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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

A One-Two storm punch!

We woke up this morning to yet another huge storm! A high wind warning, with winds gusting to 90km/hr and 50mm of rain....or a one, two punch!! Just another “normal” day on Vancouver Island. Anyone who lives here says “this is not normal winter weather!”. It could be worse. More than 12,000 people in northern Vancouver Island are without power or hydro. In fact due to ferry cancellations, customers on Cortes and Quadra Island will be without power tonight!



We are experiencing La Niña this winter. During La Niña, the sea surface temperature across the eastern equatorial part of the central Pacific Ocean will be lower than normal by 3 to 5 degrees C. An appearance of La Niña persists for at least 5 months and it has extensive effects on the weather across the globe, particularly in North America. In Canada La Niña will, in general, cause a cooler, snowier winter, but in B.C. it will be cooler, but more rainfall during the winter months.




So what do we do on another rainy day?


I finished the other 2 hours left on the You Tube video on the Fuji X-T4. I’m by no means proficient yet, but I certainly have a better grasp of the potential of this new camera. Now I will read the manual, watch some other You Tube videos and keep practising with it on better days when we can get outside for hikes.


I remembered to check on our tee time today at Qualicum Beach Memorial Golf Club. The golf course was surprisingly open today, despite the horrific weather. Richard called to cancel our tee time about 20 minutes before our scheduled time to play. The pro shop attendant was chuckling that we had thought to call, but appreciated the fact that we did!





Richard was having a dilemma last evening with the propane situation in Newman. We were filled up with propane yesterday and the next propane delivery from Benny at Viper Fuels is scheduled for January 16th. The time between fill ups would work out to 12 days, and we have only gone a maximum of 10 days between fill ups in the past. Richard got the bright idea to start supplementing the propane furnace, using electric heat from ceramic heaters we own, to try and stretch our propane usage to 12 days, so we can extend to the next fill up. Last evening while we were watching “The English Game” (a great Netflix series on the origins of the FA Cup in England, written and directed by the same guy as Downtown Abbey), Richard had me frozen solid, trying to supplement with electric heat. It just doesn’t work in Newman! Its either propane heat, or I‘m freezing!!





Richard called Viper Fuels this morning and they said that for $70 for a fitting and $20 for a hose, we can run off a regular filled BBQ propane tank, to supplement Newman’s propane tank. We do not want to pack up and go to Bowser again for a propane fill up, given the damage that was done last time to the basement door, on the potholes at the entrance to the RV park.



After Richard had found our propane solution we decided to head up to Costco in Courtenay. We haven’t visited Costco since arriving on the island. We had also not driven up Hwy 19 (the main road) into Courtenay before, so thought it would be faster to try it out.


We determined that its just as fast to go up the Coastal Hwy (19a) that we are located on, because the main highway 19 takes us so too far away from all of the shops in Courtenay.


Because the weather was so bad we figured Costco would be pretty empty, and sure enough it was! What a treat to go to Costco when there is no one there. I guess this is what retired life is all about. If we go to Costco on a rainy Tuesday there are no line ups anywhere! Brilliant!


The wind was blowing me over as I tried to hold onto the shopping cart and my boots were soaked, just from the brief walk from the car. UGH!!!


We were at Costco to look at laptops specifically. Since I don’t have a laptop (once I ship my Bank laptop back to boss), I use an IPAD Pro for photo editing. The IPAD is ok for quick photo editing, but not the best for detailed editing, and if I want to learn Lightroom or Photoshop, I really need a better photo editing laptop. I had asked my son Josh to give me the skinny on which of the HP laptops was better for photo editing. I’ve done my research on HP being very good for editing, and I prefer a windows device to a Mac. We found that the laptop I need is not in stock and has to be ordered, so now that we know that, we can order the laptop and pick it up at Costco another day.




So off to do the Costco aisles we went!




I don’t know about you, but I find it very hard to stick with an orderly way to go through Costco. Richard on the other hand, prefers that we stay organized (like the Trip Director he is) and go down every aisle and make sure we cover all the aisles. Since I was pushing the buggy, we randomly came upon something we were not looking for at Costco, but isn’t that always the way at Costco? You go to Costco with a list and you end up coming home with $200 more than you thought you would spend, because you did every aisle and saw some cool stuff that just so happened to end up in your buggy!!!


We found....


A book that I just had to buy! Now that I’m retired I can’t have my brain become mush, so its best I keep that “Executive Functioning” and “Processing Speed” going strong! We actually did buy the book because we know there will be many more rainy days in Fanny Bay, before we call it a winter here!



Making sure we went up and down ALL of the aisles, like Richard prefers, we stumbled upon our propane solution for Newman! I asked Richard “Couldn’t we just buy our own propane tank right now at Costco and then just get the connector and hose from Viper Fuels?


A 30lb or 25 litre propane tank! The tank was $59 and a fill up with propane at Costco is only $.80/litre or $20. Viper Fuels had wanted to charge us $108 for a filled 30lb/25 litre propane tank, so right from the Costco aisle Richard called up Viper Fuels and asked them if they would still deliver the connector and hose this week, if we bought our own propane tank. Viper said they would still come, so we just saved ourselves $29 by buying our own propane tank. I think the aforementioned “Executive functioning” and “Processing Speed” I’m going to keep sharp from the new book, are still working after 5 days of retirement!




Poor Richard had to go and get the propane tank filled in the parking lot of Costco in the wind and driving rain. We felt sorry for the propane attendant who had to stand out in the pouring rain filling up propane tanks for people. What a crappy job with this weather!


We also made one other nice impulse purchase at Costco today.


My feet are very cold while I’m lying on the couch watching Netflix or Amazon Prime in the evening, snuggled up under a blanket, so these grippy slipper socks will do the trick to keep my feet warm!


The drive home was really bad. High winds and rain, so we took it slow down the Coastal highway.


Our neighbour Jim had warned us to be careful pulling Jerry into our spot behind Newman because Matt, the RV park owner, had a pump running to remove the pond behind Newman.



Matt had gone up to Courtenay to rent this gas pump, but he has an electric one he will be installing shortly, once we have better weather.


The hose runs through our lot to pump the pond from behind Newman, into Fanny Bay. Poor Richard getting drenched bringing in the Costco stuff!


And the weather is going to get better for the next two days, so I just booked us a tee time at Qualicum Beach for tomorrow afternoon for 9 holes. If there is one course that drains well, it is that one and it will be our first taste of January golf in Canada!








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