Stopping To Admire The Flowers

I enjoy pausing during my day to admire nature- even if it is for the briefest of moments. It helps to put me in a state of comfort and contentment. “It’s hard to stay mad when there’s so much beauty in the world.”

Usually I try and snap a picture. Many times I’ll share it on Instagram. Look at the beauty I just saw in nature! #sharingeverythingisee #iloveusingfilterstomakeitlookbetter

Taking a deep breath and smiling on the inside works wonders for the mind. Seeing flowers bloom and trees grow foliage makes me happy. I’m out there watching the world go about it’s business while I’m just here for the ride.

A ride that has many sights and sensations waiting to be savored. All I need to do is hesitate momentarily and smell the flowers.

Back to the Grind

Enjoying four days off was great. Especially when my wife and I had a quick romantic night away. But like all good things (and days off) they must come to an end.

W-O-R-K is a four letter word that kills the euphoric sensation of freedom. Trudging through that daily grind can be tough when you’re only starting day one of your workweek. But like most people- I work in order to afford what I do with my free time.

So I take it in stride. I try and look forward to those whom I work with. This creates a joy in my personality that exudes into my work ethic- thus making my shifts go much faster. Sometimes those weekends approach faster than expected. That can affect one’s life adversely. Or a lack of future plans for your days off makes one feel as if you’ve lost some free time.

But work is work. I’m glad to have a job that I enjoy most days. Even though I’m counting down my time to retirement, the years I have left to give shall be good ones. Filled with great coworkers and fun shifts. With each workweek ending with some time off at the end for good behavior.

Bonsai

I have always wanted a Bonsai. I tried to make one about 15 years ago, but I failed miserably. Mainly because I didn’t put in the care and effort needed to keep it alive. So why not try again..? I am using this as a zen inspired activity. Keeping it watered and trimmed from time to time will help to calm and relax.

I picked up a small juniper since they are the heartiest and easiest to form. I took it out of the plastic pot and planted it into a new clay pot. Unfortunately the pot I do have is a tad large for the roots. A healthy bonsai needs to have the roots trimmed as well as the branches. Unless I want the tree to grow fairly large. So another transplant may occur by the end of summer. We’ll see how it does.

Then came the time to trim away almost everything. A bit of wire was used to help form the branches. This is just the start of my bonsai. Keeping it trimmed and cared for will be ongoing for the remainder of my time. And a desperate hope to keep it alive…

Wish me luck in my Zen Adventure.

Shower Start

I have a routine that I need to follow to get my day going. First is having about 5-7 alarms go off in ten minute intervals to get me out of bed. Yes, it takes me about 45 minutes to finally roll out of bed. Over the years, my wife has come to accept this even though she is not always thrilled by it. The other routine I have starts the night before.

Before I go to bed, I lay out what I want to wear the next day. Socks, underwear, pants and shirts. I find it easier to not have to think about it when I wake up. The other thing I do is every day before I leave my home- I must have a shower.

This stems from when I was a teenager. I just never felt comfortable going to high school without first washing up. My showers are usually quick, lasting about ten minutes. In our home we have two showers. I am the only person who uses the upstairs shower stall. I like it.

There’s no fancy shower head or anything. It’s still the original 1970’s tile and glass door. Every couple of years I have to replace a washer in the handle of the hot water otherwise it drips. But I have become accustomed to this.

It’s my shower.

It’s a place of solitude as I let the water wash away my sleep. It’s a place where I start to mentally prepare myself for the day (or night) ahead. It’s how I wash away the day before and start fresh.

18 Days of Freedom…

I am doing a night shift tonight followed by 18 days away from work.  Nearly 3 weeks.  I’m looking forward to just chilling out for the end of the summer. It’s been years since I’ve had so much time off.  The last time I can remember having a block like this was when I was laid off. At least this time, I’ll be getting paid vacation.


As much as I am looking forward to my time away, I still need to remain focused overnight.  My work is not a forgiving environment when mistakes are involved. Statistically most accidents or incidents occur when it is right before a weekend or vacation. People’s heads aren’t always in the game.

I want to safely finish my day (night) and enjoy some time away from work.  A little rest and relaxation are in order. My wife is looking forward to spending time as a family as well.  I’m looking for to enjoying a couple of adult beverages and a tour of Shelter Point Distillery this week.

Cheers!

Opening up

It’s not very often that we have company stay over for more than just one meal.  Sharing a meal is about all the time we can squeeze out of our busy lives.  In other cases, that’s about all the interaction we can handle with other humans.  So opening up our home and inviting a non-related adult person for a weekend is a rare occurrence.  Almost like the Olympics it seems- about once every four years. 

We gladly open our home, but only every four years.

 
The last time we were in Calgary, a friend of ours whom we met years ago through the convention circuit, mentioned she would be out our way.  We offered to meet up with her and spend some time away from the comic con lifestyle and just shoot the shit.  She was attending a work summit in Whistler, BC so we drove out to meet her.  We returned to our home and had this other person stay with us for a couple of nights.  Of course not only did we have to supply a private room​ and clean linens for our guest, I even had to feed this person.  Not just dinner, but numerous meals.  I’m not going to lie to you, I enjoyed it.  

I love to cook.  I love to show off my mad culinary skills.  I love to discuss how I make the food- from preparing to cooking to displaying to eating.  The majority of my friends know that if they want to meet up for a dinner with my wife and I, I never suggest a restaurant.  I would much rather make a home cooked meal.  Even our children’s friends want to come back for meals more often.

Not only did we set the table, I built it from scratch as well.


Besides patting myself on the back about how amazing I am at being a chef, I am also a perfectionist when it comes to food.  I time everything to be ready at the same moment.  This can often lead to a bit of organized chaos in the kitchen/dining area/patio (or all three) as the meal is being finished.  

But the best part is the enjoyment of eating the meal.  Every meal I made this weekend brought pleasure to our guest.  Not just, “Thanks.  That was good.”  But a pleasure you could witness by the silence.  After our last meal with her, she commented on how great the weekend was and also said, “Seeing someone’s ears move during a meal is a better sign than hearing someone rave about the food.”  This really made me beam inside.

Take a break from life.


She also told us she hasn’t slept that well in weeks until she stayed in our home.  Our lifestyle is laid back.  We didn’t make any plans with her to race around town.  Instead we just woke up when we wanted, relaxed in the backyard,listened to music, shared a few drinks and stories.  It’s a huge sigh of relief to most people when they come out to experience a little bit of nothing.  We gave our friend undivided attention, barely ever reaching for a mobile device.

Perhaps it’s time to invite more people to stay more often.  If you ever want to get away from it all for a couple days of R&R- come to our castle.  You will be greeted like family and treated like royalty without even realizing it.