Poetry

I need to read more poetry in my life.

Well written, upbeat poetry. Not the dark and gloomy style that seems to be prevalent everywhere. I don’t need to have the sense of a storm cloud hovering over me as I read. That being said, I am fond Edgar Allan Poe.

I’m looking for some good poets to be recommended. If you know of any, let me know- I’d love to read some.

But I don’t like picking up books entitled “The Complete Works Of…” That means everything: good and bad. And bad can be bad; or bad poetry can be humorous in its own way.

That can be fun, especially when the author isn’t intending it to be.

Trust and Kindness

Trust is something that you can’t come by easily. But to have a complete stranger trust you is even more scarce. Especially when it comes to money. My story here is a simple one, but made my heart smile nonetheless.

Yesterday as I was driving home from the school with my kids, I stopped at a person selling flowers on the side of the road. She has set up in the same location for a couple of years now selling flowers out the back of her van. We often drive past without thinking twice. Yesterday I finally decided to stop and surprise my wife with a bouquet of flowers.

As I was talking to the lady, I realized I had no cash on me. So I asked if she takes debit or credit cards. Since I’ve worked conventions- many people set up a Square account to be able to make such transactions, which seems to be the trend nowadays. Unfortunately, this lady did not have a card reader. I was ready to thank her for her time…

Immediately she asked me which bouquet I wanted and told me to pay her back another time. Even with my repeated objections, she insisted. I chose a lovely full arrangement of flowers. The flowers looked great when put them on our table at home.

But it gets better.

My daughter this morning texted me that she put $20 in my wallet to cover the cost of the flowers. I was not expecting that from her. It seems that kindness can rub off on people. Seems like our parenting skills are paying off.

But wait there’s more!

I returned today to pay the flower lady the $20 for the bouquet (which is a good deal for the amount of flowers btw). She was smiling and thanked me for the payment. Before we walked away, she handed my son a large yellow daisy.

Just because.

Kindness is contagious. This stranger trusted me. I could have chosen to not pay her back. But the guilt would have eaten at me every time I drove past her. Because I’m not that type of person- I could never have done that.

Instead, I will have a smile in my heart when I see the back of her van propped open and buckets of flowers placed around her feet.

Sing Away the Stress!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years- it’s that stress can trigger a multitude of emotions from people. Especially in a work environment. I’d like to think of myself as a calm individual at work. Which is great and relatively true. I tend to walk away from situations if need be.

But sometimes at home I lose it. Which really isn’t fair or fun for the family. I hate the fact that I lose control for even the briefest of moments. Losing my cool happens every few weeks or months, which is far too often by my standards. It’s usually because I have set high standards for my vision of my family. That sounds odd, but it’s true.

I need to let my children grow and make mistakes. I can only guide them so far before having to let them figure out the rest. Even if it means they don’t do things the way I expected.

It’s hard to remember that life isn’t a race to the finish line. We’re all going to get there at some point. No need to allow stress to get you there faster. It’ll make a person crazy trying to control everything in their lives. Especially if it means trying to control other people.

I think we should all sing away our frustrations. I enjoy writing nonsensical songs and singing out the lyrics in order to keep calm. Maybe it could be the start of a new musical.

I shall call it “STRESS“. Maybe I could steal some music ideas from “STOMP” and make a ton of noise with office equipment. Smashing of staplers, the hard slam of the photocopier door as you try and figure out what is wrong with the toner, the sounds of twenty people clicking pens in harmony… Who wouldn’t want to sit in an auditorium after a hard week at work and hear those types of sounds set to songs?

Million dollar idea right there.

Do I Really Want You To Go Away?

I’m not feeling very friendly these days.

Even the doormat on our side door is feeling the same. But I don’t really want my friends to go away, maybe just leave me a bit of space.

I hate hitting a funk. These moments are poopy. My ways of dealing with it is shutting myself in and sleeping. Or really long walks in the rain. Since there’s no rain- time for an early morning nap. Maybe some tea and a book.

I need to escape these feelings of blah. Thanks for understanding. I’ll return to my upbeat self soon enough.

Photos, Fire, and a Friend

Thursday at Twenty Mile Bay was filled with a couple of long hikes and a few big meals. After breakfast, we ventured around the campsite along the water’s edge and capture some amazing pictures, and a little snake.

We did a ton of artsy pictures throughout the day. My daughters and I discussed photography (as I took it in High School, and they are as well). So we tried to out do one another.

The end of the day, we sat around the campfire and tossed in some Mystical Fire to add some colours to the flames.

It was a great way to end our last night of camping.

Rain? Only for Half a Day

Wednesday started with a light rain. Between the short bursts of showers, we made scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast then went for a hike.

Periodically it rained throughout the morning and early afternoon. Just a few drops, but enough that we stayed at our shelter and played cards most of the day.

Just before dinner, we hit the beach again and played in the water. It was far warmer out that way than at our campsite in the forest.

My son built a small shelter from some drift wood throughout the day. He wanted to sleep in it, but we couldn’t allow that. The night ended with more card games and lots of laughs.

Camping 2018

I’m not sure what the weather will do this week. But we are heading out to do some camping at Twenty Mile Bay like we did last year and the year before. My wife has enjoyed our last two trips because the weather has been perfect.

The last time I checked was on Sunday, so it looks like the end of the week will be blah.

I’m not sure if we will stay the entire time we had planned. We may cut it short in the end. That’s the unfortunate reality of camping. Whatever time we get though, I’m sure we will make the most of it with the family.

I’m okay with a bit of rain while camping. Only a bit though. Downpours and we are outta there.

Regroup

We came home Friday afternoon from our cabin trip. Immediately unpacked and did laundry. We each took some down time as well to just chill out.

A late evening family dinner and called it a day. A quick recovery and recharge before hitting the weekend in full force.

On to more adventures and experiences! Time to regroup has passed.

Cabin Adventures: Day 3

We are making the most of our time here. It’s super peaceful. The water is so clear in the lake that it seems fake. In fact everything we are doing feels surreal.

Lots of lounging around, swimming, and walking. On Tuesday we did canoeing while at the lake. It was a two hour adventure. We headed out through a small canal and off towards a tiny island. The kids paddled their arms off as we raced down the lake.

On Wednesday we took the kids horseback riding. None of them have rode on horses before- so this was a great opportunity for them. The boys went for a trail ride while the girls did a few loops around the Montana Hill Guest Ranch. The hosts at the ranch were extremely friendly and helpful. They took the fear out of riding.

We’ve kept the kids active as well as giving them these experiences. It’s been a blast so far. My buddy and I are doing a fairly decent job at being fathers with these four kiddos. Our cabin neighbors, these two older ladies, are equally impressed at how well behaved the kids have been. They even bought popsicles for our kids as a treat.

If this keeps up for the last couple days we may try and do another vacation next year.

I have a feeling “Dad of the Year Award” is coming my way… just sayin’.

Cabin Adventures: Day 2

Let’s talk about food shall we? A very important aspect of any trip. Especially at a cabin or when camping.

Tuesday- waking up at the crack of dawn, the kids were calmly playing together. I was half awake/half asleep laying in bed until 8:30am. Mostly because the kids were getting hungry and started bugging me to make breakfast. They knew what I was making and their hunger was growing.

Before coming to the cabin, I had laid out a meal plan. This helps keep the guesswork out of the day. This morning was French toast and bacon. The smell of breakfast filled our little cabin and constant questions from the kids of “when is breakfast?” loomed in the air. I think the anticipation helps to make the food taste better.

The kids have been extremely helpful so far. They work together to set the table, clearing the table and doing dishes. The 12 year old boys wanted to make Mac ‘n Cheese for lunch in hopes of getting out of dish duty for that meal. But when it came time to make lunch, they chose to continue playing in the lake. So they wanted to help with dinner.

Dinner was made by myself with the help of the kids. The boys made the salad and my daughter made the fries. She used the bacon grease from breakfast and it made the fries that much more delicious. It was a good effort by all.

Planning the meals in advance also helps to make sure the perishables get used first. Vegetables, breads, thawed meat, etc are prepared in the first couple of days. By the end of a trip we end up eating the canned and boxed goods.

I’m happy that everyone is pitching in. I’m equally impressed with all the help and the fact that the kids want to learn how to prepare the meals.

So far on this trip, Day 2 has been successful.