My grandfather’s pet moose

I found out today my grandfather had a pet moose 😲 Why have I never heard this before? And what is the story behind said pet moose? To answer my questions I had to reach out to my relatives.

That man in the photo is my grandfather and the women is a stranger who was driving by, saw my grandfather in the yard with the moose. She stopped and asked if she could get her picture taken with the moose.

Apparently grandpa had a lot of tourists coming by to see this pet moose. Someone offered to buy it but despite being a “pet” is was still very much a wild animal.  My mother said it was aggressive with her and her siblings so her father decided never to part with it for fear it would attack someone.

My grandfather kept the gangly legged youngster in the barn at night. One morning when he went to let it outside he found it dead. Someone went in the back door of the barn and poisoned it.

Turns out to be a sad ending to what could have been a great story

Missing My Family

I’m feeling a bit blue today. I miss my children, my parents, and my sisters. When this is all over I’d like to have a family reunion. The whole family including, nieces and nephews.

Very thankful we live in the age of technology, video chat is so much better than a phone call. I miss them all so very much.

My oldest daughter lives in Montreal, Canada. She has been laid off work and is self-isolating in her apartment. She lives alone and I worry how she’ll handle no social interaction. She is used to being around her co-workers and friends and this may be very difficult for her.

My middle daughter has been travelling for the past 2+ years. I mentioned in an earlier post that she had left Beijing for Phuket. Her visa ran out so she has hunkered down in Koh Rong Sanloem, Cambodia. The virus hasn’t arrived there and I hope it never does.

My son, the youngest, lives in New Brunswick. He is still working but that could change at any time. He lives with his father and is well outside the city limits. A good place to be during this crisis. He’ll still be able to get outside for fresh air and vitamin D.

I video chat with my parents. I haven’t seen them in three years and I miss them so much. They have trouble with the screen and sometimes I can only see part of their face but a part is better than none at all.

The Whole Family Gathering

The Whole Family Gathering – Vector

 

Worries Rise with Every New Case

Good news, my daughter has been tested and she does not have the virus. I can be thankful for that.

I am worried, with the presumptive 2 cases now in San Jose del Cabo, that my chances of getting this virus has just gone up.  I’m worried about not just myself but my husband, my children, and my parents. I am greatly saddened that I may never see any of my family again, not my parents, not my siblings and not my children. I don’t want to get this virus here in this country.

I read this on the web… “Still it’s hard to know that someone you love is dying, but you cannot give them the only comfort you’d wish: your touch; a few loving words; your presence beside them as a kind of last thanks for all the times that they, as a parent or grandparent, brother or sister, stood beside you during the challenges and passages of life.”

On verge of tears a lot, my eyes well up, but I hold them back. I sometimes consider leaving this place whether he wants to come with me or not. However, those thoughts come at dark times, when I’m missing my family the most.

We went to town today. First to the bank, then the pharmacy and finally to El Sol 2. One of the workers at El Sol was sick and coughed – she was sniffling the last time we were there too – that freaked my husband out. We use hand sanitizer as soon as we get in the car. Hubby said he’s not going there again until we run out of supplies. Money is put into a baggie.

When we get home shoes are removed outside, clothes are taken off and placed in the washing machine, as is my purse and the shopping bag. We immediately take a shower. Then we wipe down our purchases with Clorox wipes, wipe down the door handles, spray our shoes with 70% rubbing alcohol and bring them inside.

I told my daughter she needs to go back to Canada. If I catch this there is a good chance I will die from it and she’d be stuck over there (southeast Asia) with no money. Her reply was she can get a job at the tattoo shop in Bali and return to China when she’s able to go back. Oh, to be young and have no fear. I actually had no fear of this virus until it hit Italy. When it arrived there, I knew it would spread to North America.

I face-timed with my parents today. Was nice to see their faces and talk with them. They are both in good spirits and healthy. I wish I lived near them so I could do their shopping. I worry about my mother as she is in the highest risk category (83, diabetes and heart disease). My father (86) still works part time 6 days a week and exercises every day. He could probably beat the illness if he were to get it.

coronavirus worries

Got My Daughter Out of China

Good news! I finally convinced my daughter to leave China. I was able to book her a flight to Phuket, Thailand. Since she is now out of a job my husband and I will have to support 100% for the time being. You have no idea how relieved I am that she is out of there. Here is her post on Facebook:

“Ooooook. So after a long few weeks I’ve finally made the decision to get out of China for a while. I’ve seen health quarantines, men blocking off entire communities wearing hazmat suits carrying guns, had my temperature taken countless amounts of times, saw over crowded clinics, and scarce sections of grocery stores and markets and all I can say now is that I believe in you China. Things have to get worse before they get better, and this girl is gonna wait that out on a beach somewhere so my friends, parents, and grandparents can be at ease. Beijing, I WILL be back for you.”

 

Living in China During the Coronavirus Outbreak

My daughter has been living in China teaching English. She arrived in Beijing on January 5, 2020. Then this contagious virus starts going around China. An entire province is quarantined.

I spoke with my daughter last night. She’s very bored but doing fine. She said they take her temperature every time she goes back into her apartment building. There isn’t much open in Beijing but the Western-style grocery store is still well stocked. She no longer travels on the subway and wears a mask whenever she ventures out.

I am trying to convince her to leave but she is hesitant as things seem fine in Beijing. As a parent I am worried she will catch this highly contagious virus.

Glamping in La Ventana

Two of my children came to visit us for Christmas. They are young adults and we decided instead of a lot of gifts we’d give them an experience to remember for the rest of their lives. I told them to pack clothes for 2 nights and a swimsuit, and explained we were going on a fun adventure without telling exactly what.

Christmas Eve morning we rented a UTV from Black Sheep Motor Sports in Todos Santos and headed across the Baja peninsula. Being two smart kids they guessed we were going to The Sea of Cortez but they didn’t know we were “glamping” for two days.

UTV

Our ride across the desert

We were headed to La Ventana. La Ventana (English “The Window”) is named for the ‘window’ to the Gulf of California. La Ventana Bay is well known for consistent north winds that blow from November to April, and is considered one of the world’s top kiteboarding destinations and home to over one hundred species of cactus.

Ryan, the owner of BSMS suggest we stay at Chilochill and honestly it couldn’t have been a more perfect spot. After about 3 hours diving through the rugged terrain we arrived the afternoon of December 24. The crystal-clear waters between La Ventana and Isla Cervalo were chockfull with a ton of kite surfers, I later found out there were 300.

Kites

So, what does glamping actually mean? Glamping is glamorous camping = Glamping. It’s the best bits of camping – crisp night air, proximity to nature but not having to ditch ALL of the comforts of home. You’ll find yourself in the lap of luxury. Queen size beds, wifi, hot showers, oh how the list goes on and on. Really I could never have imagined the ultimate luxury that was awaiting us inside the small yurt tent. Each yurt had its own private bathroom with HOT water. There was a small outdoor bar and a campfire pit which made the trip even more fun.

It was when the sun went down that things got unexpectedly beautiful. Above us was the most incredible mass of stars I’ve ever seen. Clusters so bright that I thought they could only exist in pictures scattered the sky and it was this moment that stays with me forever.

Chilochill

Ryan at BSMS recommended we visit the hot springs near Chilochill. So Christmas Day we set off to find the hot springs or hot water beach. Just down the road from La Ventana, in El Sargento are natural thermal hot springs where you can enjoy free hot water right at the beach, just between the reach of the high and low tide at the beach. We all tried digging but never managed to find the hot water. We still had a great day at the beach, swimming and looking for shells. All-in-all in was a fantastic way to spend Christmas.

The experience was so much fun and a real adventure. I’d recommend it to anyone.

The Journey to Mexico

the-journey-to-mexico

My husband retired early and I quit my job in order to fulfil a lifelong dream of escaping the cold Canadian winters and live in a warm climate.  We rented out our house and moved to Mexico for a year. After the year is up we may decide to stay in Mexico or travel on to another destination. I have decided to write about my journey and my new life adventure.

Moving to another country and starting over is one of the most terrifying yet exhilarating adventures ever. Life as I know it will change – and I’m not just talking addresses and laundry detergent. I’m well aware that everything won’t be a fairy tale. There will be challenges, but also rewards. It’s something that if I don’t do it, I will always regret it.

I gave most of my clothes to my local homeless shelter, sold or junked most of my possessions, except for a few totes of important things that I have put into storage, and sold 2 out of 3 vehicles.

My husband, myself and 2 cats drove from Alberta, Canada to Todos Santos, Mexico. And what a drive it was! It took five days, with the cats yowling constantly for hours.

Day 1 – October 26:  Morning temperature was 3°C. Left Fort McMurray, Alberta at 3:59 PM arrived in Edmonton at 8:15 PM. Will stay here 2 nights to visit with my husband’s sons and their families.

Cats are not sure what to think as they have never been in the car and not been in the carriers. Peko crawled into a carrier that had an open door. Reever keeps going between the back, which has litter box, water & beds. They yowled everyday for 3-4 hours non-stop before finally going to sleep.

Cats in Car

Day 2 – October 28: Morning temperature was 6°C. Left Edmonton, Alberta at 9:00 AM arrived in Helena, Montana at 6:00 PM.

usbordercrossing

Day 3 – October 29: Morning temperature was12°C. Left Helena, Montana at 6:35 AM arrived in Cedar City, Utah at 6:30 PM.

Passing through the state of Utah. I expected prairies but there really was no flat land, all mountains. I can see why the USA is called America the Beautiful. The never ending landscape is breath taking.

Day 4 – October 30: Morning temp of 9°C. Left Cedar City, Utah at 7:35 AM arrived in Saint Felipe, Mexico at 8:35 PM.

Crossing the border went much better then I expected. I had purchased my Mexican Tourist Visa online and printed it off. The border agaent did ask to see the receipt, very thankful I had printed it too. AFter stamping the visa we were on our way.

He never even asked about the cats which was a little disappointing after spending hundreds on vaccines and certified health certificates. Better safe than sorry though.

mexicanborder

Day 5 – October 31: Morning temp of 23°C. Left Saint Felipe, Mexico at 8:00 AM arrived in Loreto, Mexico at 8:00 PM.

This leg of the journey was arduous. There were many detours due to road damage from two hurricanes earlier in the fall. There were washouts and bridges completely destroyed. The detours were just dirt paths. Then there was the winding roads up and down mountains. We drove our Jeep and I cannot imagine driving that part of the journey in an RV.

bridge

roaddamage

 

washout

Day 6 – November 1: We decided to stay here an extra night in Loreto, our bodies needed a break from sitting in the car, hour after hour, day after day. Spent the day exploring around Loreto. It’s a quaint little city of 13,000. I think the cats & humans alike are happy to just relax after a crazy day.s in the car.

catsinmexico (1)

Day 7 – November 2: 19°C Left Loreto, Mexico at 6:53 AM arrived in Todos Santos, Mexico at 12:35 PM. After driving over 5000 kms we finally arrived at our destination.

todossantos

 

The Man Cold

the-man-cold

Guess what?! Yesterday my husband woke up with a cold. Not just any cold though, a MAN COLD.

What’s the difference between a cold and a man cold you ask? Well let me tell you.

A cold is what we normally know as a stuffy/runny nose, cough, a few aches.

A man cold is all that plus a whiny, grown man who can’t quite grasp why he feels so awful. He feels like he’s dying and the world is coming to an end because he feels so terrible.

A man cold isn’t fun, especially for wives. You’d think the man was on his death-bed or suffering a horrific illness. Nope just a cold. But, a man cold because you know, men can be such babies.

Fire!

Fire! Not something I ever expected to happen to my house  but that’s what happened exactly two weeks ago today.

When my husband and I arrived home from work my daughter was in the process of cutting veggies for her dinner. Hubby grabbed a beer and I got a glass of wine and we headed out to the deck to relax away from the sounds of my daughter chopping.

We had only been outside for about two minutes when hubby said, “She’s burning the house down in there!” I turned my head and smoke was billowing out the patio door. We jumped up and ran inside and were horrorfied. My daughter had put a pot of oil on the stove to heat and went back to chopping veggies. Needles to say it caught fire. I looked for a cover to put on the pot but not finding one I grabbed another pot and tried to snuff out the flames. Since it was not a tight fit the oil continued to burn. I told my husband to grab the baking soda but, being a man who is not familiar with baking, he couldn’t quickly locate it. When I removed the pot my daughter did the unthinkable – she poured water on the flames! At this point the microwave was melting and the cupboards near the burning pot were turning black. My thought process was to get the pot away from the wood cabinets before they caught on fire. So I grabbed the burning pot and took it to the patio. I could smell my hair burning and knew my face was burned. My husband couldn’t find the baking soda but grabbed baking powder instead. I told him to put it on the flames anyway. It worked.

We went inside to survey the damage. The house was filled with smoke. I went to the bathroom and luckily my hair was just badly singed and my face only a little red. No one seriously injured. The house on the other hand is.

The disaster clean up crew got to work the night of the fire and are still at it.

The actual fire only damaged one cabinet, the microwave, range and counter. The smoke damage is more disastrous as the fire itself.  Every item and object in the house is cleaned, down to the last pencil, by the disaster workers. Every item is put on an inventory list, even down to a stick of  butter and a chicken drumstick in the fridge. Our central air ducts have to be sealed by HVAC pros. All the walls and ceilings on my main level and upstairs have to be cleaned, sealed and repainted.  All carpets, the sofa/love seat, and mattresses/pillows need to be replaced. We lost all the food in the fridge/freezer plus all food in the cupboard that were in boxes or plastic. I also lost an entire collection of spices. Luckily we have full replacement value insurance.

The insurance company is providing a condo for us to stay in but I just want to go home. It will be at least three more weeks before the house is livable.

Below I’ve included a video that  you MUST watch.  It’s very short… but it shows what can happen if you put water on a kitchen grease fire.  I was so very lucky!

Message To My Daughter

Letter to my daughter

My wonderful daughter… today you board your flight to Bali, Indonesia. You have made the decision to go abroad to volunteer with those less fortunate than you. There are few things more noble and rewarding in this life. I would be lying if I said I won’t worry about you because I will. I am so proud of you for being strong and independent, for working hard for what you want in life. Go be amazing, be brave, be bold, be courageous, be adventurous because you are meant to discover, to learn, to experience it all. On a practical note, don’t do stupid things over there. Everything you do has some sort of consequence. Please understand that even though you are 19, you are still very young and inexperienced in many things so think twice before doing anything—come to think of it, think three times to be safe. Everyone gets duped at some time or another. Please be careful. Be aware of people who might take advantage of you because they have some personal hidden agenda. Be safe. Have Fun. And remember, I love you. 

 

 

Technology Is Changing Humanity

How many conversations pass you by because of your phone? We live in a world where friends, loved ones can sit side-by-side and never talk at all. And when we do talk, we show the phone and say, “Did you see this?” I am beginning to hate my phone and my husband’s phone. During commercials we used to talk, now he picks up his phone, checking for the latest update. My daughter texts me from her room instead of coming downstairs. It’s a mad, mad world we live in.

Happy Father’s Day

Happy_Fathers_Day

 You worked so hard to provide for us when we were small and along the way you taught us life-long skills and how to follow our dreams. I am grateful my children have the opportunity to hang out and learn from the wisdom of your years… your love of the environment and building things. I love you dad. Have a wonderful day with the children and grand-children who are blessed to be there with you today.