Brace Yourself

When I was younger, I had to get braces for my teeth. It was obvious from birth that I’d need them. Seriously- my mother was Scottish and my father was Czech. Both of them had false teeth by their early thirties. My baby teeth were okay, but those adult teeth were messed up something fierce. So my parents forked over a few thousand dollars to repair my smile.

After years of going through puberty and wearing metal in my mouth, I was ready to be good looking. Only that never happened. Once my braces were off- within a few years my wisdom teeth came in and shifted my lower teeth and made them nice and crooked. But I don’t really care now. I’m not trying to impress anyone anymore.

It seems my wife’s genetics and mine weren’t so kind to our offspring. Or our pocketbook for that matter…

I bring this up because our oldest daughter has been wearing braces for a few years now. On Thursday, the orthodontist removed them. Her “agony” is overtaken age 16.

She can’t stop smiling now. I think she is happy about how her teeth have straightened out. I’m happy that we will have smiles in our Christmas photos! I’m also happy that those payments for child number one’s teeth are behind us. Now to focus on the other two.

Bake A Cake

My wife likes to remind me that for her birthday in the year 2000 that she baked her own cake. That was the first year we were together. I haven’t made that mistake since.

Last night I baked her a cake. Straight outta the box! I know I could bake a cake from scratch, but sometimes those packaged cakes are an easy (and cheap!) treat.

I left the cake to cool overnight. Later today I will be frosting it. I’m not planning anything elaborate- just extra icing! Because that’s what my wife requested. And since it’s her birthday, I figured I’d better do what she requested.

I don’t want to be reminded for the next 18 years that I didn’t do that. Once is enough.

I am baking the cake with love in mind. I do care about my wife’s happiness! Happy Birthday Honey! May you enjoy your day!

And your cake!

Indoor Footwear

When I come home I take off my shoes. Only to put on slippers. Indoor footwear? Why? I guess to keep my feet warm. I don’t really mind walking around in socks or barefooted. But slippers are just a way of life. And we go through them rather quickly. About every three or four months, we need to get new ones.

I like owning slippers. My slippers wait for me at the side of my bed. The fuzzy comfort for my feet as I roll out of my nice warm bed. I always get at least one pair of slippers at Christmas. One year, my daughter gave me three pairs. She figured that way I wouldn’t run out before the next Christmas.

My wife has slippers that my children often steal. Even though they each have their own, they find it fun to take their mother’s slippers and walk around in them.

Recently, I picked up some “back up” slippers. They are hung under our stairs near the front door just in case someone in our family forgets their slippers upstairs. I also bought them because they reminded me of our trip to Tokyo.

Our hotel gave us each a pair of slippers that we were told we could keep. We received new ones Every Single Day. So we ended up with a pretty good stockpile of white slippers. My wife and I plan on giving them out when guests come over. Even just for dinner. We are going to offer slippers to make our home feel like a comfortable place they our guests can feel like it’s their home.

I’m looking forward to getting a new pair of slippers for Christmas. I should probably go out and buy a pair for my wife also. The kids are slowly killing hers.

Old Tech Memories

Every night I plug my iPhone into the charging cord beside my bed. The cord often falls to the floor so I have to pick it up in order to place my iPhone on my bedside table. The other night I grabbed the wrong cord. A cord I didn’t know I still had.

We haven’t had a landline in about four years. Ever since our oldest finished grade seven. At that time, we had a set of four cordless phones that all connected at one location- our bedroom. When we ditched the landline, I simply unplugged the phone. Over the past few days, I’ve been pulling stuff out from under our bed for Christmas. I guess the cord got caught and came out and I hadn’t noticed it.

There are plenty of images out there along the lines of “Remember corded phones?” I remember. When I was little, we had a rotary phone. I remember them in other people’s homes as well. Then push button ones. And really long cords to reach from one room to another.

In the mid 80’s we got our first cordless phone. I thought it was the greatest thing ever! It had one of those telescopic antennas that you could push down when you were finished the call. Except for the antenna- which eventually got bent and snapped off- the phone was extremely durable and aerodynamic! It flew across the room at my younger sister a couple of times.

Phones have come a long way since they were first invented. I’m using my phone to write this blog post. I listen to music, take photos and watch videos every day as well on my iPhone. Crazy.

The coolest thing a kid/teen could have in the 80’s was a Ghetto Blaster with a black and white tv built in. Man, did I ever want one of those. I guess I have to settle with having the world at my fingertips as an adult instead. I wonder what inventions my kids would wish they owned when they grow up?

Did you have any memories like this, or did you own one of those Blasters? Please share.

Is It Okay To Be Unemotional?

The day my father died, I felt no emotion at all. He was gone. That was it. I went out with my fiancé. We told people that my dad was dead. No emotions, just facts.

Did that make me a bad person?

Does it make me a bad person that I still can’t feel proper sorrow for the loss of a human life?

I did get pretty drunk that night though. A few good tears came out. Looking back, it was more tears of relief.

The Yearly Bad Day

Facebook shared with me some of my past memories of this day. None were good.

Nine years ago, we were without running water. Our pump had died because the pipe from the well had collapsed. We were about one week without water.

Eight years ago, our computer died and I backed up photos. Unfortunately, what I backed it onto died two years ago. Now my wife “kindly” reminds me that I destroyed her memories of the kids.

Seven years ago, I ripped out a breakfast nook and worked to stucco our wall followed by installing a new floor. Seems I punish myself by doing renovations before Christmas on a regular basis.

Five years ago I talked about how I was being cranky and mean to my children. This one hurts emotionally.

Three years ago we received and Xbox. I played poorly and ate Halloween candy for dinner because I felt like crap. A realization that I am not a gamer kicked in.

Last year I spent the day in the hospital and got a CT Scan. It was followed by a trip to a pub with terrible service thus ending a frustratingly long day. But my results were positive.

Looking back, I realize that I have overcome a decade of frustrating events. Hopefully tomorrow my memories on Facebook are more pleasant. I can’t wait to see them. What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, right?

Tickles

I have a difficult time as it is being touched. Yesterday my daughter discovered that I am actually ticklish. I have always been adamant that I am not. Just in hopes that people wouldn’t try to tickle me.

I’m not ticklish under foot or in the armpit. Or any other joint. There’s that certain spot on the side of my ribs that just gets me squirming awkwardly. It’s odd that my youngest daughter found my ticklish spot considering I was never one to try and tickle others.

When our oldest had her first Christmas, my wife and I bought her a “Tickle Me Cookie Monster“. It was adorable. She would cuddle it as it wiggled and giggled. She was only slightly larger than it at the time. We then passed it on to each other child as they were born. I’m pretty sure we have this toy stored away somewhere as a keepsake.

It makes me smile as I think about the noises Cookie made as you squeezed him. The looks on my baby children as it shook in their arms is priceless.

Flu Shot Slimer

I was bed ridden for a couple weeks with the H1N1 flu strain a few years ago. It was the worst experience of being ill that I can remember. Never again. Ever since then we have gotten the flu shot.

Yesterday we went out as a family and got the flu shot. What a great family outing Josef! I know. Best part was going for a Costco Hot Dog afterwards for dinner. Almost defeats the purpose of keeping healthy.

But in a way, it was kind of like a tribute to what I imagine goes on inside a person with the flu. Something about imagining what the virus is reminds me of Slimer from Ghostbusters. A green slimy thing replicating inside a person’s body eating away at the good blood cells.

That’s about the extent of my biological scientific knowledge.

Anyways, the flu shot 2018 is behind me now. Get yours or don’t get yours. I won’t judge. But I’ll be getting one every year.

Spiderwebs

Spiders don’t bother me. But I’m not a big fan of actual spiderwebs. When I was younger I used to deliver the local newspaper door to door twice a week. Walking up to people’s homes I’d oftentimes get a web in the face.

I hated it. Took a few times until I realized that if I held a rolled up newspaper in front of me that I would stop my face from meeting the webs. Being a kid meant I was stupid, this proves it.

After my childhood, I was a teenager who would wander around nature trails using a stick to swat at those invisible lines. I still do that. So I don’t really like spiderwebs. But I do like No Doubt’s Spiderwebs song. It’s fun to sing along to. It also reminds me of my early 20’s.

I also have a spiderweb shirt that I’ve had for about 25 years as well. I love this shirt and it has held up because I only wear it 3-4 times during the month of October. It’s a satin shirt, and I really don’t like forking over money for dry cleaning.

I always vacuum our home of cobwebs just to put out fake spiderwebs at Halloween. Pretty sure that it’s kind of a pointless endeavor.

A Tale of Two Flights

Yesterday we flew with Westjet out of Vancouver to Los Angeles. The check in was easy and my wife got the extra screening bonus going through customs. (Which has nothing to do with the flight…) The staff were really friendly and helpful.

But then our flight was delayed two and a half hours because… an employee had damaged the plane… or that’s what we were told by another employee. We had to wait for another flight to come in from Winnipeg in order to get a new plane to ride. So I took a nap before we boarded. Shit happens. I’d rather get on an undamaged plane.

I guess because the flight was late, we got to enjoy taxiing around the runway in Vancouver before departing another 30 minutes later. The flight itself was smooth. Included in the price- we were given a sip of soda and a tiny snack pack of pretzels. To watch any movies- we had to download the Westjet App. Rather frustrating.

When we touched down, the plane drove around every part of LAX terminal for 45 minutes before stopping and having everyone disembark and then board a bus for a ten minute drive back to the terminal. After all was said and done, we were over 4 hours later than we originally planned. Even the employees were getting edgy by the end. But they kept their cool.

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