Sunday, December 20, 2015

At home in Terrace for the winter

Dec. 13, 2015
Yes I know I have been missing and that I should have posted long before this.  To be honest I just didn’t have the heart for it.  Apologies to all of you who read my blog and were wondering what had happened to us. 
Sad story.  Eric’s health has been ultra crummy (how’s that for a medical term!) and we could not travel south this winter.  I will not go into anything in detail but I will say that after many, many medical tests we still don’t know anything about what has been going on.  At this point we do know that he is allergic to some ingredient in steroid nasal sprays and that he is now waiting for a sinus operation that will likely not happen until spring. 
I was just starting to recover from my four year stint with polymyalgia rheumatica and temporal arteritis and then Eric was not well.  We have now been thoroughly reminded that if you don’t have your health you don’t have anything. 
We have not been home for the winter since 2007 so this has been a rude awakening. 

Yes this is lovely but….let’s face it, it’s not the beach!
We live about 20km out of town on a rural property that requires road clearing to get to the highway so it is all a bit complicated in the winter.   We spent 30 years of our life driving the highway in the dark, snow, wind and rain as we travelled back and forth to work and it really isn’t much fun.  At least now we can pick our times to travel and stay home if the weather is too bad. We have had a couple of feet of snow over the past month so it is a winter wonderland.

I will now back up to May when we came home and were both feeling really good.  Eric started the season at home by repairing the undercarriage of the RV (an ongoing nightmare) and then giving it a thorough wash and wax.
Next he tore down the the old goat barn that was next to the house.  One of the first buildings that he put up back in the late 70’s and it was starting to lean.  In addition it had a shake roof and was a fire hazard as it was very close to the house.  I raised and milked goats for almost 30 years and I must say they are the most intelligent of farm animals except for maybe pigs! 

There was a lot more to the building but the wood shed and back lean-to are already gone.  He is using a tiger saw to cut it up and then….
burn it.

 This in the gully beside the house where he can bury the nails when he’s done.


Following this big project we were off to Sorrento, B.C. (not Italy) for a family wedding.  Nephew Spencer’s wedding(Eric’s sister Kathryn/Gary’s second oldest son).  All five Tycho siblings were in attendance and a great time was had by all.

Ian, Eric, Kathryn, Brian and David.

The spouses Chiyoko-David, Linda-Ian, Gary-Kathryn, Kathy-Eric and Fran-Brian.

Spencer and Lindsae.

and one last photo….the cutest of them all.

This is Aubrey our great niece.


Following the wedding we were on our way home.  We had been Jeep shopping on the way to Sorrento and now we were shopping on our way back.  You will remember my aversion to Jeeps from my posts last spring when we were in Kelowna.  But in the end this is what we bought….

We bought this 2015 Jeep Sport in Prince George and I didn’t find it as horrifying to drive as the ones I tried in Kelowna!  Something to do with an upgraded suspension which makes it a little bit more stable.

I drove it back from Prince George and was pretty used to it hopping all over the place by the time we got home.  Looks like a little yellow Tonka toy.  A good second vehicle and Eric set up to tow after we got home in case we ever buy a motor home.  For now it is our back and forth to town vehicle. 

June was the final dance recital for grand daughter Holly as she was graduating and off to UBC in Sept.  She has been dancing since was six and has stuck with it throughout the years.  A huge amount of work and dedication.  She also has a lovely voice and took voice lessons over the years which she added to her dance routines.

Holly in the dark costume.  It was really hard to get photos as flashes were not allowed.  This was held in our local REM Lee theatre.

Second from left with all her friends

The whole troupe.  The tiny ones were just darling and a hoot to watch twirling around.

The senior dance troupe. 
Over the winter months from 2008 to present I have missed most of Holly’s big productions.  A trade off for a winter in the sun.
June was also graduation month for our grand daughter Holly.

Holly and her Mom (Erika our younger daughter).  Holly is a brunette but decided to mix it up a bit for graduation.

Holly with Eric and I at graduation prom and dinner.

Eric and I with Abby (15) Holly’s younger but taller sister!  Why am I always the shortest one?

Holly with her Dad on diploma day.  It was casual for the audience and a scorcher of a day. 
So what else happened this summer well…

I watched Abby ride her horse Friesla at a couple of horse shows.  Abby is as dedicated and hard working with her riding as Holly was with her dance.

Daughter Erika on Eddy and Abby on Friesla.

Erika and Eddy are having a dressage lesson.

I spent the summer gardening and for the first time in 40 years did not have a vegetable garden.  I am revamping and streamlining much of the garden so it was a year without home grown vegetables except for the garlic which was planted last fall.  I didn’t plant any pots or buy any plants which is a first for me. 
Last Saturday I joined daughter Erika, grand daughter Abby and Erika’s niece Lauren for a trip to the Christmas tree farm.  Since we are home for Christmas I want to be involved in as many family experiences as possible.

Lauren, Erika and Abby.

Lots of trees to chose from.  Then the search begins for the perfect tree…not for me.

Success.  Now we just need one more for Lauren. 

Abby’s selfie.

Load er up! 

Still looking for a tree for Lauren.
In the end we got two nice trees and they cost $35. each which is a real bargain in my mind. 
There was hot chocolate, apple cider and donuts on our way out to pay so it was a really nice day.

A winter wonderland.

The RV in it’s winter home with the Jeep snugged in front. 

A Christmas card picture. 

So….from our house to yours Merry Christmas and Happy New Year where ever you are. 

P.S.  - I will make an occasional post if there is anything that I think you would like to see.  As we are on dial-up internet (no other choice except cell internet which is deadly expensive) posting must be done at our daughters.

Sorry this took so long but when I went to post Live Writer which is where I store my drafts was no longer connected to my blog.  It will take awhile to figure that out.  So....I copied the blog and pasted it into my blogger draft account didn't bring the pictures so I had to drag and drop them all in which was a real pain.!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

So where the heck are we ! Well…now we’re in Cache Creek, B.C.

Sorry I lost my focus this week so here it is in a Reader’s Digest Condensed version.

We left Soap Lake, Wash last Saturday, April 25th and arrived in Kelowna around 2:30 pm.  Decent weather, no wind and no trouble at the border.  The border guard was curt and not friendly but he didn’t give us any grief so we don’t care if he was nice or not.  Saturday night we had dinner with Ian/Linda their friends Vince/Ruth/Brenda/Basil and Georgina.  Their friends all spend time in Rincon de Guayabitos, Mexico over the winter and we know some of them from previous visits.  Nice evening.

Sunday was spent visiting my sister Anne who lives in West bank and it was good to see her.  We had a nice lunch and did some shopping. 

Monday and Tuesday were spent shopping for a new Jeep.  We thought it would be a good second vehicle for home and also a good towed vehicle should we buy a motor home.  Good idea but it didn’t work out very well in the end.  Problem….I hated driving them.  Rocky  (kind of like being on a boat in the four door) and unstable and hard to control on the highway in the two door and I just felt unsafe.  I’d probably get used to one in the long run but …. not now.  The problems I had with it are common complaints and add to that the poor gas mileage and high price and well….there you have it. 

Wednesday was a rest day.

Thursday we looked at used motor homes and the only one I liked was a brand new Allegro Bus that cost $400,000.00 so….we didn’t get one!  Still not sure if that is the right thing for us anyway.  More research needed. 

Friday Eric helped Ian put a new outboard motor on his little sail boat (Cal 20) which is down at the yacht club in Kelowna and Linda and I went shopping. 

Today is Saturday and we arrived in Cache Creek at the Brookside RV park around 2pm.  Tomorrow Prince George and Monday Terrace. 

We had a nice visit in Kelowna but it’s time to go home! 

7:30 pm….dinner is done,we are showered and the sun is still shining.  A good day! 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Three days in Soap Lake

So what’s been going on.  Well Tuesday we did the ride to the Grand Coulee Dam and that was good, Wednesday it got cloudy and cold and today it was much the same.  Rats….we’d hoped to do a few more rides on the bike while we were here but….that’s the weather for you. 

Yesterday we drove into Ephrata which is about six miles away and picked up a few things at the Wal Mart.  When we got back Eric decided to go for a short bike ride and ….I opted out.  I went for a walk instead. 

Today…still cloudy and cold so no ride.  Eric loaded the bike as we are leaving for Kelowna tomorrow, I did the laundry, he road his bicycle and that was that. 

I did have a soak in the hot tub before dinner and it was nice.  I also mentioned that the park has a new owner and there are many improvements and upgrades being made.  I will make no comment about the park while it is being redone as that wouldn’t be a fair evaluation.  We like it here and will stay again in the future. 


That’s us up the road.IMG_3589

The new playground equipment by the lake. 

A pretty spot.

Tomorrow …Kelowna and it looks like we could hit rain.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A ride to the Grand Coulee Dam.

It cooled down and was “really” windy overnight. 

This morning it is still windy and cool but at least it’s sunny.  What to do….what to do. 

First off lets talk about the “Smokiam” RV Resort.  The name was apparently changed to an Indian word that is supposed to mean healing waters in the Colville Indian language.  There was a push to rename the lake as well.  Apparently the bid to change the name of the lake failed and it remains Soap Lake.  In my mind Smokiam is  just an unattractive name and….who’s to say the Soap Lake Resort ..a.k.a. as Smokiam RV resort won’t fail again. A big tadoo about nothing.  

So….after lunch we geared up for a motorcycle ride.  Once again without heated jackets we wouldn’t be able to ride at this temperature.  When you are whizzing along the highway at 60miles an hour it’s a lot colder than standing still.

IMG_3554  This link talks about the scenic corridor from Omak, Washington to Othello, Washington.  Soap Lake is at the south end of the Grand Coulee Canyon and we are going to ride up it to the Grand Coulee Dam. IMG_3555

Lots to look at as you ride along. IMG_3556

That’s Lake Lenore on our left as we head north. IMG_3557

Blue Lake is now on our right.


That’s Dry Falls off in the distance.

We continued on through Coulee City and then north along Banks Lake towards the Grand Coulee Dam.


There must have been a lot of blasting to put a road through this mountain of rock.  IMG_3561

That is Steamboat Rock off in the distance. For the history of the geology of the area read this….

Banks Lake is still on our left.  It was created when the dam at Coulee City was constructed.IMG_3563

Coming into Electric city.  IMG_3564

Here just as you enter the town of Grand Coulee you can head east to Wilbur on 174 and then continue on Highway 2 to Spokane. IMG_3565

Grand Coulee.


Grand Coulee Dam. IMG_3568

When we were here a couple of years ago there was a huge amount of water being released….not today. IMG_3569

Just past the dam you enter the pretty little city of ….Coulee Dam. IMG_3571

The town was created in 1933 as a headquarters for the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam.  It was sold to the public between 1957 and 1959.  Immaculately kept and pretty as a picture on the west side of the river.


Over the Columbia River and here we turned around to head back.  You can continue on highway 155 on a scenic route to Omak Washington.  We did that a few years ago but there was a blinding rainstorm and we didn’t see a thing!


Eric thought we should take a look at some of the State Parks and see if we wanted to stay at a future date. IMG_3576

Here we are parked at a Steamboat Park boat launch….illegally!  In all of these parks you are only supposed to enter if you have a Discovery Pass.  $10 a day or $30 for the year.  IMG_3577

Hurry up Eric….we might get caught in here. IMG_3578

Riding into Steamboat Rock State Park.  Turns out there was a free day sign posted so we don’t have to worry about getting fined.  It all seems ridiculous if you just want to have a look. IMG_3579

See that big cut through the rocks….a huge prehistoric waterfall at one time. IMG_3580

The Arrow leaf Balsamroot is in full bloom here.  IMG_3582

A beautiful big state park with full hook ups and over 300 sites. The water at the edge is the Devil’s Punch Bowl which is an inlet on Banks Lake. IMG_3584

Back on the highway heading home. IMG_3585


Lots of farming here and small calves are everywhere. IMG_3587

Coming down from Dry Falls with Park Lake on our left. 

At this point we had a look at Dry Falls State Park.  Not as pretty as the Steamboat Rock State park but nice. 

So….a good day and home by 4pm.