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April 19, 2022

Mark your calendars - finally, a timely update from Greg!

After an unusually long and cold winter, spring is nearly here. We have had a few really warm days which melted almost all of the snow but the lakes are still frozen and it is well below freezing every night. And a lot of days too.

Even so, we are getting excited about getting back out camping next month. We traditionally spend Tess’ birthday in May out at our favourite fishing hole trying to catch our limit of rainbow trout.

I have my list of repairs and maintenance items to attend to like I do every year. Hopefully we will avoid any 4 figure repairs but you never know. Like a boat, a motorhome can be a money pit!

I am planning the route for our big RV trip this summer. Instead of going north to Yellowknife as I had originally hoped, expensive gasoline has changed our plans. I think we will visit friends and family in southern BC in June. Maybe.

I’ll post the travelog and photos once I have something to report so stay tuned.

This past weekend was Easter which means Tess cooked dinner for a bunch of family. Mark and Isla were here as usual, Isla’s mom Melissa was here too. Our out of town guests were my brother Todd and his partner, Louise. They came in the south Okanagan area in British Columbia.

Todd and I got some quality visiting time in as did Louise with her family who live in nearby Edmonton. Todd and I even managed to kill an almost full bottle of whiskey.

It was a houseful with 7 people and 3 dogs in our little house but we had fun.

We are staying healthy. Tess just got her 4th covid shot (2nd booster) as she is immuno-compromised. They won’t let me have one yet which I thought a bit odd but we continue to take

reasonable precautions and I think we’ll be OK.

Does anybody out there know about a friendly WYSIWYG budget web authoring tool? The one I have been using is Serif WebPlus X7 which was discontunied several years ago. There must be something easier to use. Any recommendations?

I continue to spend a lot of time working on my family tree. If you are interested in seeing it, send me an email and I will give you free access to my trees posted on Ancestry.com

It was Mark’s 40th birthday (how did that happen?) last week and we took him, his girlfriend and Isla out to dinner at our favourite Vietnamese noodle house, Thanh-Thanhs. We all ate like the piggies we are. It was so good.

That's about it from us for this update. Stay safe and healthy!

Greg, Tess & Camper

June 12, 2022

Two updates in two months! Maybe there’s hope for me yet?

The list of RV repairs needed this year is long and expensive. The levelling jacks don’t level, the two slideout rooms don’t slide, the generator doesn’t want to start without lots of coaxing, and replacing the front shock absorbers turned ugly.

I take it in next Monday to get the slideouts fixed and the generator tuned up. The jacks manufacturer has already shipped me a replacement system computer for the jacks. They are made by Lippert/Power Gear. Their customer service department have been excellent to work with in troubleshooting my problem.

When I put the batteries back in the rig and turned the key to start it, it was so noisy I couldn’t hear myself think. Hmmm. I climbed underneath to see what was wrong and where the catalytic converters used to be was nothing. Some jerk had used a portable Sawzall and just cut the exhaust pipes and removed them.

The local truck muffler place quoted me over $2,000 to replace them. Nope. Mark suggested I just patch in replacement straight pipe instead so that’s what I did. $140 and an hour of grinding and fitting and things are nice and quiet.

I do feel a little guilty about spewing dirtier than necessary exhaust, but not $2,000 guilty! Glad there are no non-commercial vehicle inspections here in Alberta.

While we are usually out catching fish by mid-May, things have conspired to prevent that. Medical and dental appointments, needed RV repairs, and stupidly high gasoline prices have delayed our first trip until probably mid July.

I am still planning to go  to southern BC to visit family and friends but we won’t be taking the RV. I’ll drive the car instead since it uses only about 20% of the fuel.

Now that spring is well established (meaning no snow for 4 weeks now) Tess has been planting and her flowers look great. She is not very happy that bugs are eating her beans though.

I have been keeping the lawn looking good. Considering the short growing season, everything looks great.

I continue to spend a lot of time working on our family trees. If you are interested in seeing them, send me an email and I will give you free access to my trees posted on Ancestry.com

There are 11,926 people in my paternal tree, 5,822 people in my maternal tree and 1,572 people in Tess’ tree.

We are all as healthy as can be expected. Hopefully, we have a bunch of good years left in us.

That's about it from us for this update. Stay safe and healthy!

Greg, Tess & Camper

July 23, 2022

Three updates in three months! Maybe there’s hope for me yet?

What a difference a month makes! The motorhome issues with the slideouts is fixed, the generator starts with a little coaxing, the hydraulic levelling jacks go down and up, the ride is much improved with two new shock absorbers installed on the front axle, the basement storage door latch has been replaced, and more. In fact, there is only one small item on the to do list which I will take care of over the next few days. I like my Tess’ motorhome again!

Yesterday we returned from our delayed first camping trip of the year. You can read about it on the RVing page, here.

Earlier this month I made my planned trip to BC to visit family and friends. I went by myself as Tess didn’t want to leave her garden without care for so long, especially with voles (or something) eating everything. Besides, she and Siony had a good visit here just last month.

I had the oil changed in the car and headed south. I went through Calgary, south to Hwy 3 then west to the Castlegar area where our friends of 45 years live.

Greg and I spent several days of quality time solving the world’s problems, trouble shooting the rebuild of his classic 1965 Mercury Comet convertible, and drinking his booze. It was great.

Next stop was farther west along Hwy 3 to the Okanagan Valley to see my brother Todd and his partner Louise. They have a lovely spot overlooking a small lake with a nature preserve behind them. The lake has fish in it and we caught a pair of rainbow trout which I froze and brought home to Tess.

We caught up on brotherly things and he even let me play with his digger. It took me about 15 minutes to dig a hole because I had to think about each movement of the bucket before I usually moved the wrong lever the wrong way. Once I had finally installed the hole, Todd filled in in about 90 seconds. Showoff!

My last stop on this trip was in Vernon. I visited my maternal Uncle Les and his wife Sheila. We caught up on family stuff and now that he is finally retiring, I gave him some pointers on my genealogy hobby. I am looking forward to seeing what he discovers about our shared tree.

Finally, it was time to head home. The Kicking Horse Canyon road rebuilding project is well underway and what was a narrow, 2 lane steep winding 4.8km road will eventually become a 4 lane divided highway. Expensive at $601 million ($200 million per mile!) but BC builds these kind of roads better than anywhere else.

Once home, I had a few days to complete the maintenence on the RV and in a few days we headed out to a nearby Provincial Park for a few days of R&R.

That's about it from us for this update. Stay safe and healthy!

Greg, Tess & Camper

Aug 29, 2022

It is now the end of August and the weather is normally cooling off about now. Not this year! The weather guessers are calling for temperatures above 30C (that’s 86F for all 3 of my American readers) which is just too darn hot for us northerners.

To combat this, I am spending most of my days in the basement, working on my mother’s side of the family tree which is up to 6,459 people. Almost all them have been dead for quite a while! Sorry, genealogy joke.

We have a large green space and pond behind our property and are now starting to see birds we haven’t seen since the spring when they were migrating north. Canada geese are assembling and practicing their formation flying, the blue jays are back making a racket and Tess saw a woodpecker on the deck yesterday. I am going through lots of bird seed as my little friends bulk up for their long flights ahead.

We did finally get out camping for a few days earlier this month. We went all the way to Devon, Alberta, which is an hour from home and about 10kms from the Edmonton International Airport.

It is operated by the Devon Lions Club and pretty cramped but does offer full hookups with30 amp power, water, sewer, & wi-fi. It is on the bank of the 1,287 km long North Saskatchewan River. You can read about it on the RVing page here.

Still with camping, we are planning to head out again in September once the kids are back in school and the campgrounds are nearly empty. And camping fees are reduced because the local water supply is usually turned off. Not a problem for us.

The weather is supposed to cool off so hopefully the fish will be biting and we can come home with a freezer full of rainbow trout. Or rather our limit of 5 fish each.

We have been seeing Mark and Isla regularly. Isla is getting excited about going back to school and seeing her friends and classmates she hasn’t been able to connect with over the summer. She is going into grade 3 already. Time flies!

Tess’ garden is looking great as usual. Lots of pretty flowers. Her two apple trees and her tomato tree all have lots of fruit. The vermin that ate Isla’s carrots seem to have moved on so the new crop is doing well.

Camper is now about 14 years old, we’ve had him for over 12 years. He is getting old with sore joints, cataracts and hearing loss just like the rest of the family!

That's about it from us for this update. Stay safe and healthy!

Greg, Tess & Camper