Sunday, August 18, 2013



Another blog post and so soon after the last one!


Well we are knee deep in home renovations - yup - Caballito is under going an extensive remodelling project - including winterizing (Is this a hint as to our winter plans? We won't always be in warm weather). 

Most of you will recall that we made some alterations last summer upon purchasing our 1990 Econoline  Ford camper van - check out Home Renos - Van Dwelling Style -  We didn't do much at the time feeling restricted financially and more importantly wanting to live in the van for a while first to truly understand what we needed.

Well, we can safely say that after the FIVE of us spending SIX months in the van we know EXACTLY what we need to change. Most importantly - and really the instigator of all the other renos is the need for a double bed down below - Derek and I sliding in and out of the upper bunk each night and morning got old really fast - and having to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night? Forget about it!

And while we are it - why not swap a sofa for the dinette?!

So, has been taken out and we are in the midst of putting it all back together - a bit of a challenge for two non carpenters - that's why they invented filler and trim - right?

First to go? The rest of the dusty rose valour fabric - a huge panel over the cockpit.

And second - the dinette seats. Looks like we'll need to reposition the water tank.

More valour removed over the back doors.

I know - looking kinda crazy at the moment - but just wait to see how great is going to be! I'm painting all the panelling while we are at it!  P R E T T Y  excited about THAT!

Oh - and by the way - this is Molly. Molly is a runaway from Alan Brown's place about four miles west of us. She first appeared about a month ago and has been by about three times since. The first time she has run away in four years. She has seemed to take a liking to us and that has been more then reciprocated by Cassia. 

Since Derek and I will no longer need to be up in the top bunk we are going to make it a cozy - and special - little nook for Cassia - complete with a dinosaur painting and many other special things to make her 'room' just for her.

While we are at it we are covering the ceiling of the cockpit and all of the fiberglass with rigid insulation.

Ok - so we've been getting a FEW warmish days - time for a break with a popsicle - definitely one of the advantages of selling frozen treats at the office.

While Derek has been and will be doing most of the renovations - the insulation was my department. Good to see that all those hours and hours making wood and styrofoam models in Architecture school is now serving me well.

Tricky - very tricky.

Once all the panels were cut Derek and I worked together to glue them on. On to the next step - painting. 

If you have done renovations you know that - just when you thought you had all your supplies you realized that you - don't. For us that means a return trip to Lloydminister about 40 minutes away. Today is Sunday - we were in last Wednesday - not bad - we'll be back again next week I'm sure. I'll keep you up to date with our progress then.


P.S. Thanks for all the comments - nice to hear from you all! Can't wait until the fall to get back to the blog full time!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


"It's been a cruel, cruel summer......" Anyone with me for the Bananarama song Cruel Summer? I'm a child of the eighties so that's what comes to mind for me this summer. Oh I know that song was about a beau not a cold, cloudy and wet summer like we have had - but cruel none the less. Derek came up with the exact opposite of "In the summer time when the weather is hot..." by Mungo Jerry - "In the summertime when the weather is not..." (L.O.V.E. that song - right?!)

I know, I know - get out the violin - right! But hey - for two people that LOVE the DRY HEAT and pretty much live for summer temps, this summer has been tough. Of course we knew that we wouldn't be getting southern British Columbia weather in Central Alberta - but really - daytime highs averaging 16C and overnight 4C - at the height of summer?!!!!! just isn't right!

Anyway, we have been trying to get out when we can, especially to our hill top lookout.

The ONLY Tiger Lily in the meadow!

ANOTHER view of our park - yes - the grass WAS going brown for a bit but it is back to green right now - VERY green - rain - and a lot of it will do that won't it.

Cassia stopping to get some grass to chew on as taught to her by her Grandpa a few summers ago - on the walk back to the park.

I just bet the cows were shocked to actually see people walking on the road. Not much of that going on here in the country.

We've also been having quite a bit of fog in the mornings - we only noticed once we loaded it on the computer that Derek had caught the bird - pretty neat.

Being so far away from home, family and friends we sure appreciated Derek's mom - Audrey - coming to visit us for a couple of weeks. With the dreary weather (yup - that again) we didn't get around much but we did take a few day trips. 

The first was a drive over to Dewberry - small town near us where Derek's Great Grandfather first homesteaded back in 1906. It is also where his Grandfather homesteaded and where Derek's Dad grew up until he left to join the Navy at 18. 

and then on to Whitney Lakes Provincial Park for a look around. We stopped in at the Ross Lake Campground and beach. 

Where Cassia goes - dinosaurs go!

And we took in the Vermillion Agricultural Fair..... Cassia's first fair - p r e t t y  excited!

It had everything a good fair should - mini donuts ......

pink horses .....

and bumblebees!

Thankfully, the fair was on one of the nicest days of the summer. On the way home we hit some back roads through the Canola fields.

And pipeline construction. Alberta is in a economic boom with oil and gas (and has for many years now) We have many oilfield workers living at Lea Park for the summer. And do you know that Tim Horton's is offering $18.50/hour - and just try to find a cashier at Walmart!!! A MAJOR shortage in the retail sector everyone wants the big money on the rigs!

Close to the Park - the Riverton Community Hall - this area continues on with their prairie ways and winter pancake dinners.

Alan Brown - a local horse trainer brought his ponies down for a few days to eat the grass within the rodeo pens - good news for Cassia.

Cassia and her Gram Gram.

 Rather than put Audrey on the bus back to Edmonton we decided to give her a ride - first down to Forrestburg to meet up with some friends of hers -  on a farm!

Yup - this went over well with Cassia!

Bolt - Cassia's new best friend! And a mosquito on his nose - how appropriate - EXACTLY the type of summer we have been having!

How can you not love a face like that?!

Tip has lived here all his life and Betty and Tip have worked it for the last 53 years - WoW!

After spending an afternoon, night and morning at the farm we headed on to Edmonton to drop Derek's mom off at friends - not without a quick trip into Ikea and a Vietnamese dinner first. Living in the country for the last three months we sure enjoyed a visit to the city - looks like we'll be doing that again before the end of our term here at Lea Park.

Two months and counting until we hit the road again - for our last winter south! 


Our LAST trip south?!!!!!! Stay tuned for that bit of info!

Hope you are all having a nice - and hot - summer - like British Columbia - ahhhhh - we'll see you again next spring BC.


TODAY'S INTERESTING LINK: No link - no time!

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