa and tortilla chips.  After we got the chairs unloaded, I helped Marg a bit with moving stuff around.  Then the ladies helping with the shower came by to decorate and I helped a bit with that like by doing the stuff they couldn't reach.  One of the husbands stopped by to say a couple of them were playing pool today at 1 if I wanted to join in.
  That meant a hurried trip to the Mesa market to visit with the book lady.  I traded in the ones I had read and picked up 5 new to me books.  Her daughter was there helping her out and they kind of know me by now, so I asked how long her mother has been doing this.  Turns out it's 17 years and she used to be a glass blower.  The place was a zoo, almost no parking, so I was glad to get out in short order.  Stopped for fuel on the way home and paid $2.03/gallon at Circle K.  When I got home there were a few ladies there already.
  So I headed down to the pool room.  On the road there I passed quite a number of ladies walking to our place with nicely decorated gift bags, mostly in pink.  I think Marg had close to 30 ladies and they had a ball.  Her partners in putting this on were skeptical of the games she organized and they turned out to be a hit.  Apparently most showers here they just have a punch and no food, just some mints, so this was very different.  The baby was showered with some great gifts, in fact the wagon they had for gifts only held about 1/3 of them.  The young couple were delighted.  Several people said it was the best shower they have ever attended, others raved about the food.  There were some emotional moments for Marg with her friends.  In fact the park manager said how sad she was that we were leaving early and what a very special person Marg is in this place.  As you might expect it was a bit of a farewell to her friends as well as a successful baby shower.
  Me on the other hand had my hands full with the two guys in the pool hall.  They are very good players and the competition was tough.  There wasn't a bunch of that touchy feely stuff like the shower, rather it was each man for himself and the devil take the hind-most.  I did get my share of wins and took some beatings, but it was fun.
  After we finished the guys came back with me to help return the chairs.  They had a beer and a plate of snacks and sweets, there was still lots left when we got there.  It was kind of funny, Marg said the guys [one in particular] ate more than any of the women.  Well duh, we worked hard around that pool table.
  Supper was a bbq, 2 very nice rib eye steaks with baked potato.  Nice have a breather for a bit.  Then after supper Marg packed most of the clothes and much of the food out of the cupboards to get ready to load tomorrow.  We will likely return the Mediacom stuff tomorrow, so that will be the end of the TV, Internet & land line phone.  We will hang on to them as long as possible, but later in the afternoon will pull the plug.  As a result there will not likely be a blog or any FB posts tomorrow.  We will still have our cell phones, but unless we find a wifi hotspot, we'll likely be out of contact until Tuesday night.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Saturday, Feb 25th

Got up and out to breakfast in the hall this morning.  The pancakes were good and well everything I had was as well.  Sat with the usual group and got filled in on the gossip in the park, well such as it was.  There were a couple of people looking for updates on our family health situation, that's one nice thing about this place, word has got around that we are leaving and lots of folks are concerned.
  Marg did a quick load of laundry and hung it out to dry and then did the floor mats.  When I got back we went out to Costco as she wanted to pick up some things for the shower tomorrow.  Fortunately the place was not busy for a Saturday, must have been lots of other stuff to do today, I guess.  She got some appetizer things, my only purchase was some lighters as I need one for the propane fire pit so that I don't singe my eyebrows.  Then it was a quick stop at Basha's for a few other things and back home.
  Marg spent the morning baking, making a triple chocolate cake and some chocolate cake balls both decorated with white chocolate, well actually the balls were coated and the cake was drizzled, but you know what I mean.  The chocolate covered little balls caused quite a stir as they became stuck fast to the drying rack when the chocolate hardened.  After a bit of trial and error she turned the rack upside down and managed to get them free.  I packed some of my stuff in the truck, loading the golf clubs, shoes and other assorted stuff. 
  After lunch we wiped down all the furniture and cleaned and re-arranged it for the shower tomorrow.  We got our extra chairs and set them up, but we only have a dozen so will be bringing some from the hall tomorrow, I guess.  Well actually Patti & Gary [grandma & grandpa to the new baby] stopped in and Gary said that is what we'll do.  He is quite involved with the park here, so his word on using them is good enough.
  I did some vacuum work out on the driveway and took garbage out.  We threw out the plant that Marg was given.  It was a bit of a problem as you have to handle it with rubber gloves because the sap is poisonous.  Well. the sap was leaking from it in several places, it was kind of milky white and I didn't fancy handling it, so got it stuffed in a green garbage bag without touching it.  Tricky, yes, but I think it's OK, but time will tell.  Then I took out all the garbage, didn't want that thing hanging around here.
  We went to happy hour, not many of those left now and there were lots of folks there today.  After we decided we did enough today, so went out to the Chinese buffet for supper.  The restaurant was totally renovated since last year and everything was changed even the name, except the food is still as good.
 
 

Friday, 24 February 2017

Friday

The days are chilly at night and warm up nicely once the sun gets up, pretty normal any place on earth, but much more noticeable in the desert.
  Marg got up and did a few things this morning, but 10 came early and that was their appointed departure hour for the Fort.  Today was the end of the big promo so the draws were held for the big prize, a Mercedes and some nice cash prizes as well.  There was a cash alternative instead of taking the car of $42,000.  This made the place and all activity very busy, so they wanted to allow for that.  One of the ladies won $825, but unfortunately Marg was not the winner and her name never came out of the draw bucket.
  I went out to look for a propane fire pit, but couldn't find one in AJ, so had to go to Lowes up on Higley where I got one for a hundred dollars.  I think it will be great for any get together's in the breezeway.  If the weather is a bit cooler on Sunday, it will take the chill off the place.  I had some problems with a denture and went to the dental office that made it 4 years ago.  The ladies got me in pretty quick and had it fixed in a couple of hours.  They remembered me, not sure how, but there was no charge for the repair.  Pretty amazing considering how much time has passed.  In between I sprayed all the weeds around the park model and picked up some glue traps for the place. 
  I finished all that and got back to the park just in time for happy hour.  It was pretty well attended and then the group went out to the Chinese buffet after.  Gary and I stayed behind as our wives had arranged to get pizza delivered that we would have with Larry [it's his place where happy happens] as his wife is one of the gamblin' gals.  By the time I left there it was about 7, so time to put the feet up.
  Marg got back home about 9 and started in baking a cake.  Apparently the lady baking the cake for the shower is making a small one and with 25 ladies, Marg felt the need to make another.  Made for a long day for her.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Thursday, Feb 23rd

  The weather has turned a bit chilly today and it looks like it will be this way for a week or so.  It is forecast to be in the 60's that while not hot, is still far above the freezing mark.  It just seems a result of a never ending series of storms moving through the entire country.
  I went for a bike ride with the guys this morning, there were 5 of us and the donkey was very well behaved this morning.  Jerry and I swung back after 3 miles or so as he was tiring, probably because of the wind and I went with him as we generally don't leave anyone on their own in case they need help.  When I got back Marg had a pull apart bread or monkey bread made.  It was still warm and delicious, so that was breakfast.  She had me take a piece of it next door for Janice, who was a happy recipient.
  Marg did a load of laundry this morning to try and keep busy, as it was a very stressful day.  But it did get better when we finally heard that Lyzi came through the very lengthy surgery and seemed in good spirits.  We are not yet aware of all the details but are certainly looking forward to her recovering and getting back to normal.
  Just after lunch I went to take pictures of the new executive for the RV park tenants association.  We did them down by the pool this year.  After I met with the executive to discuss the handling of the facebook account.  With our leaving next week, there is no one left to post on it as I have ended up the defacto owner of the site.  The site gets very busy when events and pictures are posted, but almost dormant when they aren't.  This has now been corrected and the association identity used to set it up as the owner and administrator.  Then I scanned some stuff like the bylaws and got that filed electronically for them using the new identity.
  Marg had lots of company all day, mostly people inquiring how things went.  It's nice to see people are concerned and supportive, but emotionally draining.  By the time I finished the scanning and assigning of rights, changing the FB picture, I had frittered away most of the afternoon, so we went to happy hour.  There were lots of folks there today and seemed to be lots of stuff to discuss.
  Supper tonight was a nice steak bbq using the tenderloin Marg picked up a while back.  We have more steak and chicken than we can eat by departure day, so no doubt Marg will be looking for a home for some of it.  She made a nice dish of roast potato and vegetables to go with it.  Then we finished off with apple pie and ice cream, one of my favourites.  There was still lots left from the pie she made yesterday and it was just as good today.
  After supper it was the animal races.  Well for me anyway, as Marg didn't feel up to it.  It was pretty well attended and the elephant was back - go Bimbo, even though it never won.  I won 3 of the 8 races, so lost a few of the dimes.  I had Marg's change purse and Gene was MC for a while and said in a very loud voice, oh look!  Is that Marg's change purse Dave has, to which I replied thank you for noticing in such a loud voice.  Most of the place erupted in laughter.  Must look for an opportunity to reciprocate.  LOL