With the warmer weather approaching quickly, I tend to not eat as much as I do in the winter months. I tend to snack periodically and keep myself hydrated instead. Most days I’ll have one big meal- usually at dinner.
I don’t consider a sandwich to be a meal. I think of that as a snack. Same with a bowl of soup or a cup of noodles. Just a quick and easy snack to keep me going for the day.
One of my favorite sandwiches is a basic cheese and lettuce on lightly toasted bread. I throw on some mayonnaise and mustard for added flavor. This is the sandwich I used to make when I worked at Burger Brothers as a 16 year old over thirty years ago. At BB, we would get a discount on the burgers, but our boss allowed us to have a veggie or veggie and cheese sandwich at no cost. This was a great way to ensure I could save some money working there.
I also enjoy a simple cucumber sandwich in the summer. I find those to be very refreshing. Same with a BLT. All great snacks that utilize vegetables in some form.
I noticed the other day that we had hummingbirds flying around our back deck. that meant it was time to refill our hummingbird feeders!
We had two from the last couple of years that we put out all the time. Recently we picked up a blue glass feeder and a small handheld one. I like the colored glass ones as they add a spark of enjoyment. I hung the red and blue ones up where we can see them from our back windows. The large clear glass one will be hung up just outside our basement so we can see the birds from our deck.
I’m hoping the small handheld one will draw the attention of the birds. I’d love the feel like a Disney princess being one with the animals! I think it would be loads of fun.
Do you have a small hummingbird feeder? Does it work? Or do you have the large ones as well?
This weekend our son received a trophy and a plaque from his skating club. In the one year he has been with the club, he has pushed his limits and skills to the next level. His coaches are proud of him because he shows respect to their methods of coaching.
One coach was away, but she wrote an awesome speech about his improvements and what it is like to coach him. It reads:
“This year was a very important year for Theory. Since joining PoCo Theory has met, and exceeded many of his competition goals such as qualifying for WEC, making the top 16 at BCCUP, achieving and smashing a sub 50second 500m, and many more including (but not limited to) his personal achievements in LT. He has also matured greatly as a person, learning how to balance and manage the stressful life of a student athlete while still being engaged in his extra curricular activities and hobbies, such as photography, music, and the arts.
Theory fully trusts and respects his coaches, allowing for extremely easy and efficient teamwork between coach and athlete. He is extremely responsive during racing and practice-it’s obvious how much Theory cares about making his coaches proud, and how hard he will work to continuously surprise us. This past year, he made the conscious decision to unlock the mental and physical requirements needed to be at that next higher level of competition, and he has definitely met and exceeded those expectations. His fun and happy attitude, his talent, and his uniqueness is seen and appreciated by all. He is well loved by his teammates and even more loved by the younger skaters in PoCo, who see him as a funny and kind older brother. Theory is the most improved skater.”
Theory has come a long way in his skating. This past year has been some of his biggest improvements and personal bests being achieved. His other coach will continue to push him harder next season (and through summer session as well).
My wife and I are both extremely proud of his skills and the vast improvements since joining PoCo Lighting. We will continue to support Theory as he skates more competitively. He’s a great kid and the hard work pays off.
This weekend I spent my Friday and Saturday hanging out with friends. Normally I see people about once every couple of weeks. My “Social Meter” has a short battery these days, but I was glad to get the opportunity to hang out. Different dynamics on both evenings, so it made it easier to get out in the world on back-to-back evenings.
I take the moments I spend with friends as something much more than just hanging out. Socializing is a great way to share experiences, discuss life and just comprehend the world around us. I reflect on what we talk about and learn from the humor and memories each person brings to the table. I’m very much an observer, but I also add my own flavor to the conversation at the correct intervals. Social cues are something I can read quickly and adapt to.
Discussing entertainment, travel, work, life, etc also helps to put thoughts into words and clear your mind. There are days on end that I feel overwhelmed with my emotions and thoughts. Talking things out really does help. Having friends to connect with us almost as important as food and oxygen. It’s good for your mental health to be social.
Thank you friends for a good weekend! Until next time when my “Social Meter” becomes full again!
We took the cover off our pool last weekend. Not a pretty sight to say the least. Some cleaning needed to be done.
After getting the water tested and spending about $500, we (ok me) tackled getting the pool ready for summer. There were numerous steps to be done at certain times. Every few hours a new chemical was added to the pool. Yesterday was the day that I vacuumed and scrubbed the excess debris one last time.
Now the pool is blue! The last thing to do is get the cloudiness out and make the water clear once more. Lots of work and money to get our backyard oasis ready for enjoyment. All of our weekends will be spent here this summer. No need to vacation away at someplace exotic- we have it here.
This week our son had his Photography Show. That meant he was to showcase some of the images he had taken over the past few months. We had the opportunity to enjoy photos and writing from him and his fellow classmates.
Theory’ project was titled: “The Colors Overlooked In Nature”. He edited and manipulated the photos to showcase one spark of colour in each. He took numerous photographs of flowers, mountains and birds. Honestly, he’s pretty good at it. Even the people sitting in the row in front of us in the auditorium were commenting on his slideshow.
Theory also set it to a classical piece of music that smoothly transitioned with the slides. Other students used pop and rap songs. This made Theory’s presentation stand out. He says he is going to bring home a copy for us to have and potentially share with friends and family.
I’m really proud of him and love that he is a natural when it comes to taking photos. He has a good eye for it. If he lets us share the pictures- be rest assured I will be all over that!
Today is Star Wars Day. This year I’m not doing any cosplay like I have in the past. Instead I’m just going to enjoy the weekend with a couple of buddies tomorrow as we watch an unedited version of the original trilogy.
Obviously I love Star Wars. When Disneyland opened up Galaxy’s Edge, I was giddy with excitement. When we went last summer- I got to meet Chewbacca once more! It was loads of fun.
Getting immersed in the Star Wars universe was a great experience. When I go back to Disneyland, I will definitely be there again to see more of the land. There is just so many amazing details that make it feel as if you have transported to another galaxy.
I’d love to one day be a bigger part of Star Wars. Maybe I’ll get a job in Disneyland when I retire and can wander around the land in character form. That would seriously be my dream job. Hanging out at Galaxy’s Edge all the time- in Disneyland as well! That’s like a two-for-one kind of dream!
In my short lifetime, I have lost numerous male friends (and now family) who have battled depression and lost. Personally, I have tackled it periodically as well. It’s not easy to talk about mental health. Although discussing depression and mental health issues is getting better over the years. The acknowledgment of these issues is helping.
But there’s a long way to go in getting help to those who need it. Discovering ways to cope and overcome feelings of loss, helplessness and fear is needed. There’s no magical cure. Not every sign or symptom is obvious. The only thing I can advise is to pay attention to those who struggle. Offer an ear, send out a message, be available even if for just a brief moment, say a kind word.
That last one is what I pride myself on. Showing kindness. Sharing positive energy. For my own mental health, I do my best to keep a mindful eye on my feelings and not letting the negative ones take control.
Losing family and friends is tough. We all have struggles. Just know that you are not alone. We are all in this together.
If you need someone to talk to, I’m here for all of you.
Back in February I wrote about my neverending battle with dandruff. Read about it here: Dandruff. I decided to try a product I had not used previously. Here is my update after a couple of months usage.
Quick description on the product- Nizoral comes in a small bottle. The directions were to use a dime sized amount daily for two weeks then only once every two weeks. Easy to wash in, smells nice as well. The truth is that this shampoo has helped prevent itchy and flaky scalp. My hair has also gotten softer and looks healthier.
I’m extremely happy with the results. I cannot express my satisfaction enough with how well this product worked. I’m no longer constantly scratching my head or brushing dandruff off my shoulders. So if you need to try a product for your dry and flaky scalp- buy Nizoral.
No, I’m not sponsored. Just happy to share my results and opinion.
On Saturday and Sunday there was a helicopter circling around our neighborhood and over the fields behind us. The helicopter was up in the sky pretty much all day long both days. Watching it was mesmerizing.
Seriously though, every time it flew by I stopped what I was doing to watch the thing. No idea why. I wasn’t expecting to see it land in my driveway or anything. Nor was I expecting anything exciting to happen. Just a machine floating in the sky, cutting through the air making chopping sounds as it echoed out.
Perhaps that’s all it is. That low, rhythmic thud noise that repeats quickly- pushing mini sonic booms down to the earth.
This past weekend there was some amazing weather. Like most folks, we took advantage of it. It was a great start to preparing the yard for the upcoming summer season. Our patio furniture is already clean and ready for use!
As daunting as the work is, I’d say we are about halfway through all of our chores and tasks. The pressure washer was out and I took on a good portion of the back deck and around the pool. I sunburned the back of my neck in the process not thinking about using sunscreen. Aloe was my best friend last night.
We also took the winter cover off the pool and let it dry in the sun before packing it away. The pool had a lot of algae growth as well as a ton of debris along the bottom. Out came the pool vacuum and I removed the majority of it over the course of about an hour. This did create the water to become a bit more murky and cloudy, but the liner is far better than it was.
It will now be time to balance the chemicals in the pool. In a couple of weeks, the colour of the pool should become clear once more. Hopefully of the weather gets better, we will be in the pool before June hits.
For the rest of today our oldest has been given the task of completing the pressure washing in the backyard. There’s the balance on the wood deck, the lower patio and the breezeway leading down to the backyard. Hopefully it will all be completed by the end of the day, if not, I know they will return next Sunday to finish it and do the driveway out front.
Once this is all done, my wife and I are planning to stain the wood deck in a grey colour. I also have some repairs to make on the fence, followed by a paint/stain to match it up.
I like to push hard early in the season so as to enjoy the yard with minimal effort in maintenance. Patio season felt like it was upon us this weekend. I cannot wait for more days and evenings like that.
Every year in West Cloverdale, there is a day filled with garage sales smattered throughout. Today was that day. When my wife returned from skating, we walked our neighborhood visiting a few garage sales. Our plan was to just walk around and not buy anything. We didn’t even take cash with us.
The first house we stopped at had an item that made me excited. It was a 1926 Victrola. We talked to the owners and he jokingly said- “The first place always has the best stuff- you’ll be back”. I told him we had more house to see and if it was still there when we walked back home, we would buy it.
We are now the proud owners of a 1926 Victrola gramophone with a stack of shellac records all at a cost of $35. This was the first year that they went electric. I plan to clean up the cabinet and buy some new needles for it. Apparently you need to replace the needle after each use.
I’m excited to learn more about the item and how to use it. I am hoping for a fun sound albeit almost a hundred years old. If any of you have one similar and want to offer tips on how to use it, or maintain the gramophone- please let me know.
Last night my oldest child and I attended the 15th Anniversary of the SFU Concert Orchestra Night. We went to support my middle child- Darwin- who continues to play the bassoon in post secondary.
The event was held at The Michael J Fox Theater in Burnaby. The ensemble was smaller than I expected, but they still were able to fill the theater with sound. I recognized the first four pieces they played. The final piece had a guest pianist join them for the final half an hour.
These young adults did a great job last night. I am happy the Darwin is still pursuing music as they navigate post secondary. A sense of familiarity has helped them through this past semester of schooling.
I look forward to seeing more shows over the next few years, and will continue to support the arts!
Today I did some basic cleaning maintenance around the house. I woke up early and after my morning coffee I got started.
First was opening up the back panel of our dryer. I was amazed at how much lint hadn’t spit out the pipe but instead collected inside the machine. This was a fire hazard waiting to happen. After over ten years of use, it had a lot of build up inside.
Next I went outside into our backyard and took full advantage of the warm weather. Pressure washing the vinyl siding, windows and two of our decks took me about four hours. I also cleaned the awning that leads out from our dining room to the back deck. I honestly didn’t think it was that bad until I started. Then I saw a huge improvement right away.
Tomorrow I am doing the cement around our pool. I’ll probably also clean the windows since I bought some of that Windex you attach to your hose. It’s supposed to dry streak free. I hope so. Because the sun is now starting to come through our back windows and those bad boys are dusty.
Will you be taking advantage of the weather over the next while and do some outdoor spring cleaning?
Making it through a workweek is always a good feeling. Having a series of good days at work is also great. Enjoying the people you work with makes every day worthwhile.
Job satisfaction, money, benefits- all the reasons to go to work. I like going to work and hearing stories from my coworkers of how their lives outside are going. It’s like having two different versions of ourselves- one that version that shows up at work; and one who lives a life created from that work.
Everything else is gravy.
All the jokes, laughs, and sharing tastes in music, shows and movies- that is a part of who we are. I love every bit of it. All of this makes going to work pleasurable.
My work is often very busy and I hardly have a moment to even enjoy my lunch. Today as I was out in the field doing a safety inspection, the weather was wonderful. So I took a breather at the end of the rail yard.
I took a few minutes to breathe in some fresh salty ocean air. I looked out over the water towards Vancouver’s Stanley Park and just enjoyed the moment. Taking a quick break like this was exactly what I needed. Sometimes I get so wound up in the grind that I forget what a beautiful area we work in. We have amazing views and locations that many folks don’t get to enjoy.
Clearing my thoughts also helps to make the rest of the work day easier. With the summer weather peaking around the corner, I’m looking forward to enjoying my days outside while moving trains. Sometimes these moments help get me through the week.
I don’t normally get excited about social media. Yet somehow I managed to get a higher than normal amount of views on my Instagram Reel that I made the other day. The most I usually get is in the high 20’s. Not this time.
1382 plays currently! This morning I was at just over 500. That’s pretty cool. It’s also increased the traffic into my Instagram account, garnering more likes on previous posts. I can see why people get excited over these little achievements. I feel pretty good about myself.
I don’t really have any more videos to post. Maybe on my next rug I’ll do a start to finish series of videos. Although I think I may need my teenagers to help me with editing and content creation. I’m just not as quick as they are when it comes to adapting to this sort of thing.
Anyhow- onto completing my rugs that I started last weekend. I can’t wait to share my Half Way to Halloween creations!
That’s right. This week I started on making some festive rugs for Halloween and Christmas. My wife suggested I make some for a craft fair that she thinks I should sign up for. That craft fair is called Nightmare Before Christmas Market and it is held in October. But they need submissions before May for anyone who wants to be a seller.
So I created some rugs with that theme in mind. Later this week I will trim a couple of them up so that I can submit some pictures of these. I will also submit pictures of my other rugs for variety.
For me- making rugs isn’t done to be a another source of income for us. Any rugs that I have sold have been to coworkers and friends at just above cost- that’s because I’m enjoying this new hobby. Having a bit of extra spending cash in the holiday season will be alright as well. But mostly I am making rugs because I am enjoying it. I worry that if I start to turn it into work as a “side gig” I may not enjoy it as much.
After these rugs, I have an ambitious rug planned for May before the weather really gets too nice. Stay tuned to see what I have in store. Feel free to reach out if you want a rug made as well. So far everyone has been really happy with what I’ve created. That makes me feel great. And if I get into this Christmas Market, I’m sure I’ll be happy when I sell some rugs.
This weekend, my wife and I finished filing our taxes. This is the first time as well that all three of our kids had to submit taxes. Lucky for my wife and I- we were able to use some of the money we spent on our children’s post secondary towards our own taxes. Thank goodness for spending money on their futures…
Last year, after me having to pay taxes, I went to my payroll and had them take more taxes off each paycheck. In the end, I got quite a good tax return. However, my wife was not as lucky. Of the five of us, she is the only one having to pay taxes. At least it wasn’t like Monopoly and she doesn’t owe 10% or even $200. But I still get to rub it in that she has to pay taxes.
What will I spend my refund on you may ask? Property taxes! Yay! The government giveth and the government taketh away. Oh well, it was nice to feel lucky for once, even if it was for a fleeting moment.
Yesterday our neighbor had their pool installed. They have had their yard ripped up for almost two years waiting for this day. The pool still needs to be set up, connected and filled, but the hard part is finally done.
A large crane showed up to lift the shipping container pool over their house and into their backyard. It was interesting to see how it was done. The way they set up the crane, added counterweights from a flatbed, and then hooked the pool.
Now the pool is in their backyard. I am excited for our neighbors. This has been a long time coming, and I know they’ve been patiently waiting. I have never seen a shipping container pool, so this will be neat to see when it’s unwrapped.
Soon their yard will be full of life once more instead of a hole in the ground surrounded by dirt. I’ll be happy because the construction will be done. No more working noise, next will be laughter and music coming from next door. I hope they will enjoy their new pool as much as we enjoy ours.
Today is 420. A day that people assigned (for whatever reason) to celebrate marijuana. Originally this date was used as a way to protest pit being illegal. But since so many places have legalized marijuana, it’s just another day to celebrate. Kind of like a version of St. Patrick’s Day or Cinco De Mayo only not alcohol based.
I don’t partake in smoking pot. But I respect the idea for others to enjoy it. I honestly think it’s one of those activities that is a good way to unwind and is less harmful to the body and mind. Obviously marijuana can impede your judgment and skill sets. I never recommend operating a car or machinery when high, that’s for sure.
The idea of psychedelics is inspiring me to be more creative in my rug making. I have found the colours and designs have been fun to mix and make. Much like pot, making rugs is zen-like for me.
So if you smoke or enjoy marijuana in other ways- I hope you have a great 420.
Our coffee maker is my favorite appliance I think. I always ensure that it is ready to go the night before so that when we wake up, the coffee is brewed hot and fresh.
I bought this coffee maker on Black Friday last year for an incredible deal. We began using it right away. I learned how to set the timer and make a perfect pot of coffee every time. This morning I learned that my coffee maker also tells me when it needs to be cleaned!
Now, we clean the carafe regularly and give the maker a wipe down pretty much daily. Call me old fashioned- but I don’t like dust and grim building up on or near where I drink and eat. I will read up on why the CLEAN light came on and what the requirements would be based on the light.
For our previous coffee makers, we have run vinegar through to sanitize and clean. Followed up with some water cycles to flush it once more. On the rare occasion, we have used CLR on our older machines to really make them shine.
I’m kind of impressed that my coffee maker is telling me to clean it. It’s a good reminder, especially when it’s used daily. I’d like this machine to have an extended life expectancy, so I will obey its commands.
I appreciate that manufacturers of my smart devices want to update software regularly. My tv, video game systems, even my car does updates. Most of them automatically installed. Sometimes they happen as soon as you turn on the device, so you sit there waiting for ages and when it’s done, nothing seems to have changed.
The worst updates are the ones that happen on my phone. I swear that I’ll be in the process of doing something on my phone and then it freezes in order to update. No matter what time of day- even though I set to do it overnight. And there’s no way to override the update or pause it. So you just have to let it do it’s thing.
It also feels like after a couple of years of updates- my phone gets slower and has less space available. As if the old information was never removed and the new updates are just added on top. Perhaps this is the tech companies trying to push the most recent devices into our hands.
Whatever the case may be, these updates are both good and bad. I get frustrated and relieved when they are complete. Now to search out memes and twenty second useless video clips.
The weather as of late has been rather unpleasant. With heavy downpours and chilly winds filling up my world. Even on Saturday, when we were wandering the VanDusen Gardens, it wasn’t as enjoyable as it could have been. But I still managed to enjoy the blooming plants.
So the other day I bought a potted flower for inside our home. The white lilies have opened up and brought a beautiful bouquet to the air. They fit nicely in our home- radiating an aura of elegance. Having me wish for more flowers in my life.
Hopefully these April Showers bring May Flowers as they say. I’m hoping that on my days off this week I can walk around and see more pops of colour in the world. If not, I may have to buy some more plants for inside our home. Especially ones as beautiful as these lilies.
My wife and I have been going for walks whenever we can. Actually she goes for walks and I tag along. There’s kind of this ritual we do beforehand though.
Every time she wants to go for a walk, she will ask me if I would like to join her. Admittedly there are many days I will say no. But she will ask again before she heads out. If I said no earlier- this is when I reconsider and end up joining her.
Hanging out with my wife brings me joy. If a walk is the only time we can have together, then I will take advantage of those moments whenever possible. We both have busy schedules, but making the time for each other has always been important for our relationship.
It’s also allowed us to have in-depth conversations that we would otherwise avoid. Topics like kids, finances, travel, etc get talked about more freely and without hesitation. Walking means we aren’t sitting on the couch or at a table hoping to be distracted by a screen. Instead we can see the beauty in the world and breathe in the fresh air, thus keeping our minds at ease. Far better for our mental health.
Every time my wife goes for a walk, I hope she brings me. I secretly like them even if I say no at first.