A Tribute To Neil Diamond … Or Maybe Not

We have done the finishing touches on the outdoor kitchen and are really happy with how it turned out 🙂

Another awesome sunset 🙂

We have hosted a few informal happy hours … you know the ones where people stop by and you end up spending a few happy hours visiting … yup that is the life of snowbird whether you are in a park or out in the desert.

Tonight we went to a Neil Diamond tribute concert and I was really excited to go! So after the egg game, where we didn’t win anything 😦 we headed home for a quick dinner then up to the ballroom for the concert.

Well it didn’t start off very good, the sound was terrible and I couldn’t tell whether it was the singer or the music, or a combination of both but it was so disappointing. After a few comments from the audience the singer adjusted some of the sound and it started to get better … or maybe the gin and tonic I took with me was starting to kick in 🙂

Anyway the guy played for two hours and some of his songs were good, but he also played a lot of Neil Diamond songs that I have never heard of. We stayed until the end to get our $10.00 per ticket worth but I think I will play Neil Diamond off my playlist when I walk tomorrow and be happier with the real Neil Diamond music that the concert.

Although I do have an overwhelming urge to watch Jonathan Livingston Seagull again and hubby informed me he had it so I think that will happen before the weekend is over 😀

I watched this little guy one morning while I was making breakfast, I think he was contemplating climbing the stairs to Maxx so that he could reach those yummy green leaves but a golf cart drove by and scared him off.

Until next time …

A Little Of This, A Little Of That

We had a mixed bag this past week with lots of fun and some really sad news.

Let’s start with the sad news. At the end of November I wrote about a blogger friend who found out he had Cancer and sadly this past week his battle ended and he moved on to his next adventure. George Yates, who wrote the blog Our Awesome Adventures, always had a smile on his face and a positive outlook on life. He wrote loving of his wife Suzie and his children and grandchildren. George would walk early in the morning like I do and I often think of him when I am out walking. It is hard to believe that such a happy, positive man is gone so soon.

Rest in peace George, you are gone to soon but will be love and missed by so many.

After we built Momma Shed here at Cocopah a few years ago we thought we might add a small outdoor kitchen … mainly because we were missing the outdoor kitchen from our old house.

I also wanted somewhere to store our generator, propane fireplace, and extra leveling pads that sit under the back of Maxx and I think look junky. Of course that meant another project for hubby but, fortunately for me, he was up to the challenge and thus the outdoor kitchen came to be.

The counter along the back will be a space for serving and the angle counter to the right will hold our little Webber BBQ.

The picture above shows the dry fit for our Mexican sink, cause an outdoor kitchen needs a sink with running water … and an outdoor kitchen in the south needs a Mexican sink 😀

In the midst of our building frenzy we took time out to attend the Cocopah Horse Races where we had a fun time and walked away $10.00 ahead!

By Friday afternoon hubby had most of the outdoor kitchen complete and I think it looks great … and it has already hosted a few happy hours.

We spent Friday, Saturday and today with friends from home who came to visit us. We had a great time and lots of visits which included margaritas in Algodones today and a steak with fresh shrimp dinner tonight. It was so much fun to share our life here with our good friends!

We have lots going on this week and more friends from home arriving next week … life just keeps getting better.

Until next time …

A Peek At Our Christmas Present

It took a few days longer than promised but our newly recovered furniture arrived home Sunday afternoon. It was ready Sunday morning but Canada was playing Russia for the gold in the World Juniors Hockey tournament and I wasn’t leaving until the game was over … and just in case your interested it was a heck of a game, it wasn’t looking good for Canada but in the end we came away with the gold 😀

But back to the furniture … we are really pleased with the results, well we were a little disappointed with the couch but hubby fixed what we didn’t like. The original couch cushions were attached and we had asked the upholsterer to make two separate cushions so that we could rotate them. He did that but had some trouble hiding the hinges, which is why it took a few extra days.

This is what the couch looked like before.

This is what it looked like when we got it home … not a fan of the big gap below the cushions or the white fabric showing behind the hinges.

But hubby to the rescue! He flipped the white fabric over and used the darker fabric on the other side and made it smaller so it didn’t hang over the hinges. He also added more stuffing into the panel below the cushions and voilà it looks so much better.

We didn’t notice how bad that area of the couch looked until we had it set up inside Maxx and I’m sure we could have taken it back and had the upholsterer fix it up but having hubby do it was just easier. It’s not easy getting it in and out of Maxx and we are really lucky to have such a great neighbour who just shows up anytime heavy lifting needs to be done 🙂

The chairs before … notice how orange the fabric was, I never really liked that.

And the new chairs, I like this colour much better.

We had the foam replaced in both the chairs and the couch and right now it is really hard, I feel about three inches taller when I sit in my chair, but I’m sure it will soften up in time.

And the dollars and cents … well it wasn’t cheap but buying new furniture wasn’t going to be cheap either and it would not have fit in as well as our existing furniture so we are happy with the just shy of $2,000 (gulp USD) that we spent. Hmm maybe this will be next years Christmas present as well.

Until next time …

Hello Flip Flops, I Missed You

I started 2020 by ditching my winter boots and putting on my flip flops and just like that winter was gone 🙂

We had a great time at home with our daughter and her family and I already miss being with them but they are heading to Mexico tomorrow for ten days so there really was no point in staying longer. We also had great visits with my sister and friends which all made the two weeks fly by!

A generous pile of snow greeted us Tuesday morning as we headed to the airport but it was to dark to get any pictures. Fortunately our flight got out with only a short delay but I did hear that many others were not so lucky.

We had another delay on the runway as our plane was de-iced.

That delay did have us hoofing it from one side of the Vancouver Airport to the other side to catch our flight to Palm Springs but we made it … but not with enough time to have the breakfast we planned to eat in Vancouver 😦

By late afternoon we were at hubby’s cousin’s place enjoying a New Years Eve drink and a yummy steak dinner. Most years we spend New Years Eve driving home from the airport in Phoenix so it was nice to get into Palm Springs early and celebrate with a great group of people instead of siting in the truck driving back to Yuma.

Certainly a different end to the day than the start of the day!

New Year’s Day we drove back to Yuma and found a new route, there was hardly any traffic and it shaved almost a half hour off our drive.

We are not fans of driving through El Centro, CA to connect up with I-8 since it is a long stop and go drive through town, so a few years ago we found a turnoff before El Centro that took us into Holtville and then onto I-8. That route has worked well for us but this time we decided to drive down the east side of the Salton Sea for some different scenery.

Our plan was to join up with our regular route near Brawley, CA but as we drove through Calipatria, CA hubby noticed a sign that said Holtville, CA so we made a left and a new … and better … route was born.

Once we arrived back at our winter home and caught up on the news with our neighbours we unpacked our suitcases and head out for groceries. I was surprised that the grocery stores were opened, at home they are all closed on New Years Day, but it was nice to be able to pick up a few things to keep us going for a few days.

And we are back to desert sunsets 🙂

I will leave you with a quote I read and really liked …

With each New Year we get a fresh, clean page to start over. Here’s hoping that life writes a beautiful new chapter for all of you this year.

From our house to yours Happy New Year and safe travels in 2020!

Until next time …

Out For A Sunday Drive

So I have to back this story up to last Thursday when we joined a group of my FedEx (ex federal government) co-workers for a potluck. As luck would have it a bad storm was a brewing and the flakes were just starting to come down when we arrived at 4:00 pm.   A great time was had by all but by 7:30 pm we all headed out because the snow was heavy and showing no signs of stopping.

Hubby brushed the snow off around the driver’s door of our rental car, which was parked out on the street, and I went to open the door to start the car and warm it up. Can you sense something is about to happen?   Well if you did, you were right 😦  I couldn’t get the door to open and my heart sank, I just knew there must be damage on the front fender. Sure enough hubby brushed off the snow and we found somebody hat hit us, and of course just took off!

So sad ☹

Didn’t look any better the next day ☹

We spent the remainder of the evening on the phone with the RCMP, ICBC, and trying to get in touch with Budget but had no luck. The next day we took the car back to Budget to report the damage and get another car since we couldn’t open the driver’s door because of the damage, and hubby was tired of climbing over the passenger seat to get in and out.

Still lot’s of snow the next day!

We traded that car for a car with snow tires so we could go down to the coast for a few days to see hubby’s mother. Nope, two days of bad winter storms had Kelowna cut off from travel in any direction out of the valley. The storm finally past Saturday evening so Sunday morning hubby said “let’s go for a drive” 🙂

I sent my pilot car out an hour ahead of us, aka my sister and family, to scout out road conditions for us. No I didn’t do that, they were heading down to Vancouver Island for Christmas and just happen to be travelling the same day as us.  Since they were ahead of us she kindly sent me road condition updates and I have to say they were bang on … thanks sis!

The first part of our drive was good and it was nice to see the sun and it really did look like a winter wonderland 😀

There was definitely signs of the previous storm but for the most part the roads weren’t to bad and we even got to see a celebrity on the Coquihalla!

Jamie Davis towing from the TV show Highway Thru Hell.

And they were working hard. Hubby saw the cameraman with them so I’m guessing we may see this footage on the next season.

We are not sure when that semi went off the road but just after we passed it the road narrowed down considerably!

We had single lane traffic for awhile.

But it was very pretty.

Once we came down off the Coquihalla the roads were great and after a visit with hubby’s mom in Abbotsford we drove into Langley to spend the night with hubby’s brother and sister-in-law.

Along the way we were treated to a very pretty sunset.

We had to park a little way away from their condo but the walk took us by some nicely decorated houses.

I liked this one because the green tree looked like a cactus from a distance.

These guys even had music playing, but fortunately for the neighbours it wasn’t very loud.

Until next time …

We Are Home 🙂

We arrived at our daughter’s place around 4:30 p.m. PST yesterday afternoon and we were exhausted. We left hubby’s cousin’s place just before 6:00 a.m. PST and arrived home ten and a half hours later … a really long day for basically a normally three hour flight.

Usually we can get a direct flight from Phoenix, AZ to Kelowna, BC but this year, maybe because of the whole MAXX 8 issue, all the flights, from airports around Yuma, ended up having a stop either in Seattle, WA or Vancouver, B.C. or Calgary, AB.

Snow in Calgary … it was dark by the time we arrived home but we do have about the same amount of snow on the ground at our daughter’s house 🙂

We ended up with the absolute worst seats on our three hour flight from Palm Springs to Calgary, AB. We were the second to last row on the plane, in an aisle seat across from each other… constantly dealing with people lining up for the washroom and bumping and prodding us so they could get by, I even had one guy grind his private parts into my shoulder so the flight attendant could get by … at least I’m choosing to believe it was because he had to let the flight attendant by.

We don’t spend money to get pre-assigned seats so we had no expectation of great seats but we travel with WestJet all the time, and since I have set my preferences, we have always been assigned a window and a middle seat. I know there are people who prefer the aisle seats but we don’t because of the sometimes constant up and down to let seatmates out. We were willing to suffer through it this time, because again we didn’t spend the money to get better seats, but I’m am concerned about our return flight. WestJet usually assigns the same seats back as you had in the beginning and I don’t want to have the same experience on our way back to Palm Springs … we may have to fork out some extra money for better seats 😦

And to top it off when we arrived in Calgary and were impressed with the International terminal and the domestic terminal only to have our flight gate change to a gate down in the bowels of the airport! Seriously they need to make their customers feel like they are better than an after thought barrack out on the tarmac … and our flight was delayed an hour so we got to spend more time in the bowels of the airport!

This picture is for our neighbours in Yuma, their house is down their on the shores of Kalamalka Lake.

All was forgotten, okay apparently it wasn’t since I wrote about it, once we arrived at our daughters and received those warm squeezy hugs from excited grandchildren who were out the door in a flash when we arrived 🙂

After a great dinner I went with our daughter and family to the ice rink in downtown Kelowna to enjoy some hot chocolate and Christmas caroling.   I even won two free adult tickets to one of our movie theatres because of my new sparkling Christmas hat! I think our grandson’s help me win that since I had given them each a hat as well … sorry I forgot to take pictures of the hats.

The spirit bear

And then we head home for a visit and some much needed sleep!

Until next time …