Bowling For Birthdays

On Sunday, our daughter had a small birthday party. She planned the party about a week prior and decided to hit the local five pin bowling alley in Aldergrove. This is the third birthday in a row that she has done bowling.

Last year she had a great time with her friends out bowling. Same the year before when she turned Lucky 13. It seems our daughter enjoys this sport.

We arrived and the alley was like a ghost town. Considering the only other bowling alley had shut down about a year ago… you’d think the place would be busier. It also made me realize that this sport is not the most glamorous- but still very amusing.

I’m glad to have shown our daughter the joy of bowling when she was younger. I’m also happy she is creating her own birthday traditions.

After a couple rounds, we stopped for cake and gifts. It seems that our daughter has a great group of friends who love to be silly. A Hello Kitty cake and lots of laughs were had.

I wonder if next year she will do the same thing… if the bowling alley still exists…

I Miss Our Con Family

This weekend was a tough one for me. It’s the first year that we aren’t doing the Convention Circuit. And our favorite con- Calgary Expo- just ended.

I missed seeing our friends. The jokes, the smiles, the love. But we couldn’t go. New commitments, the kids growing older, and the realization that there is no money in the Banana Stand this year.

Our Con Family made the pilgrimage to the yearly reunion. We did not. I sent messages of encouragement and watched on social media how their weekend was. A little bit of me died inside this weekend. It was already hard last year when we had to Say Goodbye one last time.

Now the weekend is over. No new con memories made- at least not for us. I’m sure our friends had some entertaining moments. At least that’s what I could see from time to time on social media while hiding out one province over. Maybe one day my family and I will make the trek out to where it all began for us. But I doubt it.

I think that part of my life must remain in my past. Just a distant memory of the way things once were. Time to move on and let others create their own memories.

Long Live The Con Life.

Pub Night Fundraising

Last night my wife and I attended a Pub Night Fundraiser. The fundraiser was for the Grade Seven Camping trip coming up in June. This is probably the third Pub Night we’ve ever attended with the last one being back in October of 2016. This time it was for our son and his classmates. We had to make this one.

The tickets included a beer, burger and fries. I wasn’t expecting much because of previous experiences at Pub Nights in other locations. But I was pleasantly surprised when we arrived. I forgot how good the food was at Jimy Mac’s.

Image: Jimy Mac’s Facebook

Jimy Mac’s is a well established sports pub. It’s been around since I can remember. My first job when I was sixteen was across the street from them back in 1992. When I turned legal drinking age, it was only one of two locations nearby my home to go to. However, I don’t think I’ve been inside the pub for about fifteen years.

The Pub Night was fantastic. Our fundraiser section was packed. The burger was delicious- you could tell that the pub has done these fundraisers before. The service was outstanding by the wait staff. They were very attentive to the needs of our group. Not only was the pub well organized, but the volunteers of the event had set up a 50/50 draw, twoonie toss, and prize giveaways. All proceeds going towards the camping trip.

My wife and found a spot at a long table and were joined by some parents we knew and some we hadn’t met before. We had such great conversations that I completely forgot to take out my phone to snap some images. That is a sign of a good time.

Fundraising isn’t always fun or easy. But the event last night proved to be successful. I want to offer a big thanks to Jimy Mac’s Pub and the fundraising volunteers for creating such a wonderful night.

Easter Was Sooooo Last Week…

Our home gets decorated for the seasons and special holidays- Halloween, Christmas and Easter. Today we had our daughter pack up the Easter decorations. The same ones she set out about a month ago…

Since we are family of Atheists, the religious aspect of Easter isn’t represented. Just a bunch of cutesy bunnies and pastel colours. Which to me is more mainstream Easter (just like Santa equates Christmas).

With Easter behind us, it’s time for spring cleaning. Time to rid ourselves of unused and unwanted items. A rebirth of our household. A chance to also bring back to life our garden and yard. Filling bird feeders and getting our pond set up once more. A time to put behind the pastel colours and bring forth the vibrant greenery and rainbow flowers.

Time to get ready for summer weather and sunny days.

Enchilada!

For the past few days we’ve been planning on having lasagna. Today I started to brown the beef and went to the cupboard to get the lasagna noodles. You know, the noodles my children said we had in the cupboard? Ya. Let’s try feeding a family of five…

With two noodles?!?!

Okay. Time for dad to improvise. Google- help me! What do you do with ground beef that is already getting browned? You make enchilada pie of course.

Taco seasoning, salsa, frozen corn, some tortillas leftover from the other day, shredded cheese, and a can of black beans (thank goodness we always have canned goods in our cupboard!) As I started making our new dinner, everyone came in asking what I was putting into the lasagna. When the new dinner was announced- smiles came to their faces.

We will be topping the enchilada pie with sour cream and avocado. We have been really enjoying those avocados lately. I have been making poached eggs on avocado toast for my wife quite a bit. But that’s for another post.

Mexican inspired food is always a favorite in our home. I love the inexpensiveness of making these meals for the family. As well as the ease of creating tasty meals. It’s amazing how ground beef and shredded cheese can be spread out significantly.

Dinner looks and smells delicious. 20 minutes of prep and 30 minutes cooking makes this a relatively easy dinner.

Here’s the link to the recipe for tonight’s last minute meal: Kraft Enchilada Pie

No, I don’t get any kickbacks from Kraft. Or any other companies. I just love to share ideas that work.

Marvel Mania

This weekend marks some closure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Disney isn’t stopping production of Marvel films by any means. But with “Avengers: Endgame” the stories could take a drastically different route.

11 years of MCU all leading up to this latest installment. I’m excited and not going to speculate on the outcome. Nor have I been reading anything online about the film. I refuse to succumb to spoilers or fan theories. I just want to see the movie and enjoy it.

MCU isn’t the first film franchise to spread out over the years. Star Wars, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings come to mind for fan favorites. Because of devoted fans, there are also devoted haters. People who are “sick of hearing about the films” but want to share their negativity as loudly as possible. I don’t understand why people want to poopoo on other people’s happiness.

I, for one, am going to enjoy the show with my family. Of all the fandom t-shirts I own, none are Marvel based. So I’m rocking my favorite cartoon villain- Mojo Jojo from The Powerpuff Girls. He’s not like Thanos, but still a favorite of mine.

Let’s hear it for fictional bad guys! (Not irl bad guys.) Let me know in the comments if you ever cheer for villains!

Burn!

Having an acre full of trees and bushes is wonderful. The lush abundance of nature is tranquil and serene. As well, we have a sense of privacy from our neighbors which is fantastic. The only problem is the upkeep of the yard.

But we have two times of the year that we can really tackle and take back the yard- October and April. That’s because we get to burn all the dead branches and leaves. My wife claims it to be the best yard work job to do. In other words- she loves destroying with fire!

Burning Season means we also get the entire family out in the yard to help. Cutting branches, ripping out brambles, pulling out invasive plants… All of which gets tossed onto the fire. My wife likes to take full advantage of the weather and her days off in order to make a big dent in the landscaping. Next month we will be maintaining what we planted as well as basic chores.

I enjoy the final results. After a hard day of yard work, you just want to sit and relax. I have come to be using our wheelbarrow as a seat now. I chill with a cold beverage and watch the fire as it winds down. A great opportunity to reflect on life. A fire pit and the sun setting on our abode ends the day.

Don’t Worry – Be Happy

Back in 1988, I got a tape cassette for the “Cocktail” movie soundtrack. I had never seen the film- I was only thirteen at the time (I still haven’t seen it). Going to movies at that age were generally comedic or of a family style. But this film had a soundtrack that perfectly summed up that year.

I listened to it on my ghetto blaster over and over. A favorite song being, “Don’t Worry- Be Happy“. I played this soundtrack so much that a couple of years later- when my parents bought their first CD player- I was given the soundtrack again on CD.

To this day, I still like this soundtrack and that particular song. The advice is prevalent even more so in this day and age. So get out there and live life. The best way to do this-

Don’t Worry – Be Happy

Delete That

I began writing my blog for today, but wasn’t happy with it. It was a very heavy opinion piece that even made me angry reading it. Not because I wouldn’t agree with my piece, but rather that people could end up offended. And that is not the goal I have with my blog.

So I deleted it.

That blog ceased to be. It is in the dark recesses of technological ones and zeros. I removed it one character at a time. I watched as my cursor blinked slowly at first as each letter vanished. Then whole words disappeared, followed by entire sentences.

So now you get this blog entry instead. I wish it was more inspiring. Perhaps it is?

Perhaps not sharing a differing opinion because I knew it could push some buttons is in fact an inspiration.

Skating Never Ends

The Speed Skating season is over. But that doesn’t mean that training is over. On Saturday morning I took my son to meet up with some other members of his Speed Skating club for an hour so that they could get a bit of a workout.

It was a beautiful day, so the kids went out on their in-line skates for some more practice. The four of them enjoyed it tremendously. What I really liked was that it was one of the skaters that wanted to arrange this, not a parent or coach. Speed Skating is a serious endeavor for those involved. The fact that these kids are taking it seriously makes me proud.

I need to get myself more disciplined like these youngsters. Perhaps it’s time for me to put my inline skates back on…