Successful Staycation

It’s back to work for the night shift this week. I’d have to say though, my staycation with a to-do list was more than successful. Here’s what I had planned:

  1. Finish my costume.
  2. Fix the tile and tap in shower.
  3. Fix the sauna heater.
  4. Get the Honda Element serviced.
  5. Decorate for Halloween.
  6. Do some baking on Saturday.
  7. Make turkey dinner on Sunday
  • Numbers 1,4,5,6 & 7 were completed. Number 2 is almost done- I just need to buy a small amount of grout and seal it and my shower will be useable once more. Number 3 I am still avoiding. Don’t judge me…
  • However I did end up doing a few other projects that weren’t on my initial list.

    1. I installed a new stovetop.
    2. I painted the trim between the sunroom and the living room.
    3. I helped my son build his costume.
    4. I was involved in speed skating more.
  • Overall I think I was fairly productive with my time off. Now to get back into the work routine and utilize my days off as rest days once more. I just hope I remember how to do my job…
  • Staycation With a To Do List

    I just began a week and a bit of vacation away from work. No travel plans unfortunately. In the past we usually get to Disneyland this time of year, but with the kids in high school and other commitments, no such luck. But I still had a week of time off from work to take, so here I am. Alone.

    I have made myself a To Do List of activities that I want to get accomplished while the kids are in school and my wife works. I’m pretty sure I’ll get most of them done.

    1. Finish my costume.
    2. Fix the tile and tap in shower.
    3. Fix the sauna heater.
    4. Get the Honda Element serviced.
    5. Decorate for Halloween.
    6. Do some baking on Saturday.
    7. Make turkey dinner on Sunday.

    Most of my list won’t cost much. Which is really a good thing since we have a few expenses coming up. Our children and their activities are nickel and diming us this year. Although it’s more in the hundreds of dollars just spread out over the next few months.

    Since I am at home and have some availability, I’m hoping to meet up with friends periodically to get a break from being in my house the entire time. So feel free to hit me up during the daytime hours over the next week if I haven’t reached out.

    Staying Dry

    My wife and I had a fairly successful Sober September. I faltered once and had a beer at the airport in Winnipeg. As September ended and October began, I wasn’t eagerly waiting for the month to end in order to “Hit the sauce” so to speak.

    On Thursday we went out with some friends for a dinner. Originally we were going to go to Trading Post in Abbotsford- a place with great food and atmosphere. I would’ve likely had my favorite beer there- the 1828 Helles Lager. But they were closed for a private event. So we ended up at The Canadian Brewhouse instead.

    Their beer special was Budweiser. A beer I don’t overly enjoy. So I had a ginger ale instead and I felt good about it. I know we’re only five days into October, but I’ve been enjoying a variety of teas and sodas in lieu of alcohol. The only thing I’m noticing is that I am craving sweets more often. Hence the sodas.

    As Autumn progresses, I’ll probably enjoy a drink or two at some point. I’m just not actively going out to buy beers or planning nights with friends at breweries as I have in the past.

    Maybe I can find an elegant tea house nearby and invite you out for a social date.

    Autumn Skies

    I’ve been enjoying the colours of the sky over the past couple of days. Autumn astounds me at how majestic it can be.

    The morning sunrise has pink hues as the sky starts to light up. I pause for a moment at the end of my night shift to enjoy my country living.

    The night sky offers a faded orange backdrop to an industrialized world that I am a part of. The black shadows of straight edges are a harsh contrast to the randomness of nature.

    Yet there is still beauty to be found in both.

    Sauna

    We bought our home with a sauna already built in. About a decade ago we stopped using it and it became another closet for storage. After my trips to Winnipeg and Fort St. John, where I used saunas to relax, I realized I want our sauna back.

    Yesterday, I cleared it out and set up the benches again. I vacuumed up the cobwebs and dust from the walls and heater. I turned on the elements and the heat was returning. The smell of the remaining dust burning off was strong. However, shortly after the heat stopped working. So much for relaxing on a Saturday night.

    How do you troubleshoot a sauna built in the 1970’s? I seriously have no idea where to begin. It obviously was getting power. My guess is that it could be one of three things-

    1. The thermostat is toast.
    2. The elements are toast.
    3. Perhaps there’s a fuse or relay switch that’s toast.

    It’ll have to wait until my next set of days off. But how do I go about checking these things? I need to see if there’s and obvious fuse somewhere either in the controls or under the burners. That’s where I’ll first start. I really hope it’ll be something simple. I’m not sure what the cost would be to replace the entire heating mechanism. As well, the thermostat is built into the wood walls and I don’t really want to start tearing apart the sauna.

    I’ll post an update if I eventually figure out the issue. I’ll need to relax once this is all sorted out. Wish me luck. I’ll also take any advice you have to offer.

    Vivaldi

    The past few days I have been enjoying listening to Vivaldi: La Cetra, 1-7. It has made my drive to and from work a bit more pleasant and calm. There’s something about hearing stringed instruments as they eloquently form each piece. As I listen to La Cetra I can also pick out the piccolo and harpsichord. Two very unique sounds that work well together.

    Many know Vivaldi as written Four Seasons which is also a fantastic piece. I’m a huge fan of classical music and the variety of styles that come with each composer. Next week I am planning on listening to another composer as I travel to and from work. Perhaps Mozart, Bach, Handel or Beethoven. Whichever suits my fancy on my first day of commuting.

    Do you appreciate classical music?

    Who are your favorite composers?

    Let me know.

    School Is Back In Session or How to Survive Re-Learning at Age 43

    Every three years, I have to get re-certified as a conductor/switchman. The previous times I did it in my home town area of Vancouver. This time around my company sent me to Winnipeg. This is where the new centralized training center is located.

    The CN Campus is huge and modern feeling. We have been treated to unlimited coffee and a cafeteria style lunch. The classroom portion itself is, basically, dry. When learning rules that are important for the safety and service of our industries- it’s difficult to make it entertaining.

    At least after those eight hour days we get to go and leave it all behind us for the evening. My coworker and I headed back to the hotel where I enjoyed the pool and sauna while he hit the gym. The 21st floor of our hotel has the pool and views of the city. A few minutes in the hot tub and I was relaxed again.

    On to day 2 of the classroom portion. Hopefully my swimsuit will be dry for another evening dip and relaxation afterwards.

    Windy Wind Down

    Our last day at Twenty Mile Bay started like every other day. It was warm and sunny out.

    First thing after breakfast, my buddy and I hit the lake on the kayaks. It was calm and glass like on the water.

    Later in the afternoon, I went out kayaking with my wife. We were out for about an hour or so on the water. As we returned the water began to get choppy. It was still warm out, so I grabbed a camping chair and sat with my feet in the water.

    Then the wind picked up. My wife brought out our kite- nicknamed “Mighty Kitey“. We bought this kite on our honeymoon back in 2001. My wife gets great joy proving that she can keep it flying longer than I can. The wind continued on into the night sending a warm breeze through our campsite all night long.

    Right before dinner, our daughter suffered a terrible accident. She took a sip of her soda that was poured into a glass with a straw. Immediately she spat it out. A wasp had climbed into her drinking straw and drowned. She had a mouthful of pop and a dead wasp in her mouth. As she spit it out, the dead wasp happened to sting her inner lip.

    An old trick I learned came into action. We cut a fresh onion and she placed it behind her lip where she got stung. The juices from the onion helped to nullify the venom in her mouth. Within a few minutes the swelling was down and she was only left with some bad breath.

    Crazy end to our lovely camping trip, that’s for sure.

    Lake Views 2019

    Wednesday was another fun filled day. My son and I went out on the kayaks and he decided that we should go to the island. We had a great time racing each other and bonding.

    As the sun went overhead and the temperatures reached 31° we found ways to keep cool.

    My wife relaxed with her kindle in the hammock. I took a camping chair just deep enough into the water that my butt would be submerged. I found some driftwood and used it as a foot rest.

    Just before dinner, my wife and I went out on the kayaks and paddled around the campgrounds.

    We ended our day with some good laughs at dinner and a failed attempt at making Jiffypop popcorn. But all is well. We are still not done camping for the week.

    Float The Boat

    Kayaking and floating on the lake was a great way to spend our first full day on Harrison Lake. We love coming to Twenty Mile Bay.

    My wife and oldest daughter went out kayaking after breakfast. I took my other daughter out and we floated about in some tubes. Shortly after, my wife came back and I hopped into the kayak. My wife and I towed our daughters out in the lake having a great time.

    Once we ditched the girls- my wife and I paddled to the island just off shore. As in a twenty five minute paddle to the secluded island.

    We paused for a beverage and some time to talk. We put on our PFDs and floated in the lake around the island back to the kayaks.

    The water was peaceful and it’s always great to connect with nature without the white noise of suburban life.