Sunday, August 20, 2017

ROBBLOG #633

Another day.
Another tear.
OK...many, many tears.


First of all Tom and I thank each and every one of you who have commented or sent us an e-mail or text sending your love and hope that our Doyle will return to us. We stayed an extra night in KOA West Winnipeg- actually St. Frances Xavier about  9km west of The Peg. We had hoped that our Doyley-Boy would get hungry and return but this has not been the case. He was seen Friday night hanging with some other cats along the Assiniboine River. As far as I can tell these cats are feral.
I don't know how Doyle is eating or surviving not being an outdoor puddy. Our hearts were heavy when we had to leave him behind Saturday morning. You have no idea what it was like...


Doyle sitting up front with Tom on the day of the evening he left


The good news: Many folks staying in the park have our contact information and the Groundskeeper- Kevin, has a kennel, food, water and litter at the ready. He is actively looking and says to us as we left the park- NOT IF but WHEN Doyle returns he will call us right away. Hugs to Kevin. Others at the KOA have been just as kind.


Tonight, we sit at an RV park in Regina. A beautiful, busy Prairie city with mega road construction. The park is King's Acres. It's nice with- what else, a wheat field a hop, skip and a jump or so from Priscilla. The air is sweet and clean. Friends Don and Linda came by this evening to spend some time with us. It was good to see them and they lifted our sullen spirits.


Almost the first thing Don and Linda said to us was this:
"When Doyle is found, we will drive to Winnipeg from Regina to bring him to our place in Regina. Then we can figure out how to get him to you."
Can you believe this? I had to bite my lip real hard to not break down and sob. This is what friends do for each other. I know friends back in Orillia would do the same thing and believe me many have e-mailed wishing they could help in the search.
~another "tear" falls here~


So, we sit tight and hope for the best- tomorrow, next week or the week after. I cannot imagine Doyle being feral and eating goodness knows what. This cat is a house cat and likes things just so.
Then why did he run?
We have no bloody idea. Wish we did. He is so loved that boy.
We will ask the little bugger when we see him...after 1000 kisses first, of course.


Today we drove from Winterpeg to Regina. A hot, sunny Prairie Day feeling in the 30's but no humidity- just heat. Prairie heat and Prairie wind.
Cripes, the wind that blew poor Priscilla all over the place.
Of course, the speed limit is 110 km here in Saskatchewan- same in Manitoba, that's because the Trans Canada is divided with eastbound lanes over there, somewhere to our right. Poor Priscilla could hardly keep the cabin cool today. Driving into a western sun- wow!!


So far, the countryside is easier on the eyes than Northern Ontario's rocks and lakes and trees and...well, read a blog or two back and you'll get the idea.


Manitoba was different too with hardly any evergreens and a lot of leafy green trees.


Then, driving into Saskatchewan there's mostly flatness. You know like the notes in the twang in the song sung by an "old" country singer like- "When Gawd made you, he made a humdinger that only me and my hound dog can love."
One sees many wheat fields.
Lots and lots of wheat fields and some small stands of trees.
In some fields, Cows are dragging their bulky bodies in the midday heat towards a small yet shady tree.
In another, a few magnificent horses graze gently without a care in the world. Nothing like horses in a field next to a busy highway. Makes you wanna slow down and smell the roses or at the very least smell a horse pucky or two and maybe even pick the horse pucky up and fling it in Patrick Brown's direction or that "woman" who is temporarily leading the Ontario NDP into oblivion! ( I added this for the enjoyment of Ontarians reading this Blog. "Go Kathleen").


Closer to Regina we started seeing those old Prairie grain elevators. You've see them in the movies hundreds of times. Here's the movie scene outline:


Country Boy, An obligatory skin shot
~There's this robust, blonde football stud- looks like that fellah in the plaid shirt in Letterkenny, with an ass in tight jeans that just won't quit. He's sucking the face off his cheerleader girlfriend in the back of his Dad's red Ford F-150 out behind the grain elevator on a warmish summer evening in Backside, Saskatchewan. (I really wanted to type "bumhole" Saskatchewan there but it might have been too much!)


Grain Elevator in Sintaluta. Interesting name "Sin-Taluta"
Now, if I were writing this story he's be sucking the face and ***** off a young, solidly-built member of the local wrestling team- who just happened to resemble Hugh Jackman, with whom he was experiencing "mano a mano" for the very first time on a hot, sultry July night not behind but inside the grain elevator.~


Ah...youth and the good old days!!


Back to reality though, you may have seen these elevators on TV with a Town's name emblazoned on the front facing the Trans Canada- like Indian Head, Saskatchewan. You just know there's a story that could be a movie or a Netflix series in the small town just down the road from the grain elevator.


Now, about Ford, or Dodge Ram or Chevy trucks, Hell, everyone is driving a pickup here in Saskatchewan- even Grandmothers. These are not the same Grannies however, that would show you the middle finger while driving in Winterpeg without giving it a second thought. One more thing about Manitoba before I switch back to Saskatchewan, you'll find the towns of both Sidney and Melbourne just off the TC #1.
Who knew?


We noticed too that Gas stations are at a more reasonable distance apart and at a more reasonable price in Saskatchewan and Manitoba than anywhere past Sudbury to the Manitoba border in good old Ontario. Makes you think eh?
Especially about the lack of gas stations- and the price of gas.


I liked the drive- so far at least, through the Province of Saskatchewan after starting the day in Whiny-Pig and heading westward to Regina- The Queen City.
So, far I have not seen one queen- Elizabeth, Drag or otherwise.


Regina Here We Come
I did notice one final thing though.


Remember all those old movies about Rome and the mean old Caesar who had a habit of ordering his soldiers- like Richard Burton, to nail up thieves, Christians and general "pain in the ass citizens" on crosses along the road into town just to set an example to the citizenry?
Well now, all along the Trans Canada you'll find telephone pole after telephone pole- some short, some tall but all in the shape of a cross, lining the railway tracks and the eastbound lanes of the highway.
After looking at hundreds of these poles I thought they resembled what the Main Street into Rome might have looked like- minus the decaying Roman Citizens and Christians hanging on them in the hot Roman sun- back in the day.


Good times eh?
The trip I mean.





Friday, August 18, 2017

ROBBLOG #632 ADDENDUM


I wish I had good news but I don't as of 1pm CDT in Winnipeg.

We have searched and searched but no Doyle. We have extended our stay until Saturday at noon at this West Winnipeg KOA.

If he doesn't come back to us and Priscilla by noon, we will consider him lost and gone forever.

This is breaking our hearts to think of travelling to our new home on the Island without him. Thinking of leaving him behind in this shitty KOA is beyond imagining.

No way for a terrific cat to end his life with us.

I will update this blog with any news.

Send your positive thoughts to us and the universe and we will hope for a happy ending.

Thanks for all your thoughts and kind words...



ROBBLOG #632



Day three or something like that...


The days and events are running into one another.
Today was a long drive from Thunder Bay to a KOA RV Park in West Winnipeg.
It began at 0930 with me in the driver's seat.


It was pouring rain as we drove through Thunder Bay towards the Trans Canada. The rain eventually stopped near Dryden. We happily drove on a relatively freshly-paved Trans Canada past evergreen trees, some stands of birch and lake after lake and rock after rock.
It was spectacular scenery but after a while it repeated itself.
Tree, lake, rock.
Rock, lake, tree.
Birch tree, evergreen, lake...


As we drove along we passed a plaque that told us we had just gone back one hour to CST.
We adjusted our clocks. That was somewhere before Dryden, I think.
While in Dryden we bought gas- again, then did a quick Wal*Mart shop. After a take out lunch at Pizza Hut- as you can see we are eating pretty high on the hog, we got back on the highway heading for Winnipeg.


We drove more than 200 kms between gas stations.
A word of warning.
Don't pass a gas station without topping up or you may find yourself stranded on the side of a lonely stretch of the Trans Canada. Gas prices varied from $1.11 to $1.23.


We saw plenty of signs warning us of the dangers of Moose but never saw one. We did see a cute little chipmunk scurry across the road.
Well, it was something at least!
Further along in Manitoba a lean, handsome wolf trotted along the side of the Trans Canada. That was exciting but still not a moose.


As we eventually passed the provincial border into Manitoba. Tom tried to take a photo of the "Welcome to Manitoba" sign but a truck got in the way. You will have to take my word that there was "Welcome to Manitoba" signage.


Right away we noticed the landscape flattened out. Evergreens disappeared as did the lakes. The space was wide open and the highway separated into East and West traffic. The East traffic somewhere to our left and out of sight.


We needed gas.
What a change! 90.9 at the first station and a kilometre or two further along- we checked Google to make sure there was another station, it was only 88.9
We saved a bit there but gas so far is about $200 a day.
We drive along and passed another plaque which told us we were in the centre of Canada.
Fascinating stuff, eh?


As we drove along the 101 that bypasses Winnipeg we noticed that Winnipegers are asshole drivers.
At least some of them.
The streets are crazy too. No overpasses like we are used to just stop lights and traffic backed up for blocks. We saw a few centre fingers raised- not at us and Priscilla, yet all the same we saw them.


We arrived at the KOA at 8ish.
We connected our services and chatted with folks on either side of us.
You know the usual questions-
"Where are you from?"
"Where are you going?"
"Did you know your husband is Gay?"
Stuff like that.


The Hubbie has gone to bed as I write this. I am dead tired too.
Probably no photos today- not that we took many.
You know why. More of the same:
Tree, rock, tree.
Tree, lake, tree.
Stand of birch, rock, tree, lake, rock etc.


Oh yah.
As I was closing the man-door to Priscilla about a half hour ago our one orange cat- Doyle, bolted for the door and ran outside.
It's black outside. I grabbed a flashlight and called to Tom.
We looked and I found him a two motorhomes over but wait, it's not a happy story yet. As I scooped him up he dug his back claws into my hand and he squirmed free. He ran a few lots away and we couldn't find him this time.


I have left the outside light on.
I hope he will find his way back...but it is so black out there.


I have not given up hope.
I am sleeping by the door.


I will keep you posted.













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...