Monday was a pretty laid-back kind of day. We decided to get back into our resistance exercises and then after breakfast and showers, I returned to my laptop to continue working on our blog...time to get caught up!
Steve wanted to get out for some cardio exercise, so went for a bike ride. I would have loved to join him but wanted to give my left knee a break. I'm afraid the cortisone shot I had April 29 didn't last long. After a power walk last Saturday morning, I've been limping around with a very sore knee. I'm going to have to call my Orthopedic Surgeon and see if he can fit me in sometime in the next week for a shot of the super-duper stuff he puts in my right knee. That will mean a day trip back over to Victoria...but I don't want to go all summer with a painful knee that I can hardly walk on! I just hope I'm able to get in before we leave Fort Langley May 27!
Once back from his bike ride, Steve concentrated on an important task...finding storage for our rig this fall when we go on our Africa/France trip. He responded to a few ads on Craigslist/Kijiji and after getting a reply to one, he spoke to the fellow and arranged to go check out the property. Since Steve has a cardiologist appointment this afternoon at 3:30, we decided to head out early and take a look...besides it wasn't far from the doctor's office.
As it turned out, the spot would work nicely for us. Ken has 29 acres and has built a ginormous workshop with two RV size bays, along with living quarters. Not only is it huge, but the building is very attractive looking. The property also has blueberry bushes that he harvests. He showed us where he was planning on expanding an area with gravel...that we would be able to back into and leave the rig hooked-up. Perfect!
Feeling pretty good about our "find" for $200, it was time to head to Steve's appointment. We arrived a little early but Steve thought he'd go in anyway...I waited in the truck. An hour and a half later he emerged...all "wired up" with a heart monitor he is to wear for 24 hours. He also has to go for blood tests first thing in the morning. So far the diagnoses is Heart Block. The ECG showed that at rest the electrical path on the right side of Steve's heart is slowed and during the stress test on the treadmill it was stopped or " blocked" completely. Apparently 15% of the population has this and some are born with it. Other than the occasional ache Steve has absolutely no symptoms. The doctor said the worst case scenario may mean that Steve will eventually require a pace maker 5 years earlier than the norm. The doctor wants him to go for further tests at the hospital that may take months to get, so we are waiting to hear back.
We didn't do much Tuesday...I worked on our budget, paid bills, etc...all that fun stuff. While I was doing that, Steve checked the trailer batteries and topped them up then puttered around outside a bit.
After lunch we headed off to the mall in Langley. Steve wanted his camera sensor and mirror cleaned at Kerrisdale Cameras...and after wandering around the mall, we headed off to Walmart to pick up a few things.
We checked out a new Sketchers Outlet store that just opened up in Langley...we're going to have to return when we have more time. This place was huge! I might just have to get some new walking shoes...I think my knees are telling me it's time!
By this time, it was after 4:00 and time to drop off the heart monitor Steve has been wearing for the past 24 hours. Although they shaved some of the hair off his chest, it wasn't nearly enough...so he wasn't impressed when he had to rip off the sensors.
Wednesday morning, bright and early, Steve headed to Gold Key Isuzu to drop the truck off...again. He was back home within an hour or so. A little later he received a phone call saying that the gaskets around the exhaust brake looked fine...they thought they'd try putting in a whole new exhaust brake, keeping the old one in case that didn't resolve the problem. They ended up having to order in gaskets and they won't arrive until tomorrow...so the truck won't be ready until after 3:00 tomorrow afternoon. Steve has little faith in this diagnoses.
I spent the morning doing three loads of laundry...after wrestling with one of the washers in the laundry room that took my loonie but wouldn't accept it as payment, nor return it to me. Thankfully a couple of maintenance workers quickly responded to my pleas for help. While I was doing laundry, Steve emptied and flushed the blank and grey tanks.
Other than getting out for a bike ride in the afternoon, we really didn't do much...I managed to get a little baking done and Steve watched "his shows" on TV.
Thursday was cloudy and much cooler and with rain in the forecast...and no vehicle, it was an "inside" kind of day. We did do our resistance exercises and after a full breakfast and showers...it was almost noon! Steve received a phone call from GA Motorsports about our quads...they hadn't been serviced in two years, so lots needed to be done...and of course, it's going to be costly. Both machines make a clicking sound when turning left which means bad CV joints which means new left axles. The right side was replaced a few years ago. also one required new front brakes. Sheesh!
We decided that now we are back from our winter down south, that it might be interesting to see what our costs were for a few of our major expenses...so I worked on that.
In the 5 1/2 months (October 11, 2015 to March 31, 2016), our average campground fee was $5.39/night...now, that's pretty darned good! Our fuel cost (for diesel) while in Quartzsite (for 4 months) was minimal...but getting down there and back again (October and March) was $1500.00. The other four months, we only filled up 3 times...our total fuel expense was $1900.
Now...the kicker is the extra money we spent on the US dollar exchange....$5,775! Although tough to put out that extra money with nothing to show for it, we justified it by the fact that we would likely spend that much hunkering down here in Fort Langley for 6 months...and not have nearly as much fun sitting in the rain for the winter. The rate here for 6 months would be $2730...that's $15.17/night, which is an excellent rate, but is still 3x more than we spent going south. Whether we'd spend the remaining $3,045 difference is questionable...however, an important factor is our happiness and, honestly, I think we would be pretty miserable sitting here in the rain all winter! I guess another way to look at it is a 5 1/2 month vacation for $3,045. Having said that, we will still watch the exchange rate and decide next January if its feasible to go south.
I also received a phone call this afternoon...from Valley Medical Imaging. Apparently the radiologist reading the screening mammogram that I had last week wants me in for a more in-depth look...so I have an appointment there tomorrow morning. Geez...always something!
At about 2:30 Steve received a phone call from Gold Key Isuzu saying that the truck was ready. A shuttle came and picked us up and after paying the almost $1600 bill (ouch!), we headed off. Our extended warranty expired Jan, 2015 however Isuzu has continued to warranty the engine work, however the engine brake is covered by GM and they do not consider this part of the original problem so won't cover it. Really...it's the same frickin unresolved issue!!!Well we had barely driven off the lot when Steve slowed down for a traffic light and the squealing returned...needless to say, he had some choice words! He ended up dropping me off at the new Sketchers Outlet store and went back to take the mechanic out for a ride.
He arrived to pick me up just as I was trying to decide on a second pair of shoes (they have a buy one, get 50% off the second pair sale on). The result of his trip back to Gold Key...the truck will have to go back in next week, likely to have our old exhaust brake put back in (and get a credit for the new one). The big question right now is...will they ever figure out where the squeal is coming from?