Monday, July 30, 2012

Huckleberries, Arbutus and Oregon Grape...

John, Gingee and I explored two places this weekend but both included that wonderful wild (and edible) Red Huckleberry.

 Wild edible Red Huckleberries are abundant on Vancouver Island this time of year.
One day to Little Mountain on Vancouver Island, B.C. and the next to Horn Lake,
where John gave Gingee lessons on how to find food should she ever get lost in the wild.

We took this trail to find Huckleberries at Horn Lake.

John taught Gingee how to eat wild Red Huckleberries.

I am amazed at the beauty in these forests on Vancouver Island.

Tree moss.

The wild Oregon Grape.

The beautiful bark of the Arbutus tree.

What beautiful sites did you take in this weekend?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Peace and Happiness

I'm in love with my surroundings here at Surfside RV Resort in Parksville, B.C.

Parksville, B.C., Canada

Two bald eagles this morning in the eagle tree.
Peace and happiness can be fleeting.

What in your surroundings brings you peace and happiness, even momentarily?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hanging out...

A view of Surfside RV Resort at low tide (Parksville, British Columbia).

John and I are just hanging out today and wondering what to do next. Ever have days like that?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Our resident bald eagle...

Everyone at Surfside RV Resort can see when the bald eagle has landed in its favorite perching tree. Yesterday I sped out to capture its image for the first time.

Sometimes there are two eagles that land here at the same time.

Here is the majestic bird up close.

What a treat to see these birds up so close.
The pleasures of living in a wildlife management area!

What animal amazes you everytime you see one in its native habitat?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Happy Birthday Gingee Girl...

Miss Gingee will be four years old on Saturday, the 21st.
John, Gingee and I have been together for almost four years now.

I remember the first day we met her and made a commitment to her.

Our first day together.
I remember the early days of our California Odyssey.

We've made so many memories together, the four of us.

Who'd have known we could love this little being so much?

Happy 4th Birthday Gingee!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Health Care and Colored Hair...

First of all, here is a picture of me today modeling my new grey hair! I'm thinking that I look pretty much the same as I did when it was colored, only now I have grey hair. I have to say that I'm liking it!

Levonne three months after deciding to go natural!
(taken by John 7-15-2012)
And second, all you non-Canadians especially have to take a look at our first "Health Care Insurance" bill from the British Columbia, Canada government. We just took it out of the mailbox today along with John's new "Care" card (his insurance card).

We received this in our mailbox today. Two months after returning to live in Canada, John is now
covered under the British Columbia medical services plan. Take a look at what it costs for
 a month of complete coverage.
To give you an idea of the contrast in costs between the U.S. and Canadian plans, we paid more than $1,000 for the two of us per month on COBRA (at the time of our leaving Arizona in 2009).

Since then, we have been quoted premiums as high as $60,000 per year for health care coverage in the free market system of the United States. Insurance from the U.S. became so expensive over a year ago ($16,000 for the two of us per year), that we chose to no longer purchase it. We decided to pocket the money ourselves and buy health care a la carte. Of course we prayed for the absence of major medical problems during the uninsured time.

Now, at least we don't have to worry about going bankrupt due to John having an illness. And it doesn't matter whether he works or not as health services coverage is not tied to a job. He has access to affordable health care coverage whether he has a job or not.  I'm still not covered as I have to be further along in my immigration process in order to get coverage but we're hoping that won't be too much longer. The lightness that I feel from having John covered should add to my overall health while we wait for me to be covered.

By the way, British Columbia's population size of approximately 4.5 million people is closest in population size to the 25th most populated U.S. state - Louisiana.

How does $64 per month for complete medical coverage for one person compare to what you currently pay for health insurance?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Doe and Fawns...

We caught sight of this doe and her fawns this morning while sipping coffee
by the Jazz (at Surfside RV Resort in Parksville, BC, Canada). We love this place!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Does a deer pee in the estuary?

You betcha! A deer does pee in the estuary!

Have you ever seen a deer pee?

While I was out trying to capture some shots of the wildlife here at Surfside RV Resort (Parksville, British Columbia, Canada), this buck took a pee right there in front of me. I've seen deer all my life but never have I seen one squat and pee! Forgive me if I'm easily impressed.

I must ask. Have you ever seen a deer pee?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The tides have turned...

Yesterday John, Gingee and I arrived at our new home in Surfside RV Resort. We now own an eighty-seven year membership in this oceanside community along with about 240 other RV-pad owners.

Levonne and Gingee on our first day at Surfside RV Resort, Parksville, B.C., Canada.
(Our RV pad is one site away from the tall tree in the upper left corner of above picture.
Our pad looks out over the Englishman River Estuary, forest, mountains and wide open skies.
We are yards away from the shores of the Georgia Strait part of the Pacific Ocean.)
Our move is just in time for what appears to be the real start of summer in Parksville. The forecast is for two weeks of sunny weather beginning today!

Downtown Parksville (a small city of about 11,000 people) is within walking distance for us now and the Parksville Community Beach Park is next door to the resort. (No more excuses for me about not having great places to walk!)

For the next four months (until we head south for the winter), there is lots of exploring yet to do. In addition to watching a bald eagle fly over this morning, we also enjoyed watching wild deer and rabbits graze near our site.

This buck was with two other deer grazing nearby.

The local rabbits look like a mix between wild and domesticated. They sure are pretty!

I'm looking forward to settling down for a while, getting into some regular routines, sipping comfort tea with new friends and family and taking lots of pictures. We've come a long way in just seventy-one (71) days of being snowbirds. And we thought that paradise was going to exist only in Central Coast California!

Happy 4th of July to all my American friends and family. What are/did you do to celebrate the holidays this week?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Happy Canada Day from Gingee...

"I'm one of Canada's newest residents! Like my bandana? Mom and Dad are taking me down to French Creek Marina at dusk to look at the fireworks with them. I actually like going (the noise doesn't scare me)."