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.

City Christmas Lights

As the days remain darker for longer, I love the look of lights that fill the night. Especially as Christmas approaches, more and more people put up lights to brighten our lives.

I also love it when each city transforms their Main Street into a bright display of magic. The trees that line the sidewalks get adorned with glowing bulbs, lighting the street up in an almost daylight fashion.

I’ve always appreciated the spectacle that comes with Christmas and the season in general. When I was a child living in Edmonton, I would fall asleep staring out my window at the lights up and down the street. There was one lightbulb that I would fall asleep watching just outside my window. It was an old glass bulb that was red in colour. Over the years, I watched as the paint slowly chipped off.

Now we have LED lights that glow brighter for longer. There’s still a sense of awe, yet it feels even more artificial than it once was.

Do you like the look of Christmas lights as they fill the night?

Jump Start The Christmas Decorating

Yesterday I was in the attic above the garage putting away the Halloween decorations. I figured that while I was up there I might as well bring down the Christmas decorations.

My wife happily dove into the boxes in order to see what we owned. We both sort of remember everything, but that was also laid out in our previous house. It was time to see how to create a new layout for our current home.

Today, I took advantage again of the break in the rain. Turns out the amount of exterior Christmas lights we had on our old place will fit nicely on our new home. Since we will be here for years to come, I thought it was best to add hooks and clips.

Before the night rolled in, I was able to get the majority of the lights up. There is one peak remaining to do. That is the highest and most terrifying one. I may have to “Phone a Friend” in order to get these last 25 lights put up. So far, my wife and I are enjoying the way it looks. Very festive and gingerbread-esque.

Are you ready to put up your outdoor lights for Christmas? Or do you just leave them up all year long?

Twelve Days Until Christmas

The home stretch is within sight everyone! Only a dozen days remaining until Christmas. Normally I’m out spending money frivolously about this time. Snatching up items that I think would help to fill out the gift piles of my wife and family. Most of those gifts just end up tossed in a drawer or the back of a closet before becoming landfill waste. Not this year however.

This year I am doing my part and staying home as much as possible. I feel as though I’ve already done my part in supporting local businesses and picked up some items a few weeks back. So staying home (when not at work) is also doing my part to keep myself and others healthy. No need to aimlessly wander the mall or stores trying to spend money that I don’t overly have to spend.

I don’t mind being at home during these final days of the year either. I get to enjoy some quality time with the family playing games and watching movies. Or just contemplating life as I stare at the decorations on our trees: Remembering when or where we picked up an ornament or two. And sometimes letting the lights catch my gaze until my vision becomes fuzzy and I feel warm inside.

It’s nice to just calm down and chill out. I forgot how wonderful it can be.

I Fooled The Aliens

I used to grind my teeth when I slept. Sqeaking loudly as my pearly whites rubbed against one another. I put in a mouth guard now to prevent this. It has become such a habit that even when I nap, I need to use it.

I don’t know why I like it so much, but I do. I believe it stems from my childhood a bit. After my braces were removed from my teeth, I wore a retainer at night. It was so uncool and ugly- I hated it. So in order for me to use it, I psyched myself out. I played mind tricks on myself. Really, really stupid ones. If I thought the retainer was uncool, sharing this tidbit of info is even more uncool…

I have mentioned before how I had cable tv in my bedroom growing up. I would watch it until the wee hours of the morning constantly. It got to a point that I could only fall asleep with the tv on. But the shows I would watch that kept me up the latest were about alien abductions or “Unsolved Mysteries”. So paranoia would take over, keeping me up later and later.

As a pre-teen, my paranoid adolescent brain would conjure up crazy ways of not getting abducted by aliens. Such as leave the tv on so that they thought I was still awake. Or leave the lights on somewhere in my room. One Christmas I was given a psychedelic light from Radio Shack. I turned it on every night for months until the heat from the bulb finally melted the plastic.

I wouldn’t say I was afraid of the dark. But I was afraid of the unknown. Part of my falling asleep ritual became telling myself that if the lights are on I’d be left alone. The second part was making sure 99.99999% of my body was covered up. And the third was to wear my retainer because it had a metal bar in it. I told myself that this small piece of metal wrapped in a hard plastic, wedged between my upper and lower teeth would prevent the ufos from trying to zap me through my window.

All I can say is that I think it worked. I don’t remember ever being abducted by aliens as a child. Just don’t ask about when I was in my early 20’s… those were some strange times. But now I use my mouth guard regularly. I just don’t have to tell myself that it’s to prevent aliens taking me away. I do it to prevent massive headaches and sore jaw.