I love that we have a home that backs onto a green space and farmland. We can overlook the valley and watch the sunset every night. This house came with big windows and a glass railing along the backyard and our kitchen deck. However, it is often the reason birds don’t live very long.
Last week, a bird collided with our second story window. Even though the blinds were drawn and the windows look black from outside- this bird must’ve been going at a pretty good speed. As you can see from the picture, the head and feathers of the bird left quite the impression.
My wife said the bird was on our lower deck and still alive. So she kept our dog and cat indoors so as not to cause more trauma to the bird. After a couple of hours, the bird flew off again. I am amazed by this as crashing at full speed then falling nearly three stories would probably kill or seriously injure most birds.
Kudos to the bird for eventually shaking it off and flying away. Hopefully you tell your friends to stop smashing into our glass since I have been picking up the Dead Birds periodically since we moved here.
This afternoon an old friend of mine and his wife came by for a visit. We hung out on the back deck and swam in the pool. Kind of our go-to in this house on hot days. I always enjoy their company because we have a chance to share stories or our lives. Some adventures, some hardships, and lots of humor.
What really stood out for me today was what my friend brought with him.
He brought a case of non-alcoholic beer to share.
He knows I am not drinking and haven’t been since November. He brought these to show support of my choice to be alcohol free. I really appreciate that he did this for me as I didn’t even mention anything like this prior to his visit. Most times people ask for more details as to why I’m not drinking. Or they keep offering a drink forgetting that I’m not partaking in the booze while they are having some.
I’m not upset that people forget or ask questions. But today I am feeling the kindness of my buddy doing that one small gesture on my behalf. It goes to show that true friends really do care and pay attention to the things that matter in your life. And Matt has been in my life since before I met my wife, so he knows my life pretty intimately. He has been very supportive to me all of these years.
It’s been about three weeks since I last made a rug. I have been busy taking advantage of the beautiful weather on my days off. Not hanging out in a cold crafting room in our basement.
I have been missing my new hobby as of late. But I didn’t want to “Power Through” making rugs like I was doing. So yesterday I set up my monks cloth and cleaned my tufting gun. I also calibrated it to a comfortable speed and checked the blades. The basics are ready for when I start tufting.
This afternoon, I drew out my next series of rugs. I made a few basic and easy designs and one really tough one. For the most part, I have all the yarn I need to get these started. The one color I am short on is black. And black is what the majority of my outlines are. I also need felt to glue to the bottom of the rugs to finish them off nicely.
That means next Thursday I am making a quick trip across the border to hit up Joanne’s. That is my favorite craft store for the supplies I need. I’ll probably spend upwards of over three hundred dollars. But that should last me for the summer. I hope. Or else I will need to start making different rugs that don’t require black yarn. I’m sure I can design rugs based on the colours I will have in abundance.
These next few rugs I am going to be taking my time to work on. I don’t want this hobby to feel like a chore. And since none of these are commissions, I don’t feel the need to rush at this time. Maybe when someone requests a design, I’ll pick up the pace. But for now I really want to enjoy this hobby for years to come.
Today was our first kayak adventure of the year. Last year we only went out once. My wife is hoping that this year we get out more often. She would prefer once a week. We shall see how this goes over the summer.
We decided to try an area we never explored by kayak before. The dyke behind our home that is just beyond the fields. It’s an area we walk (or rather my wife walks) on a regular basis. We drove the kayaks down to the side of the road and made our way towards the water.
Getting down to the water was a bit more steep than we have wandered before. But we got the kayaks down to the edge of the water. We launched from underneath the roadway. we paddled out for about thirty minutes prior to turning around to head back.
This adventure was significant to us. Back in 2007, my wife worked for a hot air balloon company. For our anniversary that year, we went up for a ride. Along the way, we passed over the dyke that we kayaked today. We paused for a quick picture in the same spot where we captured a previous picture. This was all prior to the house we are in was built.
It was a good afternoon of enjoying the calm and serene waters. A few spots of shade were nice and we even witnessed a large crane fly off. It was a perfect afternoon. I’ll happily do this once more.
This afternoon we had a Team Building event for the management team at my work. We went to Tap-Ins Putting Course at Cultus Lake. There we played 18 holes of put-put followed by Toptracer driving range.
It was a neat experience to play mini golf on actual greens. No weird windmills or obstacles. Just really long greens to try and put the ball into the hole. I really enjoyed this and came in second in our group of six. Although, I’d recommend you bring your own putter as the heads on the rental ones are a bit rounded instead of flat.
Toptracer golf was neat as well. Basically a driving range with cameras that track your shot. On the computer screen there was a variety of games and challenges we could play. As well as worldwide golf courses. This is the kind of golf I can get behind. Just swinging a club and not having to chase the balls. Like a mix of play Nintendo Wii and real golf. Not very accurate at times, but fun nonetheless.
Of course we all acted silly and goofy. Taunting and teasing one another. Because that’s how team building works, right?
I’m home now and my lower back is rather sore. It’s been years since I swung a club. It may be a while before a swing another. But I wasn’t too shabby. I can thank my father for that.
The former owners of the house we bought are still in contact with us. In fact, we continue to rent out a room two days a week for the husband while he is at work on the mainland. Once in a while I get to see what the house looked like back when it was first built.
The backyard was once filled with lawn. There were cedar trees planted along the rocks that have long since been removed. I’d still have been happy had we bought this home and the yard looked like that. Bright and open. A huge difference from our last property.
Instead, the former owners put in a pool and extended a wood deck to the furthest point in the yard. Since we bought the house, we have made some changes and additions of our own. This has helped to create our “Dream Home”.
In the short time of living in this house, we have changed the landscape in other areas. I’m loving what we have done and look forward to creating more modifications over the years.
Today I had my 17 year old go and pick up an item for me that was on Facebook Marketplace. I don’t generally use that format to get things, but somehow an item I wanted materialized within weeks of me thinking about it. I jumped at the chance to pick it up. And for $15 I really don’t think it’s in bad shape.
I picked up an old Teknika VHS camera. I swear these were the industrial models that 7/11 used to rent out. This thing is heavy. The downside is that the battery no longer works, so I will be required to keep it plugged in. The upside- it came with a blank VHS tape in it- so I have a chance to fiddle around with it.
It even came with a keyboard so I can type in titles and such for the videos. This will likely take me some time to figure out, but how 80’s can you get? That fact that the camera is from somewhere between 1986-1989 is awesome. And it works!
But Josef, why did you want this camera?
My wife and I are having an anniversary party in July with the 80’s as a theme. Specifically 1988. That year was the peak of everything 80’s right before the 90’s started to sneak in. A video camera from this time is perfect. I plan to have it on the entire time, connected to a television for fun.
I also picked up 30 pairs of sunglasses that scream 80’s. This will be available to our friends as they arrive to the party. I cannot wait until our anniversary in seven weeks time! If you can think of anything else that screams 1988- let me know!
I an’t wait to see how this camera works. It should be a blast!
At work we drive some dirty roads. Lately there has been no rain, so dust has been kicked up exponentially. There are times when I’m driving those roads that a huge cloud comes up behind me. It’s so thick that you can’t see anything at all.
Our work vehicle also has no air conditioning, so I keep the windows open while driving. When I stop, the dust catches up and fills the inside of the suv. If I put on the air vents, it just blows more dust around. When I close the trunk, the dust flies off the hatchback and covers me in dirt. I’m blowing out black snot these days because of it.
I’m really hoping for some rain this week to help combat this. My work also has some plans to prevent the dust from getting kicked up. There will be some sort of vegetable oil sprayed within the next few days to keep it down.
Maybe then I won’t feel like I’m driving in a Mad Max environment.
Long weekend. People traveling out of town. Beautiful weather, why not? So last night I told my wife I booked a last minute Bed And Breakfast for Friday night. She was upset at first, then was trying to guess where we were going. I let her believe that she guessed correctly.
So we hit the road after her work day. We needed to stop and get gas. That was when our middle child called to say that our hot water tank was leaking. Oh no- time to turn around and check it out. Our 19 year old did a good job falsifying the urgency in the phone call.
When we arrived home, my wife ran to the basement to check the tank. Then she was confused and getting frustrated with the kids for standing there not saying anything. So I walked my wife out to the en-suite kitchen where she finally realized that we weren’t going anywhere. It would just be the two of us having an evening out of our regular life and chilling.
Had I not “tricked” my wife, she would have still been doing things around the house. Even if I asked for a couple of hours of downtime- she would have found numerous things to do. Instead, having her pack an overnight bag and think that everything was on pause at home, worked really well. We floated in the pool, at some of my wife’s favorite snacks at the cabana, listened to music and then played some old Nintendo video games until bed.
This morning, I had a small breakfast ready for us to sit on the back deck and enjoy nature. Following breakfast was a nice 5km walk around the trails nearby followed by a water break. I placed labels on our water bottles that say “Love Always” which is something my wife signs on every card we give out to the kids and each other.
For a mini staycation, I think I did pretty good at giving my wife a break. Perhaps we will do a few more of these “getaways” this summer.
The New Car we bought last week needed a little bit of tlc. For a 2005 Toyota Corolla- there is nothing mechanical that we need to do to it. Especially so ice it only had 75,000 km on it. However, aesthetically it needed some love.
The previous owner smoked in the car. The car had seat covers that absorbed the smell. So those had to go. Next week I plan on giving the car upholstery a steam clean, same with the floor mats and roof. Hopefully that eliminates the odor. There was also a small sunglasses spot that the flap kept falling open. So I glued a strong magnet and piece of metal to keep it shut. So far so good.
The one thing that I wanted to clean up was the large scrape down the passenger side. Because there was a couple of spots where the scratch was showing rust, I wanted to do a quick fix. That required cleaning, sanding, painting, sanding, painting, and clear coating. Because this is a Toyota, color match was easy to find.
In the end, I did an alright job. I know it could be better, but I wasn’t going to put in more time and money than necessary. Especially if the car is for the kids to use mostly. From afar, you couldn’t even tell there was a scratch. That’s a good sign.
Anyways, our dash cam is going in next and that’s about I’m doing to the car. Safe travels kids! Enjoy the ride!
Our youngest went for his driving test today. He has had his learner’s license for about a year now. My wife and I had been allowing him to drive quite frequently in order to get some practice in. Both of us have different styles of teaching how to drive. Our son likes both, just not at the same time. Completely understandable.
We also paid for three lessons in the month leading to his exam. We did this in order for him to polish up the skills required in order to get his New Drivers License. The instructor was good and gave some great feedback on what Theory needed to work on.
Prior to the exam, I took Theory out for about an hour or so of driving. I told him I wasn’t going to critique anything he was doing, nor was I going to tell him what he missed or was doing wrong- if anything. I just wanted him to be comfortable behind the wheel. He admitted to being extremely nervous. Completely natural given that this is one of those skills that will last a lifetime.
I had to wait for him while he went out to take the test. Since it was a nice day, The road test is at a former accident claim center where there is nothing to do. So I sat outside in the shade and pre-wrote this blog. After about 15 minutes on the road with the instructor, they returned.
Update: He did it! He now has a five year license!
I’m happy that my workweek is over. Not that work was terrible, but the sunshine and warmth made me miss just lounging about in my backyard. Being at home is nice.
Walking down my street is always a beautiful sight. The neighborhood is lush and alive with life. People walking dogs, gardens well kept, and a skyline that showcases the sun saying farewell for the day.
Something about dusk is my favorite time of day. Especially when the weather is pleasant and enjoyable. Being able to experience the neighborhood at our own pace brings me joy.
Have a good evening friends. I hope your home is comforting like mine is.
Our youngest is cresting the final years of teenagehood. He has turned 17 today. A year ago he got his learner’s driving license. In a couple of days, he will be going for his New Driver test. That is a big accomplishment and a right of passage for most youth. He’s a pretty confident driver, so I have no doubt he will pass his test.
He has grown to become very similar to how I was as a teenager. Goofy, funny, sarcastic yet kind. Honestly, I’d probably also have bought “Fish Flops” at his age just like he did last week. Much like him, I’d be able to convince a couple friends to buy them as well and wear them to school.
The one thing that really got me in the emotional feels occurred the other day. He approached me and asked if I could teach him how to shave his face. My father never taught me how to shave and with no internet around back then, I had to fumble through trial and error. Until 1998 when I began to read Maxim Magazine and read an article of how to properly shave. Since then, no more nicks or cuts. I passed that knowledge onto my son this past weekend.
He’s on his way to become a real gentleman. He always puts others first and is extremely helpful when required. His smile is contagious and I love him for everything he does. He’s a great kid and deserves to have a wonderful birthday.
Ok, it’s new to us. We purchased a Toyota Corolla on Saturday morning. The car is from 2005 and was hardly driven.
75501 kilometers on this car. It was driven by an older lady who is related to some friends of ours. They were looking to sell it since she doesn’t drive anymore. We picked up the car for $4000.
It’s the perfect car for our kids to use this summer and into next year for the school and skating season. It’s even “old lady champagne coloured” with hubcaps and non-tinted windows. Not a flashy car, but a reliable one nonetheless.
The previous owner even through in a 2008 map book and and “The Club” for us. Since the stereo is a basic am/fm cd player- there is no touchscreen or Bluetooth. That should keep the kids less distracted for the time being.
I’m not going to lie, I may use this car periodically to go to work. It is better on gas than my current car. It boasts 5.3L-7.1L /100km. My Rogue is 7.1L-9.5L /100km. Honestly, the car is nothing special to write home about, but here I am giving it a raving review! A good commuter car for our kids to utilize as they begin to drive themselves more frequently.
I’m probably biased, but I think my wife is the best mother around. She has been a hard working and loving mother since 2002. The three kids who call her “mom” have been lucky to have her around.
From supporting our kids by cheering them on through their various activities; to consoling them when they need some extra love; Lee-Anne has been a wonderful parent.
I know that periodically my wife feels like she is just going through the motions. Oftentimes everything she does is for someone else’s benefit. But those are the sacrifices she gives in order to keep our children happy.
I’m glad to be her partner in all of this. She has been inspiration for me and my parenting style. Together we have conquered the world! Or at least attempted to pick the battles that matter most when raising kids. As difficult as parenting can be, Lee-Anne has overcome the obstacles and become a fantastic mom.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the other mothers out there as well! Enjoy the day designed for you!
This weekend we took a few breaks from this heat. Either it was in the basement or in the pool. Now that the deck has been stained and dried rather quickly- we set up our outdoor space.
Tonight we will be having dinner outside- our first for the season. The umbrella will serve as some shade this evening. We have some other good sun blocking areas. I’m still happy with our gazebo that we bought last year.
The cabana is a perfect spot to enjoy a warm breeze in between dips in the pool. I could easily have an afternoon siesta while some Bossa Nova cover tunes play in the background. Even our Pupper likes to hang out with me while I relax.
I’m glad all that the majority of our hard work is behind us to get the yard ready. Taking these breaks are totally deserved. I’m also looking forward to entertaining friends this season. I love opening up our home for everyone to enjoy. This summer weather can stay for many months more!
After a full day of staining the deck and doing some trim painting, it was time to relax. Our pool was calling to me all day as the sun beat down. So it was time to finally get wet.
Our pool was a chilly 75°F/24°C. It was perfect for battling the heatwave that has arrived. I’m not complaining about this weather. I’m enjoying it even though the heat hit us quickly. I wasn’t expecting to be in the pool this weekend, but it’s definitely a pleasant surprise. Time to float away the rest of my weekend.
It was a hot day today- but tomorrow will be hotter. I spent the entire day in our backyard. I prepared our deck for staining and did the first coat with the help of our middle child. After a few hours, we took a break to play some UNO with my oldest kid. We sat in the sun and listened to music while I lost repeatedly at the game.
Once we finished dinner, I headed to the bedroom to put new sheets on our bed and took a shower to refresh. I’m looking forward to clean sheets so a shower was a necessity. Afterwards I headed to the basement to keep cool. My middle and I relaxed watching some tv. It was a great way to end the day.
I forgot how cool and comfortable a basement can be. We do have a heat pump that creates air conditioning for our home. But there is something about the natural refreshing sensation of a cool basement after a hot day.
Later this weekend I do plan to cool off in the pool. But tomorrow I need to finish getting the deck stained.
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!