Social Media and Me

My social media usage has changed over the years. The main one I post on is Instagram. The only reason it seems like I am on Facebook is because the two are connected. I have ignored Twitter for so long that my app has gone back into the cloud. This doesn’t mean I don’t use the social media services. It means I am not as active as I once was when posting.

My social media postings were once creative and silly. My friends and I would have banter back and forth- posting jabs and jokes at one another. For an entire year I shared Star Wars memes. Facebook was a place for me to have fun and share my fun times.

It all changed a few years ago. I believe it was a culmination of a few factors. I began to write a daily blog. This allowed me to share more in-depth stories about my life and adventures (when I have them). I also changed my career path. That meant folks I was “friends with” left because they feared I would change. Surprise- that didn’t happen. And lastly, Facebook constantly makes changes to how you view their platform. I began to miss “recent stories” from my friends who I followed and they missed mine.

About three years ago, I “unfriended” nearly everyone on Facebook. A year and a half ago I was at a funeral service and people convinced me to get back on Facebook to be able to connect again. So I did. But hardly anyone shares anything anymore. I get videos and webpage “suggestions” now. I don’t post unless it’s a “memory” from when Facebook was fun.

Because of the changes in how social media is used by nearly everyone, I really don’t know why I open Facebook. It’s just kind of there now as a thing I can’t get rid of because of nostalgia reasons. I’m also getting older and feel that when I want to interact with friends, I’ll call or message them. Hey we may even meet up in person from time to time.

Anyways, don’t forget to FOLLOW AND LIKE. Share with your friends.

Namaste.

Pit Stick

Growing up as a teenager, I would use deodorant everyday. I kind of liked the smell of that better then the teen boy musk I would exhume. Pretty sure my classmates also appreciated it.

Once I met my wife, she suggested I change to antiperspirants, so I did. I have been using those for over twenty years now. I bought the same product every time I needed more. I had a certain fragrance about me that just seemed to be me.

However, in the last year or so I think my body has fought back against antiperspirants. Maybe I’m going through a “second puberty” entering my next section of the aging process. Or the perhaps the product I use may have changed. I’m not feeling as clean smelling as I once did. So I’m going to go back to using a deodorant instead.

I shower daily, sometimes just a quick rinse, other times a scrub clean with various products. Those days I use a face wash, a body wash, one of a variety of shampoos (depending what smell I want my hair to have). But after every shower- I apply pit stick.

To be honest, I am enjoying the smell of my deodorant more than my antidepressant ever had. Perhaps in a few days/weeks this smell will become my new normal. A fresh scented Joe.

Which do you use and why? Deodorant or Antiperspirant? Perhaps a bit of both depending on how active you are? Let me know in the comments.

Early Sunday Morning Meal All To Myself

My wife and two youngest went off to skating this morning bright and early. I was left to sleep in because I work night shifts this week. I woke up a couple of hours after they left because our doggo wandered into the bedroom. She stood at the side of the bed facing me and whimpering loudly. The sound and her breath, got me out of bed. She just needed to go outside it seemed.

So I got out of bed and headed downstairs to the kitchen. I decided that since I was up, I’d make myself some breakfast and finish tidying up the counters. (It’s amazing how much stuff just starts to pile up even if you put things away on a regular basis.) I also decided to pack my work lunch since I was there. Then it was on to making my breakfast.

Breakfast consisted of a couple poached eggs on bacon and avocado toast. The avocado was perfectly ripe and I cooked the bacon to perfection. Even the eggs were poached flawlessly soft with a golden, runny yolk while the whites were solid and not watery. Not having to rush to make breakfast for other people meant I count make a beautiful meal for myself.

I don’t mind making food for my family. In fact it’s one of my greatest pleasures. Once in a while having a flawless meal just for me is a delicacy. No distractions, no wondering if someone else is enjoying what I made. Just my meal and me.

A Sunday morning meal all to myself. I deserved it. Now back to bed with a happy and fully belly.

Walk A Mile…

Today my shoes decided to give up. I’ve had them for almost five years. They owed me nothing. They were very comfortable; and still sort of are. But they need to be retired.

The shoes did me good for all those walks with my wife. They even made a visit to Mexico and two trips to Disneyland as well. The bottoms have slowly been losing their tread over the years as it is. I took great care of them for the first year. Keeping them clean, not using them for gardening, never wearing them to work.

Now, my “One Piece” runners are going where all dad runners go for retirement- into the garage. They will remain laced up at all times for easy slip on to wander to the garden, or out to the shed or a quick jaunt to the trash can. The shoes will eventually die from too many puddles and dirt. Then they will be sent to the garbage as I wear my next set of retired shoes.

I wear most shoes right down to disintegration. Or until one is destroyed. The question now is which pair of shoes will be my next set to wear into oblivion. I still want comfort, but style is nice. I’m not ready to wear my Vans to work. I do have a couple of pairs of Sketchers that I like.

“Those must be comfortable shoes, I bet you could walk all day in shoes like those and not feel a thing.”

Chilling Out In A Hot Bath

I have been trying to take a relaxing bath for a few weeks now. I end up get caught up with the hectic life activities and run out of time before bed. Today I got lucky. I cancelled a plan for my evening and had a quiet night at home.

I had taken my son to bowling for a group activity with his speed skating club. I ended up bowling a set and just stayed there the extra hour or so before heading home. Then, I squeezed in some quality video game time with my wife before dinner. All things I wasn’t planning to do, but was happy that I did.

But bowling was the last bit that did me in. My back, arms, neck and legs were sore. I really needed to relax in the tub and rejuvenate. My family was content to have me disappear for a while. I was a tad bit grumpy and rundown. I needed some “me time”.

And I feel better for it. I needed a hot bath with a fizzy bath bomb. It was relaxing. I nice way to spend a Friday night.

Seven Year Itch?

Six years, eleven months, three weeks and six days. A total of 2556 days of daily blogging.

Tomorrow is the seven year anniversary of writing each and every day. EVERY SINGLE DAY I WRiTE A BLOG ENTRY. I love sharing stories and narratives of my life. Throw in an opinion or two- and my readers have had a chance to learn all about me.

I have had a great time writing all of my tales. I honestly can’t believe that the only thing driving me to write is because I want to. Had I been writing a novel each and every day, I’d probably be published by now or completely heartbroken from rejection. Hence why I just write about my life. I like what has gone on and am proud of my adventures- from menial to epic. Whatever the case may be, I have never felt dejected from my writing. Even if it feels like no one is reading.

I wonder how much more writing I have in me. I wonder if I stopped would I feel regret or would I feel relief? Only time will tell if I end this journey. I mean honestly, have I approached the Seven Year Itch now? Who knows. Even I’m not sure. But if I do stop, I’ll let you know ahead of time as a courtesy to say farewell.

Travel For Skating

Over the weekend, my son and wife were in Fort St. John for a Long Track Speed Skating meet. Just like Calgary, I was able to watch from afar on YouTube. Ah technology!

Seeing my son grow into a young man is pretty awesome. He has developed some good habits and strengthened his muscles over the past year alone. Watching him skate makes me really proud. That’s because of his focus and determination in doing the best he can while on the ice.

Even though he skates maybe a few times each day, I have enjoyed watching his progress in person as well. Having been to Fort St. John with them in the past, I remember what the rink is like and that the people are always welcoming.

But I do miss them when they are away. I always look forward to when they get home. My wife loves to track me on the Find My iPhone app. Today she wasn’t sure if I’d get to the airport first or they would be waiting. Turns out we arrived pretty much at the same time. I was only about five minutes in the parking lot, but could have easily arrived at the airport pick up location just as they stepped out.

I do hope our son appreciates the time and money we put into these competitions. Actually I know he does. He works hard each time and it shows.

Terrific Tuesday

A coworker of mine came in to the office today full of joy and laughter. He said to everyone, “Today is Terrific Tuesday. Blue Monday is behind us!”

I honestly could not agree more. Sharing positive energy and thoughts is a wonderful way to spread kindness throughout the world. Tell a joke, have a laugh, share a smile, say something kind- whatever it takes.

I want you all to have a Terrific Tuesday. I also want you to share and make sure those around you have a Terrific Tuesday as well! If we all do this, tomorrow will be “Wonderful Wednesday!”

Third Monday Of The Year

Hey folks. Welcome to the third Monday of the year. Also known as “Blue Monday” the most depressing day of the year.

Hey, at least we get it out of the way at the start of the year, am I right? Emotions are drained from a busy Holiday season, so the “Feeling Tank” is running on empty. Getting past this feeling can be challenging.

It also doesn’t really help as those bills from Christmas spending are now arriving. Hopefully you didn’t overdo it trying to people please last year. That can be tough, especially when you have children. If you’re like me- you just want the best for them. If you’re also like me, paying bills is a fact of life.

But once we get through today, it all gets better. More sun is on the way to brighten our days. Perhaps a pay raise or new job is on the horizon. Now that we are going into recharge mode, seeing friends and family only periodically will be healthy. The feeling of rushing around should be gone.

We’re all in this together. So let’s get passed Blue Monday for a brighter tomorrow.

Nice Vans.

A few weeks ago we did some shoe shopping. I needed new work boots- so we went to the Red Wing store. The lady was extremely knowledgeable and also remembered me being there in the summer buying boots for my son. That same day, my wife and I went out and bought new Skechers for casual hiking.

Both of those sets of shoes have been slowly broken in since the purchase. Something about new shoes can either make your feet hurt or feel really good. There’s no in between. Except when it comes to Vans. There’s something different about those shoes.

The day before buying my work boots and hiking shoes, we hit the mall for our son to buy some shoes with his Christmas gift card. He loves Vans, so naturally his older sibling got him a gift card for the store. On a whim, I bought a pair for myself (my wife did as well… Huh- seems our son is the shoe influencer). It has been about 25 years since I last owned a skate shoe like these. I used to wear Vans and Converse all the time as a teenager.

They were the perfect shoe for hackysack. The abuse that my shoes went through as a teenager far surpassed the life expectancy of them each time. Yet I stopped buying them in exchange for cushioned soles and comfortable tread.

Tonight I put on my new Vans for the first time. They were neither comfortable or uncomfortable. They were just an extension of who I am and who I once was. When I got home, they went back into their box. I’m not sure I want to wear them all the time. Much like my son- I do plan on taking better care of these Vans compared to my youth. Yes, our son loves his shoes and is meticulous about keeping them nice. A very different teenage boy than I was.

So I’m going to be following his lead and take better care of my footwear.

Nice Vans.

A few weeks ago we did some shoe shopping. I needed new work boots- so we went to the Red Wing store. The lady was extremely knowledgeable and also remembered me being there in the summer buying boots for my son. That same day, my wife and I went out and bought new Sketchers for casual hiking.

Both of those sets of shoes have been slowly broken in since the purchase. Something about new shoes can either make your feet hurt or feel really good. There’s no in between. Except when it comes to Vans. There’s something different about those shoes.

The day before buying my work boots and hiking shoes, we hit the mall for our son to buy some shoes with his Christmas gift card. He loves Vans, so naturally his older sibling got him a gift card for the store. On a whim, I bought a pair for myself (my wife did as well… Huh- seems our son is the shoe influencer). It has been about 25 years since I last owned a skate shoe like these. I used to wear Vans and Converse all the time as a teenager.

They were the perfect shoe for hackysack. The abuse that my shoes went through as a teenager far surpassed the life expectancy of them each time. Yet I stopped buying them in exchange for cushioned soles and comfortable tread.

Tonight I put on my new Vans for the first time. They were neither comfortable or uncomfortable. They were just an extension of who I am and who I once was. When I got home, they went back into their box. I’m not sure I want to wear them all the time. Much like my son- I do plan on taking better care of these Vans compared to my youth. Yes, our son loves his shoes and is meticulous about keeping them nice. A very different teenage boy than I was.

So I’m going to be following his lead and take better care of my footwear.

Too Much Sleep?

First night shift of 2023 happened last night for me. I think I slept too much afterwards.

I came home pretty tired, but had to drive my son to school before bed. After dropping him off, I don’t really remember how I got home. I just know that I was asleep pretty quick once I got here. That sleep lasted for hours. It was uninterrupted and wonderful.

Yet I want more. But it’s time to get ready for my second night shift. However, it’s going to be okay. This week is a shorter work week for me and I only have two more nights to work before a four day weekend. A weekend with plans of hanging out with some friends, working on my new hobby, and some speed skating stuff for our son. Maybe I’ll sneak in some grocery shopping and cleaning just for fun.

I must not have gotten enough sleep today to think cleaning and shopping is fun. I better get some coffee in me and get ready for work.

Recaptured 80’s

I love nostalgia. It’s the one thing that I am often thinking about. I always share stories of my youth and seek out ways to relive those memories.

I follow a fantastic Instagram account that really taps into my 80’s desires. Recaptured 80’s. I love that there is new images added daily along with videos and polls. Following along has sparked memories I didn’t even know I had until I saw them once more.

My 80’s PJ top with iconic cartoon characters.

I’m just a big kid who loves his 80’s. From cartoons to movies; toys to video games; books to candy- it all brings me joy. Sometimes I put on some old cartoons in the background, like GI Joe or Transformers and enjoy the sounds as I live my life. In our pool I’ll play some 80’s favorites and rediscover some lost classics.

Our kids have also grown a love for 80’s films. So much so that they both bought rather expensive Lego sets for themselves with some of their Christmas money. The Delorean and Ecto-1. Both iconic cars from a couple of great 80’s films.

I’m glad that my passions have become my kids’ passions as well. They have even taken to loving music my wife loves. Our middle has taken over my wife’s records and has a love of the same music as my wife. Not to mention that our kids also steal our sense of amazing clothes and wardrobe style.

Have you passed on what you love to your kids? I know I’ve seen some pictures and stories from a few of you. I love it all.

Recaptured 80’s

I love nostalgia. It’s the one thing that I am often thinking about. I always share stories of my youth and seek out ways to relive those memories.

I follow a fantastic Instagram account that really taps into my 80’s desires. Recaptured 80’s. I love that there is new images added daily along with videos and polls. Following along has sparked memories I didn’t even know I had until I saw them once more.

My 80’s PJ top with iconic cartoon characters.

I’m just a big kid who loves his 80’s. From cartoons to movies; toys to video games; books to candy- it all brings me joy. Sometimes I put on some old cartoons in the background, like GI Joe or Transformers and enjoy the sounds as I live my life. In our pool I’ll play some 80’s favorites and rediscover some lost classics.

Our kids have also grown a love for 80’s films. So much so that they both bought rather expensive Lego sets for themselves with some of their Christmas money. The Delorean and Ecto-1. Both iconic cars from a couple of great 80’s films.

I’m glad that my passions have become my kids’ passions as well. They have even taken to loving music my wife loves. Our middle has taken over my wife’s records and has a love of the same music as my wife. Not to mention that our kids also steal our sense of amazing clothes and wardrobe style.

Have you passed on what you love to your kids? I know I’ve seen some pictures and stories from a few of you. I love it all.

January 3rd

Just another day it seems. Work is work. Family back to their routines. Now much going on to report. No real progress on my new hobby as I don’t have a lot of time to work on it today.

But life is good. And I kind of like that it’s just passing by periodically without much action. Not every day needs to be momentous or exciting. Some days have to be just another day. That way you can appreciate those “out of the ordinary” days.

I enjoyed my quiet time at home for my Christmas Vacation. The food was good, not rushing around was pleasant, and just relaxing with my family is what I needed. A few days back to work and my mental health battery is still recharged. That’s good. Only one more work day and then some time to myself while the rest of the family does their thing.

I’m feeling good. Life is good.

How are you doing post holidays? Is your battery level okay?

End Of 2022

This year was another relatively good year for me. It had ups and downs, but mostly positive vibes. I don’t think I will change anything for 2023.

I am ending my year with a quiet evening with my wife, my kids, my sister and my niece. Even though we were invited out to a couple events, I honestly feel that spending tonight with the family who is here matters the most. I do appreciate and love my friends for always thinking of us and inviting us out. Sometimes I just need to know how loved we are with those invites.

Real plans for 2023? I am continuing my journey to be alcohol free. Which has not been easy. But since the end of November, I have done darned good at it. It feels as though it is never a good time to quit drinking. There is always celebrations, frustrations, or casual moments that a drink would feel fitting. Seeing friends share pictures, memes, or videos has made it difficult at times for me. A bit of FOMO happens. But I needed to do this for myself again.

My last length of time without drinking was only 300 days. I couldn’t even make a whole year. It started as just an occasional drink, but then I felt like I was becoming dependent on booze. Yes, I have shared numerous experiences drinking, having fun, and supporting small breweries. But I also have a tough time calling it quits each time. It was never just one drink. There were moments that I’d drink whatever I found in the house as well once I was out of beer. Like a scavenger hunting for scraps.

Feels True

As well, my body was not enjoying the years of abuse. Nearly three decades worth of drinking. I now feel more pains in my body than I remember. But my breathing and guts feel better after the last 30 days of sobriety. So I’m focusing on each day and doing my best to distract myself from the urge to drink.

That is my hardship. My Achilles heel. My crutch. Normally I just share positive stories in my blog. But today was about being truthful with myself and those who follow me.

2023 will be filled with courage to overcome more obstacles and set out on new adventures. Reconnecting with friends. Controlling my destiny. That’s my 2023.

THBBFT!

Sometimes you just have to stand up, step aside and say THBBFT! to your problems.

Today was that day for me. I was hitting a few roadblocks in my attempt to start my new hobby. Everything was starting to turn around at one point, then BLAM-O. Nope. Turns out the tufting gun’s power source was fried. I couldn’t even start with my first yarn. So I ordered a new power source. Hopefully by next week I can try again.

Walking away a bit frustrated sucks. I thought things were starting to look up after a few hiccups in getting my images to show up on my projector. That was a lot of trial and error, then perfection! I was so pleased that I was going to be able to start tufting before the end of the year. No such luck.

But I have some time now to look up more images or watch videos on tips and tactics of how to tuft. Perhaps I will use that time to organize my work space and arrange the flow. Whatever I choose, it won’t be actual tufting quite yet.

Oh well. Such is life.

Boxing Day With My Sweetheart

Post Christmas Day in Canada is Boxing Day. My wife and I opted to not do any shopping this year. We are going out later in the week, but not for any big sales. Just a few essentials for the home.

Instead of shopping- my wife and I are having a day of just the two of us. Our kids are doing their own thing- watching tv and playing video games, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to have some quality time together. We put our phones into their new matching cases and headed out into the world.

We went for a Five Kilometer walk in our neighborhood. Most of the snow is gone now and the temperature was almost in the double digits at 9°C. A lovely afternoon together getting some fresh air.

For the balance of the afternoon, we are going to eat some leftovers for a late lunch followed by some video games together. My wife has requested that we play a classic for our family- Skylanders Giants. We are going to start the story from the beginning on our Wii-U.

Chances are we will play pretty steady for the next few days. I’m excited to re-play this game series as it was a ton of fun ten years ago! Let’s see if it holds up.

I hope you are all enjoying your holidays and time with family.

Christmas Eve 2022

Christmas Eve was a nice evening spent with my wife and kids. We had a lovely dinner where my son spent a few minutes trying to set up the perfect photo. He discovered it’s not as easy to get everyone to cooperate as he thought.

The kids did sit still for a quick picture after dinner. That’s because they were receiving their annual Christmas pajamas. After opening the gifts, they got changed and came back downstairs in their new wares.

When they arrived, we “watched” our traditional Christmas film- A Christmas Story. Our kids were more on their phones than paying attention, but hey- we were all in the same room together. Then it was bedtime.

Santa showed up immediately after they went to bed and laid out gifts for the family. The evening ended peacefully. My wife and I went to bed exhausted, hoping that the kids would let us sleep in.

Merry Christmas Everyone! I hope your day is as wonderful as ever.

Twelve Days of Appreciation: Day 12-FAMILY

What better way to round off my 12 Days Of Appreciation than with FAMILY.

I love the time I have spent with my family over the last 40+ Christmases. From being a child and unwrapping gifts to watching my own children do the same. Christmas is the one time of year that I have the fondest memories of family time.

As a child, it was the time that I can recall my father being his most jovial and pleasant. He would sit with us on Christmas Eve and again on Christmas Morning. He would share stories, laugh at our innocence over believing him, and genuinely allow a more emotional fellow to come out. When he smiled, it really lit up the place.

As a father myself, I always do my best to make sure our kids were getting extra quality time at Christmas. If they want me around for playtime, movies or video games- I am there. Their enjoyment of the season is paramount every year. I always share numerous stories and memories of my children. They are the best gift I have ever received, as cliché as that might sound, it is true.

Spending time with the family you love is important. It’s a time to set aside differences and do your best to share the happy stories of years past, as well as live in the moment so you can talk about it in the future. I have had difficult moments in the past with my parents and sister, but somehow we always get through it and work on being better.

As I finish my 12 Days of Appreciation, I want to wish everybody a safe a joyous season!

Lots of love, from your Daily Blogger, Josef.

Twelve Days of Appreciation: Day 11-FRIENDS

How could I not mention how much I appreciate my friends in my appreciation posts? That would be silly and unheard of- especially for me. I love my friends tremendously!

Over the years I have made hundreds of friends. A few of whom have lasted for decades now. Those who I rarely speak with or see in person, I still try and interact with via various social medias. Everyone I have accepted as a friend has played a significant role in my life. Some are like “The Butterfly Effect” where it was a small encounter, but made a big impression. Other people have gone by the wayside and just moved on, the same with me.

I can honestly say that my friends have been there for me when I needed them most. Through losses, parenting woes, work, depression, or even celebrations, birthdays, and adventures- having friends there for me has made all the difference in the world.

Solstice 2022

Opening our home to friends has always made me happy. I love having them mingle and just relax in a warm and loving environment. As busy as life can get, I love that my friends are there for me when I need them; even for a quick text or call.

I’ll always be there for them as well. I have a special spot in my heart for each and every one of them. I wish all my friends the Merriest of Christmas! Thank you for being there for me over the years! We have had such great times and made wonderful memories.

If you have a memory of me you’d like to share, please do! I can only scroll through so many thousands of pictures to add to my blog. If you aren’t pictured, do not worry, I still care about you!

Twelve Days of Appreciation: Day 10-MEMORIES

For whatever reason, Christmas is one of those times every year that I look back on previous years with fondness. I appreciate all of the memories of Christmas past. If you follow me on a regular basis, you know that I love to share my memories. I am a sucker for nostalgia.

Reliving the Christmas years from my childhood is a blast. I will always remember those years of Lego sets and video games. Being that I was four years older than my sister, I was also tasked with putting together her Barbie accessories. Not much changed when I had my own kids. I sat with them and assembled their toys.

I have so many great memories of Christmas. Most of them are over the last couple of decades with my own family. From silly times and fun gifts- Christmas always made me smile. Somewhere between my childhood Christmas and my children’s Christmas was memories of Christmas Day being just another day.

When I was in my late teens/ early twenties hanging at my parent’s home on Christmas Day didn’t overly happen. I spent time with other friends just hanging out. Honestly, as depressing as it was- looking back, those few years were calm and nice in their own way. No pressures, no big hoopla, a few gifts exchanged and maybe a quick visit to mom and dad to load up on food. As short lived as that span of Christmas was, I am glad that I had those ones as well. It really made me appreciate the ones before that time and the ones I have experienced since.

Unpacking Christmas decorations and going through old pictures always make me smile. Sometimes my eyes fill with tears of the moments I should of had or could have had if things were different. Losing my father before he became a grandfather is still an emotional struggle at times. Losing a few years as a young adult when I could have made amends with him also sting.

But most of my memories are pleasant ones. And photos at Christmas are hard to choose my favorites to share.

How are your memories of Christmas? Was your childhood filled with joy? Or perhaps being a parent now is joyous. Let me know in the comments.

Twelve Days of Appreciation: Day 9-HOME

My life is incredibly blessed with everything that we have worked towards over the years. My biggest appreciation of all of our possessions is our home.

We wouldn’t be here without hard work and help from our parents. They helped us out financially, and we paid them back after years of struggling. Almost 20 years of homeownership I can honestly say that I am so happy with where we have gotten to.

The biggest thing for me is to open up our home for friends and family. Tonight being the winter solstice, we have some close friends coming over for laughs, food, and general good times. That’s what having a home is for. To open up your doors to the ones you love.

Every Christmas I have spent in my home. Even growing up- traveling or going away at Christmas never happened. Christmas was a time to just appreciate what you have and stay warm throughout the winter season.

I appreciate our home and all those who are invited in to share our space. I hope that over the holidays your home is as warm and wonderful as ours.

Twelve Days of Appreciation: Day 8-HEALTH

From food to gift giving, being healthy at Christmas is another thing I appreciate.

I have not been the healthiest of people since pretty much my birth. I had an upper lobectomy on my left lung when I was two. I have had some severe asthmatic attacks and have always struggled with high endurance activities causing stress on my lungs. Because of a compromised respiratory system- every year I get the flu shot.

80’s Toy set.

As a child I often had ear infections and caught colds quite easily. I recall one Christmas morning in the early 80’s where I had a stomach bug. I was throwing up all day long. But as a child, it didn’t hinder my play time. But I do remember my mother making my play in the kitchen with some of my new toys, so that if I threw up, it would be on the linoleum. I have memories of peanut butter barf and The Dukes of Hazard toy set.

In the year 2000, my future wife and I were about to celebrate our first New Years together. I had the luxury of catching the flu. I’m not going into detail about how I caught it, but let’s just say I am an idiot and my wife can tell you the story of you ask. Needless to say, I was bed ridden that night. So we played numerous Disney DVDs that I owned followed by “Flesh Gordon and the Cosmic Cheerleaders.” I’m not sure if it was the hallucinations from the flu, or if this movie is really that odd.

I believe it was 2009 when I got hit with H1N1 and was laid out for three weeks in November of that year. I was better by Christmas, but damn if it didn’t feel like I was on my deathbed. Again, I was having fever dreams and tripping balls as for days on end.

November of 2017, I went to the doctor because I was having some difficulty swallowing food. I ended up getting a barrage of tests done. By Christmas, I had a diagnosis and was given two options. Take some pills or go through the rigamarole of testing if I have food allergies. Naturally I chose the pills and have been better ever since.

When Covid arrived, my paranoia kicked into full gear (I’m sure some of you did as well). I avoided people as much as I could. I have gotten every booster shot as soon as I could. Having suffered the Swine Flu, I never wanted to get hit hard with Covid. Especially since I am down half a lung.

I mentioned all of this because I am happy to be as healthy as I am. I’m not in perfect health, but I am very conscious about my limitations. I appreciate what the doctors have done for me over the years. I still see my family doctor as required. Even if I don’t deem it necessary (finger in the bum time is overdue.) But I appreciate my health, it allows me to spend Christmas with my loved ones every year.

Twelve Days of Appreciation: Day 7-FOOD

Christmas is a time of over indulging. I appreciate all the food that comes out at this time of year.

Every year, my wife and I stockpile meats and cheeses. We set out these spreads on the Winter Solstice and continue to graze through the remaining bits until January rolls around. Adding to the delightful feast, I also make “Fancy Sandwiches” which is a recipe I learned from my father many years ago. His tradition was to have them ready for Christmas Eve. Honestly, 30 sandwiches hardly lasts in our home- and it’s just my immediate family eating them!

My wife and I also do a lot of baking during this time. Specifically cookies. A few years back, we would fill large tins with a variety of treats and give them to my wife’s brothers. One year we gave away tins to about a dozen different families who came over to celebrate solstice with us. Needless to say, we love cookies at Christmas, but if we start too soon, we have to make another batch (or two.)

Everyone has traditions involving food at Christmas. Besides “Fancy Sandwiches” we also make schnitzel and liver ball soup on Christmas Eve. And yes, the kids do enjoy the soup. But only once a year as it is fairly rich and heavy. But that’s a tradition my father did for us growing up, so it was nice that my wife wanted to keep it up. I hope our kids will pass it on to their future families and such. Plus we also do a fondue on New Years Eve. That is a family favorite by far!

What are your favorite foods or traditional meals that you enjoy over the holidays?