Peaceful Easy Feeling

Back to work after vacation doesn’t mean that enjoying summer is over. I’ve been coming home the last couple of evenings feeling grateful for what I have.

Having a positive outlook on life is important to having positive things happen for you. Luck is also a huge role in everything that happens. We are lucky to live in this part of the world. Clean water, good education, and plenty of opportunities for success.

Finding success can create happiness. At some point though you really need to step back and admire what you have accomplished.

Vibing with a peaceful easy feeling is what my summer is all about. Come on in. The water’s fine.

Summer Tradition- Fish and Chips in White Rock

Tonight was the perfect night to go out for dinner with the family. It was also the perfect evening to eat outside and stare at the water.

Every summer we go to Crescent Beach and get ourselves deep fried cod and chips. Then off to find a log or some rocks to sit at to enjoy our dinner. This year we tried a new fish and chips location. We were not disappointed!

While we waited for the fish to cool down a bit, the family posed for a picture at the beach. After several retakes and arguing, I got a sort of okay photo of us. You’d think that after all of these years my kids would just cooperate willingly. I mean, honestly- how hard is it to give a smile to your poor old dad?

After dinner, we strolled along the beach looking at houses and the fun seaside artwork that the town has. I’m happy that we are only about a twenty minute drive to Crescent Beach. I’m hoping to go kayaking some more like we did last year- read about it White Rock Kayaking.

This summer could go on forever. I’m enjoying every minute of it. Even the arguing about posing for a picture. That’s quality family time!

Need To Get A First Nap.

I still haven’t had my first official nap in our new home. I’ve tried to relax, really I have. But there is still so much to do! Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying all my little projects on the go. It’s far better than having projects that are a necessity.

But I could still do with a nap one day. Our bed is very inviting- except the views keep me alert and daydreaming.

I’ve tried relaxing in our hammock poolside, but that has been cut short due to the heat. I end up back in the pool or finding air conditioning in the house.

Going back into the house also means more projects. It’s a vicious cycle. I think I’m going to have to schedule a nap in order to get one!

Hanging Out With A View

After almost three weeks in our new house, we have been extremely active in setting it up. Unpacking, organizing, getting a cleaning routine going, that sort of thing. On an almost daily basis we have also been hanging out in the pool. All of it is great and keeping us busy.

This evening I took a page from my wife’s book. We stopped to enjoy the view from our living room. Sure, there’s more work to do and a dinner to make. But taking a breather to remember why we bought this house is important.

The skyline. Something we gave up in our last home. But the exchange in our last place was the beauty of living in a park like setting. Old growth trees offering natural shade and cooling of the home. To me, this exchange is equivalent, even though different in many ways.

Appreciating what we got and what we work towards is necessary. We love our new home and are working hard to create Kingdom Havelka as a magical place to live.

Dose Deux

Today I received my second vaccination shot. While I’m not the first person to be fully inoculated, I’m glad my time has come.

I went for the mix-n-match second shot. My first dose was AstraZeneca. Today’s was Moderna. A bit of a different approach compared to my first shot. This time around I headed into an “Immunization Centre” to get the vaccine. It was well organized with three people outside greeting everyone kindly and giving direction.

I arrived early, so I listened to the instructions given to numerous people. When it was my turn, I headed in and was greeted by the next group of volunteers. The process was smooth and relatively painless, minus the needle.

I’m glad to have this part of the pandemic behind me now. Give me two weeks and I’ll be strong like ox! Now to register my immunization record online to keep an electronic copy available. You can as well if you are a resident of British Columbia:

http://www.healthgateway.gov.bc.ca

Let’s keep the world healthy.

Night Sky Happy Feelings

After a hot day poolside, it was just as nice to just hang out as dusk fell.

We could see the skyline off in the distance. As the horizon faded from the orange to darkness above, I relish in the pleasure of knowing we will have this view for years to come.

My wife and I took a brief stroll around our cul-de-sac and discussed some future plans for our front yard. Having continuous dreams keeps us going. And in the end, it makes us happy.

That’s the goal life- happiness. And I do my best to achieve it everyday.

Raised Spirits

After a week in our new home, it was time to enjoy quality time together. Boy was it fun!

This evening before dinner, we all hung out at the pool. Loads of laughter and splashing. It was an excellent way to cool off after a smoldering hot day.

To finalize our family time together we did something we always do. We watched a movie as a family. The movie of choice? Spirited Away. A favorite amongst us all. We love Studio Ghibli movies and enjoyed visiting Studio Ghibli when we travelled to Tokyo a few years back.

We also chose this film because it starts with a family on their way to their new home, yet adventure takes hold. It’s the perfect film to boost our spirits amongst the chaos of unpacking. I’m so happy to feel like a family once more. Stress is behind us.

Time to live our best lives.

Longer Sunshine

With these summer days upon us, the sun is staying out longer and hotter. It’s a blessing and a curse as they say. I’m getting up early and starting my day of a billion chores. Only to end the day with a late dinner watching the sunset.

I’m still trying to get some relaxation in each day. That’s tough. But today I made it into the pool twice! I was also able to sit and talk with my wife as she finally hit our soaker tub.

Our son had a couple friends over to hang out in celebration of the last day of school. They hopped out of the pool for dinner and we’re back in it until 11pm. After the got out, I managed to stand on our top floor balcony and see something I never saw in our last home.

The Big Dipper.

Not a big deal to most, but it’s been so long since I’ve seen the sky from my balcony. I’ve really enjoyed the sunsets. I can’t believe this is our home now.

Morning Break

Moving into a new home is tough. I’m still tackling the organization of whatever storage we have available. I’m also planning more ideas in order to help with future storage.

But this morning I had to take a break in our pool. Taking a breather in order to relish in what we bought was needed. Chances are I’ll do the same tomorrow morning and the next. I need to remember that all this hard work needs to be appreciated.

Hello

Our first full day in the new house has begun. The foray of chaos yesterday ended, yet the unpacking will remain for days, nay– weeks on end.

It was a bittersweet move. Emotions ran high yesterday. Everyone was happy to experience our new home and we took our first family photo in the backyard. I even broke my dry spell of almost 300 days and sipped on sparkling wine and then had a beer poolside.

Before that- I started the evening off for everyone by taking the first jump into our pool. The weather was perfect and the water was fine.

Once everyone was gone, we enjoyed seeing a sunset for the first time in years from our backyard. As much as I loved the tress in our last place, I have really been enjoying the million dollar view we have now.

As we greet our new neighbors we are also looking for some names for our home. The last place we titled, “Castle Havelka”. Our Internet still says Castle, but I’m thinking since we moved up we should call it “Kingdom Havelka”.

Let me know in the comments some suggestions for a new name should be. For now, it’s time to tackle more boxes.

No Prob-llama

On Friday night my wife and I stopped by a friend’s place for a BBQ dinner. On their property is some sheep. And a llama named “Bobby.”

My friend’s young son took me out to meet Bobby. As we walked towards the fence, the llama came running up. She took one look at me, then walked away. Just to stare at me side-eyed while I hung out there.

Llamaste

Bobby was just chilling out amongst the sheep, no real cares in the world. The perfect attitude required these days. Better times are coming.

I do feel my life is like Bobby in a way. Running up to see the excitement, then hanging back to watch it unfold. I snagged a selfie with her in hopes to have some more of her zen rub off on me. I tend to forget that not everything needs to be a burden. Sometimes you can just let things be.

Daddy/Darwin Day June 4th, 2021

Once in a while my middle wants to have a day with me. We have dubbed it “Daddy/Darwin Day”. Usually it’s me taking her out for a lunch or coffee and we talk. Today was a spontaneous “Daddy/Darwin Day” that we both needed.

We started with returning the recycling to get a bit of money back and clean out prior to our move. $12.10 is all we received, but no big deal- we didn’t have much to return. Then we went for gas and into town to hit up Indigo Books. It’s a favorite of our two daughters to go to a bookstore when they need an emotional “pick-me-up“.

Our little world at home has been having a couple road bumps, so it was nice that she asked me to go out with her. In fact, she paid for our Frappuccinos later in the afternoon. That was a lovely treat.

We had good heart to heart bantering. As well, she asked cryptic questions that I answered, but knew she was trying to get somewhere… without getting there directly.

She even tried to drive the Honda Element down the block to our house. This was a good milestone achievement as the vehicle is manual transmission and this was her first time driving a car with a clutch. Not too shabby.

I enjoyed our time together and wish to have more days like this.

Doctor Follow Up

Yesterday afternoon I went to my doctor to get a diagnosis on what I assumed to be My Kidneys. Turns out it wasn’t my kidneys but rather it was flank pain. A muscle that I have never experienced pain in before.

I’ve suffered from lower back pain most of my adult life. It just happens because I’m tall. But that flank pain- wowsers that one sucks. My doctor actually prescribed me muscle relaxers- which I’m not thrilled about and have only been given ten pills. I’m to take them before bed as the can make me drowsy and nauseous. Not a good idea for taking before work.

That’s good news about my kidneys. At least I have that going for me. Back pain and muscle pain is just par for the course these days I guess. However… my doctor is wanting to look into something a bit more important…

I casually mentioned a concern about my heart skipping a beat on a daily basis for a year now. I told him how I quit drinking last August because I thought that was contributing to it. He did not seem thrilled with me. Yeah, I guess heart issues should raise an alarm instead of just ignoring it.

In two weeks time I will be back at the doctor’s office to get connected to a holter heart monitor for 24 hour surveillance. After which the information will go to a cardiologist. And if my heart doesn’t skip a beat during that 24 hours, we will do it again until it does.

I trust our family doctor and he has been really good to us for many years now. He is very organized and has all of our medical history brought up on his computer prior to the start of our appointments. As well, if an appointment is for a specific time, he generally sees us within ten minutes of the appointment. None of that waiting room anxiety or delays.

Perhaps I should’ve seen him sooner about my heart. But the fears that it really could be something has outweighed my desire to find out. Time to move forward on my health since I’m only in my mid-forties and should take it a bit more seriously.

Are You Kidneying Me?

All night last night I was uncomfortable. My body is being mean to me. Right before work I had sharp jabbing pains in what I assume to be my kidneys. Dr. Google is not my friend when I look up what could be causing my pain.

I did however take the remedy plan of drinking Cranberry Juice. I drank about a liter of that and a liter of water. Hydration is not an issue, nor was the expulsion of said liquids. That’s good.

But the pain subsides and flares up randomly. I don’t like that. There are times when it hits me and I’m like, “that’s kind of uncomfortable” and other times when I’m thinking, “oh god make it stop, put me out of my misery!” Those ones are almost debilitating, where I just stand still waiting for the moment to pass.

Before you give me grief, yes I am going to try and see my doctor or at least get a consult. I’m also really tired and just want to go to bed- so I will be doing that first. Hopefully sleep will relax me.

Early or Snoozing. Never On Time

Sleep can be a finicky trickster. As much as I love talking about sleeping and practically live my life for naps- waking up normally eludes me. Waking up goes one of two ways.

Either I have multiple alarms and hit snooze as often as possible in hopes to get every last moment of sleep. I’d say this is my most common way of waking up. My wife swears that it makes me more tired because I interrupt my sleep so much in the end. I disagree. I think hitting snooze lets me prepare mentally for my day as it erases my memories of those dreams I was living in.

The other thing that will happen is I’ll wake up before my first alarm. This causes me to stare at my phone and watch as the time changes. This seems to last forever as misery takes over my already fragile emotional state of sleepiness. It’s during these moments that I can vividly remember my dreams and sometimes wish to re-enter that state. Only the dread of closing my eyes just to hear my alarm takes over.

Rarely, if ever, do I wake up on the first alarm and start my day. In fact since I was a child this never happened. I also tried to set my alarm across the room in order to get out of bed to turn it off. That didn’t work. Instead, my lazy ass would just let it buzz for ages as I completely ignored it. That’s because I knew I had set it early in order to hit snooze. There was no fooling myself!

How do you wake up? Are you a multiple alarm kind of person? Perhaps the nine minute snooze is your thing? Or are you the rare beast that wakes instantly from slumber upon the first bell tolling?

Let me know in the comments. For now I’m going to adjust my alarms by two minutes in hopes to change my habit since the past few days I’m beating my alarm and waking before it attempts to.

ENDY- Will It End My Poor Sleep?

Man, it feels as though I’ve been complaining a lot lately about getting old and my ailments. Sorry about that. This is my last one for a while, I promise.

Couple of human sized divots from a decade of sleeping.

Our king size mattress has been causing restless nights over the past while. Waking up with back and shoulder pains was making my wife and I cranky. So we discussed getting a new mattress for when we move.

My wife placed an order for the ENDY mattress because it was coming with some free bedsheets if we order before the end of May. We expected the mattress to show up next week some time. Instead it arrived the next day. Awesome!

This morning I swapped out our old mattress for the new one with the help of our kids. Then off to the Waste Transfer Station (A nicer way to say Garbage Dump) to get rid of the old mattress. $15 to ditch a bad night’s sleep. Better than offering it out to friends.

We are looking forward to our first sleep on the ENDY. With all of the positive reviews, if it lasts ten years like our other mattress then it will be well worth it. If you want to get one for yourself, check out this link: ENDY.

Now to make the bed and take a nap.

Deteriorating Joe

I know I was complaining yesterday about my joints and pains. Today I realized I have hit another stage of growing older. And it wasn’t my hearing like I thought it was going to be because of the loud music and my work environment. Nope, it’s my eyesight.

I was unable to read the writing on the yellow part of this label. My wife gave me her reading glasses, and voila- clear as crystal. It’s odd because I could read the part above with a bit of strain, but accurately without hesitation.

Naturally, I went on my phone to search up signs of aging and stuff like that. Here’s what I found:

  • Your Heart Works Harder.
  • Your Skin Feels Different.
  • You Find It Harder to See and Hear.
  • Your Teeth and Gums Change.
  • Your Bones Become More Brittle.
  • Going to the Bathroom.
  • It’s Harder Getting Around or Staying Strong.

I stopped consuming alcohol last August because I could feel my heart working harder than ever. By October I felt normal. But the last month or so I have noticed my heartbeats being erratic once more. And with the aches creeping in more, and today’s realization that my eyesight is going to diminish, I’m feeling a bit down.

I always knew that I’d grow old. That’s just what happens. I’ve already been enjoying trimming nose and ear hairs as I watch my hairline recede. Getting a scratch or bruise? Might as well watch it heal at a snails pace. On normal days where I don’t work nights? Bedtime is before nine pm.

So yeah, my body is getting decrepit. Since the day I was born, it was a downhill slope leading to eventual destruction. Just like everyone else. What to do about it? Besides complaining (which I kind of enjoy) or comparing it to other people’s ailments- I think it’s best to IGNORE it.

I meant, work out. Exercise. Read more. Eat healthier. Look after myself. I kind of like my life and friends and family. It’d be nice to see them for a while longer. Or I can hope that technology catches up soon and I can be part robotic.

Anyhow, maybe next time I get my eyesight checked I’ll look at the possibility of getting reading glasses. Until then- I’ll use the technology available to me now. My iPhone can zoom in on the directions for me. Who needs glasses?

It’s Called The Tweak Scratch

As much as I love quoting The Beastie Boys, I tweaked my back yesterday and it wasn’t fun. I hurt myself doing a normal task- stirring pasta. That is almost as bad as straining my thumb taking off a sock. My thumb has been in pain for weeks now. It’s tough to text on my phone. Life is rough.

Being in my mid-forties and getting injured in such simple ways is torturous to the ego. I’m getting worried about what will happen when I hit fifty. My wife keeps telling me I need to stretch and exercise more. I think Advil is good enough, for now…

I’m thinking about swimming and doing yoga this summer. Perhaps it will loosen up my tense muscles. One can only hope. I’ll probably rock out in my backyard to some Beastie Boys as I “work out.”

So, “If you can feel what I’m feeling then it’s a musical masterpiece/ If you can hear what I’m dealing with then that’s cool at least/ What’s running through my mind comes through in my walk/ True feelings are shown from the way that I talk”

Kanaka Creek

On Saturday afternoon, my wife and I went for a walk in Maple Ridge. We wandered around Kanaka Creek Regional Park for about an hour or so. This was our first time exploring this area. I remember that nearby there used to be the Albion Ferry. I’m sure I came here back in the early 90’s when we were able to cross from Fort Langley. Even though there is a rich history here, this park was finished in 1993.

It is a nicely shaded walk that meanders near the Fraser River. It is far more maintained than the parks in Langley are. This was probably one of the nicest walks I’ve been on recently in The Lower Mainland.

It sure felt as though summer was upon us the other day. If you head out on a beautiful sunny day like we did, remember to bring water, a hat, and sunscreen. And remember to smile for your photos!

2021 Mother’s Day

For Mother’s Day, our kids did their best to make my wife happy. Breakfast in bed, a day of Netflix binging, dinner, doing what was asked (without eye rolls and back talk) and a few gifts. Everyone was happy. It was great.

On social media I witnessed numerous wishes to moms everywhere. A few moms I know shared what their families had done for them as well. There was a lot of love going around yesterday.

I also saw a few images of my favorite tv moms. These are the ones who taught me about life. Many of them were humorous and worthy of being a tv mom.

I enjoyed the positive vibes I witnessed yesterday. There is plenty of love for and from mothers out there. Love like that should be shared more often.

I Married A Great Mother

I have been lucky enough to have married my best friend. She has been nothing short of supportive and loving. Our kids have been even more lucky with having such a great mom to look after them all these years.

Mother’s Day 2012

In the past our kids have brought their mom breakfast in bed, made special artwork, and generally given as much love as possible for little kids to muster up. Now as they are all teenagers, I have tried to allow them to make their own decisions on what to do for their mother. Obviously a few reminders over the past couple weeks of today’s special person were dropped. Since I’ll be at work all day, I’ll have to wait and see how they did when I get home.

I’m hoping that they give her the love and attention she deserves today. I’m pretty sure the kids won’t muck this up, they love their mom a lot. I know that there are moments that my wife would like some time to herself. She will get some of that alone time starting next month when she can enjoy a quiet bath or a book by the fire. After almost nineteen years of being an on-the-go parent, she will deserve the relaxation.

Happy Mother’s Day Lee-Anne!

As I See It

I’m enjoying “me time” in my backyard this afternoon. A bit of a breeze, but I was doing some yard work to keep warm. I’m taking a small break to enjoy some music, the weather and share a couple of photos.

Here is what I am seeing right now as I sit in my wheelbarrow:

Here’s what the satellites and ufos can see:

I’m just a small piece of the vast universe. I’m going to enjoy my time here on this planet. Who knows what comes next. Today is just pure enjoyment. Pleasure to be alive, just floating around on this crazy planet.

Enjoying a moment is important when life is filled with challenges and hardships. Taking a moment to remember that it’s not all bad. Life is grand. I’m enjoying it.

When The Weather Report Is Wrong

Earlier this week the local weather was showing rain for days. Days. My weekend was looking unfavorable to say the least. I was going to need to spend my time packing some more. Instead, I had dry weather so I got a few chores outside done. Even though it was slightly overcast, I was enjoying the fresh air.

Luckily this afternoon, the clouds dispersed and the sun showed up. Driving out to skating for our son had me feeling the heat inside my wife’s car. An illusion of summer was once again upon us. It was looking like a perfect night to eat dinner outside.

Alas, the temperatures said otherwise. Our backyard is shaded by trees, so it was even cooler than expected. Our dinner was quick with minimal talking and we headed back in for the night. We can still hear the birds and view the skies as night falls.

I’m glad it didn’t rain much on my days off. We were able to get more downsizing of some possessions completed as a family. Boxes packed, stacked and ready to go. Only seven weeks remaining… but who’s counting?

Too Much Yard

People have asked me why we sold our property. The main reason is we have too much yard.

I’m getting older and want simplicity. A small lawn to mow, perhaps a few plants and bushes. Taking care of the old growth trees is too much these days.

Even though we move out in 50 days, I have pride for our home. We are still looking after it, but the yardwork is intense. This weekend will be busy trying to clear out dead branches and utilize a burning permit.

Today was a write off for me as well. I’m still feeling the after effects of getting my vaccine the other day. My energy levels are extremely low. Likely, my wife and I will do the majority of the work and our teens will run and hide every chance they get.

That’s the other hard part. Getting assistance. I was a teenager once. I know what it’s like to want to have a life not devoted to chores. I remember my father tricking me into allowing a friend stay over for a couple of nights one summer- in order for us to lay down sod.

I’m getting older. I can’t push as hard as I once did. It’s almost time for my midlife crisis. Maybe that’s why we bought a new house with a pool…

Find The Spiritual Side

Today is 4/20. A day that many people indulge in marijuana and just chill out. I think it’s great- even though I am not a pot smoker. I say it’s great because smoking a bit of pot tends to allow people to reach a different level of enlightenment. I honestly feel the world needs more enlightened people. I’m enlightened AF as the kids say.

For example: Ten years ago today, I took my four year old son to the Center of the Universe. Eight years ago, my daughter and I met a childhood hero of mine-Elvira. Meeting Elvira changed my daughter’s view of women being powerful and still remaining feminine. Seven years ago, my son was an honorary “Lego Master Builder” at a convention volunteering his time helping kids. Six years ago, we were in Golden, BC on our way to yet another convention. Four years ago today, my wife and I stopped in Weed, California at 4:20 to honor a friend of mine I had lost.

Sure, some of the memories I just shared seem insignificant to many. But each year on this day had a lasting emotional and mental effect on my life, and that of my family’s. All of it positive in some fashion. Most of it unintentionally spiritual.

Perhaps I’m just looking for answers. But aren’t we all? Isn’t that why people spark up a doob? To get spiritual? Or get lost in thoughts? Maybe it’s to become one with the universe. Far out man.

Whatever the case may be for people smoking the green on 4/20, just remember to have snacks nearby. And if things get outta hand, or you need a tripping buddy- there is a new helpline for you. The Fireside Project. Call or text +16234737433 for free emotional support to help you through a trip.

As always, stay safe and have fun!