2022 Spotify Wrapped

Spotify dropped their 2022 Wrapped. Many of my friends shared their tastes on Instagram. A few coworkers shared at work their Spotify Wrapped. At home, my family also laughed and our two youngest were slightly embarrassed by their plays.

This year came as no surprise as to which artist made my top. Timecop 1983 was definitely my jam all summer long. I was more surprised at how many minutes I spent listening to music. Although, majority of it was when I was in the pool. So the music was played a few hours each day.

Now to listen to my 100 songs plus one and see if I like the playlist. I bet I’ll like most of it, as eclectic as it may be.

How was your Spotify Wrapped for 2022? Any surprises or songs that you are now sick of hearing?

Let me know in the comments.

We Just Ended Summer

Today, my wife and I cleaned up the backyard and prepared for winter. That meant bringing in outdoor cushions, wiping down the tables and chairs and then covering them for the end of season to protect it all. My wife also went through and trimmed the last of her large tomato plants (the ones that weren’t in the Greenhouse).

The one thing that really says “summer is over” is the fact that I put the winter cover on the pool. I gave it one final vacuum, cleaned out the filters, shut off the gas and set up the bypass water pipe. That way I can keep circulating that water over winter, but it doesn’t have to go through the heater.

Our yard looks barren now. All set for the rain, wind and potential snow that will come in the following weeks. I’m happy that we have more of our house back as well. We were able to utilize more storage space indoors this year. Over the next few weeks, my wife is wanting to set up her sewing area again. It’s perfect that we get to be indoors more often.

I may be done hanging outside, but I can still enjoy the views from the comfort of our living room and bedroom. It’s almost time to turn on the gas fireplaces to add warmth to our environment.

Are you ready for summer to officially end?

Hotumn

2021

Last year, we had already covered our pool for the winter. That was mostly because the weather was far cooler and wetter than it is this year.

This past weekend, my wife and I enjoyed the sun and an August-like heatwave. I saw someone use the term “Hotumn” and it described the local weather perfectly. My wife and I had a great time floating, splashing, and swimming for a few hours everyday this month.

Coming up on Friday, our weather patterns are subject to drop to last year’s similar cool and wet conditions. Our swimming pool shall be shut for the winter weather by the end of this week.

I’m a bit sad that our enjoyment of the outdoors is coming to and end. I’ve enjoyed the pool and the gardening tremendously this month. It has kept me happy and occupied. Soon, all of our activities will be indoors. Such as more movies, games, and food. I am looking forward to those activities as well.

Goodbye Hotumn. I’m glad you stayed a while longer.

Perfect October Saturday

Today I just did stuff for me. Sort of. I started my day early by cleaning the bathroom and mopping the floors. I took a break to watch my son skate via a live feed from Calgary.

At lunch, I went to meet a couple of buddies for beer at a new brewery in Langley. It opened only a month ago, so it was still fairly new and not too busy. During our beers, we took a break and watched another of Theory’s races on YouTube.

By three o’clock I was back home and caught Theory’s final race of the day. This was followed by some “me time” floating in the pool. I didn’t turn on the heat, so it was a float on the cool water as I enjoyed the sun and a couple more beers.

After such a busy few days off, I needed the afternoon to myself. I’m glad I met with my buddies for a break. Too bad they had other plans for the afternoon- otherwise we’d have gotten into more than a couple drinks. So much for the idea of Sober October. There’s always next year.

Contracting My Broken Day Sleep

After working my first night shift of the week, I will usually get a good sleep throughout the day. Not today. Today my neighborhood was loud.

Our next door neighbors have been getting a patio and pool installed for over a year now. With very little progress being made. Their backyard has been useless for two full summers now. Their yard has been mounds of dirt and no fence between them and their other neighbor. And no stairs from their back deck. Speaking with them, they have shared a lot of frustration about their contractor.

Today, two cement trucks arrived in our neighborhood to pour the foundation. Granted, it was a nice day to do the work. They probably only inconvenienced me anyways. But it was loud and there was far too many people making noise in their backyard.

Perhaps by next summer they will have a pool. I’m not holding my breathe that the work will be done this fall since I have seen the progress going at a snail’s pace. All I need now is to get the name of their contractor so I know who not to use.

Autumn Equinox 2022

In the next few minutes summer shall be over and autumn will be upon us. Luckily for us living in the Vancouver area- the daytime weather will be nice and warm for at least another week keeping us in the mid to low 20°C areas. Summer is just not ready to hand over the season lightly.

I for one am glad about this. It means more time with our pool open as the sun beams down. Earlier today, my wife and I went for a swim to try and make the most of this weather.

It also means we will have a chance to prepare our gardens for winter. I’m genuinely excited about that. We will be setting up a temporary greenhouse to protect our remaining tomatoes and peppers before the last harvest. We also have some trimming and planting to get done so that next spring the gardens will bloom.

Of course I do like all the seasons. Autumn brings with it Halloween and warm food and drinks. As well as apple pie and turkey!

So happy Autumn Equinox everyone. Go enjoy the pumpkin spice!

Harvest Followed by Relaxing

Today was a bit hazy and hot out. My wife decided that it was a perfect day to harvest some of her tomatoes and peppers. That way she could work in the kitchen preparing ways to preserve them.

She began by cutting up her banana peppers into rings. She kept the colours of the peppers separated once sliced up. While she was doing this, she had a vinegar brine solution simmering on the stovetop. I stirred it up occasionally. (I’m helpful!)

We currently have three jars of pickled peppers on our counter. Even though I’m not a big fan of pickled food, they sure did smell good. I have a feeling we will be enjoying these over the next couple of months in a variety of ways.

My wife took a break from doing anything with the tomatoes today. As the sky began to clear up, and the smoke rolled away- we hit the swimming pool for a little Sunday relaxation.

We spent hours in the pool. At one point before dinner, our 16 year old and 18 year old also hit the pool. It was a nice afternoon of using the water to cool off. Summer sure doesn’t feel like it’s over. But nature is sometimes pushing to get autumn onto our doorstep.

We can tell by the fruits and vegetables from our garden being ripe and ready to consume.

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.”

Bug Off

It’s September 1st. Some folks think summer is over- but I disagree. The weather has been absolutely stunning these days. My days off have been fantastic, but busy. Yet I am still enjoying life.

Today as I got the pool ready, I noticed a couple bugs in the water. As I skimmed the water to get them out, I realized the size of these ones. Much larger than the usual fly or mosquito. Clearly the summer was good to them- as they are bigger than I could have imagined.

Once I cleaned the pool, my wife and I enjoyed the afternoon sun. We floated around in the pool- staring off into the horizon. We are not ready to give up on summer.

Just like the bugs that I tossed aside- I’m tossing aside the idea that summer is over. And any of those folks who think it’s time for autumn- you can bug off. Summer isn’t over!

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.

Vacation About To Begin!

Work is over for the next week and a half. Time to enjoy some well deserved sunshine! Now, as the sun sets, I am happy to be off work.

My son and I had a good evening in the pool after dinner. After tonight’s relaxation- fun is the goal for the next seven days! I’m looking forward to time with the family as we hit the open road! We are packed and ready to roll.

Hooray for time off!

Bro Time

This afternoon I got some time to hang out with some of my friends. We didn’t do anything exciting- just hanging out. Well worth my afternoon!

We farted around in the pool for most of the time. Lots of jokes, and throwing a ball between one another. A perfect afternoon of nothingness.

Later in the afternoon- my friend brought out his drone. He played around filming my home and created a video that he will be sending to me later on. I love the idea of seeing our home from a new perspective.

I had a few other buddies show up throughout the evening. Loads of good conversations were had. I’m glad they all showed up, I needed their company. It was a good evening. I’m glad we did a bunch of nothing together.

Nothingness was a ton of fun. I’m glad to have some bro time.

Alone On The Pool

My wife is out of town with our youngest in Calgary. Our other child is at work and won’t be home for a few more hours. After doing my weekly Thursday shopping- I opened the pool to give it a clean.

Now I’m floating around by myself- listening to music and enjoying life as the sun beats down. I am enjoying my solitude. Getting here was hard work and headaches for many years. Now it’s time to enjoy the fruits of our labors. Even if it is by myself.

Being alone isn’t so bad, but I like to share experiences with others. Come on by for a dip. I’ll gladly share this life with friends!

Behind the Scenes

I often share images of hanging out in our backyard. But I don’t always talk about the work that goes into cleaning and maintaining the pool everyday. It usually takes me 30-45 minutes by myself every time.

The first thing I do is get some music playing. It just makes manual labor so much more enjoyable. Then I take off the floating pool rings that protect and keep the heat in the pool.

Then it’s time to vacuum and skim the pool. (Periodically I’ll also scrub the sides with a gentle brush.) Of course, when vacuuming- there are numerous valves to twist in a certain order before and after.

Then I test the pool and add chemicals as required. Lastly, I rinse and inflate the pool toys if they need it. Fun takes work! Now to jump in the water to cool off!

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.

Aqua Thursday

We had another fun filled afternoon and evening yesterday with our friends. We listened to music, had a few drinks, lounged in the pool, and ate a wonderful meal out on the deck. Our friend even did synchronized pool floatie dancing to Celine Dion for us.

It was a ton of fun, as always. I really enjoy their company and love spending time with friends.

I only captured a couple of photos as my phone is often the one that is playing music. This gives me more opportunity to be attentive to the conversations. A lull in talks didn’t have me reaching for my phone. In fact it was quite the opposite. It meant it was time for a new conversation topic.

Joking and playing around in the pool is loads of fun. Being an adult doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. If anything, I realize that who cares what other people think- just enjoy life! And enjoy it with friends.

Signs

Right before my vacation ended, a couple of decorative signs we ordered for our home arrived. Since we aren’t the type to have a sign that says “LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE” we needed something more, us and our home.

Which way to the pool?

The first sign was a generic POOL➡️. We put it up on the fence so that you can see it as soon as you walk out the back door. Yeah, most of our backyard is the pool, but it’s a little bit of fun considering how much we treat our home like a resort. I also find it humorous that you would need to see sign considering it’s the only way to go to find our pool.

The Deck

The other sign was closer to “LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE” and was installed in the upper part of our gazebo. It reads: “The Deck: Sit. Sip. Relax. Enjoy” A perfect motto for hanging out in our backyard. The feeling of calmness and chillaxin’ comes over everyone who sits back there. Our own private oasis, ready for friends and family to relax and enjoy.

Of course we did look at some silly pool themed signs, but potty humor or borderline stupidity isn’t our style. We wanted more zen and resort-like. I think we succeeded.

Last Day Of Staycation

Today is the last day of my staycation. As much as I’d like to think I relaxed, I still did get a few other things accomplished around the house. I’m happy about it.

My last day is going to be poolside once more. This time we are planning on a couple of friends coming out for the afternoon. We hit the water and had some good times poolside. Lounging, swimming, drinking, snacking, and laughing.

All this is before we have our dinner. Gourmet hotdogs and a salad. Why not? It’s summer and the weather is perfect for it all.

Life is good. Share your joy with friends!

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!

Staycation 2022 Day 2

The weather has been nothing but fantastic so far on my staycation. I spent most of today in the backyard working on a project that I will have done by tomorrow. Once done- it means more relaxing for the rest of my time off.

I can’t complain about my second day at home. I got done what I wanted to get done. I also took a couple of breaks in the pool this afternoon. I enjoyed my music as well.

To end my evening, our downstairs tenants made me dinner because the rest of my family had other plans for their dinners. I really appreciate the sentiment and am about to enjoy the dinner.

Life really can’t get much better than it is. Love how my life is going.

Enjoying Life (And A a an Side Of Flowers)

Today was my first day of vacation. It involved waking up to our middle child bringing us coffee in bed followed by my wife and I playing some video games in bed. After that it was Dutch apple pie for my breakfast with a coffee as I sat on our back deck.

Once noon hit, my wife and I ended up going out to do some shopping as well as window shopping together. It was a lot of fun to gather ideas and thoughts for future us to enjoy. Mostly ideas for the house.

When we got home, I wandered around our gardens just enjoying the flowers that were blooming. Some were planted before we moved in, others were ones we had brought to add a pop of color. There’s something nice about having flowers in your yard. It’s kind of like putting jewelry on your home. A little bit of yard dazzle!

Of course the family enjoyed the pool this afternoon as a way to cool off from the summer heat! I stepped away to make dinner- steak and potatoes of course. But as they continued to swim, we enjoyed music from the roaring 1920’s playing from the speaker.

Now I’m sitting on my back deck with our dog as we stare out into the fields and watch the sun set. My wife has given me a few minutes of space as she cleans the kitchen after I made dinner. Soon the two of us will just hang out. Perhaps we will catch the sunset and listen to the birds until the mosquitoes chase us inside. Or maybe we will lounge on the couch and watch tv as we fall asleep like an old couple.

Whatever we may do- it’s going to be calm and serene. Exactly what a vacation should be like.

Staycationing Time 2022

I finished my last day of work before my first summer vacation. I am onto 11 days of freedom. Freedom to just enjoy time with my wife doing nothing but enjoying life.

Of course it’s not really going to be a vacation of nothingness. We will be in the backyard floating in the pool most of the time. Other days will be early morning kayaking. I have a feeling we will be out exploring more of Cloverdale and Surrey than we did last year- perhaps to find some farmers markets and such.

But nothing is planned per se. No weekend getaway. No booked travels. Just whatever we decide to do will be planned the day before. I’m not used to having no plans. This may be a first for me.

I hope I can keep up.