Sunday, April 27, 2014

TRYING TO STAY WARM

One thing I’ve always liked about Southern Ontario is the Spring weather.  This year is an exception though – they had an unusually brutal Winter and Spring doesn’t seem to want to visit quite yet.

Bennie is pretty smart though when it comes to finding a warm spot.

03

I’ve settled in quite comfortably in my Boondocking spot just outside of Hamilton, Ontario.  My ‘Hosts’ are just about the nicest people you’d ever want to meet.  I’ve gotten to know them a bit over the last weeks and have really enjoyed their company.  They seem to know the perfect mix of being very friendly and quite accommodating while not being invasive.  I couldn’t have asked for better.

The property I am on is a HUGE nursery now in its FOURTH generation of being ‘family owned & operated’.  Isn’t that wonderful !

I was given a tour one day and found it immensely interesting.  So much now is automated that once was all done manually.  But still there’s a lot left that just needs to be done ‘by hand’.

I left the tour with this gorgeous plant……well I ‘might’ have hinted that I would love to have one !!  LOL

01

Doesn’t it look lovely on my front dash.

02

Lots of rabbits running around here which I find delightful to watch.  BUT they do leave little mounds of ‘turds’ around – and Bennie thinks they are treats !!!  So I have to watch him carefully in order to stop him from eating them.  YUCK !!

03

With all this cold weather I’m spending a fortune in propane.  Can’t even tell you how many times I’ve filled my BBQ tanks – I use that to refill those little propane canisters for my Mr. Heater(s).

Such a smart guy my Bennie is.

04

It was too cold to even open the window to take this picture – but I sure enjoyed watching them.

01

Another rabbit….

02

I’ve been fortunate to have received five positive responses from the Boondockers Welcome website for longer stays.  This website was originally set up to accommodate folks for an overnight or two – however, naturally it is up to the individual property Owner.

03

Each time I’m out and about I’m always looking for a place to boondock for a longer stay.  Ultimately I’d love to find a place whereby I could settle in for the Summer and not have to move every couple of weeks.  If anyone has any suggestions in that regard please feel free to let me know.

Other than that, I have just been living my life.  I try to cross at least one thing off my “TO DO” list each day – but for some reason that lists doesn’t seem to be getting any shorter !!  LOL

01

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

TV ---- OUT !!

I’ve mentioned several times previously that my rig came with FOUR TV’s !!  Why on earth anybody would want or need FOUR TV’s in their rig is beyond me !  But to each their own.

The TV in the main living area (over the dash) rattles and shakes like crazy when I’m driving.  Drives me nuts.  But this trip North that I-65/69 that I took was really bad and the TV was rattling so much I was beginning to fear it was going to fall down on top of me.

I swore that as soon as I got settled – and had an extra set of hands to help me – out it was coming !!

So when Linda & Guy visited the other day that’s exactly what happened.

03

Certainly didn’t take long to get that baby out.  Four screws went through the bracket into the TV and then there was a strap/screw holding each side to the bracket.  One of these straps was broken off !!

02

OK, So now the ‘easy’ part is done.

01

I taped up all those hanging wires so they won’t go banging around the next time I’m driving.

11

And then I put the 4 screws back into the bracket and taped them there.  If I didn’t do that I’d never find them again.  You see I have a tendency to put things in a very safe place for when I might need them next – never to be able to find them again !!

12

Now what to do with that big awful opening ??  Not being one for an ‘original’ idea, I simply STOLE from what DIANNE & TOM did when they took out their TV.

Off to Michaels I went and got this Foam Board.

14

The width was fine but the height was just a little too long so I had to cut some of it off.

09

“Measure twice – cut once” – At $28.24 for a sheet of this stuff I certainly didn’t want to screw up.

10

All cut to size and now getting ready to use those double sided adhesive strips.

04

I just love these Command products.  I’ve used them in the rig to hang everything I have.  No more nails for me.

05

No doubt way too many strips on it but I wanted to make sure it would hold securely.  This Foam Board is very, very light but better to be on the safe side.

06

VOILA !  DONE !!

07

DIANNE I simply couldn’t resist taking this pic !!  LOL

08

Another job checked off my never ending list of things TO DO.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

WE ARE OH SO “NOT” IMPRESSED

This cold snap has been predicted on the weather websites for awhile now – but SNOW !!??

Yes, woke up this morning to that gawd awful white stuff AND a temp of 32F/0C – with a “feels like” temp of 25F/MINUS -4C.

19

My poor little Arizona girl…..

01

I knew immediately by looking at the solar display screen that I was going to have to get up on the roof and get that snow off the panels.

My fabulous ‘hosts’ here have both 15AMP and 30AMP electrical that they’ve offered to me several times.  I’m just not the type that want to be a bother to anyone and surely not one that is going to impose in any way.

So on the roof I go.  Have you ever been on a skating rink with just smooth soled shoes on ?  Well that’s exactly what the roof was like.  EXTREME caution had to be used.

03

NOT a pretty sight !

04

As soon as I got back into the rig I saw my solar – oh how I LOVE my solar – was doing what it was supposed to be doing.  With the snow off the panels it was now pumping in 8 AMPS of juice.

07

Now 8 AMPS is not a lot – if it were sunny it would be pumping in anywhere from 15 – 20 AMPS but hey I’ll take what I can get.  It is very overcast so I’m surprised it is even pumping in that much.

In no time my battery level went from 12.4 to 13.1.  Several hours later it was at 13.5 – it naturally will not reach a full charge today but all I need is enough to keep my computer and MiFi charged and some juice left for the furnace for overnight tonight.  Tomorrow is going to be another very cold day – but sunny at least.

08

Ms. Daisy is REALLY not happy !!

02A

My little guy know where to be to stay warm !!

05

I’m sure glad I got that extra heater – had BOTH going the entire day !!  I now have the Big Buddy and the Little Buddy !  LOL

“Jeeze Mom, You taking ANOTHER picture of me ??  I’m just laying here trying to get warm !!”

06

A little later the solar was pumping in 10.5 AMPS.

18

By 1:00PM it was still showing 32F/0C – with a “feels like” 19F/-7C.  And going to an overnight low of 21F/-6C.

Tomorrow is gonna be another bitter COLD one – same as today.  But Thursday we will get back to the mid 50’s – which I’m sure will feel downright BALMY !!  lol

SETTLED IN NOW QUITE NICELY

Thanks to BOONDOCKERS WELCOME I was able to secure five different places whereby I can boondock in Southern Ontario for (hopefully) the duration of my time here.  And the ‘plan’ (always jello) is to be in Ontario until I can return to beautiful Arizona again in the Fall.

Bennie really likes it here and is checking everything out.

09

11

My good friends Linda & Guy came to visit and Linda took these pics of the surrounding area.

10

Hey look, I even have my own private swimming pool !!  This body of water is for the Nurseries but apparently the kids swim in it during the Summer.

Very pretty to look at just outside my door.

13

The Owners of this property sure gave me a warm welcome and have even agreed to allow me to stay here for three weeks.

These folks just couldn’t be nicer !  But hey, they are fellow RV’ers (albeit not full-time) and also love to boondock.

I use ‘three weeks’ as my duration time pretty much anywhere as that’s how long I can go before I have to do the tanks.  I gotta move the rig then to deal with that.

15

As you can see by the way I am dressed it still is not warm.  But as the days progressed it actually did warm up a little.  One day we actually had a High of 24C/75F.  I stress “ONE” day.

16

Wait until you see what we woke up to this morning.  I’ll blog about that next !!

Monday, April 14, 2014

VERY BUSY AND VERY EXPENSIVE

This Season’s “return to Canada” has been very busy for some reason ??  Seems like my “To Do” list is not getting any shorter despite crossing numerous things off each day.

And it’s been awfully expensive also.  Gonna take me several months to get back on track !!

05

When crossing the Border with Ms. Daisy I had to pay the GST portion of the taxes.

I arrived in London, Ontario well over a week ago (April 5th) and wanted to get all the ‘chores’ out of the way before I settled into my Boondocking spot.

First order of business was getting ‘connected’ now that I’m back in Canada – Wi-Fi and Cell Phone.  I previously had both for several years now but cancelled both of them early last year when I was in B.C.  The RV Park that I spent all of last Summer at had free (and a great signal) Wi-Fi but the cell phone reception was virtually nil.

And of course now both the Turbo Stick that I had and my Cell Phone were ancient technology.

I went to the local Bell Canada store and purchased a MiFi Device.

04

I wanted to purchase this outright in order to avoid any type of contract.  No contracts for me !!  So far it’s working great.  Very similar to the Verizon MiFi I use in the States whereby you purchase data each month.  When I (hopefully) return to the States in the Fall I simply turn it off.

Next up was a cell phone.  I went to the local Wal-Mart and bought this.

06

I very seldom use a Cell Phone as I make all of my calls using Skype.  But I did want one for emergencies.  So again, I own the phone outright and buy minutes each month as I need them.

Next order of priority business was getting Ms. Daisy’s Safety Inspection done so she can become legal in Canada.  Went to the local Canadian Tire (aka Crappy Tire LOL) to get that done.

09A

She flew through this Inspection – well almost – and the mechanic said he couldn’t believe what great condition she was in for a 1998.  Well she is an Arizona girl after all and of course she doesn’t know anything about things like SNOW or RUST !!

When I say ‘almost’ – they were not going to pass her for the Inspection because of the tires.  Personally I think they just looked at the ‘age’ of the tires and said FORGET ABOUT IT !!  Money grabbers that they are.

WELL I had a WORD OR TWO with them about that and once they realized I kinda knew what I was talking about PLUS the fact that I had had the tires checked previously- they passed it.

Got the paperwork off to NL Motor Registration and this is where the balance of the taxes had to be paid.  Ms. Daisy’s Registration and Plates are on their way to me now.

I ‘may’ have mentioned in my last couple of posts about how COLD it’s been.  Somehow I miscalculated and ended up arriving North two weeks earlier than I had to be.  WON’T make that mistake again.

So off to Canadian Tire again to find something else to heat the rig.  I LOVE my Mr. Heater and it has been quite sufficient up to this point.  I found a smaller version and now I am quite toasty.

01A

The bike stickers were up for renewal so that had to be paid and I needed a new (filled) BBQ Tank.

07080708

And those are just the things I’m remembering right now.

SEND MONEY !!!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

IT WAS A VERY LONG AND COLD 72 HOURS

Thank gawd I had my jig saw puzzles to help pass the time.

05

The first day wasn’t so bad as it was sunny but very cold.  But at least with the sun coming through the front windshield it kept the rig warm enough during the day.

I used that day to putter around the house and do some cleaning.  While vacuuming the cord caught the sugar bowl (yes, the top was off) and that flew on the floor – sugar going everywhere.  More work !!  LOL

Only when I finished cleaning up the floor did I see this:

01

G*R*O*A*N !!  I sure know how to ‘make work’ for myself don’t I !Baring teeth smile

The second day was very cold again but felt colder due to the rain, fog and wind.  I had to run my generator pretty much the whole day and all evening so I could run my electric heater along with my Mr. Heater.

My main concern was trying to keep my little guy warm…

02

I also called the Border people to see if they could process my paperwork early.  NOT A CHANCE.  They have to do some searches to make sure the car wasn’t stolen etc. but the main thing they told me was it was LAW that I had to wait 72 hours after the paperwork was received by them.

03

Yup, I was stuck there for three whole days with my main source of entertainment being watching the price of gas drop on the gas station that was directly in front of me.  When I arrived there it was $3.669 – the next day when I looked out it was $3.659 – a few hours later it was $3.649 and again later in the SAME DAY it was $3.639.

You can see by the next picture how foggy it was.

04

The second day I got on the phone to try and find an RV Park to get myself into so I could have electricity.  My water supply and tanks were fine.  None of them were open – too early in the Season.  As a matter of fact, when one guy answered the Parks phone he was still in Florida !!!

There was a Park I saw while driving around on the ‘sunny’ day that was just up the road from Wal-Mart and appeared to be open.  I left several messages but no return call.

It’s a very dirty time of year anywhere ‘North’.  This is a very common sight.

06

Finally I was able to reach someone the next morning and he said the ground was very soft but I should be able to get in enough not to be blocking the other cars from coming and going.  AND he would only charge me $10.00 as I didn’t need water or sewer.

I got in the car and went there to check it out.  Yup, It was doable.  While there I ran into the wife and she even offered to drive me back to Wal-Mart so I wouldn’t have to hook-up and then un-hook again.

Let me tell you, you never saw anybody get those slides in and move so fast !!

It was still a very long day but at least I was warm and didn’t have to listen to that gawd awful generator noise !!

Finally on the infamous THIRD day I was on the road to cross the Border.

Ms. Daisy sailed through the Border ‘exporting’ and ‘importing’ process and we were on Canadian soil in no time.

07

I’ve been very busy settling back into Canada but I’ll save all that for another Blog post.  It’s been so long since I blogged I figured I’d better get something out there.

08