Enjoy It

This weekend has been the one we have been waiting for. The sun is shining, the grass is green, and the pool is ready.

Over the past couple of days, we have enjoyed the swimming pool. Today is going to be no exception. We are planning on hanging out with our downstairs tenants and sipping on some beverages. Taking advantage of the weather whenever we can is the goal.

Being neighborly is important as well. We enjoy having company over and plan on visitors coming by throughout the summer. Getting along with those around us is paramount. We are past the stage of loud parties, but I still enjoy my music playing.

Reach out and we will have you over this summer on a Friday or Saturday. Just remember to bring the sunscreen and a snack to share!

Change In Weather Attitudes

I mentioned previously about wind storms and the havoc it once reigned on our lives. The chaos that the wind would cause. The destruction and mess that it would leave behind for us to clear up. And the fear that a branch or tree would come crashing down.

Today was another windstorm. And as it continues, I am glad to have moved from our previous house. My wife is also getting over those bouts of weather induced anxiety. She was even able to joke about it earlier.

I’m glad she was able to find humor finally after decades of calamity and fear. It also seems that this windstorm is doing its best to get rid of the cold weather we have had these past few weeks and months.

As of late, I have been wanting warmer weather to approach. This weekend, I may get my wish to come true. We are expecting some sun and higher temperatures that we have yet to feel this season. I look forward to lounging in the backyard and having fun doing so.

As a man, I want to get everything done so I can have nothing left to do. I just want to do nothing in the sun. Just experience it. The warmth on my face, the red hue behind my closed eyelids, and the sensation of the world being at rest and comforting.

First Dip In The Pool

The sun peaked out this afternoon long enough for us to enjoy it. It was sent hot, but in the sun it was warm! A couple of weeks ago we had taken the cover Off OurPool in hopes to jumpstart the summer. No such luck.

Yesterday, the weather report was not looking promising for the near future. But I was hopeful. So today, when my wife finished work, we jumped into the pool. We both agreed that we were going in- rain or shine.

Lee-Anne went in first. The sun was out and the atmosphere was pleasantly warm. I had turned on the heater for the pool yesterday- and it was a comfortable 24°C already.

We had kind of forgotten to let the kids know that we were going into the pool. So when our middle came home from school- they ended up hanging out in the yard while my wife and I swam. I felt like Darwin was the adult in the situation- making sure that two doofuses didn’t drink too much and get hurt.

I’m definitely looking forward to enjoyment of the pool throughout the summer. I’m already feeling the energy burn from splashing around. Swimming has always been a good workout that leads to a great sleep. Hopefully we can have friends over soon to enjoy the fun and relaxation poolside. It would be nice if the entire weather forecast could change for the better!

Safety And Security

Back in July, I installed four security Cameras around the front of our home. Our system allows for up to eight cameras. Today I installed two more. This time to watch over the backyard and rear entrances.

My son reluctantly helped me with adjusting the viewing area of the new cameras. But with his help, I was able to get a large section of our yard under surveillance.

I also took some time to play around with the system and create a constant changing sequence on our monitor. Every few seconds it changes the views, this will help prevent “burn-in” on the screen. (Although honestly I don’t think it’s as obvious or quick as it once was with crt monitors).

If I choose to, I have spots for two more cameras to get connected. I may need to do that in the future, but at this time- having six cameras is more than plenty. Although I did like the ease of installation that the Lorex system has.

Is It Pool Time Yet?

The sun has been teasing us lately. But when you go outside, under the shade is frigid. The wind is still whistling past the clouds and pushing them onward. Looking towards the next few days and it seems like rain is in the forecast.

Today I took advantage of the nice weather. Our winter pool cover came off. I vacuumed up the debris and added a bunch of chemicals to the pool to balance it out. The pool is sitting at 15°C (59°F). Still far too cold to attempt to swim. I’m also waiting a couple of more weeks before heating it to ensure the chemicals create a safe swimming environment. Getting the pool ready is important to me.

But since it’s going to rain for the next ten days, there was no point in setting up the patio and deck furniture just to take it and store away again. I did sit outside first thing in the morning to eat breakfast. I can’t wait to be eating more meals outdoors. That has always been a favorite of mine.

Some day soon and life will be blissful. I will be able to swim and float around in the sun. For now, I get to enjoy the sunsets and views.

Another Beautiful Night

I cannot express enough how much beauty there is to view in this world. I look out off my back porch, and it feels like we are living in a land of fantasy.

Watching the sunset off in the distance has become a favorite pastime of mine. I stand up on our deck and just absorb its light. Our lower patio deck has stairs that look as though they are about to show you the way to an adventure. A journey that could take you off into the lush green fields and out into the horizon.

I am extremely appreciative of what we have. I know we won’t have it forever, but that we have it now is great. It’s important to reflect on what one has and appreciate the work and time it has take to get to this place. Especially when it feels as though live is trying to throw curveballs in your direction. Staying positive is the best way to battle those hardships and challenges.

Enjoy the what the world has to offer and don’t dwell on the negative.

Outdoor Night Lights

As the summer approaches, the sun is tentatively out for longer. So what we have done in our yard is added some solar lights for a night ambiance.

On the sides of the stairs leading down from our deck add a nice touch to the path. I like the brightness of these lights. At the very top I put one more bright light on the fence post next to the gate. That way our guests will see where they are going should they leave later in the evening.

Along our fence is some string lights that add a lot of light to that part of the yard. In the gazebo is two sets of solar string lights. They brighten up the patio set for some great evening conversations.

To the left of our home, there are a few lights that lead up to the pool shed. For when you have to put away items at the end of a good time. And finally is some more string lights on our upper deck. Should we choose to sit there and hang out, there is also a heater and bbq for making meals.

Some of our lights are remotely controlled. I’m working on adding them to my Google Home app. Automation of our home is some of the most fun I am having living here. Adding lighting and ambiance is also high up.

Do you like having lights as a side feature besides just functionality? Are you getting as impatient as I am for warm summer nights?

Let me know in the comments.

Sunsets In Bed

Life is what you make of it. You can dwell on the negativity and it can bring you down. Or you can learn and grow and change those aspects of your life.

I’ve had my share of downs. I’ve tackled challenges. I’ve endured difficult times. After it all, I am able to see the beauty that the world still has in store. I appreciate that I can feel the sun on my face and watch the clouds roll off as I lay in bed.

I appreciate these moments. This world has so much more to offer. Getting past those negative emotions and thoughts; the light shines through. Another day to love and live.

Happy Easter Friends.

Window Seat

In our home we have large windows that overlook the backyard and the fields beyond. Usually I’m standing up and staring off. Recently we added a cushion to the window seat in our master bedroom. Yesterday afternoon I took advantage of it and lay down, watching the clouds roll by.

This evening is an entirely different view. Storm clouds are rolling in. The thunder has tumbled a couple of times. What I thought was rain, turned out to be a mix of snow and hail falling down. A harsh change in weather is coming in quickly. I get to enjoy it from the comfort of my window seat.

Being able to watch the outside world and see the sky has been absolutely entrancing to me over the last few months of living here. I never realized how much of the world we were missing being surrounded by trees in our last home. Mind you, that was wonderful for different reasons. Specifically the privacy and shade we were offered.

But this window seat brings me joy. I can stretch out on it and fully embrace the view. Do you stare out the window during storms or watch the sunset and clouds? Or am I alone at embracing the beauty of the world that we normally take for granted…

When Is Summer Arriving?

The sun appears briefly and I want the warm weather to be here. Sure, there was a Wind Storm the other day, but come on- spring is here… yet I want summer weather!

Our patio is slowly getting set up for visitors and entertaining. We removed the dining sets and loungers from winter storage. Now we are in the process of deciding the best layout, while keeping it looking spacious.

The Gazebo went up three weeks ago and has proven to be sturdy as well as keeping the furniture dry. That is a great feeling. I have been out on the patio set now at least two to three times a week. Even on an overcast day like today. I am imagining what it will be like in a month once we open the pool!

Gardening has also commenced. The front is looking spectacular (patting myself on the back). That curb appeal is really something now. Periodic mowing, watering and weeding is all that’s needed now.

Soon I’ll share about the vegetable and herb gardening. That’s more my wife’s project. But I am totally going to benefit from the fruits of her labor!

Are you as impatient about summer arriving as I am?

No More Wind Fears

Today has been blustery. The wind is blowing fiercely across the Lower Mainland. But today, I am at ease.

In our previous home, we experienced wind storms so bad, our home and yard was damaged and we could be without power for days. Here is one example from 2018: Windy. After a few years of these storms, we were often on edge when it was like this. The clean up afterwards would take days if not weeks.

With the openness of our backyard, the wind comes across at full force. I can hear it whistle past the windows and see as our palm trees wave. But I’m okay with this. No crazy damage is occurring. No trees are falling on our roof or taking out our power. And even as the hummingbird feeders sway- the birds come to take a snack without hesitation.

No more wind fears. It’s a good feeling.

Super Clean

Creating pride in our home takes work. I have pressure washed and scrubbed the outside over the past few weeks. We have also worked on the front yard to create curb appeal. Plus there is the amazing gazebo we built for the backyard. But there is still more to do.

Today was all about the upper back decks and the windows facing the backyard. Our middle child scrubbed the deck that leads out from the kitchen. It turned out fantastic. I worked on spraying the windows on the house.

I cleaned the algae off the awning above the deck prior to the scrubbing of the deck. Afterwards I cleaned the glass railing. Once the green algae was washed off, I gave it a quick clean with Windex and let it dry. The trick afterwards that made them crystal clear- I used spray car wax.

I misted it on, used a microfiber cloth and wiped it all around. Followed by a dry cloth to polish it up. It almost looks as if the glass is t even there. I’m really impressed by the finished look. Next nice day I will do the lower patio deck glass railing. The yard is almost ready for basic upkeep and lounging.

I really cannot wait until summer hits in order to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Yard Pride From Front To Back

As the weather gets nicer, people are out working on their yards. My wife and I have spent a lot of time, elbow grease, and money on creating beautiful curb appeal. There is still more to come, but for the most part I’d say it’s looking great.

As I said, we aren’t the only ones working on their yards. I have seen the neighbors out on a regular basis tending to their lawns and gardens. My wife and I chose to keep up with the similarities of our neighborhood yards, not just because it looks good, but it also showed us which plants thrive in this general location. I also took the time to discuss with neighbors about their yards and experiences as the seasons change.

As for our backyard, since it is mostly a lounging location for us, the garden aspect is limited. Most of the edge gardens is established and we just need to trim back on occasion. My wife has been working on vegetables to be grown in a few planters around the backyard. So currently inside our home, the seedlings are beginning to sprout. Within a few weeks, they will be replanted outside as we await tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers to begin growing.

As wonderful as all of this sounds, there is a bit more chaos going on in our next door neighbors’s places. Both the house next to us and the one next to that are digging up their backyards. Next to us they are planning on adding a swim spa and the house next to that is wanting a pond. The crew that was hired is doing both at the same time and work began months ago. Now that the weather is nicer- they are working on it more frequently. I am looking forward to when the work is completed, not just because the noise will be over, but I want to admire the final results. I think the three of us will have outstanding backyards that we will enjoy for years to come.

Do you have big plans for your yard this year? Let me know in the comments and feel free to share previous work you are proud of!

Spring Break Staycation

As my last day comes to an end, I think I had a relatively great staycation. A quick look back at the last ten days showed how busy it was. As well as how productive it ended up being.

We did a bunch of gardening, went to a speed skating meet last weekend, had a night on the town for my birthday, and built a gazebo as a family. We built some Lego, and our oldest came to visit and we all had a delightful time. There really isn’t much more I could ask for.

All in all it was a great birthday week. I’m glad I spent it with my family.

Gazebo A-Go

Back in the middle of February I ordered a gazebo from Costco. It was on sale and was out of stock every day I was trying to buy it. Until the last day of the sale. I snagged one and had it delivered about ten days later.

We were replacing a pergola that was on our back deck. The pergola was still in great shape, and we had picked up a new fabric top last summer. However, we also realized that we needed a better cover for the upcoming summer season. Our new gazebo arrived in three very heavy boxes on a pallet. It sat in my side of the garage for a little over a week.

I had taken down the old pergola last week. When my wife and I returned home from my birthday night away- we took the time to move the parts downstairs to the back deck. The family helped, and we built the four posts and the frame that afternoon. The next day, my son and I worked hard in the rain to build each roof panel. We placed them into position and called it quits. The rain was not easing up.

Today we had good weather. So in the afternoon when my wife finished work, we headed outside once more and worked as a family to finish the build. After a bit of figuring out the layout and how it would work- we had the roof up and the gazebo was completed within a couple of hours.

As I finished some of the last screws, the family brought down the patio set and got it in place. I’m so happy that the family came together as we built the outdoor structure. I truly appreciate their help and if you could believe it, there was minimal cursing and no bloodshed!

We are almost ready for the summer season. Just some lights, a heat lamp, and some friends are all that is needed for some great evenings.

Spring Break Staycation Time

It was a quiet evening yesterday at work. The sky was clear and the tracks were nearly empty. I enjoyed the calmness that came with my shift. I had a few days off approaching and was glad that there wasn’t going to be any unfinished business.

I finished my night shift at 6am and raced home to begin my first vacation of the year. As soon as I got home, it was straight to bed for a nap. Seriously one of the best ways to enjoy a staycation is to just relax.

My wife and I went for a walk around the neighborhood in the afternoon. We talked about the kids, money and my upcoming birthday. When we returned home, I took down our old awning and cracked open a beer. I’ll be putting up a new gazebo and selling this old one on Facebook Marketplace soon enough.

Tomorrow will be some more yard work since the sun is supposed to be out. I kind of like the tinkering about and just making the yard look nice. Sometimes a vacation is just meant to relax oneself. No fancy destination required.

Weekend? What Weekend?

Just like that, my days off are over. The first day off entailed my being a chauffeur to our middle child to and from school. I also had to drop my wife and son off at the airport. They went away for the weekend up to Fort St. John for a long track speed skating meet. If he does well- he will be off to Quebec in April.

Then my next two days were all about pressure washing our back deck. I also got to chauffeur our middle to and from school as well as to the mall so that they could get an ear piercing.

Needless to say, I am sore and exhausted from all my time off work. I did enjoy being outside for the last couple of days in the sunshine. I was able to listen to music and feel accomplished with the deck cleaning. At the end of the day, I just sat outside and had a cold beer.

Poof. My weekend is over.

Is It Spring Yet?

Here on the West Coast we have been getting teased with sunny weather. It doesn’t help that the stores are also bringing out the summer stuff. Displays of lawn furniture, planters and BBQs make it feel as though winter is over.

So I’ve been actively getting the yard ready. Got some pressure washing underway and will complete it tomorrow morning. As zen-like as the activity is, it really hurts my back and I feel it for a few days afterwards. We have a large 75’ deck and poolside concrete that I’m about 2/3rds done.

I also assembled most of the patio set that I picked up last week. I figure with the sun out tomorrow, I may sit out there and enjoy the upper deck for a bit. This seating set will be going on the large wood deck when spring officially starts.

On Saturday I will be having a new gazebo delivered from Costco. Unfortunately it is too much for just me to assemble and I will be doing a shoutout to a few friends and ask for help. Pretty sure some beers and pizza will be a good payment for a few hours of work.

Are you getting excited for winter to disappear?

Grey Skies And Rain

I’m often sharing pictures of the sunset and skyline that we see from our home. This evening I’m sitting in a chair in our bedroom, enjoying a beer while the rain falls outside.

As I sit by our patio doors, the bedroom fireplace is going and my wife is enjoying a peaceful moment in the bathtub. Much in the same way I have every week. We are chitchatting about relaxation and the rain. There’s nothing exciting going on for a Saturday evening. But it’s our Saturday evening together.

Looking around our bedroom, I realize that I am very lucky to have found a great partner. My wife and I have numerous art pieces that scream out our love for one another. There is special meaning behind everything we own and I can tell a story about each piece and why it means so much to us. That’s perhaps for another day.

So my Saturday night is a calm night of being content and sharing happiness with the one I love.

Fog In Fog Out

This morning the fog rolled in quickly. It also rolled out just as fast. I awoke at around 7:30 this morning to look out my back window.

Within an hour it was heavy fog. And fifteen minutes later it was all but gone. I watched as the fog slowly pushed its way westward, revealing the colours of the fields that lay behind our home.

I do enjoy getting up early when the weather is nice. The sun over the last few days has helped with my mental state. The fog internally is also beginning to roll away as spring and summer quietly approach. This is the first time in decades that I feel at one with the changing seasons. The warm and cold, the dreary and uplifting… I’ve begun to feel better mentally as the chaos of life isn’t as busy. A couple years of this pandemic has made me reevaluate what is important.

Does the weather affect your moods? Does the sunshine help you feel better? Have you had a chance to understand your emotions and values better over these last few years? Let me know in the comments.

No Soliciting

Surfing the internet or social media- there are advertisements galore. Most of us just skip over them. I also find that if a site has an abundance of ads or they take over too much of what I want to see- I abandon it and never return.

If I have to sign up for something online and need to use my email, I do my best to “Opt out” of promotional emails. I will also UNSUBSCRIBE as quick as possible if I screw it up.

Today someone rang my doorbell. Apparently they can’t read the sign next to it. They were trying to sell me a service of lawn care for the upcoming spring season. I pointed out that I have a small lawn and am not interested. They were trying to assure me that it was a “Free Estimate.” I said no and shut the door.

I get irritated by pushy salespeople. How about you? How do you deal with aggressive advertising? Let me know in the comments.

Costly Instant Waiting

As the world continues on the slow return, I am finding that I do not like the way you purchase big ticket items anymore. Furniture and cars are the biggest pain to buy right now. I’m not looking for a car, but have heard about the inconvenience.

We waited for about six months for a Bookcase. Which was fine, it wasn’t a necessity so we could wait. But we have reached a dilemma when buying dining room chairs. We could buy super cheap ($100-$200 is cheap???) or we can order chairs that can cost between $300-1000 and hope to get them by June.

The other dilemma is buying outdoor furniture. Right now it’s very early in the season, so not a lot is out there yet. But last year, things were gone off the shelves quickly and we were unsure of what we wanted. Again, I can order some nice furniture for 5-6x what the cost of a set at Home Depot or Costco may cost. Speaking with the salesperson, it sounded like the furniture would arrive by August. Pretty much missing this season entirely.

I do miss the ability to buy quality furniture right off the showroom or in their warehouse. Maybe one day we will get back to those days. For now, I should do my best to appreciate what we have and look at saving for the quality furniture next time instead of the instant gratification of walking out of the store.

How does someone justify $1000 for a dining room chair??? It’s not even gold plated. Inflation is ridiculous at the moment.

Day Sleeping

Working night shifts means I need to sleep during the day. Since it’s still winter, I fall asleep while it’s still dark out. However, my bedroom doesn’t stay that way.

The blinds we have are not “blackout blinds” and a lot of natural light gets through. However, it reminds me of our old home.

In our previous house, we didn’t have blinds for a number of years. The trees just gave natural shade to the bedroom. I became accustomed to the diffused light, so there is no issue sleeping here.

I pride myself in the fact I can fall asleep anywhere and quickly as well. I don’t need it to be dark or even quiet. Sometimes background noise or music is nice for me to fall asleep to, albeit unnecessary for my sleep.

I do prefer our new home ambiance compared to our previous house. The color palette is calmer and soothing. I generally feel relaxed at home now, not worrying about repairs or renovations. Just enjoying the house. I sleep a lot better these days.

Adding Storage Options

With Christmas behind us, we realized that we like the house to be less cluttered. Because we had moved in at the start of summer, most of our time was spent enjoying the outdoors. Now that our mild winter is upon us, it was time to re-evaluate our home. That meant figuring out storage solutions.

First I started in the garage. We had a few boxes that we hadn’t opened yet, and an empty wall. An old bookcase becomes a place to store shoes while some shelves went up on the wall to store lightbulbs, candles, sunscreen, etc… We had some clear bins and fabric ones which worked well to organize and add some uniformity.

Next was the laundry room. Originally there was just a single shelf and a lot of wasted space above. I had taken out some wire shelves from my closet (in order to fit a dresser) so I reused them in this space. Again, we used fabric bins and put old towels and rags in them. The very top shelf will have overstock of cleaning supplies in clear shoebox size containers.

The last thing I did this week was add a more decorative cabinet in our kitchen. It fit nicely under our coffee bar. It also matched the red coffee maker and kettle. Now our teas and coffee have a better place to stay. Originally we had put a temporary wire rack underneath with all those cloth bins I mentioned.

I do prefer the clear plastic storage containers and the cloth bins over the cardboard boxes we had from moving. Even though those boxes were labeled, truly knowing what was inside was difficult. After going through some of them, we were able to gather up more donations and even discovered some items that we had no idea where they had gone.

With so much more stuff to go through, we are slowly decluttering our home. Some stuff that we brought along in the move just isn’t “us” anymore. My wife and I are trying to pass along items that we either don’t use, doesn’t bring us joy, or we simply had no idea why we still have it.

How are your storage solutions? Do you purge items regularly or do you wait for spring cleaning?

Life’s Bittersweet Memories

Sometimes a memory pops up on Facebook and it’s kind of heartbreaking. Today hit me unexpectedly, again…

Some of you may be thinking, It’s just a job, why does it matter? To me it wasn’t “just a job” that I was leaving. I left a job that I truly enjoyed and was proud to do. I also left behind numerous friendships- however I have still kept in contact with many of them. Colossus was the first place to employ me after almost a year of unemployment. I worked there for five years- as I felt I owed it to them for getting me out of a bad place. Yet it was time to move on. The main reason I left was money.

The job didn’t pay as well as I needed anymore. It was great when I was single and scraped by. However, I never saw a future for me and my family. I was married and we had our first kid. My wife was pregnant with our second child that would be born three months later. I needed to do more than just enjoy my job. I needed to be able to support my family.

Besides working at Colossus Cinema, I was also working two other part time jobs. I was putting in 70-80 hours a week in order to buy our first home. If I hadn’t sacrificed my time back then, we wouldn’t be where we are now.

Over the years I have shared with my family my love of cinema. In return, our oldest is going to school in order to work behind the scenes. Our middle has friends who work at that same theater and has been going to movies with friends. Our youngest is always talking to me about the latest trailers and wanting to be the first to see the big blockbusters as they come out.

Since 1999, Colossus has been a part of my journey in this life. I am fortunate that working there happened. I also can’t believe where I’ve gotten to since then. It was a good move, maybe when I retire I’ll go back to being a projectionist part time, assuming they need someone of my age.