Tuesday, 19 June 2018

June 10 - 14 Tornado aftermath and more rain

June 10
We woke up fairly early and we still don't have power. Hope it comes back soon, we need coffee in the morning! We looked around the neighbourhood from the house and there is lots of leaves and branches down but no trees that we can see from here. At 8:30 we have power again, yay! Coffee time and then we'll go for a walk around to check things out.
Close to the power poles
A block from our house, closer to the lake

Lots of firewood if anyone has a saw...
My leg is still pretty stiff so I only walked for a short ways but Leslie kept going to get some exercise and see more storm damage. There are plenty of trees down but we haven't seen a ton of damage to houses so I guess that's the bright side. We got about an inch of rain yesterday so there is tons of standing water. Forecast is for more rain and high wind so we'll see how that turns out.
Leslie got back to the house and as promised the rain had started with a moderate wind. I was doing a blog post and we both just had a relax day. Can't do much with the weather like this. Leslie was straightening out our bed and found Smoky, we had let him in earlier this morning and he disappeared....
Pretty happy under the bed, can't hear the wind
We did a second walk later that afternoon during a weather break. Just a short walk to stretch a bit and get some air. Supposed to rain all night and wind to gust to 90 km/h or almost 60 mph.
June 11
Okay, not something I like to discuss but a necessary evil I believe. I have 3 friends that are now fighting or have experienced colon cancer so having a colonoscopy is a good way to detect problems early. My appointment is for 11:30 today and Les is dropping me off at 10 because she has a hearing test in St Paul at 11a.m. I had to do the prep last night and this morning which is the worst part of the whole procedure. Enough said about that. Everything went well and Leslie picked me up afterwards. Her hearing is not too bad and she goes to an ear, nose and throat doctor at the end of July to figure out an ear plugging issue that's been bugging her. We drove home so I can eat. Haven't eaten for 27 hours and I am starving! We both had a relax day inside and I ate lots. The wind is blowing hard and the rain hasn't stopped. Steve and Dianne are still in Edmonton and they are living with their slides closed because of high wind. She still didn't get the lightning she was looking for. Sorry buddy.
Woke up to more rain and high wind again. Supposed to die down today finally. Leslie is cleaning the house and shining everything in case we get a viewing while we're gone. We are packing to go back to Pineridge and then we'll leave first thing tomorrow. Thankfully by the afternoon the weather is way better and we can load up without the heavy rain, still windy but not too bad.
Flattering pic Les!
We got a bunch of stuff in the truck and strapped down for the trip. The basket swing will be nice by our fire pit so we are moving that and the wood stand/firewood. Lots of room with the hitch out. 
June 13
Messaged Steve & Dianne this morning to wish them safe travels. They are leaving for their cross Canada adventures today from Edmonton. Have a great trip and no more problems guys! Check out their blog link to see their trip, no doubt it will be fantastic.
We got on the road by 9'ish headed for PGR (Pineridge Golf Resort) with our load of stuff. Beauty day today. Perfect. We pulled in to our site and right behind us is our cement contractor, Clint. He is here to start work on our garage pad right now! Awesome timing! He's a great guy and his crew works really hard. In 7 hours we went from a big patch of driveway to ready for concrete. Only 3 guys and they had some trouble with the packer. Great work boys!

Boom! Done in 7 hours
Les and I unloaded all the wood and the swing etc. We sat and had a fire and a frosty beverage while the guys worked. Felt a little guilty but soon got over it.
Wood stand and cover and the swing, nice!
Clint and his crew left around 8:30 p.m. They work incredibly long days while the sun is shining. Leslie and I had a nice relaxing evening at the fire. It's nice here when you can just relax. Next year should be great! With that cement pad in place that means we have a garage and deck to build this summer.
June 14
We're heading back to Bonnyville today. We got done what needed to be done here at PGR so back to B'ville and the deck project. We stopped at RV Pub & Grill for breakfast this time. I had a breakfast club sandwich that was really good and Leslie had the traditional bacon and eggs. Top notch food! Worth a stop at this place and we will be back again, no doubt.

I look way too happy but great breakfast
We are not in a hurry today so we came back to PGR and double checked the rig before leaving. We drove through our phase to check out some of the other sites. Everyone is working to get their sites fixed up in the new development. It's going to be so nice in a few short years!
Fresh paint on the new tennis/ pickleball courts

Just across the road from us, community firepit and swings
Things are really coming together here and it's looking so much better. If we could just get the trains to stop blowing the horn at the road crossing.... life is good. (Parkland County is actually persuing a change with CN Rail to install crossing arms at the crossings in the county. If they have arms plus the lights and bells then they don't have to blow the horn. That would be huge here!)
We did some exploring on the way home and drove more north and then east through the town of Morinville. Drove past Villeneuve airport which is surprisingly large for a country airport. They have an old Pacific Western 737 parked off the airfield by the road and I want to get a picture of it. I used to fuel those jets when I was a baggage handler in Penticton in my teens. Cool memory. We had a nice trip home in great weather and when we got home we kicked in gear to prep the front deck for Thompsons Water Seal tomorrow morning. This is a big one that is bugging Leslie because she wanted to do it earlier but we just didn't have time yet. It will improve the look of the house as you walk up by so much. That is if we get another viewing. The market in Bonnyville is so slow it's killing us. Every bit helps we think so we'll kick back tonight and get going first thing tomorrow, but that's another day.

Monday, 18 June 2018

June 6 - 9, 2018 On our own at Pineridge

June 6
It was Steve and Dianne's last night with us yesterday and we were having a pretty good time by the fire. Woke up feeling like maybe there was Fireball shots?? We didn't get out of hand but sure glad we aren't doing the walk/run thing this morning. We messaged them and they are getting their rig ready to move so we'll just let them work while we have coffees and breakfast.
At around 11:30 we all got together outside for big hugs and handshakes to say good bye for what may be a long time. Our paths might not cross until winter in Arizona actually. They aren't going far today, just to Kinsmen RV in St. Albert, a nice park right on the edge of St Albert. 
Earlier this morning I (Dave) did a Google search for physiotherapists in Stony Plain. I want to confirm what Leslie had found online and make sure my calf injury was nothing worse than a pull/strain. I managed to snag a cancellation at Landmark Physio for 2:20 pm. Perfect. I did a blog post while Leslie cleaned the trailer, injured is good so far! We went to Stony and I got the news I had hoped for, Colleen (the therapist) did a full assessment and said she believed it is a muscle strain and told me some stretches to do and that I should be good in 4-6 weeks. Helping crew Ailsa's race should be a go as long as I don't re-injure. In other words, take it easy for a few days. After the appointment Leslie treated me to a nice lunch at Edo across the parking lot. Thanks Les! On the way home we did a scenic tour to the dock at Seba Beach, beauty day and the water looked so nice.

Don't push!

June 7
Today we had a couple easy things to do, well I do, Leslie is shovelling a pile of gravel over the fabric we put down between our trailer and the neighbours site. She planted some shrubs before so now she can put gravel over the cloth.
Shrubs planted, very nice

Gravel pile moved and cloth covered, nice
I weed whipped and while Leslie was shovelling gravel she also took some laundry over to the laundromat onsite. Multi-tasker! We don't take it real easy for long I guess. We went back inside and started packing our stuff to head back to Bonnyville this afternoon. First we want to go over to RV Pub & Grill on the highway to Seba. The food is great and they have a nice patio, a great spot for lunch today. It's a true Mom and Pop shop because the folks that run it are serving and cooking. Really good food, check it out if you're in the area. Oh and they have a driving range and campground too!
Nice patio and a Corona!
Such a nice day we put the top down on the Mustang

We headed back to the rig and packed everything into the 2 vehicles, made sure the trailer was secure for a few days and got on the road to Bonnyville. More grass to cut and yardwork! On the way home it was impossible not to see the devastation caused by the tent caterpillars in this area. Absolutely unbelievable!! The province really needs to start spraying for these things. This is year 5. I should have stopped for the picture but didn't. Shows some of the trees completely stripped of leaves.
There are 100's of acres of trees like this, unreal to see.
June 8
We've been gone for over a week and the lawn is tall. Lots of rain and lots of sun now and it's growing great. After a good breakfast we both headed out to mow and weed whip. Les doesn't like being on the slopes on the tractor so I usually do the edges and then we trade and she mows the flatter areas with the tractor while I walk around with the weed whipper. If we work together we are usually done in about 6 hours! Somebody please buy our acreage!
We got everything done and had a break and noticed a few clouds building to the west. Hmm looks like a good ol' Alberta thunder storm. Where's Dianne? This is what she is waiting for.
Dumping lots of rain

After it passed, getting it at Paul's house
We're done for today outside so make some supper and chill out in the basement sounds like a good plan. My leg is getting better but I can feel it after all the yard work. 
June 9
Leslie is working in her flower beds this morning, they look nice when everything blooms for sure. All perennials so we hope it is a extra thing for buyers to consider. I did some cleanup around the yard and when Leslie was ready we went over to Howard's place to pick up our walk behind rototiller. The trees in our little tree farm are big enough now that I can't go down the rows with the Kubota anymore. Paul wants to borrow it too after we're done. It worked good of course but my calf got a good shot while hanging onto the tiller. Enough work for today! We need to get ready for a party this afternoon for Warren & Corrine. It's their 50th birthdays and their 30th anniversary all in one!! Should be a great time.
We headed over to their place around 4:30. They own a quarter section about 5 km's from our house so it was a quick drive. We greeted a bunch of people with hugs and handshakes as there are a bunch of folks we haven't seen since last year. Warren had 2 big tent shelters set up in case of rain and one of them had the food set out while the other had tables and chairs, nice set up. We opened a beer and were enjoying visiting when everyone started commenting on the sky and the clouds. There was a lot of movement in the clouds. Both east to west and north to south, there was a tornado warning for our area and one had touched down about 60 km's away already. We all kept an eye on the sky now.
 Getting dark and moving fast
Watching and waiting to see if we have to move
Well it got worse, way worse. Both tents had to come down and everyone scrambled to get food inside the trailers and get their awnings down also. The white tent got hit hardest. We got the tarp off the blue one in a hurry but the poles on the white tent were all bent and the tarp ripped in places before we got that one down. It's in the trash now unfortunately. Leslie and I went over to our truck and we had to move it because the poplar trees behind us were bending and cracking threatening to fall on the truck. That's when I heard the fellow parked beside us say "we have rotation right above us!" It's a real tornado!! In Bonnyville! Well instead of moving the truck we decided to drive home fast. Margaret is home by herself and the cat is in the garage, weird thoughts maybe but we wanted to get home fast. I wanted my truck in the garage out of the hail that had started coming down. It was a crazy unreal drive! Couldn't hardly hear what Leslie was saying in the truck between the rain and hail, the wind was pushing us around and I was going as fast as I could to get in the garage. Exciting but scary at the same time.
Hardest rain we've ever seen

Holy crap!!!
When we did get home the power was out so the garage door wouldn't lift. I pushed it up manually and Les drove the truck inside, we were soaked and getting hit by hail, not cool. Smoky was freaking out in the garage and ran in the house the second the door opened. He went under our bed and stayed there. Margaret was REALLY happy to see us and we all just stood there and watched the storm happen. Thankfully it was not a major tornado but there was plenty of damage between Bonnyville and Cold lake (about 50 kms north)
Hail piling on the deck
It was over in about a half hour after we got home. Luckily no damage at our house but we have some branches and debris to clean up, too easy. Lots of rain fell in a very short time and hail is piled by the front door, that's never happened before. Our front porch is 8 feet deep, hail was flying sideways to get to the door.
All the way in under the porch overhang

Plants took a beating
We don't know when the power will come back on and everything is settled down in our area so we messaged Paul & Di to see what was going on at the party. Everyone had gathered at Warren's parent's house to have dinner there. So nice of them to have everyone over to their house. They have a nice large kitchen/dining room and a sun room that seats many people. Good food and great people, we're awfully lucky really.
We ate way too much but it was so good. I couldn't decide on the carrot cake or the chocolate cake so of course I had both, absolutely stuffed. Leslie had more willpower and had only chocolate cake. She's so strong lol!
Everyone slowly moved back to the original party spot for a fire and some adult beverages but Leslie and I decided to call it a night. We drove to the fire area but there were huge puddles from all the rain and the mosquitos were feasting on us. We said our good byes and drove back home for a quiet night with no power. It was quite a day with all the storm stuff and we're tired so we called it a night and went to bed. Hopefully that's it for bad weather for a bit.