October Mornings

We have been extremely lucky with our good weather here in the Lower Mainland Of British Columbia.

The sun has been shining making beautiful sunsets and sunrises. Many of my friends on social media are sharing images of beauty as the day closes.

Even with the fog in the early morning, it feels otherworldly.

I love living here. I’m not sure if we will ever leave Langley to be honest. There’s something about this suburb that feels like home. Especially during this gorgeous autumn days.

Start of An Autumn Home

Usually I only decorate for Halloween and Christmas. This year I decided to add some warmth to our home and bring in more of an Autumn feel.

Our house is starting to become a country home. Pine cones, candles, a fire in the background- it makes for a cozy feel. With the interior decorations well under way, it was time to make a country dinner.

Skillet with sautéed beef and egg noodles made our home aromatic. Time to sit down and enjoy the comforts of our home as a family.

Leafers

I couldn’t believe what they were stealing from my property today.  I was at my kitchen window in plain view of them. These two older, retired women entered my yard and began snipping leaves off of our vine maple.


Mind you, it didn’t bother me.  But curiosity came over me, so I went outside to speak with them.  They were super friendly and told me what they were up to.  Of course, my thought was that they wanted the fall coloured leaves for some Pinterest inspired art project or flower pressing.  But I was wrong. Turns out they wanted the green leaves only because the red and orange ones wouldn’t work.


They were collecting the leaves in order to create a dye for silk scarves.  Scarves that they were going to give away to friends and family at Christmas. It was a lovely idea. I told the ladies they were welcome to come back any time to collect leaves because it saves my children from raking them up when they dry up.

In the end, it looks like I have made some new friends in my neighborhood. Even though they were leaf thieves.

Autumn: Day 1

Here in the Lower Mainland, there was a sunny first day of Autumn. The kids had a half day of school- so we went clothes shopping in the afternoon. We came home and my wife and I took a well deserved nap together.

Just a perfect, senseless, nothing day. 

Hooray For Rain

Finally, it’s beginning to rain in the Vancouver area.  This is much needed since it’s been so dry over the past couple of months.  Too many fires surrounding us that we have had smoke advisories numerous times. I for one am really happy that the rain is here.


I’m happy because I will soon hopefully not need to use my inhaler 4-5 times a day.  I’m also happy because my yard has needed a good healthy watering.  The trees, bushes and even my lawn (ok, it’s moss) have suffered far too long.  Over the course of only a few hours everything is rejuvenating and becoming vibrant again. I can see our plants bouncing back already from the brink of dehydration.

The rain has been welcomed by almost everyone I know.  The Fraser Valley has needed this. We need this. But as the days go on, I’m sure the rain will start to make us each a bit more dreary- just like the autumn weather. 


So find a loved one, grab a sweater or blanket, enjoy a warm cup of tea and let the summer come to an end.

Don’t Rush The End of Summer

I know that it’s that time of year for parents and children.  Back to school! It’s a great time and all, but I don’t want to be in such a hurry to get through this year.  Summer is still in effect- even if only for a few days officially. 


Autumn will kick in, with it comes Thanksgiving and Halloween.  Then it’s winter with Christmas vacation and New Year’s. Spring hits us pretty quick as the kids get more time off before finishing out the school year. Only to start Summer all over again.

Each day will pass us by quickly as we plan for the next one.  My wife was surprised that I didn’t want to do much but chill out during my last vacation at the end of August.  The biggest thing for me was to experience a change of environment in order to relax. I couldn’t have done it had we been at home the entire time.  Some new projects or workload would’ve been added as the days went on. I wouldn’t have been able to just chill out.


I have come to realize that not every moment needs a purpose.  Not every minute needs to be filled up with activities. Even as the kids begin another year at school, I hope they find a few moments of nothingness to enjoy in amongst the hectic schedule that we have all become accustomed to.

I don’t really want summer to end- but it has to. At least more memories to be made over the year are still to come. Let’s just try and savor them a bit more.

Sweaters

Fall is rolling in slowly around the West Coast.  Filled with chilly, rainy days but still well above the zero Celsius mark.  Autumn brings forth my favorite look for this time the year.

Sweaters.


I never liked wearing sweaters as a kid/teen.  It was seriously uncool.  But over the past decade and a bit, I’ve been growing fond of the look.  I once had a sweater vest I was really proud of that was donated to me by my father in-law.  That’s when I realized, I enjoy rocking the “old man” look in the winter.  It’s cozy and in a sense- regal.  It’s the look of a man who strives for comfort, and in many cases, not fashion.

The most influential sweaters of my life ranked in order of ascending greatness:

What good feeling.


5. Mr Rogers:  Why?  Because he was the father figure/tv teacher of my childhood generation.  The first thing he did every episode was put on a sweater while he sang.  He was a happy, sweater wearing badass.

The stuff of nightmares.


4. Freddy Krueger:  Why?  His iconic look was completed with a rather ordinary sweater.  It symbolizes my love of schlock gore films.

Lew plays through.


3. Lew Hayward:  Why? Scrooged is one of my favorite Christmas films.  It is filled with some fantastic lines.  Lew is what I picture my father to be like nowadays- dead and still playing golf.

But what would I wear?


2. The Grinch:  Why?  It’s the most iconic of ugly Christmas sweaters.  Christmas time screams sweaters to me & this sweater screams the loudest.


1. Lebowski:  Why?  Because he’s the Dude, man.  No other explanation other than it really tied the room together.

Now to dust off my old sweaters and break out the cocoa.  Old Man Winter is on his way.

Decorating rules

In our home- my wife has set some rules in place regarding seasonal decorations.  Specifically Halloween and Christmas.  I have a tough time following them…

Nightmare Before Christmas allows decorations to stay out longer.


We are not allowed to decorate for Halloween until October 1st.  September is a busy month of getting the kids back to school and back into routines.  A distraction like decorating makes the kids, to put it mildly, stupid with joy.  They have a great time decorating, but completely forget about their homework and commitments.  The kids get upset if I start to decorate the house without them while they are at school.  It’s also probably because I leave the job of putting up spiderwebs to them…  That part sucks.

A photo of all my favorite people.


Rarely have we been home for Halloween in the past few years.  Usually we do a road trip to California and enjoy the beaches/ Disneyland in late October early November.  But because we will be home this year, I REALLY want to go big with my decorations.  I’m going to use the skills I learned from cosplay making and try to make our home extra spooky.  I’ve always been fascinated with set decorations and behind the scenes of movies from the 70’s and 80’s.  I have ambitious ideas, so I’ll need to tone it down a tad to get it done.  

In the meantime, my wife didn’t say I couldn’t decorate for “Fall”.  Time for me to channel my inner Martha Stewart and use those Pinterest ideas I’ve been saving.  


The other rule for decorating is that we aren’t permitted to decorate for Christmas until December 7th.  That is the day after my wife’s birthday.  Needless to say, I sneak a few “Winter” themed decorations out.  Our home is a beautiful brick house that brings forth a sense of warmth at Christmas.  Don’t tell anyone, but I actually prefer my Christmas Decorations to my Halloween ones.  This is because most Halloween decorations are too “cutesy” and I would prefer a bit more “Gothic” or horror style.

Our home can be undecorated quickly.  Going from Spirited to empty in only a couple of hours.  I often leave out our Nightmare Before Christmas decorations from October to January because they cover both seasons.  

Me in a Pee-Wee costume infront of our Playhouse.


Today we are cleaning our home so that next weekend we can begin it’s transformation.  I find it odd that every time we decorate for Halloween, I remove all the real cobwebs just to put out the fake ones.

Autumn Madness 

It’s here!  One of my four favorite seasons!

Yay Autumn!

Pumpkims from a few years ago done by my children and I.


I like autumn because it means Halloween is just around the corner.  I love decorating our home for Halloween.  I love carving pumpkins as well.  I have done some pretty intricatly carved pumpkins.  I have spent 4 hours doing just one.  I love it, it brings on a zen-like sensation as I zone out.

Our first Disneyland Trick Or Treat!


I love costumes as well.  That’s one of the main reasons I love conventions as well.  I get to cosplay.  Or I get to make cosplay for my kids.  I love it!


We have spent a few Halloweens down in Disneyland Trick or Treating.  I recommend it to anyone with children.  It is so much fun!  This year, we are not heading to California (sad Joe) but we will decorate and have fun at home for the first time in about five years.

The dilema is real.


What I don’t like about autumn is that it means the year is in it’s last three months.  Crazy scramble to finish projects, do those things you thought you had plenty of time to do nine months ago.  And I can’t tell what to wear.  This time of year is screwy.  So, zippered hoodies and jeans it is.

I also don’t like pumpkin pie.  There, I said it.  It looks like poop in a pie crust.  Same texture as a soft curly turd as well.


Nope.  Still not going to eat that.  Thanks.


But I will enjoy having beverages and a fire in the family room as I relax.  Especially Weaping Reaper by Dead Frog. Love that beer.

Cheers to cuddles on the couches and colors on the trees!  Enjoy the season everyone!

Summer is leaving


I can’t believe that summer is already starting it’s stretch on the way out.  You see it in the papers and on tv- Back to school advertising is weaseling in.  Some stores are showcasing Halloween or even *gasp* Christmas merchandise.  Summer Blow Out Sales are everywhere.  But that isn’t proof that summer is over.


Nature is telling me that summer is ending soon.  The color of the tree leaves in my yard are changing.  I’m seeing less green when I look on the branches.  The daylight is ending earlier and starting later.  Sometimes there is no daylight at all as a storm passes through.  There are fewer bunnies, squirrels, & birds hanging out in my yard.  They’re all growing up and moving out.  

What’s this?


This means it’s time to make one last push to enjoy what is left of our summer. Time to hit the lakes, hike the trails, and sip on the cold beverages!  Soon it will be autumn.  Usually we head to Southern California in the fall to extended our summer feels.  But this year we began our summer early by heading down in spring. 

This will be our first Halloween at home in a few years.  We shall experience the slow draw of fall- bringing with it crisp nights, warm blankets and comfort.  I love the fall.  In fact I love all of the months and seasons for a variety of reasons.

But summer can’t end yet.  There’s still so much more to do.  More drive-in movies.  More beach days.  More quality time with family and friends.  There’s just so much more left of summer.  Time to keep on enjoying it.