Life’s Bittersweet Memories

Sometimes a memory pops up on Facebook and it’s kind of heartbreaking. Today hit me unexpectedly, again…

Some of you may be thinking, It’s just a job, why does it matter? To me it wasn’t “just a job” that I was leaving. I left a job that I truly enjoyed and was proud to do. I also left behind numerous friendships- however I have still kept in contact with many of them. Colossus was the first place to employ me after almost a year of unemployment. I worked there for five years- as I felt I owed it to them for getting me out of a bad place. Yet it was time to move on. The main reason I left was money.

The job didn’t pay as well as I needed anymore. It was great when I was single and scraped by. However, I never saw a future for me and my family. I was married and we had our first kid. My wife was pregnant with our second child that would be born three months later. I needed to do more than just enjoy my job. I needed to be able to support my family.

Besides working at Colossus Cinema, I was also working two other part time jobs. I was putting in 70-80 hours a week in order to buy our first home. If I hadn’t sacrificed my time back then, we wouldn’t be where we are now.

Over the years I have shared with my family my love of cinema. In return, our oldest is going to school in order to work behind the scenes. Our middle has friends who work at that same theater and has been going to movies with friends. Our youngest is always talking to me about the latest trailers and wanting to be the first to see the big blockbusters as they come out.

Since 1999, Colossus has been a part of my journey in this life. I am fortunate that working there happened. I also can’t believe where I’ve gotten to since then. It was a good move, maybe when I retire I’ll go back to being a projectionist part time, assuming they need someone of my age.

Manifesting Memories

It dawned on me today that I manifested a perfect life for myself based on my favorite memories.

Our current home takes my earliest memories of living in Edmonton. Back in the early 80’s, that house backed onto farmer’s fields. Where the views went on forever. Even this last winter snowfall reminded me of the streets and fun I had from ages 5-8.

The next house my family moved to in 1985 had an in ground swimming pool. I recall always having friends over playing and lounging around listening to cassettes on my portable ghetto blaster. Last summer, I continued that tradition in our new home. Every time I was in the pool, I had music playing on a large Bluetooth speaker.

Growing up, I loved movies. The idea that a short story could take you away to an entire new world always filled me with joy. As a teenager I always wanted to be a projectionist. That became a reality in my early 20’s. I loved doing that job for almost five years. We even had our own theater room in our last home.

Besides our my dream job and current home, I remember always wanting to be a good father. In 2000, I met a partner who became my best friend. Her and I both had similar family goals. So we married quickly and got to work making a family even quicker. As the kids grew up, I stayed young. Constantly playing with them and creating new memories for us.

One day, I suspect our kids will manifest their own dreams and goals from the positive experiences they have had.

I didn’t even touch on these facts of what I always wanted: that have also come to fruition:

  • Traveling to Hawaii
  • Traveling to Tokyo
  • Driving the Extraterrestrial Highway
  • Owning a lightsaber
  • Experiencing VR
  • Owning a car
  • Owning an arcade machine
  • Having close friends that last a lifetime

There are so many more things in my life that have come in to reality. All of it is possible through the power of positive thinking. It’s not always going to be easy. Some things are a long arduous journey. But looking back, I know this is exactly where I need to be.

Looking forward, I know exactly where I need to get to. And I hope you are having the same successes in your lives also.

Icicles Thaw Out A Memory

The other morning I was outside in the backyard admiring the peace and tranquillity that the snow had brought for New Year’s Day. Something astonishing happened to me though. An icicle came into view.

This surprised me because I rarely see icicles in the Lower Mainland. I am aware that they have been known to occur. But I don’t notice them to ever be this size. Usually they are small and are gone in the blink of an eye. That warm weather and rain thing normally diminishes their existence rather hastily.

As I walked up to the shed to take a closer look, there was an entire row of icicles hanging down. The sight reminded me of my youth and living in Edmonton. I would lay in my bed and stare out the window at the edge of the roof. Numerous icicles would be growing there over the winter. Their size increasing as winter went on. Then decreasing as spring would roll in. Icicles in Edmonton lasted much longer than they do in Vancouver.

Those memories of watching icicles form and vanish triggered numerous other youthful memories. Snow banks blowing into the corners of the yard against the fences. The way those banks would freeze on top and become strong enough for a five year old to walk on. We would dig out small tunnels and little caves inside. Keeping the smooth top as a roof.

The fences would also create a row of icicles. So would the deck railings, sheds and rooflines. As kids, we would break them off and have sword battles. Or we would throw snowballs at them, trying to knock them off. We kept ourselves entertained in the snow.

The icicles that were here the other day are already gone. Melted away. As quickly as the memory I just shared popped into my head, it faded just as quick. The weather is turning and changing so rapidly these days, I may not see more icicles before next winter.

As an adult, I’m totally fine with it.

Cheers To All The Dreamers

As 2021 ended and 2022 begins, I reflect back and see the changes my friends and I have had in the past year. With another unusual year behind us, we all need to celebrate the successes we have all accomplished!

I’ve watched friends become parents (again). New career paths taken (numerous people chose this epic change). Buying new homes (us included). Friends creating and sharing all varieties of art. Continuing an education. It was hard work. But worth it.

But I especially want to thank everyone who posted positivity and inspirational quotes and well wishes. We are all in this ride together and the support we give one another can go a long way.

To all the everyday routines and the life changing achievements- we made it through a crazy year. As the world moves forward, there are new challenges that we will face. Some we will overcome, and others we will learn from.

Cheers (YouTube link)

Don’t just dream it. Be it.

A Year Ago Changed Our Lives

Last year on New Year’s Eve my wife and I had a meeting that would change our lives. Early last December we had a couple power failures and numerous branches fall on the house. It was time to look at doing something about it. So we met with a real estate agent last December 31st.

I don’t miss the hardships of country living.

The fact that he met us New Year’s Eve impressed me tremendously. We weren’t about to put the house on the market immediately, but wanted to discuss listing in spring. He didn’t just show up, but had other listings nearby and a price point ready for us to discuss. At the time, my wife and I thought we could make 1.7 million if we were lucky. He was also of the same thought. Our house at that time would sell for 1.6-1.75 millon. We were happy with that idea.

The day the world changed for us.

Then by mid-February we had the house ready for staging and listing. The market skyrocketed up. And we listed for almost 2 million. A week later we would sell for 1.9. Our lives changed drastically when we made that decision to sell. We did buy our dream home a week after that. Taking a chance to make a huge change in our lives was scary. But we did it.


Yesterday my wife and I dropped off our son at his friends pace that lived nearby our old house. So we decided to take a drive to our see the old stomping ground. Not much had changed for the outside of the old house. But as we drove down our street, a sight surprised us. The neighbor across the street had a “For Sale” sign. He used the same agent as us. So my wife and I stopped in to talk to them.

Bob loves staying active.

Bob is 88. When we sold our place, he said he would never sell unless he could get 5 million for his home. He planned to die in that house. That house and our old place were built that same year- 50 years ago. Besides my wife, he was the only original person in the neighborhood to still be there. Us moving from the neighborhood surprised a lot of people. Especially Bob and Mary-Anne.

Yesterday we sat and talked with them for a couple of hours. It was a really nice visit. Except when we found out why they were selling. Bob has stage 4 cancer- with a chance to survive six months. Which explains why they sold their home. They got the same price as we did ten months earlier. The move out date is May 1st. The sad reality is that Bob may actually die in that house. However, his attitude towards death is one that I hope to take up when my time nears.

He lived a good life with numerous experiences that he shared with me over the years. Yesterday he said that he’s ready to go. He’s ready to pass on the fortune from selling the house to his family- because you can’t take it with you. Bob doesn’t look or act like he’s dying. He’s still a youthful 88 year old. He has never let age, pain, or his body stop him from being active.

I’m glad we stopped in to see them. They were always so kind to my family as we lived there. Moving away was tearful for us. Staying there would’ve been more emotional. It’s astounding what can happen in a year. Our lives changed in a year because of one meeting. It appears that meeting also changed the lives of those around us as well.

Cheesy Goodness

It’s that time of year when rich foods fill you up and your brain becomes mushy. The week between Christmas and New Year’s is the time to overindulge and the have a reason for working out in January. I do the eating part. Not the workout part. Oftentimes I’m filling up on cheese. It gets tough to know when to stop.

We turned a meat and cheese charcuterie into a meal the other day. It was a lovely foray into the various cheeses that we know and love. Goat cheese (of all varieties) has become the most popular for this spread.

Sometimes we do a baked Brie that doesn’t last long either. But with all the other cheeses we bought, we didn’t pick one up this season. But tonight we will be having a cheese fondue. Normally that meal is saved for New Year’s Eve. But we moved it up a couple of days and plan on doing a “Deep Fry Fest” on December 31st. End the year with a greasy bang!

Do you get filled up on cheese during this week? Any favorite flavors that are a must have for the winter season?

Let me know in the comments.

Lighten Up

In this day and age it’s important to find ways to be calm and relaxed. I’m not new age, nor do I fully understand meditation. But I have found my own way of letting go of the stress and frustration of life.

Some people run marathons. Others play online first-person shooters. Me? I breathe, stretch, write, enjoy classical music and just try and let the world problems wash away. I used to burn incense, but my wife’s asthma has prevented that. Recently, I have been utilizing my salt lamp and aroma diffuser as alternatives.

I have always enjoyed lighting and the effects it has on emotions. For Christmas, my son gave me a lava lamp. I had recently donated my old lava lamp telephone (because who uses a landline anymore?). He knew I missed my lamp, so it was really nice that he bought me one. So I placed it on my bedside table next to my salt lamp.

When I came home last night, I plugged it in and turned it on. After it warmed up for a couple of hours, I was able to zone out staring at it while I fell asleep. The green and orange hues were calming and I woke up feeling recharged.

Sleeping with lights on isn’t for everyone. Same with meditation or music. I just found something that works for me to help calm my life and I like it.

Christmas Playtime

To me, Christmas is about having fun. Since I was a child, I always remember getting toys, puzzles and video games as gifts. On Christmas Day, and the days following, would be spent having fun. Living the dream of playtime!

Back in the early 80’s with my father.

My fondest memories of my father was at Christmas. That was when he would crouch down to my level and play with my toys and me on the floor. This was always the most father/son interactions we would have all year long. Those fleeting experiences meant the world to me.

When I became a father, I spent as much time with my kids as I could- not just on Christmas. We continue to have Family Movie Nights and video game time. Christmas is a little more special and we put in a few more hours of goofing off. This year, we played some UNO, finished a puzzle and got back to basics with some smack talk during Mario Party!

We accomplished these fun times because the teenagers are very helpful as they have grown older. Having teenagers help out with the chores and Preparing Meals means that we can all spend more time as a family relaxing and playing. Even though I miss when they were little, I can still look back on those memories with joy and happiness.

Christmas is the one time of the year that we would take a lot of pictures. This year we lacked any real family photos. Perhaps it was a bit the fact that our teens don’t like their pictures taken, and maybe also- we were trying to live in the moment a bit more. This winter break didn’t feel like Christmas at first and held a bit of depression in all of our hearts. But the tender and fun moments we had as a family helped bring the joy back and made for a good Christmas Day.

How did your Christmas feel this year?

A Beautiful White Christmas

Ten days ago I was hoping for A White Christmas. My wish came true. Waking up to seeing snow covering the ground, and still falling, brought joy to my heart.

Our oldest arrived early in the morning to join us. I was still in bed when they arrived. It was nice to see them talking with my wife by the window as the snow fell. First thing in the morning, we opened gifts as a family. That felt good as well, just being together again.

After gifts and breakfast were done, we all headed outside to see the snow. I brushed off our palm trees and the kids shoveled the driveway. It didn’t take long, so the two youngest grabbed the toboggan to enjoy the hill up our street. For a sled from the mid-60’s it has held up quite well.

Having a white Christmas in our new home helped to make it a special day. For the first time in almost 50 years, the house my wife’s father built is not in the family. Emotionally, this holiday season was going to be a tough one for all of us. But we had a lot of smiles and good laughs celebrating in our new home.

I hope everyone else had a good Christmas with family and friends. Be safe out there if you have to travel.

Christmas Eve: Preparing Meals

Since I was a child, I always remember Christmas Eve day as time spent in the kitchen. There was dinner to get ready, fancy sandwiches to make, even a breakfast bake to get ready. This year is no different.

Having a large kitchen has made this year’s meal making an easier experience. My wife and daughter worked together making potato salad followed by the breakfast bake. I was able to work on the other side of the island and stay out of their way.

Besides just making the meals, we were also teaching our kids about cooking. Such as sharpening knives, proper mixing techniques, and the use of taste to create a palatable meal. As well, our son took great pride in laying out the sandwiches.

The sandwiches are called “Fancy Sandwiches” and was a tradition in my home growing up. My father always made fresh baked bread, so I followed suit and baked two loaves this morning. The smell of fresh baked bread fills the house with what I consider the smell of Christmas Eve.

Spending Christmas in the kitchen with the family is stressful, fun, and creative. By the end of the day, we all get to enjoy the food that we worked so hard on preparing.

Pupper Comfort

We adopted our dog Maki last November. Since then she has been a big part of our lives. She helped brings some vivaciousness to old elder dog, Lex- thus giving him almost another year with us. Maki has also helped with being an emotional support animal of sorts to all of us at one time or another.

Even though Maki is a strange character- oftentimes acting as if she is going through an Existential moment- she is still a dog needing love and attention. She enjoys curling up on the couch and trying to take the best seat.

I’m not always happy with this turn of events. I preferred having dogs at our feet. Not on the couches or beds. Maki is not an exception in my mind. But I have been outvoted since day one. So she gets a spot on the couch.

I swear she knows how I feel. Because as soon as she jumps on the couch- her face is in mine. And she has The Worst Dog Breath Ever! She must know this because that snout of hers goes right up to my nose.

Maybe if her breath didn’t smell so bad, I’d be more accepting of the fact she has earned a spot on the couch, not just our hearts.

Not Everyone Is Happy To See The Snow

Last night we had a bit bigger of a snowfall than there was earlier in the month. I saw a ton of pictures and videos on social media about it. So I had to share mine.

Our backyard gave me the perfect emoji. The pool is showing the emotions that many adults feel. Sure, the snow is pretty. But it’s still snow.

I love the white dusting on the ground. It always makes me happy inside. Even driving in the snow is fun. In January 2020, we had a big snowfall, so I took the kids out and we did donuts in the snow in the Honda Element: Read about it here Snow Day Snow Way!

Not everyone like the snow. Many people live in the Lower Mainland BC because of the mild winters. Normally we get a few snowfalls throughout the winter, nothing major. So when the snow happens, I thrive in it.

How do you feel about the snow?

Frugal Christmases of Yore

When I first met my wife, I didn’t have much of anything to my name. A bed, an old stereo, a tv and a DVD player was pretty much it. We slowly began to acquire items from family friends. A couple couches, a deep freeze (which we still have to this day!) and some old dishes were sent our way. And we appreciated everything about it. That year, I chose to donate almost all of my Star Wars action figures to the needy. I kept a couple basic characters in hopes that one day we’d have a kid to pass them on to.

A couple years after marriage and our first kid was born in 2002. They were spoiled that year by everyone in the family because it was the first grandkid on either of our sides. Two years later and kid (grandkid) number 2 arrived and was equally spoiled. Same with our third who showed up two years after that. By this point I was still making a fairly low income and my wife was a stay at home mom doing her best to add extra income in any way possible. But my job at the time had one great perk.

I was a manager at a Chuck E. Cheese’s. I was in charge of ordering all those prizes on the back wall. My boss at the time told me I could always add an extra few toys for my family whenever I wanted. So I did. I accumulated these bigger ticket items throughout the year to stockpile for Christmas. My kids also got treated at least twice a week to dinners and unlimited games and small prizes. In their eyes- this dad had the greatest job ever!

Not everyone has loads of money to make the holidays “special”. Sometimes we rely on the kindness of those around us to make it feel better. I was not ashamed to thank family, friends and coworkers for their generosity. The joy I felt from their kindness far surpassed my need to go it alone.

If you see someone needing a hand, emotionally, financially, even spiritually- try and help out. I’ve been doing my part to “Pay it Forward” over the years.

Helping people financially isn’t always giving money. Sometimes it’s offering a home cooked meal, or helping them get better jobs, supporting their art, or buying their handmade wares. Getting that internal smile always made me feel good that someone out there cared. And in turn, I know they felt good as well.

Wanting A White Christmas With Family

Living in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia means we generally have rain for Christmas. It’s been a few years since snow has fallen on Christmas Day. But nature has been teasing this region a bit more this year than ever before.

A gentle dusting of snow occurred this past weekend. It was here and gone so quickly it felt like a bit of a let down.

I missed the snowfall at the start of December, but our son sent us this picture. Weather reports are teasing that snow on Christmas Day may happen. If it happens, I cannot wait to see the winter wonderland out our back windows. The best part about a White Christmas is staying inside bundled up and warm spending time with those whom you love.

I’m hoping all of our kids will be here for our first Christmas in this new house. But I’m not holding my breath for it. Our oldest has gone off on their own with little communication back to us. With a vagueness that only a 19 year old can possess- my wish for a White Christmas with family may only be half fulfilled. If it came down to it and I had a choice- I’d choose family over snow.

But I don’t get the choice, I just get to accept that what happens, happens…

Temporary Bedroom

Since we went away on a vacation last week, we required someone to be here to help our two youngest get to school and look after our home. My mother was gracious enough to travel over from Vancouver Island and take on that task. At 79, we couldn’t ask her to sleep in a kids bed. So we offered up our bedroom.

In doing so, my wife and I needed to sleep elsewhere in the house. So we took over the queen size bed in our eldest child’s room. Since they chose to go stay elsewhere over the past few weeks, it wasn’t going to inconvenience them. It’s a pretty good room in many ways. Close to a bathroom, has a fireplace, it’s own entry to go outside, double French doors inside… but you can hear everything that goes on downstairs in the kitchen and living room.

For me, Sunday was challenging to get some sleep since I have to work night shifts and the noise during the day kept me up. Today, because I am so tired, as soon as I’m done writing- I should be passing out. It’s the last time I need to use this room since my mother is leaving to return to her home.

I noticed that sleeping in our home has a “Goldilocks” feel. Our son’s bed is two small and the next two beds are two soft. But because the master bedroom is ours- it definitely feels like a “Papa Bear” place to rest. Which will be my normal place after this sleep. I look forward to that, but fully understand that our oldest may get cranky sometimes when people aren’t respectful while they try and sleep.

Do you give up your bed for guests, or do you have a spare room/ bed you give them?

Tree Time 2021

Having gone on vacation at the start of the month, it meant decorating the Christmas tree was a couple days later than normal. Yesterday was the only chance we had to get on it. So right after an early dinner, we decorated.

As is tradition in our home, we put on “The Wiggles: Yule Be Wiggling” and “Wiggly Wiggly Christmas” whilst we decorate the trees. This year old oldest didn’t join us, but Grandma sat in to watch the fun.

As is also tradition, my wife and I enjoyed some Fireball and Eggnog: aka FIRENOG. We discovered this drink from my wife’s brother a few years ago and it has loosened us up for the holiday season ever since then. As is another tradition- and ornament gets accidentally broken and put on display. This year, no one broke an ornament, instead one came out of the box broken. It always seems to be the red ones…

Our new nine foot tree looks great in our new home. I’d say it’s almost done. As I mentioned, our oldest was unable to join us, so my wife and I put up a few of their ornaments, but saved the rest in case they wanted to add them to the tree at a later date. If not, that’ll be okay as well since this tree carries all of the special ornaments given to the family members. My wife and I knew that one day those ornaments would find a new home wherever our kids move to.

We also finished off our kids tree. This holds all those handmade ones gathered up over the years. From preschool onward, as well as the fandom made ones (Star Wars, etc..) This tree will be one my wife and I will always put up. And finally is a tree in our master bedroom. That one will be decorated in a few days since my mother is using the room during her stay.

Did you decorate a tree or trees this year? Any movies, music, food or drink that you enjoy while doing so? Let me know in the comments.

Three Nights of Music

Tonight is the third night of performances at our kids’ school. Last year didn’t happen due to Covid restrictions. This year is limited tickets but four shows are happening. Two of them are tonight. I was lucky enough to get tickets for both.

The cost was also much higher than usual because they are losing half the capacity. So tonight I will be taking my mother for the first time to see the performance. I am a big fan of the orchestra and classical pieces. It’s always a pleasure to see our kids shine on stage. Total proud parent moment.

Are you seeing any Christmas or holiday performances by your kids this year? Do you get as prideful as I do? Let me know in the comments.

Video Game Challenge

About a month ago, my son and his friend challenged my buddy and I to a series of video game competitions. Saturday we took on the teenagers and played some PlayStation 3 games and some Nintendo Wii games. I thought for sure my buddy and I would win the majority of the games.

Boy was I wrong.

It was embarrassing losing at a game that we would spend hours playing in the arcade after work back in 1999/2000. I loved NFL Blitz and clocked a lot of hours at work playing it way back then. The boys had never played it. For whatever reason, they wiped the floor with us. Embarrassing.

My buddy and I did get our revenge on Wii Sports Resort Bowling. Bowling was something I did in high school for years. The logistics of the game were similar, so I defeated my son quite easily. My buddy and his boy had a much closer match. It was down to one point. But victory was ours!

Then MarioKart on the Wii came out. My son and his friend decimated us. It wasn’t even close. I may as well have been driving a golf cart on the Indy 500 the way I was playing. Even though the old guys lost, we still had fun and would do it again sometime.

Hakchi

Three years ago, Santa brought us the NES Mini and the SNES Mini. Christmas has always been akin to Video Games since I can remember. We played the games that were on the systems only a handful of times. After we moved, the Nintendo minis went on display in my kids’ room.

This week I decided that I was going to modify the SNES Mini. I did a bit of research online, or rather watched a couple YouTube tutorials, and decided to give it a go. I’m not going to link any of the information- as doing a modification like this is done at your own risk. But since we weren’t really using the systems, I wanted to try it out.

I spent a couple of hours downloading almost every single Super Nintendo game available. I also picked up a few Sega Genesis titles as well as some Gameboy ones. The controls on the system work similarly so it wasn’t that big a deal. I used an app called Hakchi CE to hack the system. This was one of the most straightforward things to do since my usage of Limewire and Musicmatch a couple decades ago.

Now there are 148 games installed on the SNES Mini. Each game works perfectly, each with artwork to keep it looking like the original games that the system came with. This is like hitting the jackpot of my youth- every game imaginable is available to be added to the library of titles. My favorite game ever on the Super Nintendo is also on here now- Metal Warriors. I’m hoping that my son will play it with me soon.

Next I’ll modify the NES Mini and put a bunch of Nintendo and Gameboy and Game Gear games on that one. There’s something to be said for nostalgia and gaming.

Have you done a mod on your NES or SNES mini? Let me know what features you like to use.

Parenting Is Exhausting

It’s Saturday morning. I was awake far too early today. I went to bed shortly after midnight and tossed and turned all night. Suddenly it was six a.m. and the alarm was going off. Up and at ‘em. I had a commitment to my son to take him to skating practice.

Parents sacrifice more than their children realize. My day to sleep in was cut short. The reason I was unable to sleep was my concern about another of our kids. But it should all be fine at some point. Parenting anxiety can be debilitating and you can feel at a loss. Sometimes, all you have is doing the best you can to make your children feel safe and cared for.

Being a parent of more than one child is extremely exhausting. You don’t want to burden them with issues or concerns, but you also don’t want to keep them in the dark. It’s mentally taxing.

So as our youngest is training on the ice, I’m going to take a nap in the car. I’d be here anyway since Covid protocol prohibits me from hanging out inside. I will get a little under two hours of rest if I’m lucky. Then the rest of the day it will be some family time with my wife and the two youngest. Mostly a distraction is required. Perhaps some video games, baking or a movie will be on the table. Heck, probably all three at this point.

No one ever said parenting was easy. And as your kids turn to adults, you still want to parent and help out. It feels like it will never end. Sometimes that’s a good sensation, other times it is the reminder that they aren’t toddlers anymore and are fully capable of looking after themselves.

Bear Creek Park Lights

Since moving from Langley and into Surrey, my wife and I have been doing our best to explore what this new city has to offer. One of the best things about Surrey is the parks. They are bountiful and beautifully maintained. There is a lot of green space to explore. Last night we wandered around Bear Creek Park and enjoyed the ambiance.

The City of Surrey had set up a walking path of Lights and Nature. Tickets are free and available at Bear Creek Park Lights. Currently they are set for 200 attendees every half hour. The event is currently scheduled to run from November 5th to the 19th.

The walk itself is about a half kilometer. Which took us about twenty minutes as we stopped for plenty of photos. It wasn’t busy mind you on a Tuesday night. Normally there are food trucks, but this year they said you could bring a snack, just take the trash with you as it is a park. I microwaved a couple bags of popcorn and we snacked as we wandered the park.

Overall, the experience was enjoyable and we had a good time. I’d recommend it to anyone for an evening out with family or friends.

Creepy Santa: Resurrection

We have a Christmas tradition where we hide a Santa statue in different locations. We do this to scare (and annoy) one another. Sometimes it’s a Revenge tactic and is very thought out. Most times, it’s not so clever.

Creepy was also the first Christmas decoration to escape the attic this year. He is on the loose and ready to shock us with his presence, not presents.

This year, Creepy Santa is starting to check out our new home; finding different spots to hide and provoke each of us. So far he has found a closet, the hallway, two bathrooms, and the living room. Nothing too out of the ordinary. I’m sure the fun will come as the season progresses and our family starts to get irate with Creepy S watching over us.

Interior Christmas Decorations 2021

Today we worked on decorating the inside of our home for Christmas. I know it’s early in the season, but we have a busy schedule until Christmas that we are utilizing the days off we have ahead of time. With a new home, it meant trying to find the feel for where everything will fit.

Previously in our other home I had made some Hand Made Decorations, specifically garland. The last house was a brick home and Eastern European in style. So I incorporated a red, green and gold theme in all of our decorations. I also had multicolored Christmas lights woven throughout. Today, I took it all apart to start over.

The family decided that our new colour scheme for the main floor was going to be silver, gold and blue. I saved all of the gold from the previous garland. I bought a bunch of shatterproof silver ornaments (read as plastic) to add to the garland strands. Much like before with the perfect amount of outdoor Christmas lights- I had the perfect amount of garland as well.

Hanging the garland above the windows and doors was time consuming but well worth it in the end. That aspect of our home looks elegant. We have been slowly putting out some of the other decorations, doing our best to make it feel natural. Having our teenagers help was great as well. They brought their own touches and opinions to the design.

We have an abundance of red and green ornaments. Next week we will be putting them on the outside of our home. Mostly on the wreaths and a tree. We will also add those multicolored lights to match the outside lights.

I love decorating for Christmas.

Last Halloween?

In life there are many events that create turning points for us. Those ones that really hit home are from our childhoods. The moment you ask your parents about Santa, the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy. The truth arrives, the magic leaves our hearts and logic takes over.

But one moment is in our control. Sort of. Perhaps it’s peer pressure that forces us to change. But it is still a choice we all make. That moment?

The last time you go trick or treating.

This one hits hard because when it happens, it just happens. One year you’re dressed up and out collecting candy with friends. The next year you have one (or more) friends saying something along the lines of it being silly or immature. Then your other friends go along with it. As Halloween comes and goes you realize that your last Halloween was YOUR LAST HALLOWEEN.

That moment is when you grow up because of society. And in a way it’s also your choice. You could’ve easily gone door to door in a costume. Maybe you’d hear comments like, “Aren’t you a little old?” But that’s really for you to decide. Give in to peer pressure and save face? Or get out there and get treats? The choice was yours.

Pumpkin Carving 2021 Finale

Both of our daughters finished their pumpkins right on time. Our 17 year old spent about five and a half hours on hers and this is how it turned out:

It was a character named Yuri from Doki Doki Literature Club. I love the detail she put into it. Watching her painstakingly carve and cut into the gourd impressed me.

Our oldest wanted to make her pumpkin match her make up. So she carved out scars and blistered looking lips and eyes. Then she stuck metal wire in to close it up. Definitely an original piece that looked creepy.

Her make up was detailed to match. She also made a large scythe this summer which accompanied the look. I love her originality and commitment to the character.

Having creative kids makes me proud. My wife and I are always encouraging them to make art and express themselves.