Sleep can be a finicky trickster. As much as I love talking about sleeping and practically live my life for naps- waking up normally eludes me. Waking up goes one of two ways.
Either I have multiple alarms and hit snooze as often as possible in hopes to get every last moment of sleep. I’d say this is my most common way of waking up. My wife swears that it makes me more tired because I interrupt my sleep so much in the end. I disagree. I think hitting snooze lets me prepare mentally for my day as it erases my memories of those dreams I was living in.
The other thing that will happen is I’ll wake up before my first alarm. This causes me to stare at my phone and watch as the time changes. This seems to last forever as misery takes over my already fragile emotional state of sleepiness. It’s during these moments that I can vividly remember my dreams and sometimes wish to re-enter that state. Only the dread of closing my eyes just to hear my alarm takes over.
Rarely, if ever, do I wake up on the first alarm and start my day. In fact since I was a child this never happened. I also tried to set my alarm across the room in order to get out of bed to turn it off. That didn’t work. Instead, my lazy ass would just let it buzz for ages as I completely ignored it. That’s because I knew I had set it early in order to hit snooze. There was no fooling myself!
How do you wake up? Are you a multiple alarm kind of person? Perhaps the nine minute snooze is your thing? Or are you the rare beast that wakes instantly from slumber upon the first bell tolling?
Let me know in the comments. For now I’m going to adjust my alarms by two minutes in hopes to change my habit since the past few days I’m beating my alarm and waking before it attempts to.
WordPress recently congratulated me on 1001 days straight of blog posts. That’s a lot of stories about me and my life experiences. However, I’ve actually written more than that. 1001 days puts me only to the end of August 2018.
I’ve written in this blog every day since January 27,2016. That’s 1950 days. I hit a few technical issues in the years of blogging which explains why it didn’t count every single day posted. Computers, am I right? Wait, I use my iPhone 98% of the time to write.
I have enjoyed journaling here in hopes that my experiences are uplifting and relatable to those who do read my blog. I enjoy writing about parenting, traveling, music, movies, memories, growing old, and kindness. Sometimes I stray from that and share a bittersweet or sad story. But it’s generally about me and my thoughts for the day.
As always, thank you to my devoted followers for reading my tales. They may never become a bestseller novel, but the stories are mine to share.
May 29,2000. Twenty one years ago my wife and I met. We have been together almost every day since then. Any time we have been apart, we have spoken on the phone. The time we have had apart is so minimal that I’d hazard a guess it’s been less than one month all added up.
We are moving into our dream home in twenty one days. I am nervous and excited at the same time. Change is good. Like all of the changes that have entered my life, the biggest ones have occurred with Lee-Anne by my side.
In all this time, my wife has- and will be- the constant that makes my life matter most. She has pushed me beyond my comfort levels and helped in creating who I am today. From parenting to career to travel to just living life- after meeting Lee-Anne my journey has been a whirlwind of excitement.
In July we will celebrate twenty years of marriage. In our new home, with an adult child and two teenagers to celebrate with us. I’m always amazed to look back at life and see the journey we have been on. Sometimes you miss the process as you are in the midst of it.
Man, it feels as though I’ve been complaining a lot lately about getting old and my ailments. Sorry about that. This is my last one for a while, I promise.
Our king size mattress has been causing restless nights over the past while. Waking up with back and shoulder pains was making my wife and I cranky. So we discussed getting a new mattress for when we move.
My wife placed an order for the ENDY mattress because it was coming with some free bedsheets if we order before the end of May. We expected the mattress to show up next week some time. Instead it arrived the next day. Awesome!
This morning I swapped out our old mattress for the new one with the help of our kids. Then off to the Waste Transfer Station (A nicer way to say Garbage Dump) to get rid of the old mattress. $15 to ditch a bad night’s sleep. Better than offering it out to friends.
We are looking forward to our first sleep on the ENDY. With all of the positive reviews, if it lasts ten years like our other mattress then it will be well worth it. If you want to get one for yourself, check out this link: ENDY.
I know I was complaining yesterday about my joints and pains. Today I realized I have hit another stage of growing older. And it wasn’t my hearing like I thought it was going to be because of the loud music and my work environment. Nope, it’s my eyesight.
I was unable to read the writing on the yellow part of this label. My wife gave me her reading glasses, and voila- clear as crystal. It’s odd because I could read the part above with a bit of strain, but accurately without hesitation.
Naturally, I went on my phone to search up signs of aging and stuff like that. Here’s what I found:
Your Heart Works Harder.
Your Skin Feels Different.
You Find It Harder to See and Hear.
Your Teeth and Gums Change.
Your Bones Become More Brittle.
Going to the Bathroom.
It’s Harder Getting Around or Staying Strong.
I stopped consuming alcohol last August because I could feel my heart working harder than ever. By October I felt normal. But the last month or so I have noticed my heartbeats being erratic once more. And with the aches creeping in more, and today’s realization that my eyesight is going to diminish, I’m feeling a bit down.
I always knew that I’d grow old. That’s just what happens. I’ve already been enjoying trimming nose and ear hairs as I watch my hairline recede. Getting a scratch or bruise? Might as well watch it heal at a snails pace. On normal days where I don’t work nights? Bedtime is before nine pm.
So yeah, my body is getting decrepit. Since the day I was born, it was a downhill slope leading to eventual destruction. Just like everyone else. What to do about it? Besides complaining (which I kind of enjoy) or comparing it to other people’s ailments- I think it’s best to IGNORE it.
I meant, work out. Exercise. Read more. Eat healthier. Look after myself. I kind of like my life and friends and family. It’d be nice to see them for a while longer. Or I can hope that technology catches up soon and I can be part robotic.
Anyhow, maybe next time I get my eyesight checked I’ll look at the possibility of getting reading glasses. Until then- I’ll use the technology available to me now. My iPhone can zoom in on the directions for me. Who needs glasses?
As much as I love quoting The Beastie Boys, I tweaked my back yesterday and it wasn’t fun. I hurt myself doing a normal task- stirring pasta. That is almost as bad as straining my thumb taking off a sock. My thumb has been in pain for weeks now. It’s tough to text on my phone. Life is rough.
Being in my mid-forties and getting injured in such simple ways is torturous to the ego. I’m getting worried about what will happen when I hit fifty. My wife keeps telling me I need to stretch and exercise more. I think Advil is good enough, for now…
I’m thinking about swimming and doing yoga this summer. Perhaps it will loosen up my tense muscles. One can only hope. I’ll probably rock out in my backyard to some Beastie Boys as I “work out.”
So, “If you can feel what I’m feeling then it’s a musical masterpiece/ If you can hear what I’m dealing with then that’s cool at least/ What’s running through my mind comes through in my walk/ True feelings are shown from the way that I talk”
Remember your towel today! It’s International Towel Day. Here’s a brief description:
A towel, [The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy] says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-boggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is one of my favorite science fiction series ever. We named our first born daughter Random because of it. I have even dressed as Arthur Dent at conventions in the past.
I will be bringing my towel with me all day. Just like I do Every Towel Day. It’s a sign of being a nerd. A true nerd.
I’m not busy doing much of anything. Including sleep. Most times I can just roll over and pass out. I’ve slept through jackhammering and roofing. This morning I’m just aimlessly wandering the Internet. Maybe a lullaby will help after my night shift.
Now the world has gone to bed, Darkness won’t engulf my head, I can see in infrared, How I hate the night. He paused to gather the artistic and emotional strength to tackle the next verse. Now I lay me down to sleep, Try to count electric sheep, Sweet dream wishes you can keep, How I hate the night.
What would really help is putting down my phone and closing my eyes. Farewell for the day. Or as Truman says:
Here in my neck of the woods- we had a good run of amazing weather the last couple of days. It felt as though the May Long Weekend was going to shine! Today I woke up and it was grey and chilly. The forecast also doesn’t look to favorable this week. Chance of rain and more grey skies.
I honestly don’t mind too much. That’s because I have another couple of weeks of night shifts to go. The grey skies help me sleep during the day. I do have blackout blinds, but the turn in the weather also means less people and animals outside making a ruckus and enjoying life.
Maybe that’s a little selfish sounding. Like most people I didn’t look into the weather outlook for the weekend. I just assumed the sun would be around. Lots of my friends and coworkers have enjoyed camping and hanging out in their backyards over the last two days. At least according to their social media posts.
Don’t worry folks, the sun will return soon enough. We have an entire summer to go.
In four weeks time we will be smack dab in the process of moving. Over these past three months (yeah, that long so far) we have been packing and decluttering the homestead. Today I can finally say that the out buildings are cleared up.
Cleaning these buildings out has been the biggest challenge. Most of the stuff we have inside our house is easy enough to pack. But the barn, woodshed and garden shed were my least favorite to tackle. There was almost five decades of stuff collected. Plus numerous hand-me-downs from family and friends. Because we had the space at the time to take things.
Lately, it has been our turn to pass items on. I’m glad that those items are getting good use still.
With twenty eight days left to go, it would be really nice if some of the restrictions would be lifted. My family and I are feeling trapped in an endless state of box filling and clutter. We could really use some time with friends and family. A hug from a best friend would be nice as well. The kind of hug that says- “Everything is going to be okay.”
Come mid-June I hope that our lives are going to be returning to normal with the new home to grow into. Counting down the days is difficult. But dang is moving day approaching fast!
Our oldest finished her practicum and received her feed back today. That means a year of post secondary school is now behind her. She is finally relaxed.
Tonight we picked up an ice cream cake to celebrate her first year behind her. Random deserves a treat after such a stressful few weeks getting her project completed.
Unfortunately there are no options for her to get in the workforce this summer. Covid has made it difficult for her to get some hands on experience. Hopefully after her second year she will get experience in her chosen field. In the meantime, she is excited to work for her boss at 1 Fish 2 Fish this summer.
What’s really neat is that for her practicum film project- she interviewed a coworker about working there. After getting feedback from her teacher, Random is going to edit the project and present it to her boss. I think that’s wonderful. Our daughter can combine her passion for film and fish into one.
I hope she continues to enjoy the career she is choosing to pursue. There will be plenty of opportunities coming up and she could be a very busy person.
Today I suddenly felt old. Which is a strange sensation when it hits you. It was one of those Throwback Thursday moments. I found out that something I once enjoyed turned 32 today.
When I was twelve or thirteen, I began watching Saturday Night Live. I didn’t always stay up late to watch it, instead I used my parent’s VCR and would record the show and watch it early Sunday morning. I discovered a great cast of stars like Mike Meyers, Dana Carvey, Victoria Jackson, Phil Hartman, even Jon Lovitz and others.
I kept a collection of footage on numerous tapes, each about six hours in length. When I went to visit my best friend at spring break and over summer, I would bring these tapes and we would watch them over and over. At one point, my parents got a second VCR, so I would edit my favorite clips together.
One of the most ridiculous sketches was still one of my favorites. It actually involves Steve Martin. And no, it wasn’t one of the classic ones from the 70’s and early 80’s. It was about a cat.
Toonces! The cat who could drive a car. He drives around, all over the town- he’s Toonces the driving cat.
The jingle was silly and to the point. The sketch was stupid. So dumb that at age 13- I thought it was absolutely brilliant. Toonces turned 32 today. I feel really old, but still giggled when I looked up the sketch on YouTube.
I shared the fact that Toonces is 32 with my best friend who would watch those Saturday Night Live recordings with me. We have been friends since kindergarten in 1981. That’s a long time. Nearly 40 years now.
Do you have any random memories that make you feel old?
My wife and I have a special relationship. It’s filled with love and understanding; compassion and kindness. But above all- acceptance. Acceptance of our flaws.
I accept that my wife has a crude sense of showing her love for me some days. I recently saw some screen shots of a text conversation we had about four years ago. It’s the same type of conversation we have had previously and continue to have.
Yes. That text exchange was while we lay next to each other in bed. It’s not the first time we have done that. Nor will it be the last time. (I’m obviously talking about my wife’s farts and how proud she is of them).
Everyone farts. You can’t deny that. Is it acceptable to share them? Honestly- read the room first. Not everyone finds passing gas humorous. Especially if there’s an odor that goes along with it.
I enjoy that my wife and I are that comfortable around one another. And that we can fart freely. We both still giggle as a reaction to one another’s gas works. A little rumble in the down under makes for some good laughs.
I love taking pictures of the artwork on rail cars. I enjoy how an image can tell a quick story.
I also like taking my pictures with a bit of an artistic flare. It’s amazing how lighting and backgrounds can change the feel of the image so easily. Not to mention the filters that smartphones and apps have available. An original image can change completely given the appropriate filter.
Taking pictures of inanimate objects is easy enough. Especially if the art is worthy of a photograph. Catching the right light and angle is also important. Rule of thirds, leading lines, framing- any of the photographer’s special gambit of artistic flair is made easy using railroads and rail cars. I have been doing it for years in order to perfect those skills I learned in high school photography almost thirty years ago.
I appreciate Instagram for being able to showcase and see some fantastic images. There are a lot of talented photographers out there who make a subject jump out at you and make you feel emotion.
I’m feeling contented and courageous by sharing my pictures regularly. I hope you all enjoy seeing the art from my point of view that others have painted. Feel free to follow me on Instagram and see more pictures of rail cars and my life.
On Saturday afternoon, my wife and I went for a walk in Maple Ridge. We wandered around Kanaka Creek Regional Park for about an hour or so. This was our first time exploring this area. I remember that nearby there used to be the Albion Ferry. I’m sure I came here back in the early 90’s when we were able to cross from Fort Langley. Even though there is a rich history here, this park was finished in 1993.
It is a nicely shaded walk that meanders near the Fraser River. It is far more maintained than the parks in Langley are. This was probably one of the nicest walks I’ve been on recently in The Lower Mainland.
It sure felt as though summer was upon us the other day. If you head out on a beautiful sunny day like we did, remember to bring water, a hat, and sunscreen. And remember to smile for your photos!
Our son is turning fifteen today. I can’t believe how the time is flying by over these past years. He is the youngest of our children, so these birthdays hit a bit differently. Each one of his birthdays and achievements is a reminder that there won’t be any more to come.
Alright, I’m not going to get all teary eyed. Instead I want to say that Theory is a great kid. He has always been a fantastic son who loves to share his passions with me. We talk a lot about every subject imaginable. I have a relationship with him that is far superior than the one I had with my father. It shows in the fact that our son wants me to be a part of his world all the time. Two years ago was completely Devoted to him.
Usually he is a mama’s boy. My wife still thinks of him as the baby of the family. He definitely gets the majority of hugs from mom compared to the rest of us.
He also has a great relationship with his sisters. Yesterday he hung out with his eldest sister as she iced his birthday cake. They laughed and goofed off for about four hours in the kitchen. He also has a ton of fun with his other sister as they hang out and share jokes.
Today we had a sugar induced brunch as requested by Theory. Waffles, hashbrowns, maple bacon, whipped cream, syrup, and a three layer cake. Part way through the meal our kids decided to play frisbee in the backyard to burn off some of the sugar rush. I just sat there vibrating from the sugar.
As much as I want to write so much more about him, I have already shared stories of Theory in the past. I’d like to summarize by saying that Theory is always the type of kid who puts everyone else first. His kindness is the greatest gift ever. I wish for him to continue on that pathway throughout his life.
Happy Birthday once more Theory! You are the best son a dad could hope for.
Yesterday my wife and I enjoyed a midday kayak on the Sumas Canal that leads to the Vedder River. Last year we went at the end of June when the water levels were much higher. That allowed for more exploration along the calm water’s edge. Read about last year’s adventure here: Vedder Made Today Better.
Yesterday was just a brief stint in the water. The levels were much lower and we really weren’t as prepared as we thought we were. Even though we packed some snacks and put to use our new PFDs, we just weren’t as ready as we thought. The water wasn’t difficult to paddle- the problem was the sun. We forgot sunscreen. Our water bottles can only keep us cool and hydrated for so long.
We are definitely fond of the calm clear water which we paddled on passing the tall grasses. We have also become bird watchers while on these journeys. Yesterday we saw numerous cranes, geese, mallards, hawks, and bald eagles. As well as a few fish and frogs hiding out.
Even though our adventure was short, we still enjoyed the brief paddle. Getting a bit of a workout in the sun was nice. I enjoy the car ride as well, that allows for my wife and I to talk about life.
All-in-all a good mental and physical health moment in the middle of the day.
Our oldest child is about to finish her first year of post secondary education. Because she is attending British Columbia Institute of Technology, there has been a good variety of in-class and remote learning happening. Her area of study is in film.
She has been enjoying all the different aspects of being behind the camera. She has had an introduction to filming, editing, sound, directing, and everything else involved. I love hearing about it all and how excited she is when she successfully accomplishes one of the tasks or projects. She has been putting in long hours and determination.
Yesterday she was learning how to use drones to create professional images and movies. Using drones may not be exciting to some, but these aren’t the little ones you buy at Walmart. Her class had a good day to test them out and these are a few photos she took.
Unfortunately due to Covid restrictions, our daughter will be unable to take on any apprenticeships this summer. She is hoping that after next year things open up and she can utilize her skills in a more hands-on approach. BCIT has been good to her and her skill sets. I’m proud of what she has been doing so far and love to see her sense of accomplishment as her projects get completed.
Once in a while I’ll bring our dog to get the kids from school. I used to bring Lex, but he is elderly and frail that I worry about him traveling. Even if it is for a short distance.
Maki did a pretty good job hanging out in the very back on the way to the school. She popped her head up a few times, but mostly laid down. She did bark as we approached the school which shocked me. She tends to bark at other dogs.
Darwin was pleasantly surprised to see Maki in the car and quickly took her out to wander the field. Maki loved the new scents and grass, giving a good tug for Darwin to keep up.
The drive home was a little more chaotic. The kids put their stuff in the back on half the trunk space and folded one of the chairs down. Theory sat in the back and tried to keep her still, but I was getting dog breath in my face as I drove.
Maki only barked once randomly as we neared our home. It was a good little surprise for the two youngest seeing their dog greet them. I’m hoping to do it more often as the weather gets nicer.
Sometimes an event or day drags on. Some of us have work meetings that last forever. It feels like there is no escaping it.
Some meetings feel like lectures. Where one person speaks and everyone else just sits there listening. Like a classroom setting with a teacher. Everyone having to listen and pay attention in hopes that you don’t get called on to answer a question that you weren’t even paying attention to.
Now with online meetings, it’s worse. There are video conferences that have people just blankly following along. We can all see it. And we can all feel it. To break up the doldrums of the topic, subtle side messaging begins. Jokes and insults and off topic subjects start to come out. Anything at all to keep your sanity as watching the paint dry and dreaming of a place that doesn’t quite resemble hell enters your mind.
Then a sigh of relief when it ends. A renewed energy comes back into you as you realize the last five hours are time you cannot get back. Time that, even though you are paid to be there, feels wasted.
I will miss this house once we leave. I have enjoyed the peace and tranquillity that our country living has garnered us over the years. But there are some things that I am ready to say farewell to. First and foremost are the trees.
Not because I don’t like trees. It’s more the dead branches and the dead trees that I won’t miss.
This tree has been dead since long before our time owning this house. It has been home to a variety of birds over the years, so that’s been nice. But at some point this tree really needs to be taken down. It is far too close to the house. It is only one of many that are too close now.
This tree is above the cable and power line that runs to our home. I circled a dead branch that has been precariously hanging for a couple of years now. It’s larger than most people’s Christmas trees. One day it will come down. I have been waiting and watching for it every wind storm.
Besides the trees, I’m looking forward to different plumbing. We have constantly replaced and repaired pipes and joints throughout the home on a regular basis. By regular- it’s about every three months that something has gone wrong. I’m really hoping we get a couple of years or more with no leaks in our next house. To the point that I may forget how to do plumbing repairs.
I know I don’t usually write about the negative. I’m trying to mental check with myself that we have made the right decision to sell. Financially I think it will be good in the long run. Emotionally will be challenging at first, but we will make the next place as loving a home as this place was.
For Mother’s Day, our kids did their best to make my wife happy. Breakfast in bed, a day of Netflix binging, dinner, doing what was asked (without eye rolls and back talk) and a few gifts. Everyone was happy. It was great.
On social media I witnessed numerous wishes to moms everywhere. A few moms I know shared what their families had done for them as well. There was a lot of love going around yesterday.
I also saw a few images of my favorite tv moms. These are the ones who taught me about life. Many of them were humorous and worthy of being a tv mom.
I enjoyed the positive vibes I witnessed yesterday. There is plenty of love for and from mothers out there. Love like that should be shared more often.
I have been lucky enough to have married my best friend. She has been nothing short of supportive and loving. Our kids have been even more lucky with having such a great mom to look after them all these years.
In the past our kids have brought their mom breakfast in bed, made special artwork, and generally given as much love as possible for little kids to muster up. Now as they are all teenagers, I have tried to allow them to make their own decisions on what to do for their mother. Obviously a few reminders over the past couple weeks of today’s special person were dropped. Since I’ll be at work all day, I’ll have to wait and see how they did when I get home.
I’m hoping that they give her the love and attention she deserves today. I’m pretty sure the kids won’t muck this up, they love their mom a lot. I know that there are moments that my wife would like some time to herself. She will get some of that alone time starting next month when she can enjoy a quiet bath or a book by the fire. After almost nineteen years of being an on-the-go parent, she will deserve the relaxation.
Okay. The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything is…
That’s 42 days from now!
In six weeks we are moving to our new house. Our entire life, universe and everything will be changing. This is hitting a 9 out of 10 on the stress scale now.
I’m terrified and excited at the same time. The fact that we had such a long closing date for leaving here and the possession of our new home has been both a blessing and a curse. The countdown seems so far away still. Yet we have the majority of our home packed up. Which is great, except that we are living in only a portion of our house at the moment.
Our living room is packed with boxes all labeled to where they need to go in our new home. No more theater room and watching shows on our big screen. My wife’s studio is also filled. All of the bedrooms have a stack of boxes and this new chaos feels like it is running rampant in our home. The most empty space we have at this time is our yard. We cleared out so much debris outside that our land looks enormous once more.
For the next month and a half, we will be enjoying the outdoors a bit more than normal. Every year we have enjoyed dining outdoors. This year will be no different. Even when we move- we will enjoy the outdoors.
Enough blogging. Back to packing. Hmmm… I wonder which Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy quote I should focus on:
“Don’t Panic.” …
“Time is an illusion. …
“Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?”
I’m enjoying “me time” in my backyard this afternoon. A bit of a breeze, but I was doing some yard work to keep warm. I’m taking a small break to enjoy some music, the weather and share a couple of photos.
Here is what I am seeing right now as I sit in my wheelbarrow:
Here’s what the satellites and ufos can see:
I’m just a small piece of the vast universe. I’m going to enjoy my time here on this planet. Who knows what comes next. Today is just pure enjoyment. Pleasure to be alive, just floating around on this crazy planet.
Enjoying a moment is important when life is filled with challenges and hardships. Taking a moment to remember that it’s not all bad. Life is grand. I’m enjoying it.