IWSG – Dec 2022 – Did Someone Say Christmas?!

Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh created IWSG — because Alex understands we need a place to congregate, insecurity is part of our creative nature, and together we’re stronger.

On the first Wednesday of each month, you can write on any subject related to your writing journey or adopt the option of answering the month’s question. Either way, you’re in safe territory.

If this sounds good to you, sign up here.

IWSG’s Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and the hashtag is #IWSG.

Every month, a specific question is offered, which may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or a story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you struggle with something to say.

Remember, the question is optional!

The awesome co-hosts for the December 7 posting of the IWSG are Chemist Ken, Natalie Aguirre, Nancy Gideon, Cathrina Constantine!  …and yours truly.
December 7 question – It’s holiday time! Are the holidays a time to catch up or fall behind on writer goals?

Recently, someone asked, “Can you believe Christmas is in 20 days?” Christmas! Isn’t it still summer?!

November 5, 2022

one of many visitors last summer.

I won’t bore you with my brain freeze, suffice it to say I’m skipping this month’s question in favour of sharing how interesting November was.

To begin with, it was the first time I’d seen snow since 2013!

We generally leave Canada between Halloween and the Day of the Dead. After spending two years in Mexico, I’d forgotten what was involved in the metamorphosis from one climate to the next.

Fall in Canada was amazing. Sadly, we were unprepared when one day it was 22C (71F) and a few days later it dropped to -22C (-8F). Our above-ground water lines froze. Not good!

High winds blew a tree down and at the very top was a hornet’s nest.

If you’ve read earlier posts, you’ve heard we settled onto our property at Cluculz Lake after wandering about for 4 years. We bought a winter-packaged RV, constructed a steel canopy over it, dug a well, installed utilities, and even purchased a Telus Hub. Our summer home: serene, quiet, the perfect abode for writing. Which I didn’t do. Landscaping, minimalizing, and 5 months of prepping for a month-long garage sale took precedence.

I actually would have stayed past November but an RV in winter is no place for this girl. Did you know: we rank 3rd as the coldest country on earth? I knew that. By October 25th, we had two wool blankets on the bed, and I still sported fuzzy PJs, socks, ankle warmers, and a balaclava every night. It is important to keep the head warm.

When we conceded that we had better leave, the earliest available flight wasn’t until November 12th. By the 10th we were in a hotel room in the city an hour away but close to the airport. That’s where things started going haywire.

We were due to arrive in Vancouver on the 11th to catch the flight the next morning for Puerto Vallarta. Only I got mixed up by the different flight times and had the taxi pick us up at 5 am thinking our PG flight was at 6:30 instead of noon which, in my defence it generally is.

Luckily, the cabby took it upon himself to check the flight status on the way. Upon discovering my mistake, he turned around, drove us back to our room and returned for us at 10 am. I tried napping. Nope, not happening.

On a side note, he was driving a 2012 Prius. The inside was spacious, and I was impressed having never been in one before. The wow factor was the speedometer showed 600,000 km! In ten years the only thing he’d ever done was change the battery. If you’re in the market for a new vehicle –?

So anyway, we caught our flight and arrived in Vancouver — minus our suitcase!

It was then that I remembered sitting in my seat on the PG tarmac, glancing out the window in time to see them carting the luggage over to the other plane’s conveyor belt. I’m toasty warm, like a bug in a rug, thinking to myself, “Someone on their way to Calgary has an identical suitcase to mine. What are the chances?”   Apparently, none.

My husband couldn’t have cared less. We arrived in Vancouver–I did not cry. I wanted to. But on a bright note, there was a Dollar Tree and a Michael’s across from our hotel room, where I was able to purchase a toothbrush, paste, a hairbrush, and deodorant.

The next day my suitcase was on the carousel when we arrived in PV. Do you hear a “but” coming?

The airport was busting at the seams. None of the gates were free. There were no busses, no mobile stairs; and the Captain said he didn’t feel comfortable asking us to jump from the plane.

Ninety minutes later when we were finally bussed to the terminal, we walked through the airport and were outside in less than 8 minutes. Of course, our friend was thrilled to see us even though he had waited in the scorching heat for over two hours!

Oh, and … sometime between the end of April and December 2, our internet modem died. Did I mention I don’t do well off grid?

So, yes, it was an interesting November but everything turned out well. Actually, everything always does.

Maybe next time I tell you what it was like having no internet for three weeks.  Or not…



We did have a lot of company this past summer. Some uninvited.



Baby see Baby do


Next year there will be a deck that extends out 8′ past the awning.

Comments 38

  1. Happy New Year!
    That was quite an adventure! Awesome pics, Joylene!
    It will never snow here on the east coast where we have a subtropical climate… it’s far too humid!
    I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

  2. Oh, that picture of the baby copying! So cute! How long ago did you start moving to Puerto Vallarta in the winter? Do you keep a house there? (I’ve been in the process of figuring out something similar for the future.) Love all the wildlife visiting. Sorry your trip started out so rough, but glad you finally got there.

  3. What a great post, Joylene! Not that you had all that trouble, but for the lovely wildlife and your lively retelling of your misadventures. Colorado has those wild swings of temperatures too. It’s hard on the system. We made it down to Cabo for a week at the end of November. We had never been to Mexico. It was wonderful, in spite of my hobbling around on a broken foot. I love the Mexican people. After we returned home, I broke my rib which cancelled our trip to the US Pickleball Championship in Palm Springs and on to Calgary to visit my family. Such is life. It’s funny how your eyes seek familiar patterns and can change what you see. I saw that hornets’ nest as a beautiful, huge, gneiss boulder lying on the forest floor seen from a white-painted deck above. Then I realized the deck was a chair, and that changed everything ~ lol! I hope you are having a wonderful time in Mexico and soaking up the warm sunshine. Take care, my friend. Hugs to you!

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog and for co-hosting this month. What an adventurous time you’ve had lately. I like to take a week off each Spring to be off the grid- but 3 weeks is a lot. I’m glad you made it. Wildlife is so beautiful as long as it stays at a distance. Thanks for sharing the images.

  5. Ah, the joys of travelling. I’ve lost luggage on a Greyhound bus (between Washington DC and New York. it had been around the world by then, and twice around North America….). I lost my walking poles… they made it to Oslo but not to Svalbard, and turned up three months later at my front door in a small van stuffed absolutely full with plastic-wrapped luggage the driver was delivering in East Anglia!

    Great story, thank you – and thank you for co-hosting today 🙂

  6. Thanks for co-hosting, Joylene!

    Travel is stressful enough without all of the snafus you encountered! That cabbie is awesome. Are you in PV for the winter then? That was my first visit to Cabo and the Pacific side of Mexico, and I fell in love. Much better atmosphere for writing (as opposed to your teeth chattering and worrying and pipes bursting!)

  7. Thank you for co-hosting. November sounds like an adventure…and a cold one at that! I think I’d start twitching if I had to go off the grid!

  8. Gosh, what a time you’ve had! Talk about intrepid. I loved the photos and the in-depth account of what happened in November. Fascinating. I’ve never experienced cold temperatures like that. I don’t blame you for moving somewhere warmer!

  9. Wow, what an exciting month! Love the animal guests. I’ve barely seen a sprinkle of snow this season.
    Hope your IWSG day is inspiring.
    “The only limit to your success is your own imagination” – Shondra Rhimes
    I wish you a merry holiday ⛄ season, and a New Year full of peace, joy, and creativity.

  10. Thanks for co-hosting this month!

    Couldn’t imagine going off grid for a month.

    And I hate days like that. Murphy’s law, ‘anything that can go wrong, will go wrong,’ was having a ball with you. Had a similar Murphy’s law day not too long ago. I overslept and was late for work. I didn’t have enough bus fare on my metrocard (luckily the bus driver let me on anyway). I fell and bumped my knee going up on the escalator. And I think on that same day I never got my breakfast sandwich delivered. But in the end I did get credit for it and got a new order delivered.

    But at least you made it and everything worked out well in the end.

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

  11. I love the pictures of the wildlife especially momma and baby deer scratching their ears. So sweet.
    I’m so sorry you had issues at the airport. Ack.
    Thanks for co-hosting this month.

  12. Wow – chaos, calamity, and the calming zen of critters outside your windows! Glad you shared it all – and it’ll be fine fodder for holiday writing… if and when you put down your umbrella-adorned cocktail in PV!

    Thanks for co-hosting and sharing your tale –

  13. I am supremely jealous of your summer visitors–even the bear!

    That is way too many problems for one person, in one month. Our worst: My husband started the tred one morning and blew out all the electricity in the house. Don’t ask why–the same reason your luggage ended up on the wrong plane! That took a bit to solve.

    Happy holiday, Joylene. See you in a month!

  14. I laughed and gasped as I read your most recent life adventures. Balaclava? Oh golly, it was cold.
    I’m constantly amazed how resourceful and determined you are. Welcome back to warm Mexico, mi amiga.
    Thank you for co-hosting our December blog-hop and restoring your WiFi. Good going!

  15. WOW! you definitely have had some interesting company. Love the pics. Life has a way of turning us upside down and rightside up. Take Care and Merry Christmas. Thanks for co-hosting!

  16. That’s quite the adventure! And that hornet’s nest, it HUGE!! One would not to be anywhere near when it fell, particularly if it was full of hornets.

    Be safe, have a warm winter in PV, and hope you get to do some writing.

  17. Wow! And that applies both to your travel experience and the amazing area & wildlife you have in Canada. No wonder you didn’t feel the need to answer the question this month. I hope you’re starting to fell nicely caught up now – Merry Christmas Joylene 🙂

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