Halloween Costume Choice

Halloween is approaching. I am behind in my usual costume planning. So it’s time to figure out an easy one that I think I can do. Here are two of my choices so far. Please help with some advice.

1st: More Cowbell.

I think I can pull off a Christopher Walken impression for one night. Especially if I just quote the classic SNL skit. Maybe I can find a friend to do Will Farrell’s part and really nail the joke.

2nd: Fear And Loathing

This has been my look for most of the summer. Tinted glasses, bucket hat, Hawaiian print shirt. I just need to work on slurring my speech and awkward walking. (although I did that throughout the summer as well).

Which of these two is my best option? I’d love to hear your vote. Or, is there any other possible characters I could pull off this Halloween? I have enjoyed some of my past iterations of Rick Sanchez, Vincent Price, Obi-Wan, Ash vs Army of Darkness, Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, Sportacus, Pee-Wee Herman, Hudsucker Proxy, and many more.

Do You Remember?

Do you remember? The 21st night of September?

My wife loves that song. Her friends often look forward to singing it to her every year. I find it humorous and have written about it in the past: 21st Night of September . Today got me thinking about my wife and how she remembers the way I like things done. Specifically preparing food.

Now, I’m not saying that the way I like my food prepared is right, but it is how I like my food. It used to cause many discussions years ago, but now my wife just goes with it. Usually.

I’m a big texture and taste person when it comes to food. I don’t overly care if different food touches on a plate, so that’s not it. It’s more how the flavors mix. For example- when making a sandwich- the mustard side needs to be the side the meat is on, not the cheese. Cheese on mustard has a very different taste and texture compared to meat and mustard. Trust me.

Mr Noodles… the instructions on the packet are wrong. The noodles need to be placed in the water immediately and then brought to a boil. Once the noodles are soft, drain all the water. Then put the noodles in a bowl and add the flavor packet. This isn’t a soup we are making! It’s called Mr. Noodles not Mr. Soup.

Because of these preferences, I will admit that I am the one who usually ends up making the lunches. My wife will adhere to my choices when making something for me, which is nice, and has on occasion agreed with how I make foods. Like a dash of salt after goulash is served. It brings out the flavor immensely as you are about to eat.

However it’s not just food preferences I need to work on with her. I still need to get her to understand that the toilet paper flap goes over the roll, not behind it.

And with that, I am off to escape to work to avoid confrontation once she reads my blog.

Love you honey!

Neat IOS 16 Features

I enjoy my iPhone. There was a recent update that I also liked. It has the option to change wallpaper and has a big clock.

I chose the moon as a backdrop from the preset ones available. I’ve always been fascinated by the moon. That’s cool. But something else I noticed after doing a screenshot happened.

If you touch and hold a part of the image- it does this little “swoosh” and cuts out the background. Then you can choose “share” and send just the main subject matter via messages/texts. That’s cool.

I think this aspect of photo sharing/manipulation is kind of fun. It’s a simple photoshop style of edit. It may not be perfect, but it works.

As I explore the new iOS 16 and the features- I’ll most likely also see online some other fascinating features. It’s like having a new phone all over again.

If you know of any other neat features from the latest update- let me know in the comments.

I Turn My Camera On

Today would have marked my father’s 80th Birthday. One of the few things I have kept of my father’s is his camera. It’s nothing special to anyone but me. Valued at $40 used on eBay. The Praktica is nothing more than a 35mm chunky camera.

The reason it’s special to me is that my father realized that when I was born- he did not own a camera. He went out and bought it within a couple of days of my birth. Partly because there was some uncertainty in my living beyond a short while. I had respiratory issues from birth. But that’s another story. This camera was purchased in 1976- the original receipts and warranty card are still in the carrying case.

I ended up using this camera in high school back in the mid-nineties for my photojournalism class. I took numerous black and white photos with it as well as colour pictures. Some of those ended up in the year book. Including my favorite which was a collage overlay of four photos together making up the front of the school. Not too easy to do when there was no preview screen and had to wait to get the images developed.

Now as our son enters grade 11- he has taken up photography as his art major. With it came a curiosity of my father’s old camera. In the first week of photo classes, he went through four rolls of film just taking black and white photos with it. Soon he will develop the pictures and see what he has created.

The one picture that my son wants to take with the camera is one I am impressed he thought of. It’s nothing outrageous, but rather one that brings the camera’s journey full circle. He plans to take some photos of my father’s tombstone- using the same camera that my father had bought to take pictures of me at birth. It’s quite convenient that the graveyard is merely steps away from the school grounds.

I’m not going to lie, at first I had a tough time allowing my son to use the camera. But he has been respectful and understanding of the sentimentality to me. He keeps it in the case and is very careful when handling it. As I said, there’s no monetary value to this item. But it means a lot to me as I wish my father could have seen the lovely grandkids that were produced. I would hope he would’ve been proud of me. But I didn’t become a good father to impress him. I became a good father to spite him.

Happy 80th Grampa. You missed an entire world, yet somehow you are still a big part of mine.

Toilet Upgrade…?

Let’s talk toilets and bums today, shall we?

I was so excited this afternoon. My Amazon package arrived and I had only ordered it yesterday! It was a bidet attachment for a standard toilet. It fits nicely under the seat with minimal effort to install.

I’m not going to lie, this has been on my wish list since our trip to Tokyo. As much as I wanted a heated one that plays music, this was an inexpensive option that works as a quick splash test. It took about 20 minutes to complete the installation. It was super easy, barely an inconvenience.

My bum was so excited that I sat down and tried it out once I confirmed there were no leaks. The water was cool as it hosed off my little chocolate starfish; but not frigid like I expected which was nice. It got the job done and cleaned my bum.

I’m probably the only one in the house who will use it. That’s ok. It does have a second spray for the female region as well as a self cleaning. Not to mention there is an adjustable spray force as well. Let’s just keep that at a low setting for now- I didn’t buy it to be an at home enema.

Do you have a bidet addition on your toilet? Perhaps the ever popular “Tushy” or a different brand like I picked up (Samodra if you are wondering). If there are any flaws, I’ll share that at a future date or in the comments- butt for now, I’m happy and so is my clean bum bum.

Down Time Before Bed

My day was filled with being busy at work, some basic chores and then time with family. I nearly forgot to write today’s blog. So I checked out of my life for a bit before writing this.

For the first time in ages I threw on some YouTube in bed. I watched Season Six Episode One of Rick and Morty. I was going to write my blog as the show was playing, but ended up getting too enthralled in the episode.

Nobody exists on purpose.

I love this show. My son and I even did a cosplay together over six years ago: Father Son Time. We share a bond of shows like this along with a vulgar humor.

Ironically, my son now fits those pants I wore for the costume and loves to wear them. I also found my flask from the cosplay the other day (still had booze in it…) In a couple of days my son and I will watch the few episodes that have been released. I plan to share a few good laughs and speculation on what’s to come or inter-dimensional paradoxes (or some other type nerdy sci-go shit).

To quote the great Rick Sanchez, and send you off for the night:

Wubba-lubba-dub-dub!

(which means I am in great pain)

Rules Are Meant To Be Learned

This week I am renewing my conductor qualifications. Unlike the time three years ago when I Went to Winnipeg for my training- I am at home learning remotely this time around.

Because we recently had our tenants move out, I have the basement as my classroom. My wife has the office upstairs because she works online daily- and has for about four years now. Working remotely comes easy for her now and she is able to time manage quite well.

My first day is behind us and I’m starting to feel better about learning remotely. However- I can see how our kids had a difficult time adjusting and staying focused. But I made it through the first day and passed my first series of tests.

I’m glad that we have our basement back for the time being. The space has been calming and quiet. Perfect for studying and taking tests. Plus it’s got some of the necessities I need to make it through the day- coffee and snacks!

Only four more days remain ahead of me. After such, I will be a qualified conductor/switchman. By October I will need to get a physical from my family doctor and a recertification in first aid. At which point I can assist the company at different locations- including my home turf- in the running trades.

Wish me luck!

Queen Elizabeth II

It is with great sadness that the world bids farewell to The Queen. She has been an icon for many generations. The world now mourns the loss of such a wonderful person.

Personally, I never followed along with the royal family. I do know my mother is more in tune with the Royal Family- being Scottish and all. I called my mother this evening and she gave me the rundown of what will be coming next for the Royal Family.

Chances are I will watch some of the service for the Queen. I did admire her wit and subtleties when it came to politics. Of course, almost each and every photo of her is a favorable one. With numerous smiles and iconic moments. My heart goes out to her family and the communities in which she watched over.

Long live the Queen.

Today Is Gonna Be A Great Day

“There’s a hundred and four days of summer vacation- ‘Til school comes along just to end it”

Summer is over, at least for our kids… There’s still a few days left before the official 1st day of Autumn. This evening was a chance for my wife and I to relax by floating on the pool. We enjoyed our last evening and our smiles couldn’t be bigger.

As our youngest heads into his second to last year of high school, we are slowly relieved of the extra duties we once had. Our middle is about to attend their first year of university as well. The journey into adulthood is well underway for our kids. Our eldest is already two years out of public school and summer vacation.

As I lounged around watching the sunset- it dawned on me that life is really what you make it. We have worked hard to get to this stage in life and hope that our children appreciate the effort we have put in for them. They each have a future ahead of them that I look forward to seeing. And each day is better than the last.

“This could possibly be the best day ever…
And the forecast says that tomorrow will likely be- A million and six times better.
So make every minute count-
Jump up, jump in and seize the day!
And let’s make sure that in every single possible way-
Today is gonna be a great day.”

More Space At Home

We have only been three days without tenants in our basement suite. Yet we have taken over and began decluttering the rest of our home. This has been nonstop with help from the entire family over last little bit.

We managed to unpack a bunch of boxes from our garage to fill our secondary kitchen. Our camping supplies came out of the garage and went into the storage under the stairs. We also moved two of our shelving units from the garage and placed our crafting supplies into a walk-in closet.

In one of the bedrooms downstairs, I assembled a new queen sized bed and fresh mattress for visitors to use. The other bedroom will be used as my wife’s studio for the time being. So a lot of fabric has moved from the garage into that room. Our garage doesn’t feel as cramped now that everything is out- especially the shelves. Basically, passengers in the car can get out in the garage instead of the driveway like they once did.

The biggest hurdle was today. The other day, my wife decided to try out the washer and dryer that was in the basement suite. We had never used them in the 14 months of living here. Of course my wife fell in love with them… so we had to swap them with the ones upstairs. A couple of things about this make me happy- now all the appliances in the basement match and are LG brand. The other thing I like is that the washer we moved upstairs is a top loader- meaning the door won’t get hit by the garage door as you enter the home. Plus it lightens up the laundry room. The worst part was moving four heavy appliances up and down the stairs. Good thing our son is sixteen and strong.

My favorite change is our couches. We moved the brown leather sectional into the basement suite along with a new Amazon Fire TV. This feels like our old theater room. Upstairs we bought a love seat and a chair from IKEA along with a new rug. The room is now bright and vibrant feeling, not so clunky. Best part- our settee matches in fabric colour and fits in nicely to the sitting room feel.

We still have a few little things left to do. Like clean up the empty boxes and finish arranging the kitchen. However, these last couple of days have felt like we are gaining back our home as well as our space. No more clutter or holding onto furniture and furnishings for future use. The future is now- and it feels wonderful.

Final Push Home

Yesterday was the last leg of our journey to return home from Disneyland. We woke up and had breakfast by 7am as we were all eager to get under way. Home was only a short 5 hour journey if traffic was good. Otherwise it could take about 6 1/2 hours. We needed to get through Tacoma and Seattle.

Of course, the teenagers were out cold AGAIN almost instantly. Yup, I kept taking pictures of this. My wife and I talked and listened to music up front and enjoyed the peace and quiet coming from the back.

I mentioned about having road nuggies the previous day. This time my son wanted to bring “racon” aka “road bacon”. He grabbed a to-go coffee cup and filled it packed tight with bacon from the hotel breakfast. A couple hours after leaving and our car smelled like the heavenly aroma of bacon.

The journey only took us a little over 5 hours to complete. Once we got home, our oldest was in the process of tidying up. They had opted to staycation at our home and look after the pets and house while we were out of town. They even made my wife and I a painting and left it in our bedroom for us.

Being home is a great feeling. I was surprised that it was far hotter than Disneyland. But I got to work quickly and had the pool cleaned and open for us to relax in after our two day drive home. I love the memories that we have made over the years doing these road trips. Maybe more will happen, but I have a feeling this may have been our last one for quite some time.

Next summer I do not plan on going anywhere as our home is pretty gosh darn awesome. For now, I’ll enjoy the next few days alone as my wife is taking our two youngest on yet another road trip to Calgary for a few day. Practically feels as though she is living in her car. But this sacrifice she is doing is for our son’s speed skating. He has a competition this weekend and it was imperative that he attends.

A bit of “me time” is on the agenda the next couple of days as my vacation time winds down. I’m sure I’ll be able to keep busy. Or at least catch up on some naps like the teens did.

Disneyland 2022: Day 4- Another California Adventure Day

For our final day at the theme parks, we hit California Adventure. This is our favorite park of the two overall. We love the Pixar Pier and the old school amusement park feel.

Of course, we made it to be first in line at rope drop in order to ride Radiator Racers. After that was the same plan as we had a couple days prior- Incredicoaster and Toy Story Mania.

My wife and I split from the kids for a bit throughout the day and hand a good time together. It was a bittersweet series of moments as we realized that our kids are no longer the youngsters they once were. As well, this is our last trip like this with them.

We did meet up with them periodically and had a great time. A few more rides and meals together. We made the coaster a couple times as it got dark. That’s always more fun when you see the lights of the park everywhere as darkness falls.

We ended our day at The Avengers Campus with some dinner followed by one final ride on Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout. Probably one of the best rides in the park. Full of high energy, great music and visuals.

Saying goodbye to the trip was tough. But it was a ton of fun!

Last Leg Of The Journey

Our road trip today was a little over six hours. We stopped at In-N-Out again. I was told by the cashier that I was number 1. So I totally did a dad moment and said, “You know it.” Afterwards we were stuck in traffic heading through Los Angeles and spotted a couple billboards for Disneyland.

We made it to the hotel without issue. My wife and I went out to get a few snacks for the parks and the kids were too excited to remain at the hotel. So they took off to Downtown Disney and wandered the stores. We met up with them at the first store and the played around getting some photos and grabbed a cheap dinner. My wife wanted a re-created photo of the kids at the gate waiting to enter. (Albeit we do have a substitute teenager in place of our oldest.)

Our evening ended back at the hotel. We stood on the balcony and watched the fireworks that exploded from the park. Our energy levels and dopamine was kicking in and getting to sleep was tough. But we did it.

The excitement of our first day is about to commence. Now onto a post- Covid lockdown adventure in Disneyland. Did I mention that I’m super excited about Galaxy’s Edge? Yeah. I kinda love Star Wars…. Squeee!!! I’m the biggest kid of them all right now.

More adventures to follow over the next few days.

My Little Sister

It’s my little sister’s birthday today. Sadly, I have not had the opportunity to visit with her for about a year. Life gets a bit hectic and making plans have also been thwarted by scheduling conflicts. Here in BC, those ferries are unreliable as well these days.

I did give her a call today on the phone. We had a pretty good conversation about growing up, becoming parents, and hoping that things get better. Not that anything is truly bad, but things can always be better.

She will always be known as “Joe’s Sister” in our circle of friends. Her personality is much larger than being known as that. I look back fondly on our memories growing up. We always had each other, through good times and bad.

So thank you for being my sister Nikki! Love you always- as only an older brother can (including insults!) Happy Birthday.

Fun Lies To Children

Having small kids is filled with telling them lies. Many of the lies are done in order to calm or control the kids in some way. I know many parents who have told the same lies I have told.

The Three Big Lies

Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy are the three main lies we have told to our children. These fibs led to some good behavior and some magical moments as they grew up. It is always fun to be the character behind the curtain and make their dreams come true. A few gifts, some candy, a dollar or two. But I have a couple of other lies I have told over the years that I found amusing.

ID4

Telling our children at a young age that the move Independence Day was based on true events brought me joy. I wrote about it here: ID 4. Watching the film every year is one of my guilty pleasures. The kids also enjoy the film, so no harm no foul in telling them that lie.

However, my favorite lie was telling my kids that when the ice cream truck was playing music- it meant they were out of ice cream. That worked for a very long time. Each of them just grew to accept that we weren’t going to buy a frozen treat. Our youngest was the last to discover the truth. One day our son was over at a neighbor’s house and those parents went and bought ice cream from The Ice Cream Man.

I saw him getting a treat as I was leaving for work that day. Not sure if it was guilt in his face for being caught, or the look was the fact that he realized that I was always lying about the music. At least now if the truck comes to the neighborhood, our teenagers have their own money to spend if they choose to.

Is there any lies you have told kids in order to humor yourself, save money or perhaps your sanity? Let me know in the comments.

Final Month Of Tenants

Our tenants have given their notice to move out at the end of this month. As much as the income was nice and beneficial from having them there, it will be amazing to have the space back for our usage.

The tenants of our basement suite happen to be the original owners of this house. When we first bought the home they were only supposed to live here for six weeks. That would have put them out at the end of August last year. As we were about to move in, they had asked if we could extend it to February as they waited for their new home to be built. We agreed. Of course, as February approached they asked to extend it to May… then July… as the house they were getting built was getting delays.

Even though they are moving out at the end of this month, their new home isn’t quite done yet. In fact it sounds like mid October may be the completion date. But during these final stages, they wanted to be closer to the new house (which is on Vancouver Island). That’s completely understandable. Maybe now they can apply some pressure to their contractor to get their place done. I am glad that we have become friends with the former owners. As leery as we were at first, those fears subsided over the year.


For us this means nearly 1900 sqf of living space will become available to us. A full kitchen, living room, den, two bedrooms, two full bathrooms and plenty of extra storage. It also means we can begin to furnish our current space as we move some of our older furniture downstairs. This has become an exciting journey for my wife and I. We have been window shopping (and a bit of real shopping) as we plan new styles for our home.

This has made us feel youthful and fun. When we first started dating we went on many dates doing this sort of thing. Planning bedrooms, living rooms, etc as our family grew. The plan when we purchased this house was to allow for our children to have their own space as adults to live. We are helping them by furnishing the area and hope that one or two of them take the opportunity to use such a magnificent space to grow into adulthood before the possibility of moving out on their own.

Until that time, we will use the extra kitchen to prepare meals while we sit out at the pool instead of always running up and down the stairs. We will also have the space for friends and family to stay and visit for longer periods than just a few hours. Especially those from out of town. There will now be a few beds available for guests.

Everything feels exciting and new again about this home. Only one month to go!

Finally A Cheap Breakfast

With everything going on in the world, it’s nice to find a deal locally. Food prices are high, gas prices are fluctuating, but sometimes a place just goes against the norm and delivers.

Our downstairs tenants mentioned they went for breakfast yesterday at a local restaurant called “The Henry”. They told us that there is a $4.99 breakfast. Two eggs, hash browns, toast and a choice of bacon or sausage. For five bucks, it was worth a shot.

Honestly, the breakfast was pretty darn good. The service was also good. However, the coffee was not something I would buy again next time. Yes, there will be a next time.

So if you live in Langley or Surrey- definitely make your way to The Henry in Cloverdale for some cheap eats. It’s located on the street just south from the old Clova cinema. Some of my old friends may remember the location as an old strip club (just sayin’). My how times have changed.

I digress. It was a good Sunday brunch. Now to relax.

Weekend At Home With My Wife

This weekend our two teenagers went off to Vancouver to attend Anirevo (an anime convention). So my wife and I had the place to ourselves.

And we goofed off.

We played in the pool for hours- splashing and laughing with a few drinks inside of us. We lounged in the gazebo (which we have now dubbed “The Cabana”) and had some fantastic dinners together. It was like having our own private oasis on vacation together. These past couple of days has us realizing that becoming “Empty Nesters” won’t be so bad.

I’m really happy that my wife and I can do these things together. It feels as though we didn’t really have much time to date before we jumped into parenthood 20 years ago. So we are making up for it now.

Life is pretty good these days.

I’m a Fan of Fans

Since today is a scorcher of a day, I just want to say how much I love fans. We have a fan in every bedroom (I installed the kid’s ones last summer) and one in our stairway leading from the main floor to the upstairs. These fans help to circulate the cool air created by our heat pump.

Hiding the heat pump

We do have central air conditioning that is pushed into our home from the heat pump outside. Last summer we had our home at a chilling 19°. But after getting it serviced a few weeks back- the technician recommended keeping the temperature at 23°-25° when the summer heat is in full force. That’s because even just a couple of degrees lower from outside will make all the difference for the comfort level inside. It will also help to keep the heat pump lasting longer and giving it a better lifespan. I still like using our fans though.

My favorite fan is the one in our bedroom. If I had my way, it would be on every time I went to bed- every day of the year. I like the gentle breeze and soft whir as it spins. It reminds me of my teenage years when I had a cheap ceiling fan in my bedroom. I would lay on the bed talking to girls on the phone, just mesmerized by the blades as they spun… as well as being mesmerized by the girls I was talking with. Let’s just say both made me cool.

Do you use air conditioning in your home? Or perhaps it’s windows open and a fan in the window drawing the hot air out of the house. I remember having to do that in our first home that my wife and I bought. How we longed for comfort and AC back then.

Stay cool and hydrated my friends. I’m also a fan of you staying healthy!

Buy All The Floaties!

Since we bought our home, we have enjoyed the pool. Of course we needed to buy toys to go in. No matter how old you are- a floatie is the best part of being in a pool.

Today, Rainbow Unicorn joined the family. We still have Flamey- the pink flamingo. We also have a yellow duck, a dragon, three tubes, and a double tube all inflated. As backup we have two more tubes, a lounge chair and another yellow duck. I need to stop buying these things.

Last year we lost three inflatables. One was a narwhal. I was unable to find a replacement for him. But a friend of ours brought the Dragon which I absolutely love! There’s something about lounging that just makes me want to lay inside of a silly looking inflatable animal.

Next year I’ll probably still buy some more. I can’t help myself. They’re so much fun!

Staycation So Far- Soooooo Good!

I have been throughly enjoying this past week of staycationing at home. For a couple of the days I built a Deck for my wife’s garden. The two of us have also gone for a couple of walks together. We did a bit of shopping, we have made some amazing dinners and I have been doing breakfast meals better than ever. All with the company of the one I love.

But the majority of this staycation has had us poolside. We have done nothing but relax, swim, read, listen to music, enjoy the breeze, and appreciate what we have. If it weren’t for having to make our own meals and clean up after- you’d think we were staying at a private oasis resort. But this is exactly what where we wanted to get to in life- appreciating our home and each other’s company.

As much as I am looking forward to our next “get away” I can’t help but be upset about leaving our home to do it. Especially in the summer. My days off from work will have me poolside whenever the weather permits. But until then- time to get back to enjoying this staycation!

Cheers everybody! Catch me by the water for the next few days if you want to hang out!

Golfing… As Predicted

Our son began his first job three weeks ago. He is currently a groundskeeper at Surrey Golf Club. Check out my write up about his first week here: 1st Work Week. As I anticipated, he wants to take up golfing now.

He has found about 75-100 golf balls so far at his work. He came home yesterday and wanted to practice his swing. So I did my best to teach him. He hit about 30 or so golf balls and nailed maybe 5 of them comfortably.

My father attempted to teach me how to golf a couple of times throughout my childhood. Unfortunately, he wasn’t patient with me. I think around age 13 he gave up. To be fair, so did I. But I did listen and remember his teachings. I was able to pass the wisdom onto Theory. As much as I wish I could continue to teach my son how to swing a club, if he wants to learn it would be more beneficial for him to take lessons.

Taking from my own past experiences- both in teaching and being taught- learning from a parent isn’t always the best. Expectations can be too high, anxiety kicks in and then finally disobedience to the lesson being taught. Which causes a bit of animosity between parent and child.

I do have a feeling our son will enjoy golf. He is very keen on learning more and loves his job tremendously. The job has been great for him so far. He likes it so much, some days he goes in up to an hour earlier than scheduled. That means being at work at 4am!

Best of luck Theory in becoming a better golfer. Grandpa would’ve been proud.

Deck Number Four

Over the course of two afternoons, I built a deck for my wife. Originally I was going to build it next year. But the “janky” deck I had put down a couple months ago was more of a hazard than a help for my wife. Plywood just wouldn’t cut it.

As I mentioned, this is the fourth wooden deck I have built on my own in my lifetime. The first one I made about 17 years ago for my mother. She had all the supplies delivered to her home and I built it over the course of about three days. First day was cementing the posts and leveling the frame. After that it was pretty straightforward. I started a tradition of building decks and listening to classical music really loud. Specifically the Fantasia 2000 soundtrack. I listen to it every time I build a deck. Something about classical music helps me to problem solve and get creative when building.

Tree Deck

The next deck I built was in the trees at our last home. That deck was made 14 years ago. It was a 20’ x 14’ and sat on two 12” boards between four trees. I used branches from around the yard as railing spindles. It was built very solid and is still standing.

Front Porch

The next deck I did was built 2 years ago. Again, I built it in our last home in the front yard. This time around I was teaching our son how to use power tools. Read about it here: Part 1 and the conclusion: Part 2. We always wanted a front porch and used it all the time. I was a bit sad that I took so long to get that one built. But it added curb appeal when we sold.

This last deck was built on a small outcrop of boulders. What was essentially useless space with a couple plants in pots has now become a full gardener’s paradise. This deck is 22’ by 5’ so I decided to run the boards lengthwise to give it a larger look. My wife is happy and we put the plants back immediately so they could start to get the best sun.

Next year I will be building another deck. This time it will be in the lower part of the garden. I left a space open at the end of our newest deck in order to build some stairs to get there. We will be able to grow more vegetables down there than we currently have. Plus it will be safer to get down to the lower garden.

Need a deck built? Give me a shout. I’m pretty darn good at it if I do say so myself.

Dom Turns Twenty

Our oldest child turns twenty today. Chances are they won’t see anyone in the family today. Which is a first. But that’s okay. We knew one day they would grow up and move on.

Our little girl was born in 2002 and named Random. But over the years they have discovered who they are and have chosen to go by the name Dom instead. Don has become their own person and can make adult decisions. With those decisions, I may not like them- but I will respect them. Since they are an adult, they also need to live with their choices and learn to grow, change and embrace their ever changing world.

Over the years it was rare to get any photos of them. But even with cosplay, and smiles- they often made it difficult to get a good picture. And as much as I have always been proud of their accomplishments- they never wanted me to express my joy in public. I was apparently an embarrassment to them.

A few months ago, they choose not to speak to me anymore. Which is hurtful, yet I must respect their wishes. I’m not quite sure where I went wrong- as I always thought I was supportive and gave them everything they needed. Even now, as they requested space away from me- I am giving it. Perhaps one day they will talk with me like an adult and I can see more of their vantage point as to how they grew up. Until then, I’ll continue to cheer them on in the background- because I love them with all my heart.

Have a Happy Birthday Dom. May your world be filled with joy everyday.

Love always,

Dad

Twenty One

My wife and I are celebrating our 21st Anniversary today. And in true fashion- it is a hot day just like it was on our wedding day. So we are spending it poolside in our own little oasis.

We have come a long way together. The lifestyle we have created is the sort of thing that dreams are made of. I’m lucky and glad that we met all those years ago and how quickly things moved. I couldn’t imagine a life with anyone else and I’m really happy that we hit the road running.

I’m looking forward to our next set of adventures as we continue to grow and love one another.

Happy Anniversary Honey! I love you with all my heart.