This was our 2013 Jayco Flight Swift 198 RD


Friday, 26 May 2023

The mystery tree

Thank goodness the winds have abided, the sun is out and the temps are fine for outdoor work.  That is what I did most of the day. No matter how many weeds I pick, there are always more someplace else so no shortage on that exercise. As I could no longer find an excuse to cut the grass, today I took out the John Deere for all the large areas. Actually, riding the lawn mower is fun and no work at all I find. The real workout is when I walk all the perimeters with the weed trimmer. Usually I go through three batteries, but today I needed two extras that were already charged to do the outside of the fences as well. And, I opted to rake the cuttings by hand (I could have used the sweeper but didn’t want to hookup, clean, and store again) because the high winds had brought so many keys from the maple trees across the street. If they are not picked up or cut to pieces we will have hundreds of maple saplings sprouting from the lawn in a few weeks. A big thank you to Benno for helping to cut the areas the riding mower can’t do with the self-propelled mower. It is all done now and should be good for a week at least before I have to do it all over again. Hey, I don’t complain, it keeps me fit.

There is a mystery with the little blue spruce tree I was gifted a couple of years ago. We planted it at a spot we thought it would thrive. It looked beautiful and even grew some last year. This year when we came back from Florida, I noticed that the tree looked the same as it did in the fall before we left for our trip south on the east side. However, the other sides, especially on the west side the blue spruce had turned all green. Really green with no trace of blue! I have absolutely no clue what happened over the winter months to the tree other than that there were some strong winds from the west. 

To help this little tree out, I went and bought some fertilizer for evergreens and stuck that into the ground. Now the new growth is blue gain. Go figure.

How this tree looked when we planted it

How it looked when we got back from Florida

Today on the west side

today on the east side

So while I had some outdoor fun, Benno had taken out the Webasto Diesel heater from the boat. It was not installed in a good position and had taken up some good real estate. We think we can mount it in a better spot. Also it lacks some hardware to make it run more quieter and more efficient. This particular heater was actually a truck cab unit and not configured to be mounted on a boat. We know that, because we had two of the same Webasto Airtop 2000 marine heaters on “Diesel Duck” and a similar product, the Espar Diesel Heater on “Najade”. 

Benno wanted to test it out. In order to do that, he needed to hook the heater up to a 12volt battery and then got some diesel fuel from the gas station in Wheatley. As it turned out, the heater would not fire up and produce any heat, its metering pump (Pulse Pump) did not pump any diesel to the heater, its 12volt supply was missing. Upon further investigation, like dismantling and cleaning the heater, he found a fault on a disconnect at the CPU inside the Webasto unit, which supplies the 12volt to the metering pump. (We presume the problem was already present when we bought the boat, because the previous owner had bought another fuel pump which it didn’t need after all.) 

So once Benno had everything hooked up this heating unit produced plenty of really hot air, albeit at more noise than necessary. So now we know this Webasto Heater is working and with the already ordered parts, it will find a new place in the boat in the coming months.

That is it for me today and I am wishing everyone a nice and relaxing weekend. Maybe I will sit down and read a book tomorrow.

Thanks for dropping in again. 

Wednesday, 24 May 2023

Way too windy today

The wind is blowing from the north today at 33 km/h (28 mph). My plans to cut the grass today I have thrown to the wind even though it is a pleasant 22C/66F outside. Our deck faces south so maybe the dogs would like to get out and I might join them later on for a bit. At this point I am still contemplating what to do with the writing software. This is typed on TextEdit that came with my new MacBook Air that I am using and I don’t like the screen format but otherwise it is workable. The "Word" program that I used on my old MacBook Pro was from 2011 and had not been updated at all so it did not transfer and it could not be updated anymore on the old computer. First of all, I changed the font and then I will check on Blogger what font will come up and if I can improve the looks and the spacings.

Connecting the windlass

Windlass Braker

The elusive flexible hose and junction box

Yesterday Benno needed several things for the boat as he is rewiring everything and he asked me if I wanted to come along to Rona/Lowe, or if I needed anything from the stores nearby. We ran out on fruits so I decided to come with. He found the junction box and quick connects adapters, but the Carlon flexible conduit hose he needed they did not have. Next stop at the commercial electrical supply store they did not have it either. The other electrical supply store in town had none and they said it was in short supply at this time of year as there is a lot of new construction going on. I got some fruits at FreshCo that is in close vicinity to Canadian Tire (a similar hardware like store) then we headed home by the way of a Home Hardware Store who also did not have the hose. Back at home Benno went to the Internet to see if he could have it shipped from someone and wouldn’t you believe it, Canadian Tire, where we just came from, showed they had it in stock! This time I opted out on the trip and went instead outside to pull some weeds.

To come up  with new photos for the blog is not an easy task if I don’t go out to take any. There were some cute photo opportunities this morning when I took the dogs for their walk. I saw a redwing blackbird tending to a couple of chicks that were flitting their wings wanting to be fed by mom. However with two dogs on leash fumbling with a phone on one hand, it didn’t happen. However, to prove that it’s not a good day for your hairdo outside, here is a photo of the farmer that is plowing the field to the west of us. Aren’t we lucky it’s blowing from the north?

Looking out the window as the farmer plows the field

Well, maybe I could interest you to look at some tropical fish instead of birds that I photographed while snorkelling around the San Blas Islands, which are located near the Panama Canal. It is also home of the GunaYala people. I might point out that fish usually don’t sit still underwater, so you have to kind of hunt them with the camera, hold your breath while underwater and struggle with current and waves. That I got them captured with my camera at all was a major feat.

Benno brings Lobster for dinner

I have more fish photos, but I think that's enough for today.
Thanks everyone for dropping by again!

Sunday, 21 May 2023

Strange things I don't know how to fix yet on this blog

I hope you missed me as it has been a while since I last posted. We are well and all is good. However, that was not the case with my old MacBook Pro laptop. Would you believe I purchased it in 2012 and it had been a wonderful tool all these years. Unfortunately, lately it did not open certain websites, could not be updated anymore and the lithium battery got very hot when it was being charged. It was time to look at a replacement. This post comes to you from my new 13” MacBook Air, M2 chip. 


Let me tell you I had no idea what a learning experience awaited me to start using this new laptop. We use iPads and iPhones as well and after a dozen years with Apple I thought how difficult could it be to use a new device from Apple. Ha, I had to say goodbye to “Word” the writing program I used for decades because I am not willing to dish out $$ for a new version. Also I had to say goodbye to iPhoto and Picasa which had been my tools I used for this blog. There were other applications that are no longer working or are different on this new Mac, but those are minor compared to the above. So new apps replace those lost and I am trying to learn and master them. Life is a learning curve!


This Clematis I was going to throw away last fall, so I cut it down to the ground. This is all new growth this spring 

 If you have a garden, you can understand that I had to spend quite a bit of time in the past weeks working on the garden beds planting new flowers, weeding and adding more soil. Again, as I did in previous years, I prepared pots and planted various types of tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, onions and herbs. It is disappointing for me to find that some perennials that were purchased last year did not survive this winter. Perhaps there were too many temperature fluctuations or the zoning was not correct. Oh well.



Benno was not spared with a problem of his own as he discovered that on the warmest day the air-conditioning on our truck stopped working. Of course we hoped it was the serpentine belt or only the loss of freon, but no, we needed a new compressor installed and since last year those had doubled in price. Ouch! Presently he is reinstalling the anchor winch that he dismantled and serviced on the boat and the same goes for the Webasto hot air heating unit. Also he switched batteries between the boat and the travel trailer. Benno is considering to change the guts of the trailer’s converter charger part over or replace it, that it could charge beside wet cell and AGM batteries future Lithium ION or Sodium ION batteries too. He likes to go Lithium ION or Sodium ION in the near future and the converter is the first step, followed by a DC to DC isolator charger to protect the towing vehicle. This will involve some wiring too. The trailer’s solar panels controller can handle Lithium and need only a program selection! Apparently Lithium ION and Sodium ION batteries have the same charging parameters.

In the house we made a few improvements with added LED lamps in the shower unit, cutting and installing new curtains in the living room and hanging a new picture.



Last but not least we enjoyed another visit from my sister and brother-in-law and at those occasions our travel trailer doubles as a guest suite. While we were all out for a stroll in the neighbourhood, I showed them the goldfish that were having a feeding frenzy in the Lake Erie runoff creek. I have no idea what they were after.


So I hope future blog updates will go smoothly.


Thanks for reading my blog!

Sunday, 30 April 2023

April showers bring Mayflowers - hopefully

Last Sunday we got to celebrate our youngest grandchild’s First Holy Communion. Hans, dressed up smartly in a suit with tie looked all grown up with his 7 years and we were very proud of him. All family members gathered at our son and daughter-in-law’s house for a party after church.


The following photos were all taken with phones and I hope Blogger won’t reduce the pixels too much.


Other than the highlight of seeing family last Sunday, there hasn’t been much going on around our part of Ontario. It is one of those years that our spring weather had been cool and wet so that when we did get a break in the weather, we tried to make the most of it.  I mowed the lawn once more last Thursday when the grass was semi dried from all the rain. Benno had rolled all grassy areas a couple of days prior with a borrowed from John and Anna, our Mennonite neighbor’s lawn roller, hooked up to our John Deere tractor when the ground was still soggy and it helped a bit to even out the bumps.


While the rain poured outside I started painting another garden art inside onto a leftover cutoff post. Benno helps me with drilling the holes for the supportive rod and topper. It is now finished but needs several protective coats of Acrylic Coating that I spray on outside (when it’s not raining!)


The tulips are finally all starting to bloom while the daffodils suffer from all that rain. I think I mentioned in prior years that every time our Azaleas are finally in bloom in my flowerbeds they get rained on. Well, here we go again, so I took a photo yesterday after the rain stopped for a few hours.


Well, what else did we do? Benno made an oil change on the truck gave it a good wash and then took it to a Mennonite automotive shop to have new front shocks installed. I have to say it makes the ride a lot smoother. As you noticed we have many Mennonites here in our area and it is a pleasure to deal with them. They are very reliable and honest in our opinion!

As to other activities, my washing machine was working through more RV bedding, towels and blankets that kept me busy for a few days. Also, I labored through the annual income tax returns and got frustrated with the changes that the online tax services made to their software. Oh, and of course I cooked a lot of comfort foods while we dropped to freezing temps overnight. Lets hope the month of May will be good!


Thanks for dropping in again.


Saturday, 15 April 2023

What a great gift this nice weather has been

Ever since we arrived back home we hit the ground running. With so much stored up energy over the winter in Florida, we jumped right into chores in and around the house. At the same time the garden is exploding with flowers starting to bloom and buds on trees and shrubs. Today we made a trip to the local leaf and yard depot to drop off three huge bags full of what I accumulated in my clean up efforts in the garden.


2 Kayaks out in the marshes, around the corner from us

Daffodils in my flowerbed 

And the Grape Hyacinth that keeps multiplying

Benno had reinstalled the battery in my John Deere lawnmower and moved the snow blower back into its resting place and brought out the garden furniture as well. We already made good use of them sitting out on the deck enjoying the weather. Today I even cut the grass in the backyard, as did all of our neighbors in their yards. 


Lots of Robins on our lawn are picking to find earthworms, but then I noticed this Northern Flicker being rather persistent at pecking in the grass, aerating it as he went. How cute.


I took these photos through our bedroom window
I guess he saw me?

While my hubby washed the travel trailer from top to bottom to make it sparkle again, I looked after the laundry. My washer/dryer are doing a much better job than the machines I used in Florida. All in all, we have been busy, but loving being back home.


On a trip we took in the country we commented how nice that red truck looked at a front yard and I quickly snapped a photo with my phone.


As we drove past it, we said wow, how unique. Here is a true 1st Class expert at work and there are not many of them on our planet!


Recently the Caldwell First Nation, who own property here in Leamington, built a gas station with variety store and their grand opening, was today. Their gas prices are 10 cents under most gas stations every day but today the prices dropped even more. Gasoline was $1.299/liter (US $3.63/gal) versus $1.549 everywhere else, a saving of 25 cents per liter. You can imagine the lineup at the pumps and there were 13 bays. On my first look I compared the situation like it used to be at the Canadian/American border crossing. For the natives the savings are even greater than that and they have a separate pump to fill up. Luckily this gas station is very close to where we live.


Looking back at all the cars wanting gas and lining up on the road trying to get in

The next couple of weeks the weather forecasters predict more seasonal temperatures and a cold spell, so we will be spending a bit more time indoors.

And last but not least the tough Periwinkle
that even blooms in the snow

Thanks for dropping in again.