We spent some time catching up on things after our run of visitors in early August and also managed to deal with most of our bumper peach crop.
We also welcomed some additional visitors who are a bit camera shy so you won’t see any pictures of them, but they sure took a lot of us while we showed them the sights of Kelowna. As soon as they left we quickly drove to Lake Country and got in a quick visit with John and Nancy who we know from Arizona. John is also our pickleball coach and unfortunately we didn’t have a chance to spend any time playing with him, but maybe next trip?
Then, we managed to fit in a quick trip to visit Sylvia’s folks and perform some maintenance and computer work for Sylvia’s Mom. More on that later.
Finally we got around to checking on our apple trees and found that they were ready for picking. As we’re heading out of the country next week we put a couple of buckets of apples in the fridge and so far have given away 375 apples to our neighbours. And that’s only from one tree, I still have to pick the fruit off the next one in a couple of days before the bears show up!
Back to the beginning. We left off the last blog heading out for dinner with Jocelyn before she packed up and took the grandkids back to Calgary. It was a great time and I was definitely surrounded by lovely ladies.
Once all the visiting was over we quickly tried to figure out the best way to process a few batches of peach preserves and decided to produce some batches of Chutney, Salsa and Jam. Before you all start whining about us bringing you some this winter, rest assured that we will have some of the best with us in Arizona. You’ll just all have to come over for breakfast and/or dinner to sample it.
And it’s all Good! We’re still eating peaches but will have to figure out something to do with the last bagful as Sylvia says we’ll need to throw them out soon. Like that’s going to happen! I think I’ll be making a batch of jam (or something) this weekend!
Then we were back in visiting mode for a few days and discovered a few spots that we hadn’t seen before as we showed our friends around town. These pics are from a Japanese Garden that is hidden behind City Hall in downtown Kelowna.
We then went up to the Suspension Bridges at Kelowna Mountain. We’d been there with Jocelyn and the Grandkids 3 years before and it was free then. This year it is rather expensive for what you get, but with a view like this you can’t complain too much. They were setting up for a wedding when we were there, and it’s got to be a special place for any event.
That evening we went out for a nice dinner where we got a chance to look out over the lake. The view was just as nice as at the suspension bridges, but before long we started to see smoke rolling in up the valley. By the time our dinner was finished we were enveloped in haze and could really smell the smoke in the air. The next morning we woke up to a dismal scene and couldn’t see anything across the lake. Normally we can see the hills on the other side of the lake from our front yard but this week we could hardly see the trees on this side of the lake. That is the sun up there hidden in the smoke. The smoke we see here is mostly from the huge fires in Washington State that have caused the deaths of 3 firefighters and destroyed a number of homes, but some is spreading north from the fires near Oliver and Rock Creek.
Once our visitors left we highballed up to Lake Country and spent the afternoon catching up with John and Nancy. They were on the return leg of a 3 month trip from Arizona to Alaska that they’ve really enjoyed. All too soon we had to say farewell. We look forward to seeing them in Arizona this winter.
The next day we were on our way to the Fraser Valley and left the smoke behind. We had a nice visit with Sylvia’s folks, but one of the tasks on our list was to upgrade Sylvia’s Mom’s computer to Windows 10. I’d already done our two laptops and was anticipating a smooth operation but it was not to be. I started on the upgrade at about 4:30 and figured I’d get everything done by early evening and get a chance to run through all the changes with her the next morning before we headed home. After about 2 hours of updates and notices on the screen ‘We’re Working on That’ it finally brought up the new desktop. Unfortunately it was not stable and there was no way to open any program or check on the settings. I managed to get the machine to boot up in a troubleshooting mode and did a system reset. It finally rebooted to a stable desktop but when I started poking around and trying to figure out what was working and what wasn’t it kept shutting down. I wasn’t happy. I finally shut it down overnight and the next morning it started to behave somewhat better.
I was also hoping to download some games and productivity programs to the machine and it kept telling me that it would take 16 hours to do the downloads, so that wasn’t going to happen. I finally gave up on the hope of installing these programs, and will have to do them at a later date. How Mom will handle not being able to play her card games for a month remains to be seen. One other problem is that the upgrade blew away all of her documents, all of her email addresses and some (but only some) of her pictures. I have most of that stuff backed up on a drive at home, but I sure wish I’d done a decent backup before starting the upgrade. Pure stupidity on my part, but I was in a hurry.
It took until almost 5:00 that day to get everything I could working and give her a bit of instruction on the new features. She’s only called
3, 4, 5, 6 times since we got home, so I think we can consider this trip a partial success. I think the next program I need to install for her is some sort of remote management software so I can do some of this stuff when I’m not there.
One of the nice things about being in the Fraser Valley was that we were able to get away from the smoke for a couple of days. Things didn’t improve here until a breeze picked up Thursday afternoon and we were finally able to see the blue skies and surrounding mountains, albeit through a still lingering haze. Unfortunately it showed us that a few fires have flared up in the local hillsides and this is what we saw when we drove into town. This particular fire is burning near the location of the 2003 fires that eventually destroyed a number of homes in Kelowna. Hopefully it will continue running away from the city. On the news that night they reported that 3 separate fires were started in this location and soon joined together. Some idiot is out there lighting fires for kicks I guess.
We managed to get to the last Music in the Park for the year on Friday. There were a couple of Talented Kids, including an 11 year old girl who had a great voice and sang some Taylor Swift songs. The warm up act was a local girl named Leah West and she did a good job, even making arrangements to have a rainbow behind her while she performed.
As she’d already painted her toenails in rainbow colours it was kind of appropriate don’t you think? Or is it just Too Much Information. The Rainbow we saw soon turned into a light drizzle, but before the night was over it had stopped and we managed to enjoy the rest of the evening.
The feature act was Adam Fitzpatrick, an Elvis impersonator who we’ve seen before. He put on a great show, but unfortunately my phone couldn’t take any decent pictures once it got dark and the spotlights were on him. Yep, it’s the phone’s fault, not mine……
The rains finally arrived on Saturday morning, and caught me outside trying to do some yard work. Oh well, we certainly need the rain, and hopefully it will help out on some of the fires that are still spreading throughout the Okanagan Valley. It allowed us an inside day to finish producing some Peach Jam, so that’s not all bad. We finally used up all of our bounty of peaches and made one batch of Peach Jam which included some secret ingredient that Sylvia found in the back of the cupboard, and one batch of Peach/Rhubarb Jam which used up the last of last year’s frozen rhubarb. I think we’ll be well stocked up for the winter but we still probably have to deal with some leftover apples in a few weeks. The plan at this point is to possibly purchase a food dehydrator as this canning stuff is getting out of hand.
Next week will be busy as well as we prepare for our trip to France. But that’s another story entirely.