Ack Ack Kayak!

So… I was at the Grade Seven camp a little over a week ago when I tried Kayaking for the first time. I enjoyed it tremendously. My wife hates me because of this.

She hates me because for years now she’s been trying to get me to go kayaking with her. When I finally did go on a whim without her, I wanted to go again. I really should listen to her the first time around…

As I mentioned yesterday- I put on a new Roof Rack on my Nissan Rogue. It was to prepare for the possibility of getting a kayak. My wife finished work at six last night and wanted to go price some kayaks out. I’d been looking online at places and prices earlier in the week, but it was my wife who wanted to go and search for herself. Unfortunately we only went to one place- Canadian Tire. Not my usual place to go shopping- however we do find some great deals on occasion- like our bbq grill about four years ago.

Anyways, window shopping for a kayak turned into buying a kayak. Make that buying two kayaks at a wickedly good price (they had them marked incorrectly but honored the price). These kayaks also came with oars and straps to take them away on the roof of my car. (As reference I found similar ones at Costco by the same manufacturer for $160 more each.)

I’m happy with the purchase to make our lives healthier. We just need to find the time to hit the water together.

And maybe my wife will forgive my ignorance all these years. Or she’ll drown me. Either way- we own a couple of kayaks now!

Camp Jubilee: Day One of Fun

The trip up to camp was calm and uneventful. We took a 35 minute bus ride to the dock where we were greeted by the captain of our vessel. A short 45 minute ride took us up to Camp Jubilee.

Once we got to camp, we unloaded our stuff to go in a heat room. Later, we set up in our Yurt. The boys I’m with are stoked about having the Yurt.

Our first day at camp was great. We did archery and low ropes. As well as some great free time to explore the beach and play around. So far the kids have been having a ton of fun just laughing and running around. I’m even joining in with the activities.

Back to the fun, I’m only taking a few minutes each day to explore my technology.

Barefoot

What is wrong with me these days? I’m choosing to not wear shoes more often. That is not me at all.

At home- I am loving the feel of the moss underfoot. Or the sense of the wood floor and carpet inside my home.

The other evening I walked around the block on the warm pavement barefooted as well. I had simply forgotten that I should put on shoes when I left my house. I only noticed when I stepped on a pebble. But by then, I was too far gone from the house to turn around. And our dog was happily trotting beside me- I couldn’t force him to stop his walk.

On Wednesday, I dipped my feet into the Hayward Lake. It was so warm and refreshing. The sensation I experienced as I sat on the dock watching the sun go down was tranquil and mesmerizing.

The one thing I’ve noticed about being barefoot, is that every step taken is giving me a unique feel of the earth. With each barefoot step, the contrasts underfoot brings me a sense of well being and calmness as well as a connection to the world.

Is this what it was like to be a hippie back in the 60’s?

You know, they may have been onto something. I’m feeling youthful and fun again.

Golden Ears Park

Today we went for a hike at Golden Ears Park. I haven’t been to this park in almost 25 years. It’s still just as beautiful as ever.

We followed the East Canyon Trail to the water falls. It was straight uphill for about 2.5km. Then we followed some BC Park signs down to the falls. The water was nice and cool, so we took a quick stroll through it to a shady spot and had a picnic lunch.

After our lunch, we waded around in the water a bit more admiring the views. It was peaceful and calm with hardly anyone around.

We returned to our car down the Lower Falls Trail. This was a straight and easy walk instead of an uphill hike- like we did on the way towards the falls. We stopped occasionally to take some pictures of the trees as the sun began to set.

Exploring the Lower Mainland on the outskirts of Vancouver is something that we try and do. Today’s 5km hike/nature walk was exactly what we needed as a family. Even our pooch was worn out by the end.

If you know of any other easy to moderate hike in the outskirts of Vancouver, feel free to share with me!

Last Enjoyment Of Summer

This was the last weekend before summer ended. A friend of mine from work texted me late Thursday evening and invited me out to his family’s cabin the next day.  It sounded like a great little escape.


First we drove for a little over three hours.  Then we had to get to the cabin by boat. The lake was calm and the sky was clear. As soon as we arrived, we powered up the solar panel charged batteries.  “More than a Feeling” plays over Mountain Radio


The cabin has been in my coworker’s family since 1969. It has since been through numerous renovations and is decorated in eclectic cabin features. From handmade wooden cabinets to a variety of old couches and chairs. Mismatched blinds and vinyl flooring. Numerous dishes that look like they’ve been scavenged from thrift stores.

All of it beautiful.


We spent the afternoon and evening casually floating around the lake trying to catch fish. I caught a fish. Woohoo! My friend taught me to skin and gut the fish. 


As the evening progressed, we drank beers and a Barrel of Sunshine. With no cellular service to distract us we had great conversations about life and family. One night away was the perfect way to enjoy the last weekend of summer.

Penzer Parkour Park

Our children only had a half day of school today. So this afternoon we went out for some “Screamers” to celebrate the start of summer. A cold mix of slushee and soft serve ice cream.  I did a mix of Crush soda flavors to make a cool rainbow chilled awesomeness.


The place we went to was “Ed’s Market” in my old neighborhood from when we first moved into Langley.  The market itself has barely changed, neither has the nearby neighborhood. A few upgrades over the past thirty years- some new buildings, some torn down. But the neighborhood remains familiar to me.

After grabbing a cold drink, we got back into the car and we were going to head to a park to relax.  It dawned on me that we were close to where a new Parkour Park was opening today.  So we drove over to check it out.  I’m glad we were there before the Grand Opening.


We arrived before the crowds- found parking easily and we were able to experience the park with hardly anyone around.  A few races through the park against my son and I was breaking into a sweat.  

My height gave me an advantage of jumping further distances with ease. But his spry little body had me left in the dust as he jumped through bars and holes.  He clambered up walls with ease.  I had to practice a few times to get it.



There were plenty of signs around offering tips and advice.  Very handy considering I’ve only ever seen a few YouTube videos and never tried it myself. In trying out this Parkour Park, I realized that it’s a workout that I can enjoy. Under the hot sun, perhaps we should’ve had water to drink instead of Screamers.  Next time…


Since hardly anyone was there, the embarrassment factor was minimal.  I was as graceful as a tall guy who never did this before could be.  A couple misses and falls, but nothing major. We walked away injury free.  All of us vowing to return and create course challenges with each other throughout the summer.


Parkour may be the activity that gets me moving again.  Challenging myself to push my limits. Perhaps we can hit the park once a week this summer.

Grade 7 Camp


It seems to be a rite of passage for those in Grade 7 to go on a class camping trip.  I did it when I was younger.  Our oldest daughter did it two years ago. And today our middle child is off to camp for the week.

Taking the children away for a week is like a breath of fresh air for us parents.  So far a minimum of 8 years has been spent taking the kids to school.  Add two more to that for us since we did two years of part time preschool! We have been helping them with homework or friend problems along the way.  This camping adventure is also a way for the teachers to unwind a bit and let the kids prove that they are becoming young adults before entering into middle/high school. There’s probably some teachable moments thrown in…


Of course there will be swimming, hiking, campfires, archery, canoeing, and all the other good times.  Some skills that the kids will enjoy, while other skills will be more life lessons. Mess hall meals and scheduled sleep times will help to keep them in line. All-in-all lots of fun and games with friends and not too many parents.

I’m going to miss our daughter this week.  So it’s a good thing I’ll be sleeping all day long and working through the nights.  I hope she enjoys the trip with her classmates. I remember enjoying mine.  That reminds me- I should probably look at booking our campsite for later this summer before they’re all gone…

Pokemon GO isn’t bad

So…… Pokemon GO finally made its way to Canada yesterday.  Yup, I’m trying to catch ’em all.  I know there were people here who jumped the release and have been playing for a little over a week.  That’s fine, I understand the FOMO concept, and the desire to yell out “FIRSTIES!”  If you don’t know anything about the game, I’m not about to explain it, just skip reading today’s post.

Cigarettes are bad


I like the game.  Part of the fun is taking pictures where the Pokemon appear.  Since the game is still in its infancy, it has crashed on me as I try and take a photo.  Now I only try and capture a fun image.  Since we live out in the country, there aren’t many Pokemon, Pokestops or gyms nearby.  And our cellular data craps out in certain areas.  Poop.  But, we have activities that our children go to in more major hubs filled with locations.  

I ditched my Fitbit the other day only to have two days of walking around looking for Pokemon.  I’ve done nearly 30 kms of walking.  I barely did one when I wore the Fitbit.  My wife is happy that this has gotten me active again.  Gotta Catch ‘Em All!  Pokemon!

Since its release nation wide on a Sunday, I met numerous other people wandering around the churches and parks.  I met people of all ages walking around.  Some adults my age (40ish) were curious about the game.  The kids and teens were friendly and helpful as we shared tips and strategies with one another.  There was an abundance of people outside on the first day! This game could help destroy obesity and help in bringing the population back to a healthy state. 


Don’t Pokemon and drive!  Besides it being effing dangerous, here in BC the distracted driving laws are costly to your pocket book.  Sure, the game is free, but paying a few hundred for a traffic ticket isn’t on my list of money well spent.  Since our youngest children don’t have cellphones yet, as we drive, my wife and I have let them hit the Pokestops and catch Pokemon for us.  Score for the parents!


I was around and in my early 20’s when Pokemon first came out on Gameboy.  In fact I still own it.  I obsessed over the game.  I even watched the cartoon (yes I was 20 and watching a child’s cartoon) regularly and got to know all the Pokemon names.  This new game brought me back to the fun I used to have.  

Just when you think Nintendo is down and out, BOOM, back with a vengeance.  The IRL Pokemon capturing and searching is another way Nintendo leads the way in the videogame industry.  The phenomenon has captured people of all ages in under two weeks.  

After a day and a half…


Go ahead and post your internet memes of hatred towards those playing the game.  In my two day experience playing it, I met other like minded people who enjoy the game & I have gotten more exercise than I would have on a regular day.  I for one will be playing this game for the rest of the summer trying to upgrade my Pokemon and catching everyone I can.  I’ve already killed the battery on my iPhone twice in under a day.

Get out there and enjoy the world, whichever way you can.  #gottacatchemall

Building Table Number 2

I built a table a couple of years ago because I couldn’t find one large enough that I wanted to purchase.  I needed a table that would fill our sunroom and seat eight to twelve comfortably.  I built the table from 2×10’s and 2×4’s that I torched to give it a rustic look.  Cost me about $100 and a few hours of labor.  Our dining room table turned out pretty good and we are still using it.  (Being a perfectionist, I see the flaws and know what I would do differently if I were to make another table in this style.)


Perfect table for our castle.


Today I am finishing up table number two.  Nowhere near the size or style.  This one is more industrial looking.  It started from a marble slab that was donated to me.  I’ve spent about $70 in piping material and less than thirty minutes to build it.  It will sit outside this summer beside the BBQ as some extra counter space.  Check out the progress:

Heavy marble slab.

Black,oily pipe parts.

Pipes! ASSEMBLE!

It took a bit of fiddling around to get everything squared off.  The weight of the marble helped in making the table sturdy.  The finished side table/counter is the perfect height for me.  It will add that little bit of extra space that I always feel I am missing when cooking outside.  I am happy with the final result.

Marble and metal.

Now to finish the yard and start entertaining guests more often.

Weeds and work

We’ve been at our home for nine years now.  Every year I allot about $500 towards our garden.  Having an acre and budgeting such a small amount has its challenges.  Nine years ago we bought a trampoline.  Six years ago, the money was mostly spent on bark mulch.  Seven years ago, I spent the money on building garden boxes.  Two years ago we bought cement for our covered deck.  Last year was a new BBQ and a new lawnmower.  This year is some more cement to finish off the deck, some plants, and a new patio set.

Old bench seat from a car now for the backyard.


$500 doesn’t go very far these days.  Pinterest has given me plenty of ideas on “up cycling” and dealing with what we have on hand.  We have grown lettuce and green onions from the stalks of the remaining vegetables.  We compost as much as we can and use our rain barrels as well.  Without having to spend a fortune, we do our best to keep the yard maintained.  I have more moss than grass but hey it’s green and soft.

There’s a garden shed back there somewhere.


Most of our gardening time is spent pulling weeds and cutting back on brush. Trimming ferns and bushes takes up half the day.  The end result looks amazing, even if it only lasts a week or two.  The warm weather has been both a blessing and a curse.  We get extra time to make the yard look nice, but we will have twice the amount of work to do in later months.  The weeds are relentless this year.  My fingernails are coated underneath with soil from digging down to pull the roots.  My “yard work clothes” are getting washed more regularly.  My back and knees are taking a beating as I bend over to work.

Only a few weeds to pull. No big deal.


I love my yard.  All the work we put into it makes me beam with pride and joy.  Especially when the kids are out playing or our friends are over for a visit.  We work hard to make it pretty.  Of course I could spend a small fortune to get the outdoor kitchen and seating set I want.  I don’t need to get further into debt just to have a few days of pleasure.  We have plenty of seating as it is, it’s just not new- it’s up cycled.