We love to make most of our costumes. On occasion we buy accessories that are obviously store bought for the purpose of our costumes. We also enjoy wearing matching outfits whenever possible.
I do prefer to create my own look. Usually I wear a different costume each year.
But I really liked last year’s costume that I am wearing it again this year.
I hope you all enjoy this time of year as much as I do!
Happy Halloween everyone!
Spiders don’t bother me. But I’m not a big fan of actual spiderwebs. When I was younger I used to deliver the local newspaper door to door twice a week. Walking up to people’s homes I’d oftentimes get a web in the face.
I hated it. Took a few times until I realized that if I held a rolled up newspaper in front of me that I would stop my face from meeting the webs. Being a kid meant I was stupid, this proves it.
After my childhood, I was a teenager who would wander around nature trails using a stick to swat at those invisible lines. I still do that. So I don’t really like spiderwebs. But I do like No Doubt’s Spiderwebs song. It’s fun to sing along to. It also reminds me of my early 20’s.
I also have a spiderweb shirt that I’ve had for about 25 years as well. I love this shirt and it has held up because I only wear it 3-4 times during the month of October. It’s a satin shirt, and I really don’t like forking over money for dry cleaning.
I always vacuum our home of cobwebs just to put out fake spiderwebs at Halloween. Pretty sure that it’s kind of a pointless endeavor.
Over the weekend I Carved Pumpkins. Our oldest also did her own. Last night, our 14 year old wanted to work on her pumpkin.
For whatever reason, I found this difficult. Part of her design is moderately hard to do. So we started on the easy side. All I wanted to do was carve it myself for her.
I had a tough time relinquishing control. But in the end, I had to let her do it- with some direction. It really should’ve been easier for me to let her do it. I mean honestly- she is taking a Carving Class in her Fine Arts School.
With the first half done, we had to call it a night. The next part will be a bit trickier, but I now know she is fully capable of doing it on her own.
I love everything about Halloween. Often overlooked is the music.
I’ll throw on an old White Zombie or Marilyn Manson album during October a bit more frequently than I normally would. There are certain styles of music that set a tone/feeling. But cute/ silly songs like Monster Mash or Purple People Eater isn’t my thing.
I do enjoy hearing tv theme music from Addams Family or The Munsters. Something about those 1960’s tv families that make me smile.
I also enjoy The Nightmare Before Christmas songs. I can sing them all off by heart. (Even though it is a Christmas movie.) But it’s a good soundtrack to crossover from October into December.
This year I bought 4 pumpkins for the kids and me to carve. My son decided he didn’t want to do one, so my wife offered to do it. I did my pumpkin yesterday and I’m really happy with the results.
I wanted to do something that reminded me of my youth. So I chose to carve “The Dark Crystal” title. It took me about 3 hours.
Today, our sixteen year old carved her pumpkin. She always does one based on her fandoms. This year’s pumpkin was from “Supernatural” and took her about 3 hours to carve.
My wife wanted to carve out “Aggretsuko” until she saw my daughter and I spending so much time doing our pumpkins. So it fell on me to carve it out. I worked on it while our daughter did hers. Aggretsuko took me about 2.5 hours since most of it was shading.
All that we have left before Halloween is for our younger daughter to carve out hers. Today she is wanting to finish her homework first, so we may do it on Monday or Tuesday instead. I think she is also still deciding what to carve.
If you want to see some of my previous designs, click Here.
Or check out last year’s pumpkins Here. This year’s are far more impressive mind you. I really enjoy making them.
Back in January, our oldest daughter hit a New Milestone by getting her first job. Since then, she has done a fantastic job saving money. She only spends about $20/week for a couple lunches out with friends. The rest has been saved.
She has done exactly as we instructed. She has been setting aside 10% of her pay every month. She has also been saving separately for her big ticket item goal. On Monday she ordered it online.
She bought herself a new MacBook Pro. It cost her $4779.04. She bought the top end model in hopes that it will last her a few years. Especially going on to university.
She was excited to finally have something tangible in front of her after ten months of hard work. Even after spending a large lump sum on a new computer, she still has a lot left over. She is planning on spending some monthly on Adobe products for her passion in photography. I’m really happy for her that she experienced the first true sensation of what devoting her time at work can get her.
I have a feeling we won’t be seeing much of her this weekend as she sets the computer up the way she likes it.
Today I have been doing a deep clean in the bathroom and the windows.
I’m using a device called “Scünci Steamer” that my wife got years ago. It’s a handheld steamer that works pretty good at getting the dirt off. I like to use it on occasion instead of always using harsh chemicals. Basically it’s just water so it doesn’t do any damage to the bathroom or windows. But it helps get a good cleaning done.
At little Before and After shot.
My son was intrigued by the steaming machine, so I convinced him that it was a ton of fun to use. (Just like that time I got him to pressure wash the back deck).
All the while I had a silly song going through my head from when my kids were younger. It was from the show Bear in the Big Blue House. I think I’m going crazy.
“C’mon Everybody- Let’s Clean Up The House!”
Today was a different day at work for me. Usually I’m in an office running reports and moving trains. Today I got an opportunity to go out and talk with coworkers about safety concerns and open up some dialogue.
Safety is something extremely important that we all need to be a part of. I try and get out in the field for a bit every couple of days while at work. Today was an entire day instead. I enjoyed it.
While out I noticed a lot of excellent behaviors. Working at a railroad, people need to be kept aware of how unforgiving the work environment can be. We also need to look out for those that aren’t always on the railroad. Such as contractors and even the general public. If we can make a positive impact in each other’s lives, I’m satisfied.
I enjoyed talking to everyone. I’m also really happy with the discussions had. This aspect of my job is probably my favorite. Just an open dialogue trying to resolve issues.
Whenever I have a day shift at work, it means waking up between 4:30 and 5am. Because of this I don’t tend to eat breakfast. I just don’t feel good starting my day on a full stomach.
I usually just have a cup of coffee and one for the road. It gets my system going. About three hours into my day at work and I’ll start to get hungry, so I’ll have a small snack. That tides me over until lunch. By the time I get home for dinner, I’m pretty hungry- and that makes dinners taste that much better.
On my days off however, I eat a really big breakfast after waking up. But that is usually because I sleep in. So my breakfasts are anywhere from 11am to 2pm. The kids love this on when my day off coincides with their days off as well. That means everyone gets a big breakfast.
It seems like a strange routine. But because of working long shifts and doing alternating shift work, I try and eat at relatively the same time each day. Nights are a bit tougher. I try to not eat much after midnight. Maybe just a light snack before the end of the shift. I’m not quite like a Gremlin.
How do you cope with long work days or shift work?
We have been extremely lucky with our good weather here in the Lower Mainland Of British Columbia.
The sun has been shining making beautiful sunsets and sunrises. Many of my friends on social media are sharing images of beauty as the day closes.
Even with the fog in the early morning, it feels otherworldly.
I love living here. I’m not sure if we will ever leave Langley to be honest. There’s something about this suburb that feels like home. Especially during this gorgeous autumn days.
Recently my children were talking about joining the D&D club at school. So I brought out some of my old books for them to look through. Last night, my daughter had her friend sleep over. This young lady has also been playing D&D for a bit now and was able to help my kids set up character sheets.
This was the first time my daughters friend was able to be a DM and was really excited about it. She wrote up a quest for their first adventure. The saga sounded little a lot of fun and wackiness.
I would’ve joined them, but unfortunately I had an early morning at work today. They were at it until around midnight when they all became tired. They have agreed to continue the adventure at school durning a lunch break sometime this week.
Similar to how I remember playing D&D. You spend a ton of time creating a character sheet, then start an adventure only to have it be continued at a later date. I’m happy that my kids are utilizing their imagination and story telling talents to create new worlds.
I’m also happy that some of my stuff is getting a new lease on life with them as well. Maybe it’s time for me to get character made up to play.
I lost my day today.
It wasn’t like it didn’t happen. On the contrary, lots happened which is why I’ve lost my day. More like lost control of the day.
First was an early morning Speed Skating Meet. It was the first one at our club for the season. So at least it was close by. In between my children’s races I was trying to finish a book- Aramada. So I often got lost in the story while waiting.
On the way home, I had to stop and put in my vote for a Mayor, some township councilors, and some school trustees. This opened up a healthy discussion about politics with my 12 and 14 year olds. They asked who and why I was voting for certain people. As much as I don’t want to create a bias in their future plans- I couldn’t very well not talk about it with them.
At home we had a late lunch and the kids showered up. We had bought a large picnic pork roast, so I carved it into four different meals. A big hunk for tonight’s dinner in the slow cooker. Some got cubed and tossed in the freezer for future use. I sliced a bunch for breakfasts later this week. That left the bone- which will go towards a split pea soup later this autumn.
Now I am waiting to pick up our 16 year old at school. She participated in a 48 hour Zoom Fest. It started Thursday at 5pm and ended today. The students had that time to create a short film. I hope to see the results at some point, but for now- I’m impressed by her commitment to a deadline and her ability to work with others on such a project.
So my day just went quickly and was filled with a lot of life. Maybe I didn’t lose my day after all.
Rather- I lived it.
Today I spent with our middle child. We went out everywhere shopping. We were on the hunt for a perfect Halloween costume for her. Problem was- she didn’t know what she wanted to be.
Clearly we don’t have the time to spend making something as intricate or extravagant as some of the previous cosplay. I enjoy the Casual Cosplay with easy costumes of just outfits not needing too much work. So Value Village was one of our stops.
The VV Boutique has a big selection of packaged costumes. Very generic or simply cheap items. Meant for only a few hours then tossed aside. We tend to keep our costumes for future use or passing onto other people. So cheap crap isn’t our thing. After checking out the store bought costume section, we went on the hunt through the clothing donation area instead. We got lucky and found exactly what we would need.
Our daughter loves anime. Particularly Hello Kitty. She also loves Aggretsuko. So we went in search of a blue business outfit, a white dress shirt and an orange-ish wig. After a bit of hemming and hawing we found the perfect combination.
My daughter is super happy with the results. I think this is one of her better costumes that she has put together. Just a touch of makeup and a tail to complete the look. She hasn’t decided if she wants to do calm Aggretsuko or the Karaoke death metal version.
I guess we’ll see how she feels closer to Halloween.
It was always inevitable. One day we will move from our current home. But the question that is looming over us- when should we move?
Originally we were going to wait until all three kids graduated high school. Which is June 2024- about five and a half years away. But at the time that happens, two of our three kids *should* be in post secondary. And likely need some help paying for it. Of course there will be scholarships and RESPs contributions, but there is so many more expenses that will come up.
Selling our home may happen sooner than 2024. Not because of financial reasons (although being close to mortgage free or even the possibility of being mortgage free is likely when we sell) but we may sell because of time. A lack of time to do yard work or maintain the house. A smaller yard and a newer home would help us all as our lives get busier and adulthood kicks in for our kids.
Giving up an acre of trees and peacefulness is tough. The home is full of character as well. Not very cookie-cutter in any way. It was built over 45 years ago by my wife’s father. The home has been great for our kids when they were younger. They were out in the yard and took full advantage of the space. Our dogs were the same. Last summer, no one helped or was around to help with the yard work. Personally, I began to feel overwhelmed by it all. So has my wife.
But giving up our present location has advantages. We are currently just far enough away from the suburbs that it feels close by. If driving. We currently have no access to local transit- meaning we are chauffeurs to our children to get places. We are heavily car dependent. As well there isn’t stores within walking distance. Running out to grab an item takes longer, so we try and maximize our ventures for shopping.
It comes down to what we need moving forward. What’s best for our kids? What’s best for my wife and I as we move closer to retirement? What comes next after we move? Will we move again?
Help. Please. This is a stressful decision to make.
Marijuana is legal in Canada as of today. I don’t think anything drastically good or bad will come of this. People who smoke it won’t change. And those who don’t smoke- probably won’t.
So what’s the big deal?
Nothing. Because weed was already ignored for the most part in Canada. Some say it’s a gateway drug, but I don’t believe it. I know quite a few people who smoke pot and they don’t seem like addicts. They are more like calm individuals who just happen to partake in a toke or two.
That being said, I also don’t think people should drive or go to work high. It’s the same as alcohol. You’re not quite yourself and your actions could affect those around you.
So be smart about using those marijuana cigarettes. And for those enjoying a “Wake’n’Bake” today-
Sometimes life happens rather quickly. You can’t stop it- so you need to roll with it. The crazy feeling that you need to keep up with the world can be overwhelming.
You move so quickly that you get a big rush to go from one thing to another. The next big thing. Sometimes the feeling that you could miss out becomes overwhelming.
What if life throws an opportunity your way but you’re too busy being overwhelmed with the daily aspects to take advantage of it?
Sometimes you just need to stop.
Stop and reflect. Stop and enjoy. Stop rushing through every moment. Stop feeling regret for the choices you make.
If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
Sanity and happiness are a near impossible combination some days. Life enjoys throwing curveballs in your direction when you least want it to.
I can be a real people pleaser. Sometimes I find it difficult to keep everyone else happy without sacrificing my own sanity. Whether it’s at home with the kids, out with friends or at work- I can’t please everyone. That can be tough.
What about my happiness? That’s what I need to work on more. I don’t want to be miserable or grumpy. So all I can do is smile. Laugh it off. Just go with the flow. Hope for the best.
Smile. It’s free.
Today I pulled out an old box of comics from our barn. Don’t get angry! The comics were tucked away in an old cupboard and stayed dry. But they weren’t in great shape to begin with. I never really took care when handling them.
Anyhow, this story isn’t about my old Transformers and Akira comics. My son found a few other gems from my youth that he questioned and made me happy.
An old bowling plaque. Looking back at that score- awful. We bowled every Wednesday after school. Nope, we weren’t cool- that’s for sure. But I always remember just having fun with my friends on our team. Maybe if I focused I’d have gotten better. But really, what would that do for me growing into an adult? Having fun was a much better option.
My son also discovered a couple of my old wooden yo-yos and a collection of puzzles. Plastic twisting puzzles. These were my version of a fidget spinner back in the early 90’s in high school. I mastered each of them and began to get faster solving them. The only one I struggled to get faster at was the original Rubik’s cube. I can generally solve it in under five minutes. Only because I learned a routine and frequently just go through the motions. I know there are ways of solving two parts at once- I never got that good.
Trying to teach my son the patterns on these puzzles has proven difficult. He wants to solve them, but is still trying to grasp the ideas. Hopefully solving puzzles can be a new passion of his.
Like father like son? Who knows.
Having a late Friday night isn’t what it once was for me. Especially when I am required to have an early Saturday morning. Drinking and partying isn’t in play that’s for sure. This sacrifice is for our kids.
Friday evenings we spend a couple hours at an ice rink in our town while the kids practice Speed Skating. We get home by 9pm and have dinner. We hope to go to bed by 11pm. Saturday mornings we are up early to head out to a different ice rink that’s at least 45 minutes away from our home just so the kids can get one more hour of “ice time”.
Next weekend is the first competition. A good chance for the kids to see who they are up against this season. We kept our kids active all summer with dry land training, so hopefully their muscles can be better prepared.
If our kids didn’t like doing skating, we would’ve given this up years ago. But they love it. They have a drive and determination I don’t think I ever possessed. Plus, all of their friendships and competitions aren’t “ugly”. In fact at every meet, there is great sportsmanship shown.
They’re pretty good at this Skating thing. Volunteering my time is the least I can do for them. Calling out words of encouragement from the sidelines is my way of showing I care as well.
Now that we are back home from our latest vacation, it is time to decorate for Halloween. The kids seem to enjoy this. Our son gets right into it and wants to put out everything we have. He even tries to add things that aren’t quite Halloween, but that he thinks would look good.
We have a bunch of things from when the kids were younger. So lots of plastic decor and more not-so-scary items. We don’t put those out as much. We also have a lot of Nightmare Before Christmas knickknacks that stay out all year. For me, decorating each year is about making it different from the last. I try not to have too much store bought items, but rather use what we have around that is old and battered.
Our garden piano for example has begun to crumble and really take the shape of what I wanted. Place a pink rope light behind the keys, a couple fake skulls, and a blue flood light and it creates a near perfect scene.
A few more finishing touches and our home will be perfectly spooky. Today I am putting up our large banners that cover our windows and create quite the visual outside. In a week or two, we will carve the pumpkins!
What are some of your favorite decorations to put up? When do you start?
Sometimes I enjoy taking online surveys. I try my best to answer as honestly as possible. Multiple choice ratings with specifically designed questions that would still give a vague answer… not always true to what I want representing my feelings. How does one express themselves then?
After I completed my optional Disneyland survey, I decided that it wasn’t quite enough. I had more opinions to share about my previous experience last weekend. Since I was already at the computer, I figured I’d email them as well. We had some great experiences that I wanted some cast members to be recognized for.
But as I began writing my email, I realized that there was a few not so positive aspects that I felt needed to be addressed. I don’t usually complain or rant, but by the end of my email- that’s exactly what I had done. So I took a day to reflect and then re-read before hitting “Send”.
It was a bit satisfying to Let It Go. Who knows if my opinion matters. Maybe my email just ends up in a slush pile of typical complaining. Maybe not. Only time will tell.
But for now, we don’t really have a plan to return to Disneyland any time soon.
When we used to go to conventions or go on vacation out of the country, we can’t take our beloved dog with us. In the past we’ve had friends and family look after him. But we’ve also come to rely on a local kennel.
Birch Bark Kennels is the place we have been taking Lex (and our previous dog, Chuppy) for many years. The price is great, and our dog runs in excitedly. The staff are pretty darned good at their jobs as well. We get him back healthy and clean every time.
The kennel has been recognized in our community as well over the years. That makes me really happy to know that they care for animals in such a great manner. I’m always happy to leave our furry family member in their hands.
That being said, he is also really happy to see us again after our vacations. He could barely keep still in the car ride home and wanted to lick me constantly. The first thing he did when he entered our home was run to his bed. He landed in it so fast that it slid further under our piano.
I wish we could take him on some of these trips, but it would also take away from our travels. Spending sixteen hours in Disneyland each day was already tough on us. I couldn’t imagine how it would be for him in an unfamiliar room for that length of time.
I’m really happy to see him again that’s for sure. Absence does make the heart grow stronger.
Flying home from Los Angeles I chose to sit by the window. I took advantage of this and enjoyed the scenery below.
Flying over California was neat. The change in landscapes was quick paced. Almost immediately leaving Los Angeles there were mountains and farmland. Lots of earthy tones of brown and green.
As we approached the Vancouver airport, the view changed drastically to more lush green and the blue of the water surrounding the outskirts.
Flying over both was surreal to me. In California- I could see below us all of the many roads we have driven in the past to get to Disneyland. Arriving at Vancouver, I could see the many locations that my work services. Rail cars and train tracks that I have been on numerous times. Plus many local roads that I have driven.
Once you’re in the air- flying is neat. The other stuff at airports, check in, paperwork, delays, etc… sucks. I prefer a good old fashioned road trip.
Disneyland is great fun. Over the course of three days, we hit probably 90% of the rides. Which is a big portion of our trip usually. We utilize the FastPass option frequently. Disneyland has a MaxPass option for an additional $10/day per person. We didn’t feel that was of any value to our trip. A few extra steps to go get a pass won’t hurt me.
Besides the rides, we love meeting the characters. Our first trip, the girls met all the princesses as they dressed as princesses. We’ve also met numerous Disney characters over the years as well.
This year is no different. We took the time to meet a few characters (not including the cockroach from Wall-E). Each and every moment so far has been filled with jokes and laughs.
Another great aspect of Disneyland and California Adventure is the shows. We stop pretty often for the short side shows on the streets.
We also like taking in some stage shows. Disneyland goes all out and is a leader in how to create these entertainment experiences. This year we enjoyed “Frozen.”
Of course fireworks, parades and other nighttime shows are wonderful to watch.
We find some great moments by trying to experience everything. We have become a true “Disney Family” and love each and every moment in the parks.
Finding joy in some of the silliest things is what I love about life. Even in Disneyland when things aren’t always as magical as you think.
We had a few “Not-So-Magical” moments Saturday. But we had fun nonetheless.
My son’s car in Autotopia died before he could even get in. When I got to the end of the ride, they stopped us all in a row to insert a new car. No big deal, but it made the ride last longer.
On our walk to the train station, I met a celebrity from Wall-E.
Ya, it’s just a bug. But I had to have some fun with the idea of it.
Later in the evening while we were in line for Pirates of the Caribbean, it broke down.
People cheered both times as the ride started up again. The Disneyland App was pretty fast at posting rides going down.
None of this made our trip any less enjoyable. In fact it made it just as memorable as previous visits to Disneyland. We are still having a great time despite these flaws behind the magic.