Trees and Vines

I love eating green grapes. One of my favorite fruits right next to apples. When my wife and I bought our first home- I had two apple trees and a grape vine. I took great care and tended to them meticulously in order to enjoy the fruits which they bore.

We moved to our current home a dozen or so years ago. There was already an established plum tree, a pear tree and an apple tree in the yard. I planted a second apple tree as well. Over the years, we saw fruit from the original three trees. But in the last couple years, we lost the plum tree to disease and the original apple tree uprooted. This year the pear tree did not bear any fruit.

Sadly, this means our fruit trees are no more it seems. Even the apple tree I planted has not grown much in a decade. We have many other healthy trees which keep our home and yard shaded.

I think that next spring I will plant some grape vines in the sunnier part of my yard. I love green grapes.

First Day Of School- Sort Of

Yesterday was the first day of school. Only it was just one hour of school. Not really a “day” to speak of really. But the kids enjoyed seeing their friends and smelling the hallways once more.

My wife even took the obligatory “Seeing the kids off on the first day of school photo“. This year was of the car as it drove off. That’s because our oldest has her driver’s license and the other two are both in high school now. This meant we didn’t have to spend the “day” waiting for them. It’s bittersweet in a way. But for this year, my wife and I won’t have to spend 40 minutes in the morning and 40 minutes in the afternoon driving.

Huge sigh of relief.

Today is a real day of school. Now starts the hard work and education.

First Sunrise of Grade 12

Our oldest daughter is beginning her final year of high school today. As tradition with The Langley Fine Arts School, the Grade 12’s all got together nearby the school and watched the First Sunrise of Their Grade 12 Year.

My daughter came home about an hour afterwards with a big grin on her face and a pep in her step. She was happy to see all of her classmates and friends again. She told me that people shared stories of their travels and summer experiences. It sounded like everyone was hyper-energized this morning. I think they are all looking forward to the upcoming year.

And as with tradition, on the last “official” day of Grade 12- the students will get together and watch the Last Sunset of Their Grade 12 Year.

I wish them all the best for this final high school year! And may they enjoy the experiences that come with their friendships formed throughout these past few years.

Facebook Follies

Years ago I used to post about six or seven status updates on Facebook every day. This was not including the amount of times I’d change my profile picture as well. I went through a phase where I shared any and every humorous Star Wars image I could find.

Back in March of this year I took a drastic approach to this addiction. I deleted all my friends from Facebook. I’m not blaming my friends for my addiction. It’s just they humored my zany antics and prompted me to continue. I needed the next big laugh or long list of “comments” and “likes”. Those feelings never lasted and I craved more attention creating a vicious circle.

I find now that my daily blog is more informative and a better use of my time. It allows me to truly express myself and share how my life is going. I’m also reading more pieces from other bloggers and feeling much more productive. There’s an entire world out there that doesn’t require “a like for a like.”

I still use Facebook, but in a much different facet. I read articles that are enlightening or educational to me. I also interact with my blog followers when they comment. It’s a different, more grown up feeling I’m getting from using Facebook.

And I “like” it.

Sober September

I’m going for year two of Sober September. The end of summer had me enjoying my vacation with quite a few beers this year. As much as I want to sport the beer gut and “Dad Bod” I also want to be healthy. Taking a break from the hops and barley will help.

We also have quite the collection of Growlers from the breweries we’ve visited. It’s time to let them gather dust for a bit. Generally if I liked a beer, I bought a growler. But the artwork on the bottles is also important. I guess it’s kind of like spoon collecting?

Anyways, it’s September 1st. Time to get on the path of Sober September. I’m glad I did it last year and was eager to do it again this year. My wife has said she is going to join me this month as well. That’s the kind of awesome support that I appreciate.

Dust and Dirt

Sometimes the best part of a camping trip is coming home. That’s where you get to shower and wash off the dirt and grime accumulated over the trip.

The dirt gets under the fingernails and sticks to the sunscreen. A dip or two in the lake is nice to cool off, but it’s no hot shower.

There’s loads and loads of laundry to do. That’s why I usually wear old clothes. The dirt gets ground right in. At one point on our trip, a raccoon wandered onto our table cloth with its dirty feet. At least we are smart campers and never leave food out.

Driving a dusty logging road means our cars needed a good wash after as well. My car went from looking like a burnt marshmallow to a bridal dress after a good hose down. I must’ve also killed a small squadron of insects because my front bumper and grill were coated in bug guts.

It’s refreshing to get home and back to that clean feeling. All that’s left is to pack away our gear for our next trip.

Windy Wind Down

Our last day at Twenty Mile Bay started like every other day. It was warm and sunny out.

First thing after breakfast, my buddy and I hit the lake on the kayaks. It was calm and glass like on the water.

Later in the afternoon, I went out kayaking with my wife. We were out for about an hour or so on the water. As we returned the water began to get choppy. It was still warm out, so I grabbed a camping chair and sat with my feet in the water.

Then the wind picked up. My wife brought out our kite- nicknamed “Mighty Kitey“. We bought this kite on our honeymoon back in 2001. My wife gets great joy proving that she can keep it flying longer than I can. The wind continued on into the night sending a warm breeze through our campsite all night long.

Right before dinner, our daughter suffered a terrible accident. She took a sip of her soda that was poured into a glass with a straw. Immediately she spat it out. A wasp had climbed into her drinking straw and drowned. She had a mouthful of pop and a dead wasp in her mouth. As she spit it out, the dead wasp happened to sting her inner lip.

An old trick I learned came into action. We cut a fresh onion and she placed it behind her lip where she got stung. The juices from the onion helped to nullify the venom in her mouth. Within a few minutes the swelling was down and she was only left with some bad breath.

Crazy end to our lovely camping trip, that’s for sure.

Lake Views 2019

Wednesday was another fun filled day. My son and I went out on the kayaks and he decided that we should go to the island. We had a great time racing each other and bonding.

As the sun went overhead and the temperatures reached 31° we found ways to keep cool.

My wife relaxed with her kindle in the hammock. I took a camping chair just deep enough into the water that my butt would be submerged. I found some driftwood and used it as a foot rest.

Just before dinner, my wife and I went out on the kayaks and paddled around the campgrounds.

We ended our day with some good laughs at dinner and a failed attempt at making Jiffypop popcorn. But all is well. We are still not done camping for the week.

Float The Boat

Kayaking and floating on the lake was a great way to spend our first full day on Harrison Lake. We love coming to Twenty Mile Bay.

My wife and oldest daughter went out kayaking after breakfast. I took my other daughter out and we floated about in some tubes. Shortly after, my wife came back and I hopped into the kayak. My wife and I towed our daughters out in the lake having a great time.

Once we ditched the girls- my wife and I paddled to the island just off shore. As in a twenty five minute paddle to the secluded island.

We paused for a beverage and some time to talk. We put on our PFDs and floated in the lake around the island back to the kayaks.

The water was peaceful and it’s always great to connect with nature without the white noise of suburban life.

Twenty Mile Bay 2019

On Monday we ventured out to our favorite campsite at Twenty Mile Bay. This year, my best friend I’ve known since kindergarten is joining us with his kids. The weather will be cooperating as well!

We packed up our cars and headed down the logging road that leads us to the campsite.

When we arrived- we exploded and took over our double site. This will be our home for five days. I’m happy that this year there isn’t a campfire ban. We can cook foods over the open flames!

In between cooking and sleeping we will be enjoying the lake and relaxing. The best way to end summer vacation.