Do You Remember?

Do you remember? The 21st night of September?

My wife loves that song. Her friends often look forward to singing it to her every year. I find it humorous and have written about it in the past: 21st Night of September . Today got me thinking about my wife and how she remembers the way I like things done. Specifically preparing food.

Now, I’m not saying that the way I like my food prepared is right, but it is how I like my food. It used to cause many discussions years ago, but now my wife just goes with it. Usually.

I’m a big texture and taste person when it comes to food. I don’t overly care if different food touches on a plate, so that’s not it. It’s more how the flavors mix. For example- when making a sandwich- the mustard side needs to be the side the meat is on, not the cheese. Cheese on mustard has a very different taste and texture compared to meat and mustard. Trust me.

Mr Noodles… the instructions on the packet are wrong. The noodles need to be placed in the water immediately and then brought to a boil. Once the noodles are soft, drain all the water. Then put the noodles in a bowl and add the flavor packet. This isn’t a soup we are making! It’s called Mr. Noodles not Mr. Soup.

Because of these preferences, I will admit that I am the one who usually ends up making the lunches. My wife will adhere to my choices when making something for me, which is nice, and has on occasion agreed with how I make foods. Like a dash of salt after goulash is served. It brings out the flavor immensely as you are about to eat.

However it’s not just food preferences I need to work on with her. I still need to get her to understand that the toilet paper flap goes over the roll, not behind it.

And with that, I am off to escape to work to avoid confrontation once she reads my blog.

Love you honey!

First Day(s) Of School/Work September 2022

Today was the first day of school for our youngest at age 16. He was returning to his high school for grade 11. He stayed at a friends house last night because today was only an hour or so long and more just a chance for everyone to meet up again.

Our middle attended their first day of post-secondary at the Simon Fraser University. Upon arrival, it to was a meet and greet type of day, but lasted about six hours or so. They had a chance to make some new friends, create group chats, and even went to the mall with these new friends after the first day ended.

My wife also began a new job today for a company called Jane. She is working remotely (from home) in a similar manner as she once did for Shopify. Her day went rather quickly.

But all three of them had great experiences on the first day of their new adventures. I was genuinely excited to hear about their first day encounters over dinner. I’m glad our middle made some new friends already and is really enthusiastic about the school. I was a bit worried prior to this moment. But I think my fears and anxiety trumped theirs. I’m also really proud of my wife for jumping into a new role after such an unexpected leave from her previous job. I know it wasn’t easy for her to go an apply for work when she didn’t foresee that moment coming. But she is back in the saddle again and moving forward with her career! Our son was just happy to be back with his high school buddies and his change in fine arts major is a chance for him to showcase other skills he has.

All in all a good first day was had in our household. How was your first day?

Seeing It From A Different Perspective

I’m always sharing pictures of sunsets and views from our vantage point. I love the colours that nature produces and the way the sky is always vibrant and ever changing.

Today, we had a late dinner and sat inside instead of on our deck; like we usually do in the summer. When eating at the dining room table- normally I face the glass door that looks outside. Tonight I sat opposite of my normal chair. I was missing out on the sunset, but the world was shining into our home and brought with it similar hues.

As beautiful as the sun shining into our home was, my wife and I had a difference of opinion on what the colour actually was. I said it was orange, my wife said the colour shining in was purple. Our son said it was light brown. Now I’m leaving it up to my friends and readers- what colour do you see shining against our grey walls?

Honestly, I’m at a loss. I am adamant that it’s orange. But I could very well be wrong.

Weekend At Home With My Wife

This weekend our two teenagers went off to Vancouver to attend Anirevo (an anime convention). So my wife and I had the place to ourselves.

And we goofed off.

We played in the pool for hours- splashing and laughing with a few drinks inside of us. We lounged in the gazebo (which we have now dubbed “The Cabana”) and had some fantastic dinners together. It was like having our own private oasis on vacation together. These past couple of days has us realizing that becoming “Empty Nesters” won’t be so bad.

I’m really happy that my wife and I can do these things together. It feels as though we didn’t really have much time to date before we jumped into parenthood 20 years ago. So we are making up for it now.

Life is pretty good these days.

Staycation So Far- Soooooo Good!

I have been throughly enjoying this past week of staycationing at home. For a couple of the days I built a Deck for my wife’s garden. The two of us have also gone for a couple of walks together. We did a bit of shopping, we have made some amazing dinners and I have been doing breakfast meals better than ever. All with the company of the one I love.

But the majority of this staycation has had us poolside. We have done nothing but relax, swim, read, listen to music, enjoy the breeze, and appreciate what we have. If it weren’t for having to make our own meals and clean up after- you’d think we were staying at a private oasis resort. But this is exactly what where we wanted to get to in life- appreciating our home and each other’s company.

As much as I am looking forward to our next “get away” I can’t help but be upset about leaving our home to do it. Especially in the summer. My days off from work will have me poolside whenever the weather permits. But until then- time to get back to enjoying this staycation!

Cheers everybody! Catch me by the water for the next few days if you want to hang out!

Staycationing Time 2022

I finished my last day of work before my first summer vacation. I am onto 11 days of freedom. Freedom to just enjoy time with my wife doing nothing but enjoying life.

Of course it’s not really going to be a vacation of nothingness. We will be in the backyard floating in the pool most of the time. Other days will be early morning kayaking. I have a feeling we will be out exploring more of Cloverdale and Surrey than we did last year- perhaps to find some farmers markets and such.

But nothing is planned per se. No weekend getaway. No booked travels. Just whatever we decide to do will be planned the day before. I’m not used to having no plans. This may be a first for me.

I hope I can keep up.

Twenty One

My wife and I are celebrating our 21st Anniversary today. And in true fashion- it is a hot day just like it was on our wedding day. So we are spending it poolside in our own little oasis.

We have come a long way together. The lifestyle we have created is the sort of thing that dreams are made of. I’m lucky and glad that we met all those years ago and how quickly things moved. I couldn’t imagine a life with anyone else and I’m really happy that we hit the road running.

I’m looking forward to our next set of adventures as we continue to grow and love one another.

Happy Anniversary Honey! I love you with all my heart.

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!

Real Quebec Photos From My Wife And Son

Yesterday I mentioned how my wife was sending ridiculous pictures to me while on her trip. Shortly after writing that blog, she sent me some much nicer and more touristy style of pictures. Here is a quick collection of images from my wife and son:

Architecturally, Quebec is Eastern European influenced. The entire place reminds me of a real life fantasy world smack dab in the middle of Canada. And people just going about their business, because living like this is totally normal.

I do wish I was there with them. Maybe one day I will go on a trip and see what Quebec has to offer. For now, I just get to enjoy a few photo dumps from their trip!

Quebec Has My Wife And Son

My wife and son have arrived safely in Quebec. They have a couple of days to explore before the speed skating competition. So that’s what they did.

Throughout the day my wife sent me random photos. None were really the type that people share while on a vacation or trip. More just things that she found interesting or humorous- and sent them to send me.

I am a little unsure as to why she shared a picture of kale dumped on the side of the road. Or why she felt it necessary to send a picture of snow the height of a car. In fact, when she sent that to me, as I am here in Vancouver, it began to snow shortly after I received the text. We can all blame her for the snow arriving here! Sorry friends on behalf of my wife.

However, amongst the random pictures of things, she did send me a smiling selfie of the two of them. There was also the obligatory poutine meal picture. So I know they are happy and well fed on this trip. Hopefully she will share some other pictures of more interesting adventures and I can pass them on to everyone else.

Capped

I have a very large bottle cap collection that I started back in 1998 or so. I’m somewhere in the 100,000 range of various pop and beer caps. I don’t have a plan for them at this time, so in boxes they sit.

I do have one cap that isn’t a normal bottle cap. It means a great deal to me and I keep it aside with many of my other mementos. I don’t think my wife even knows that I have it. She gave it to me one day while we were dating, and I kept it ever since.

This is from an old Snapple bottle back in the year 2000. When I first met my wife, she had this bottle cap. It was an image she really liked. Within weeks of meeting my wife, she got it tattooed on the back of her neck. She gave me the cap to keep.

It’s the sort of tattoo that only a few select people have seen or know about. Her long, curly hair hides it. I see it all the time and have accepted it as a part of who she is. I can’t tell you why she liked this image or why she chose to get it as a tattoo. But she did.

Keeping the cap is significant to me. It is a small token of our growth in our relationship. The uniqueness that makes us each who we are and where we once were. I still remember how excited my wife was at the time when she got the tattoo done.

Do you have something like this that you have kept over the years? A piece of your past (or someone else’s) that you won’t ever part with? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear your stories.

How I Scored My Wife

Sometimes I will call my wife for no other reason than to tell her “I love you.”

And that’s it.

Nothing else gets discussed or said. I just say those three words and sometimes hang up. Other times I’ll wait for her response.

I do this because of when I first met her. We had met while hanging out with mutual friends at a club. We had a late night after as we all had Denny’s coffee and laughs. I drove her home and she stole my jacket. But she gave me her phone number. A few days after we met, I called her up and asked only one question of her-

“Can I call you later?”

She said “um, okay” in a confused manner and I saint “thanks” and hung up.

I called her a few hours later and we arranged for our first date. I had intrigued her enough that we ended up being inseparable since the year 2000. My antics of affection- like calling her randomly- continue to keep our love alive.

A week after Valentines Day and I also think about what we do for one another. From the little things, like when we travel- who gets what side of the bed and why. To the big things- like a new car must have special decals added to the windows. We are a great pair and I am happy. Even if my phone call lasts less than 10 seconds.

Winter Walk By The Water

The other day my wife and I went for an afternoon walk by the beach. On our walk we talked about our first year together and how we went down that way only a few times. We now live only about a 20 minute drive away from White Rock, so heading there may be happening more often this summer.

When we first arrived, we took some happy selfies with the ocean and clouds as a backdrop. We were probably the least bundled up people as many who we passed had scarves, toques and gloves on. But at 8°C it wasn’t that cold.

Even though it was grey and a bit cool, my wife and I were wearing our rose colored glasses we had bought for her Birthday Trip to Mexico. The warmth of the view from the sunglasses made it easier to enjoy our date. We walked along the shore, up the pier and enjoyed the promenade. We headed back along Marine Drive and talked about coming back to enjoy a restaurant or two in the future.

It was a good few hours of casual strolling just holding hands and talking. As we get older, we both just want to enjoy one another’s company more. Keeping the emotional connection between us going and creating memories along the way.

Still Having Date Nights

My wife and I have been together for nearly 22 years. I still love her dearly. One of our biggest strengths is that we communicate with one another. It’s not always easy to talk about concerns or tough days, but we do our best. My favorite thing is that we can still have fun together.

We still attend our favorite sushi place regularly- Nikko Sushi. They treat us like family and we always have a great meal there. I enjoy being silly with my wife and we continue to make each other smile and laugh.

She drags me out for walks around the neighborhood still. I have realized that even though I may not want to go, it is good for the mental health. As well, I know it makes her happy to go out and talk with me while we wander. I have been considering our walks as “dates” these days. It gets me out more often to spend quality time with her.

We also have “dates” where the two of us play video games together. Somehow after two decades, we still act young and silly… And I love it. We will continue to have dates for years to come. Perhaps one day we will be an elderly couple talking smack talk at one another while playing some VR with teenage looking avatars.

Snow Joe Blows

Overnight we had a healthy dumping of snow again. This time, my wife was ready for it. And she was excited too. Not like her considering how she prefers warmer temperatures.

Two days ago- a small electric snow blower was delivered from Amazon. My wife was so excited about it that she didn’t let me get any unboxing photos. She also assembled it herself with great glee while I was at work. I think she bought it because it was called a “Snow Joe”.

Again, she was so excited to use it that she asked me to call her when I was off work at 6am. That way she could clear the driveway before I got home. The foot of snow was gone for my car to back into the driveway. She demonstrated how amazing the “Snow Joe” was and I quickly finished the rest of the driveway before the neighbors were even awake. That’s right, I finished after my wife was satisfied with herself.

For the amount of pleasure this blower brought my wife, and the ease at which we cleared the driveway, I’m surprised we hadn’t bought one sooner. Although in our last home, the trees helped keep our driveway clear. (I’m pretty sure all those pine needles and small branches would’ve damaged this machine.)

I also think the neighbors are a bit jealous now at how quickly our property cleans up. Sweating with a snow shovel is no more! Do you use a shovel, snow blower, or private company to do the dirty work? Let me know in the comments.

Getting Baked Before Christmas

Saturday my wife and I went all out and baked a bunch of cookies and treats. Normally we start baking at the start of December, but that also means the cookies are gone before Christmas Eve. This year, we have a bigger kitchen and better oven, so we worked cohesively in the kitchen.

We utilized the island to prepare the baked wares. Then used the stove top to allow the cookie sheets to cool, and the counter by the sink had the cooling racks to finish the job. Our sink was constantly filled and we washed up as we went.

We started at noon and finished baking by five. Although my wife pre-made and refrigerated a couple types of cookies ahead of time, we were still hopping in a busy kitchen. In the morning, my wife bought the elusive “Mint Chocolate Chips” that we had been looking for since November.

So in the end of one day we made the following cookies:

Peanut Butter with peanut butter chip.

Double mint chocolate chip.

Butterscotch oatmeal.

Whipped shortbread.

Yuletide.

Gingersnaps.

And Rice Krispies Treats.

Before Christmas my wife has a few more cookies she wants to bake. Unfortunately I have to go to work, but coming home to fresh baked goodies is also a pleasure!

Are you done baking yet? How many different cookies do you make?

Happy Birthday Lee-Anne

Today is my wife’s birthday. That’s a big part of the reason we are in Mexico! One of her biggest goals in life was to be somewhere warm for her December birthday. Finally I was able to achieve it for her. She was gracious enough to take me along on for the vacation!

I’m happy that Lee-Anne has been a great big part of my life. Giving her this trip was a much needed excursion that she is worthy of and deserved more than anyone else I know. Her smile on this vacation has lit up the atmosphere everywhere we walk.

So far we have spent two days of over indulging in food, drinks and siestas. Today we are off on an adventure that I am hoping goes smoothly. It’s another of her bucket list items that she wants to do on this trip. I’m pretty sure she will be smiling even more by the end of the day.

Happy Birthday Love!

Weather Or Not

Being on vacation is wonderful. Yesterday and today we had some nice weather with sunshine peaking out. The rest of the week- not so good. A chance of snow tomorrow and a miserable looking week continues on. I’m glad our Christmas lights are up.

Good thing my wife and I fly out to Mexico tonight on the red eye. Besides getting away to beautiful weather, we are leaving the teenagers behind! Grandma is in charge and our tenants are watching over things as well. This is the first real vacation for just the two of us, ever.

My wife and I have taken a weekend away every couple of years. Usually just a drive into Vancouver or a quick escape to Seattle. Our honeymoon was also a short drive to Harrison Hot Springs and lasted for only three days. Every other trip we have been on, we brought the entire family. It’s about time to focus on just the two of us.

My wife is also excited to spend her birthday in a warmer climate. We would have done this last year for her big 5-0, but the world wasn’t ready to open up. Even the trip this week has some hurdles to jump through. But I think it’ll all work out nicely in the end.

Mostly because we won’t be here for the start of the snow season.

Flowers For Happiness

My wife had a bad day. So I did my best to make her have less stress in the home front. I did the grocery shopping early this morning. As I was out, I looked for some craft supplies for her. I also picked up a few more Christmasy items.

Before coming home, I grabbed a bouquet of multicolored roses for her. This is the first time in our new home that I have bought flowers for her. I used to pick some up from a kind lady on my drive home. Today however- I hit up a florist.

The flowers did in fact bring a smile to her face. The goal was accomplished.

Naked Tree

Yesterday we had a wind storm hit the west coast. My wife and I are glad that we moved to a place with no large trees in our yard anymore. The fear of losing power or a tree slamming into the roof is gone. With this sense of relief came something else- a sense of humor.

As I was leaving for work at 5:20pm, I noticed the small tree in our front yard lost all of it’s beautiful red leaves. They just dropped straight to the ground. So I leaned out and took this picture. I was going to send it to my wife and tell her the tree was naked. I headed out to work and was going to message her afterwards. As I arrived at work, she sent me this text:

She beat me to it! We both thought the same thing. This is absolutely hilarious to me. After being together for over 21 years, I guess we just know each other so well.

Naked tree. Why is that so funny to us?

The Vault

Yesterday we spent the afternoon and evening with a couple of friends. All of our kids were off doing their own thing, so my wife and I had a night to ourselves. First was hanging out at our place for a drink and appetizers.

Costco is great for finding quick and easy foods to share. I made some mini wontons and potato skins for us to share. Hanging out in the kitchen is always a great way to converse. Having a large kitchen island made it even better.

Afterwards we headed to a local establishment called “The Vault Restaurant”. It’s been around for ages and was built in an old bank. Kind of a steampunk/industrial feel inside. The food was great and the company was entertaining. It was ridiculously fun.

It’s been a while since my wife and I headed out for a night with friends. I’m glad we did as it turned into a fantastic evening. Date nights are becoming somewhat more frequent now that our kids are teenagers. It means my wife and I can get to know one another again. For that, I am grateful.

Clam Chowder In A Bread Bowl

My wife thinks that she must be missing Disneyland. Mostly the memories that the food brings back. She made churro cookies the other day- which are delicious! Last night for dinner we had clam chowder in bread bowls. Just like the ones we ate from Harbour Galley at New Orleans Square in Disneyland.

My wife has been playing with bread recipes for a few weeks now. These bread bowls were perfect. We have a “Proofing” option in our new oven, so the bread is rising nicely each and every time. The clam chowder was also made from scratch. My wife is superb when it comes to chowders and goulashes.

I just wonder what our next Disneyland themed treat will be. Perhaps beignets like the ones we at in Downtown Disneyland from Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen. She could find us some smoked Turkey legs. Or maybe a Dole Whip or even a Margarita like we had at Rita’s Baja Blenders. Who knows what my wife’s tastes will bring for for the rest of us.

But my tastebuds have been pleasantly surprised thus far.

1

So this is it. One day until we move. This countdown has been keeping me distracted from talking about the real feelings I have about this move. Joy, sadness, stress, fear… but wait there’s more! Today I will focus on what number 1 means to me.

I have a best friend since Grade 1. That’s over forty years of friendship. We have been through quite a bit of life’s journeys together- including sharing advice with one another. He is coming out tonight with his son to help us with our move in the morning. It’s wonderful that his son is friends with my son since birth. That’s been going strong for fifteen years now.

“One love, one heart
Let’s join together and a-feel all right.”

My wife is my one true love. She has been a wonderful partner in all of these years that I have been on this planet. Without her, I don’t think I’d be anywhere close to living this lifestyle. I talk about her regularly. She is my number 1.

With one life to live, I’m excited to continue my journey on this planet. Creating a new homestead with fresh memories.

21

May 29,2000. Twenty one years ago my wife and I met. We have been together almost every day since then. Any time we have been apart, we have spoken on the phone. The time we have had apart is so minimal that I’d hazard a guess it’s been less than one month all added up.

We are moving into our dream home in twenty one days. I am nervous and excited at the same time. Change is good. Like all of the changes that have entered my life, the biggest ones have occurred with Lee-Anne by my side.

In all this time, my wife has- and will be- the constant that makes my life matter most. She has pushed me beyond my comfort levels and helped in creating who I am today. From parenting to career to travel to just living life- after meeting Lee-Anne my journey has been a whirlwind of excitement.

In July we will celebrate twenty years of marriage. In our new home, with an adult child and two teenagers to celebrate with us. I’m always amazed to look back at life and see the journey we have been on. Sometimes you miss the process as you are in the midst of it.

Twenty One. What a great number.