Long weekend. People traveling out of town. Beautiful weather, why not? So last night I told my wife I booked a last minute Bed And Breakfast for Friday night. She was upset at first, then was trying to guess where we were going. I let her believe that she guessed correctly.
So we hit the road after her work day. We needed to stop and get gas. That was when our middle child called to say that our hot water tank was leaking. Oh no- time to turn around and check it out. Our 19 year old did a good job falsifying the urgency in the phone call.
When we arrived home, my wife ran to the basement to check the tank. Then she was confused and getting frustrated with the kids for standing there not saying anything. So I walked my wife out to the en-suite kitchen where she finally realized that we weren’t going anywhere. It would just be the two of us having an evening out of our regular life and chilling.
Had I not “tricked” my wife, she would have still been doing things around the house. Even if I asked for a couple of hours of downtime- she would have found numerous things to do. Instead, having her pack an overnight bag and think that everything was on pause at home, worked really well. We floated in the pool, at some of my wife’s favorite snacks at the cabana, listened to music and then played some old Nintendo video games until bed.
This morning, I had a small breakfast ready for us to sit on the back deck and enjoy nature. Following breakfast was a nice 5km walk around the trails nearby followed by a water break. I placed labels on our water bottles that say “Love Always” which is something my wife signs on every card we give out to the kids and each other.
For a mini staycation, I think I did pretty good at giving my wife a break. Perhaps we will do a few more of these “getaways” this summer.
This weekend we took a few breaks from this heat. Either it was in the basement or in the pool. Now that the deck has been stained and dried rather quickly- we set up our outdoor space.
Tonight we will be having dinner outside- our first for the season. The umbrella will serve as some shade this evening. We have some other good sun blocking areas. I’m still happy with our gazebo that we bought last year.
The cabana is a perfect spot to enjoy a warm breeze in between dips in the pool. I could easily have an afternoon siesta while some Bossa Nova cover tunes play in the background. Even our Pupper likes to hang out with me while I relax.
I’m glad all that the majority of our hard work is behind us to get the yard ready. Taking these breaks are totally deserved. I’m also looking forward to entertaining friends this season. I love opening up our home for everyone to enjoy. This summer weather can stay for many months more!
After a full day of staining the deck and doing some trim painting, it was time to relax. Our pool was calling to me all day as the sun beat down. So it was time to finally get wet.
Our pool was a chilly 75°F/24°C. It was perfect for battling the heatwave that has arrived. I’m not complaining about this weather. I’m enjoying it even though the heat hit us quickly. I wasn’t expecting to be in the pool this weekend, but it’s definitely a pleasant surprise. Time to float away the rest of my weekend.
I noticed the other day that we had hummingbirds flying around our back deck. that meant it was time to refill our hummingbird feeders!
We had two from the last couple of years that we put out all the time. Recently we picked up a blue glass feeder and a small handheld one. I like the colored glass ones as they add a spark of enjoyment. I hung the red and blue ones up where we can see them from our back windows. The large clear glass one will be hung up just outside our basement so we can see the birds from our deck.
I’m hoping the small handheld one will draw the attention of the birds. I’d love the feel like a Disney princess being one with the animals! I think it would be loads of fun.
Do you have a small hummingbird feeder? Does it work? Or do you have the large ones as well?
We took the cover off our pool last weekend. Not a pretty sight to say the least. Some cleaning needed to be done.
After getting the water tested and spending about $500, we (ok me) tackled getting the pool ready for summer. There were numerous steps to be done at certain times. Every few hours a new chemical was added to the pool. Yesterday was the day that I vacuumed and scrubbed the excess debris one last time.
Now the pool is blue! The last thing to do is get the cloudiness out and make the water clear once more. Lots of work and money to get our backyard oasis ready for enjoyment. All of our weekends will be spent here this summer. No need to vacation away at someplace exotic- we have it here.
My work is often very busy and I hardly have a moment to even enjoy my lunch. Today as I was out in the field doing a safety inspection, the weather was wonderful. So I took a breather at the end of the rail yard.
I took a few minutes to breathe in some fresh salty ocean air. I looked out over the water towards Vancouver’s Stanley Park and just enjoyed the moment. Taking a quick break like this was exactly what I needed. Sometimes I get so wound up in the grind that I forget what a beautiful area we work in. We have amazing views and locations that many folks don’t get to enjoy.
Clearing my thoughts also helps to make the rest of the work day easier. With the summer weather peaking around the corner, I’m looking forward to enjoying my days outside while moving trains. Sometimes these moments help get me through the week.
The weather as of late has been rather unpleasant. With heavy downpours and chilly winds filling up my world. Even on Saturday, when we were wandering the VanDusen Gardens, it wasn’t as enjoyable as it could have been. But I still managed to enjoy the blooming plants.
So the other day I bought a potted flower for inside our home. The white lilies have opened up and brought a beautiful bouquet to the air. They fit nicely in our home- radiating an aura of elegance. Having me wish for more flowers in my life.
Hopefully these April Showers bring May Flowers as they say. I’m hoping that on my days off this week I can walk around and see more pops of colour in the world. If not, I may have to buy some more plants for inside our home. Especially ones as beautiful as these lilies.
Living for the moment isn’t always easy to do. Oftentimes I find myself concerned with what tomorrow brings. I play scenarios in my mind of the decisions I need to make and the potential outcomes. I also reflect on my past and wonder what I could have done differently.
All the while I’m losing sight of the here and now. I need to stop torturing myself and live in the now. Appreciate the present, for it is a gift.
The weather has been all sorts of wonky these past few days. We have had rain, hail, snow, sleet and warm sunshine. It’s that last one that I enjoy.
The sun has given my wife and I some much needed time outdoors. We have gone on walks numerous times- my wife especially likes to go for walks and often goes out by herself. Last week we also took some time to work on our garden. We have even enjoyed just sitting out on the back decks to enjoy the views.
The one thing that both of us are looking forward to is the pool opening again. We are in the process of planning some summer parties. But first will be to make some reprises, clean the backyard, and stain the deck and fence. All of that requires nicer weather to last more regularly.
I’m sure that spring will get hotter and give us more sunshiny days.
It was my last day of being forty six years old. So I decided to go out and treat myself a little bit. Nothing too crazy- just a bit of pampering I wanted to do for me.
I started my day by heading out for brunch by myself. I went to a place called Monki’s. It was just up the road from where we are staying. It also has a collection of artwork on the walls that our friend has made. My brunch was called “Elvis French Toast”. It was a frangelico cream cheese stuffed french toast with peanut butter, carmelized cinnamon bananas, white chocolate & fried bacon. So amazing!
After that I went to “The Best of Seven Barbers” in downtown Calgary. Another friend of ours works there and so I decided to get a haircut from him. Being that this was going to be a more fancier haircut, I splurged and got a scalp massage and the warm face towel. We had a good conversation discussing life and what has happened since we last saw one another about five years ago. I had asked him for my hair to be cut as short as possible so it would last until August, when I would be returning to Calgary and see him once more.
After my haircut, I picked up a free piece of apple pie to celebrate Pi Day (3.14). Then later went for another pie with my wife, albeit this time at McDonald’s. Heck, I even somehow managed to get two free cups of coffee from two different places. Not to mention that a ball python crawled all over my arms before I went to bed. That was an experience that I am not accustomed to since we only have a dog back home who says “good night” and snuggles very differently than a snake.
All-in-all it was a good day to end my forty sixth year and prepare for my forty seventh.
Sometimes when I try and fall asleep in bed, I have a tendency to shake my left foot. More like I shimmy it in a strange circular fashion. Other times I wave my foot in a seesaw motion- back and forth. I do this unconsciously and then stop myself when I notice I’m doing it.
Then I hold myself extremely still and that’s when I fall asleep. Shaking my foot is like my body wanting to shake out all my energy first. It’s a habit I have had forever. I know this routine has irritated my wife over the years when she is wanting to fall asleep.
As I mentioned- once I notice I’m doing it, I like to make sure that I’m in a comfortable position and refuse to move again. I hold still until I eventually fall asleep. In all honesty it doesn’t take me long. I love that aspect of who I am. The ability to sleep at will.
Crazy how much we all look forward to our work week ending. Just having that last day of work finish can be a clock watching game. Other times it arrives so quick you get pleasantly surprised when the day is over.
Just like many of my weekends- no plans. Just being away from work is all that’s really in store. I want to plan more activities for my days off, but I also enjoy not having goals. Just letting the wind take me on a journey through life.
Until it’s back to the “grind” and I can’t wait for it to end next week because it leads into my first week of vacation for the year. That time is at least planned out!
My wife and two youngest went off to skating this morning bright and early. I was left to sleep in because I work night shifts this week. I woke up a couple of hours after they left because our doggo wandered into the bedroom. She stood at the side of the bed facing me and whimpering loudly. The sound and her breath, got me out of bed. She just needed to go outside it seemed.
So I got out of bed and headed downstairs to the kitchen. I decided that since I was up, I’d make myself some breakfast and finish tidying up the counters. (It’s amazing how much stuff just starts to pile up even if you put things away on a regular basis.) I also decided to pack my work lunch since I was there. Then it was on to making my breakfast.
Breakfast consisted of a couple poached eggs on bacon and avocado toast. The avocado was perfectly ripe and I cooked the bacon to perfection. Even the eggs were poached flawlessly soft with a golden, runny yolk while the whites were solid and not watery. Not having to rush to make breakfast for other people meant I count make a beautiful meal for myself.
I don’t mind making food for my family. In fact it’s one of my greatest pleasures. Once in a while having a flawless meal just for me is a delicacy. No distractions, no wondering if someone else is enjoying what I made. Just my meal and me.
A Sunday morning meal all to myself. I deserved it. Now back to bed with a happy and fully belly.
I was excited about getting home today after work. I had been waiting for an order from Amazon to show up. I have been eagerly awaiting since I ordered the items a couple of days ago. Today’s delivery was arriving just as I got home. I saw the truck up the street and knew it was going to head my way. And it did!
Most folks would not be excited to get what I got. But with my latest hobby- I am thrilled at what arrived for me. More tufting cloth is most important. I also got an equal amount of backing fabric with anti-slip. I got a roller to help flatten and smooth out the glue between the fabric pieces. My favorite item though is the yarn winder.
When I unboxed it, even my 16 year old son asked if it was from the 70’s. It truly looks like it is. Honestly, it’s one of those things that works exactly as it was meant to- it doesn’t need to be changed. I swear it looks like the one my mother had from… the 70’s! I remember playing with it as a kid. Or was I winding yarn for my mother? Either way- this thing looks like I could’ve dug it out of grandma’s attic.
This weekend I plan on winding some of my “pound of yarn” skeins into more manageable sized skeins. It will also allow me to not need double skeins of yarn in colours I don’t use as often.
Getting excited over mundane items feels wrong and right at the same time. I’m glad the items showed up and cannot wait to play some more with my yarn and rug making.
I have been trying to take a relaxing bath for a few weeks now. I end up get caught up with the hectic life activities and run out of time before bed. Today I got lucky. I cancelled a plan for my evening and had a quiet night at home.
I had taken my son to bowling for a group activity with his speed skating club. I ended up bowling a set and just stayed there the extra hour or so before heading home. Then, I squeezed in some quality video game time with my wife before dinner. All things I wasn’t planning to do, but was happy that I did.
But bowling was the last bit that did me in. My back, arms, neck and legs were sore. I really needed to relax in the tub and rejuvenate. My family was content to have me disappear for a while. I was a tad bit grumpy and rundown. I needed some “me time”.
And I feel better for it. I needed a hot bath with a fizzy bath bomb. It was relaxing. I nice way to spend a Friday night.
Every weekend, I have been making rugs. I have been really enjoying this hobby. Last weekend, our youngest wanted to make one of his own- so he made an 8-Ball. Today our middle child wanted to make their own rug. I went through the process of how to do it, guiding them along.
Darwin traced the image and we discussed the colors to use. I only helped with a couple of stitches, but the rest was all them. (I snuck in another soot sprite in the blank space when we had the black and white yarn set up.) I sat by Darwin’s side and continued to offer advice as well as encouraged the work being done.
The image Darwin chose is the moon from the anime- “Soul Eater”. This was a family favorite a few years ago. In fact, we did a family dress up for Halloween as the characters from the show- and then went trick or treating in Disneyland. It was a lot of fun.
Darwin wants this rug for their bedroom floor for when bedtime comes around. Tomorrow afternoon, we will finish the rug. A bit of me is selfishly enjoying the quality time that my kids wanted with me. Spending time with our kids is worth every moment of making these rugs.
How many rugs is too many rugs when I get to spend time with my growing adult kids doing something we both enjoy?
There’s never going to be enough. I’m lucky they want to do this with me.
I have now made four rugs since starting my newest hobby- Tufting. Creating rugs based on our Fandoms has been fun so far. This week I made one with far more detail than my previous rugs.
I made Haku- the dragon from the anime: Spirited Away. This one had more colours, thinner segments and an attempt at blending that I hadn’t tried yet. I spent a couple of hours today trimming the image in order to make it pop more. I still have a long way to go, but I am enjoying this new hobby immensely.
Tuft working with yarn reminds me of Snuffleupagus from Sesame Street. So I finally created an Instagram account for my artwork: Tuftleupagus. (Tuftle-up-a-gus). I even had some fun making logos, but haven’t settled on any yet.
I think I’m obsessing too much with the 80’s lately. However, I am having fun with this hobby. No plans on making it lucrative yet. I still have a long way to go in the process of making these rugs. I’m also going to need to buy more yarn soon. My white and black are running low, plus there’s other aspects of the tufting work that I need to buy soon. Like more glue and backing for the rugs.
This is my first hobby that I have enjoyed since perler bead art almost a decade ago. That lasted for a few years mind you and I enjoyed what we made together as a family. I kind of see tufting going that route soon enough. With the potential to be a battle over who gets to make a rug.
Follow along with my rugs on my Instagram account. I’m going to keep working hard at getting better at these and hope to make a large scale rug one day.
I love listening to music. It’s often playing as background auditory sensory input in my life. Usually I have a Bluetooth speaker connected to my phone and just let it play. In that form, it just plays from one speaker location.
Lately, I have wanted to experience music the way it was intended- in stereophonic. My wife recently got two Bluetooth speakers that connect together and create a stereo sound of left and right. Tonight I tested them out while I relaxed in the tub. They worked really well and I enjoyed the sound they produced. A gentle sound that wasn’t too bassy or treble heavy.
I do have a pair of amazing noise canceling headphones made by Panasonic. I’ve had them for a over a year, but tend to forget about them. Mostly because when I do use them, I don’t tend to have much time alone to really immerse myself in the sound they create. I am hoping to get more use out of them as I work on my new hobby. I will be in search of music that echoes from ear to ear more regularly. I found that not all music utilizes this.
Perhaps that’s because most folks just use one earbud or a single speaker like I do usually. There is no real point in artists experimenting like they once did. I’m not saying they don’t anymore, it’s just not the same as it once was when stereo first became prevalent.
Music is great and I want to enjoy it more frequently the way it was written and recorded. Time for more stereophonic listening.
Just another day it seems. Work is work. Family back to their routines. Now much going on to report. No real progress on my new hobby as I don’t have a lot of time to work on it today.
But life is good. And I kind of like that it’s just passing by periodically without much action. Not every day needs to be momentous or exciting. Some days have to be just another day. That way you can appreciate those “out of the ordinary” days.
I enjoyed my quiet time at home for my Christmas Vacation. The food was good, not rushing around was pleasant, and just relaxing with my family is what I needed. A few days back to work and my mental health battery is still recharged. That’s good. Only one more work day and then some time to myself while the rest of the family does their thing.
I’m feeling good. Life is good.
How are you doing post holidays? Is your battery level okay?
What better way to round off my 12 Days Of Appreciation than with FAMILY.
I love the time I have spent with my family over the last 40+ Christmases. From being a child and unwrapping gifts to watching my own children do the same. Christmas is the one time of year that I have the fondest memories of family time.
As a child, it was the time that I can recall my father being his most jovial and pleasant. He would sit with us on Christmas Eve and again on Christmas Morning. He would share stories, laugh at our innocence over believing him, and genuinely allow a more emotional fellow to come out. When he smiled, it really lit up the place.
As a father myself, I always do my best to make sure our kids were getting extra quality time at Christmas. If they want me around for playtime, movies or video games- I am there. Their enjoyment of the season is paramount every year. I always share numerous stories and memories of my children. They are the best gift I have ever received, as cliché as that might sound, it is true.
Spending time with the family you love is important. It’s a time to set aside differences and do your best to share the happy stories of years past, as well as live in the moment so you can talk about it in the future. I have had difficult moments in the past with my parents and sister, but somehow we always get through it and work on being better.
As I finish my 12 Days of Appreciation, I want to wish everybody a safe a joyous season!
I’m happy to announce that today was my Friday. I’m ecstatic that my work week is over.
Even though I have three days off- I cannot for the life of me think of what I have planned. I’m sure there’s some family stuff to do. Like decorating a Christmas tree (or three). But beyond that, I’m at a loss of what to do with my time off.
I’ll probably take a nap or two. Play some video games or VR. I’d like to do some baking, but the last two batches didn’t last until Christmas like I hoped. I should probably plan dinners for the three nights as well.
Dang. Now my weekend sounds busy for not knowing what I’m doing. But at least it’s on my terms, because it’s My Friday!
Waking up is tough sometimes. Hitting snooze is pure evil and has been my undoing over the years. That strange nine minutes extra makes no sense. What makes even less sense is how I set numerous alarms now, yet I still hit snooze on each one.
I set my first alarm as the one that I would like to wake up to. Then a back up, and another back up, a warning, and finally the “now you’re late” one. That one is rare for me to get to. But it happens. Setting three or four alarms and hitting snooze on each of them at least once is probably not good for my sleep.
But I am worried that if I just set one alarm, I’ll miss it or instead of hitting snooze, turn it off on the first try. So after four decades of waking up, I am no better off than I was as a kid with my first alarm clock. That red glow of the led numbers haunted me to sleep.
Anyhow… I destroy a perfectly good sleep by waking up some days.
This is one of those rare vacations where I didn’t have much planned. Setting up the Christmas lights was really about it. Everything else I am doing is just the routine of our lives. Grocery shopping, speed skating practice, meeting up with friends… that sort of thing.
During my downtime I am watching some tv and playing video games. No big household projects or crafting this time around. I just want to relax. And I’m getting to do exactly that.
Last night I soaked in the tub, read a book and enjoyed a glass of wine. This morning I have been staring out the window amazed that the fog is so thick and just doesn’t want to lift or burn off. Yet somehow our view is still just as stunning without being able to see much. As if we are floating in the clouds.
That’s kind of how I feel about my week of vacation. I’m enjoying it, yet not much is happening that is exciting. This staycation is precisely what I needed. No hustle, just floating through. A chance to watch the world and appreciate the beauty it holds.
I never thought of having a fireplace in our bedroom as being something I needed. But once we bought this home, I am beginning to wonder how we lived without it. Especially last winter as well as right now, as we are entering the same seasonal chills.
I’m not about to say that having a gas fireplace in our bedroom isn’t a luxury. Far from it. Having a fireplace in any room brings forth warmth and comfort. But to fall asleep with the flickering flames and heat is wonderful. Even better today is that I was chilled last night having to work outside. Ending a night shift with a warm fire to fall asleep to is a total luxury.
I hope you are finding ways to stay warm and enjoy your slumbers. I am off to sleep with a cozy fire on.
Last night I moved our muskoka chairs from our upper deck to the downstairs covered patio. I also gave them a fresh coat of white paint in order to better protect them from the elements. Their new home allows for better views of the fields and skyline. On our upper deck, the handrail was at eye level and prevented us from fully utilizing these chairs.
This morning my wife and I sat out on our lower patio and enjoyed a cup of coffee together. We talked about plans for the back garden and the changes we want to make prior to winter. After our coffee, we began some gardening in the backyard- with an occasional break on the chairs admiring the view.
As we stared off in the distance, the birds were chirping from the large cedar tree in the green space behind our property. The trolley gave its toot-toot off in the distance. All-in-all it was a serene and quiet morning- the perfect way to relax on a warm autumn day.
Honestly, this weather can stay for a bit longer. I have no complaints.