I have none. Well when it comes to having to wait around for something. I am a busy guy with a lot of things that I would like to accomplish over the course of the day. My example today being at the 400 Flea Market to have the screen replaced on my iPhone 7 Plus which I’ve destroyed three times because well it’s just too big. I had to switch to a regular 7 and have had no issues since then.
Replacing the screen I’ve done before and was told 30 to 40 minutes. Fine no problems. We walked around the flea market looking for the car vinyl booth, which no longer exists.. 😢
Had some less than stellar cinnamon rolls and coffee while we waited. We sat there and chatted about various topics and after an hour we headed back over to the booth to pick up the phone. I was told that is would be another 30 minutes before it was ready… and this really irritates me for some reason. And I don’t really know why. Why am I letting this dumb little inconvenience ruin a perfectly good morning and afternoon.
As I was sitting there I was losing my desire to go out for a run when I got home. And it pushes back the timetable on the rest of the day, but is it really a big deal? Of course not, even as I type this I can feel the tension leaving my neck and shoulders. And the day will get back on track and proceed as normal I am sure soon enough.
But the why still remains. It will be something that I will need to work on as I can let most things just roll off my shoulders and carry on. Deep breath Edward it’s not that important.
I have a confession to make, I forgot it was my son’s birthday today. I knew it was coming up and for some reason my mind told me that it was Friday, when it fact it was today. Mom had made a FaceTime call this morning, which she never does and soon as the words “Happy Birthday” came out of her mouth my heart sank. Oops, I didn’t even realize what day it was.
It was rather sad and sobering fact to me to have forgotten, as we had an awesome cuddle session in the morning while lying on the couch and it would have been nice to sing him Happy Birthday while we cuddled… I suppose it’s a good thing that he is just turning four and it went over his head that I had forgotten.
And I must also confess I am totally unprepared for a birthday today, with it still being so close to Christmas perhaps in future years just grab him a couple of extra presents and leave them in my closet for today. I will also be spending the afternoon making a SpiderMan birthday as I like to do every year for my kids when they make their request. It’s a good thing that the Bulk Barn rents out shaped cake pans and I am hoping that a SpiderMan head is among their selections… if not I will have to get creative.
Jennifer requested a Princess Peach cake this past year, and well let’s just say that Mario Kart is a few years behind the times and finding anything Princess Peach was several missions. I ended up having to get creative and make a Pink Castle cake along with a Princess Peach themed background on a large cake board. Turned out pretty good in my humble opinion.
So today we will head out shopping, and I will enjoy every second of my day with Austin as currently he is running around and having a great time with Kristi screaming giggling and tickling as they run around the house playing Monsters… Argghhh I’m gonna get you…
I have this giant calendar on my fridge, and the lesson that I have learned today is to write it down, perhaps set a reminder on one number of the pieces of technology that I possess. Or perhaps I need to slow things down in my life and make sure that I focus on the truly important things in my life, like my son’s birthday. #fail 🙂
I love all of the firsts in life. The first kiss, yeah you all can close your eyes and flashback to that very special moment when your heart was racing, you slowly leaned in and then the magic happened. Ahhh…. well life if full of the first time, the first one, it’s about being brand new, exciting and nervous, what is to come next? What are you talking about Edward??
I’ve mentioned in a few posts that I have decided to start a bakery company as I had a few requests for Sugar Cookies over the holiday season and it seemed like a good idea to make a little bit of extra money, with the goal of allowing me to stay home with my kids if things become successful over the next few month. My son turns 4 in a few days and will not be starting school until September, and I would to spend the next nine months chasing him (and all my other kids) around the house during the week.
If you are going to do something it might as well be all in. I had sat around waiting for a friend of mine to take the lead on this idea, come up with a website while I sat around and waited for orders… last week my brain was like dude, what are you doing? You want this to be successful then you need to make it happen, and that is exactly what I did over the course of the last five days. In fact, I am a little impressed in what I’ve got accomplished this week.
Last Sunday I signed up for my own domain name, registered an online shop and began construction on a website, I added a domain email address and set up a Paypal account to receive payments.
Monday I completed deleted the premade template the website was built upon and created my own from the ground up, I have lots of experience making websites and ran a successful online comic book store 20 years ago when the Internet was much different than it is today. Also on Monday I set up all the required social media links, Facebook, Instagram, etc…
On Tuesday I visited Vista Print with the intention of getting business cards made, and I walked away with not only those but car magnets, a banner to hang outside, t-shirts to wear when I exercise at the gym at the same time creating a great company logo to bring everything together. I also made (with help from the artist) an order of 36 cookies with the FreeMason logo on them as well as several promo cookies to help advertise Valentine’s Day which have been absolutely amazing. Thanks Kristi.
This continue on Wednesday as these works of art take a little time to bring together, and while I bake a mean cookie I have to bring my icing skills up to the next level! That is what this weekend is going to be all about. After I take my kids back to mom’s house I will hit up the gym and get in run #13 and then home to ice up some more promo cookies and work on another skill set I need to posses.
Thursday I spent taking pictures of the promo cookies we created and put together some Valentine’s Day promo ideas and then added all this information to the website. In those last 2 days I also ran 20 km at the gym… the afternoon was dedicated to updating and testing the site as well. Thursday afternoon all my printed material came in from Vistaprint (they were incredibly fast) as I had placed the order two days ago and delivery wasn’t supposed to be sometime next week.
The logos are on the Jeep, the business cards are in my pocket and I’ve worn the shirt to the gym for one of my long runs. I’ve turned into corporate America on a very small scale, and while on a personal level I don’t really like the IN YOUR FACE advertising, I do recognize that it is a necessary evil for any small business to get the word out. Such is life.
Friday morning I put together a Word Document outlining our prices and delivery options for Valentine’s Day as I plan to hand delivery all of my orders to that special someone on February 14th. Patrick, my head of sales will handle the Greater Toronto area and I am going to hit all the Simcoe County/Barrie orders. We have some awesome Heart Shaped boxes ready to go and it is going to be awesome.
The rest of Friday I spent making sure all the links and the pages on the site were correct, updated shipping options, tweaked a few pictures and updated the code to make it match the PDF flyer I created. I signed up for a Boost package through the service provider I am using, and started looking at Facebook and Instagram and ways they can boost my page and site now that it is ready to roll.
I put my little ones to bed, started to set up my board to play some X-Wing miniatures space combat game, very similar to Dungeons and Dragons from my youth when it happened.
I got my first order through the site I had spent a week setting up. There is was the first. I suddenly became very nervous for a few minutes as everything that I had done over the past week kind of sunk in, there it was. My very first order. My business was officially open for business. North West Bakery is open for business!
To start July I celebrated my 45th birthday, and shortly afterwards I had 10 days scheduled off from work for a nice long vacation. One I felt was sorely overdue after the events of the previous 11 months and the experience of separating, selling my house and moving on with my life. I spent a lot of my down time trying to plan the perfect road trip with my kids…
One of my biggest fears was seeing this trip turn into something from the movie Vacation, where is something can go wrong will go wrong. I also feared extended hours in the car with two teenage girls and the potential issues that might arise. I had talked to the girls about what they wanted to do and the things that they wanted to see, and to be honest I didn’t quite get the reaction that I was hoping for from them. They didn’t seem super excited as I was for this trip…
That being said I have learned so much about me, and my relationship(s) with these girls that next summer the trip of a lifetime will happen and it will become an annual tradition. I was a different person back then as opposed to the man that sits here today. At some point I decided to break this road trip into two seperate ones… a trip with my buddies (as I was planning on draggin my daughters to some US ballparks) and one with Emily and Megan.
So upon returning from the States (more on that later) I unpacked, and then repacked the Jeep and we were off. The plan was to head towards Ottawa as I had booked a KOA campground for several nights, on all the back roads to explore this great country that we have. One of the things the boys and I had talked about just a few days before was saving turtles when you would see one trying to cross the road, Ryan was telling the story about he rescues turtles and turns to me and says, “I am sure your the same Ed?” I nodded politely and the conversation carried on. In my head I was thinking that one I’ve never rescued a turtle, and two I don’t think I’ve ever even seen a turtle crossing the road.
Well wouldn’t you know it after only a few hours on the road, there right in the middle was the poor little turtle trying to make it across the road.
We immediately pulled over and ran out into the middle of the road to rescue the poor little guy, when I bent over to pick him up by the edges of his shell he did what all good turtles tend to do. Pull his head inside of his shell and then proceeded to piss all over my left. Thankfully my dexterity was up to the challenge and I was able to Tennessee two step my way out of the stream just in time. We placed the turtle onto the side of the road, and facing in the same direction he was already headed, jumped back in the Jeep and we continued on the way.
Rescuing turtles will always be something that I will now be on the lookout for!
We continued to head North, stopping at not only the Candy Shoppe on the 400 North, we also hit up the Kawartha Dairy for a delicious ice cream cone and pulled over at several national parks to stretch our legs and have bathroom breaks as needed.
Once we got to our campsite in Ottawa and settled in, it was time for dinner. Over the first few months of the this summer I learned how to cook over an open campfire. Not the easiest thing to do as every single campfire will be different in terms of its intensity and distance from fire to food. It requires constant supervision and adjustments throughout the cooking process as too not too burn anything. Yes I’ve ruined a few hot dogs in my day but I pretty much have gotten the hang of it, and not once did I have to break out the Coleman stove that I bought as backup.
Nights around the campfire are my favorite. Sitting there listening to good music, talking and sharing stories, roasting marshmallows and making smores.
My only disappointment with this trip was my inability to get Emily to re-engage with some family time each night. She would retreat into the cabin with her headphones in, listening to her music and sending out an endless parade of SnapChats to her friends. Megan was all in and I had just the best time with her playing frisbee, catch and other games around the campsite. Emily was reluctant to join in on any of this family fun, she wouldn’t even go swimming with us at the pool and the lake.
The next day the weather was not the best and we did some shopping at the Tanger outlet mall in Ottawa and had some lunch while in town. We did a lot of shopping over the summer, getting the girls some fun things along the way and I basically replaced my entire wardrobe and shoe collection this year. I think this shopping trip was my last of this year in terms of clothing as my perception on money and how best to spend it was already starting to change… (more on the that in my #1 post for 2017.
I has asked the girls what they wanted to do while up in Ottawa and two common things come from this conversation, one was to go Zip Lining and the other was the chance to drive the Jeep. Both of these were crossed off the list the next day! I have a healthy respect for heights and was a little afraid of what the day might bring, but it was a beautiful drive over and across a large river dividing Ontario and Quebec that was a delight to see.
The zip lining course was at the top of a mountain and it was a long and winding road up to the top through some beautiful summer views.
We arrived on time, got all geared up and had the chance to watch the group ahead of us finish up with the final zipline back to the base camp. We walked out into the woods, had our orientation and away we went. My only other ziplining experience was in Jamaica and it was much different than what I experienced in Ottawa. I figured it would be a guided tour through the trees with instructors in front and behind us, travelling in a large group. Well that was not the case at all, we were pretty much on our own as the instructors kept watch from the safety of the ground. Being the first three on the course we were able to go at our own pace, and with two adventurous girls leading the way we quickly were ahead of everyone else and having just the best time imaginable.
The course started off with several climbing in and around type obstacles to orientate one from being off the ground and to get more comfortable with the zipline to come. It was actually a really fun time for me and I quickly got over my fear of heights to the point where it wasn’t even a factor. Watching my girls hit each line ahead of me allowed me to see what I was in store for, how fast the line might move and to prepare for each landing. The difference between an 80 lb girl and a 180 lb man are quite different in terms of speed and impact on each landing. I was able to generate a lot more speed across the ziplines than either of the girls were able to do so.
We had so much fun this day, I was able to conquer some of my own fears and felt that I grew closer to each girl throughout the afternoon.
Up next on the agenda was some off road driving in the Jeep after searching for the right road to drive on. With Emily turning 16 later in the year I knew that she would want to get some experience behind the wheel. I didn’t want to just trespass in an open field or on private property so while drive around the water I simply followed a sign for an empty lot for sale. The road turned from paved to gravel, and then eventually to no road at all and we ended up on an abandoned lot down on the Ottawa River. It was perfect!
I drove the Jeep right up to the edge of the water and enjoyed a few minutes of sheer beauty and some peace and quiet. Right up until the girls were attacked by a few wasps… hilarity ensued!
I was able to do some off roading across this lot and back up and down the “road” that led down to this cottage, and I even allowed the girls a chance to get behind the wheel of the Jeep for a trip themselves. Both girls showed no fear and had a blast driving the Jeep with not another soul around.
After several trips up and down and back again we headed back to the campgrounds for another fire roasted dinner of deliciousness. We would spend one more day in Ottawa before returning to the real world back here in Barrie. I know personally I had a wonderful time and learned a lot about myself and what is truly important in life and spending time with my girls. We would go camping several more times throughout the summer as I shared the wonderful world that is mother nature.
It was during this trip that I started to realize just what was important to me, the Summer of George has started with the idea of having the time of my life and doing a lot of crazy things that money could buy you. Sitting in the best seats if you will, replacing a wardrobe, buying countless baseball jersey and matching ball caps, Star Wars battle drones, and many other things… This extended road trip was the beginning of my understanding of what truly is important in life, my family, my friends. Spending time with them, having fun, creating memories. One that last a lifetime and are not easily forgotten or replaced, this thought process I would chase for the remainder of this year and wouldn’t fully understand until mid September.
With crunch time officially upon us, all the last minute details need to be done. The last few gifts need to be purchases, grocery shopping for a wonderful Christmas dinner… to say this time of year can be super stressful all depends on how you need to look at.
While standing in the longest line of all time at the LCBO, I was getting the last things that I needed for the next few days, some gifts of wine for my Dad, sister and brother whom will be having a Christmas dinner with today. I was silently reflecting on the last 45 minutes of my life, and all the awesomeness I was able to take it around me as I finished up my shopping. Let’s start at the beginning shall we?
I headed outside at 9:45am to shovel the end of the driveway. You know that heavy, sluggy dirty wet snow that the snow plows comes and deposits at the end of your driveway right after you have finished shovelling, right? And while I do drive a Jeep, leaving too much of that stuff lying around well makes it impossible for lesser vehicles. I have always looked at shovelling snow as a perfect upper body, and back workout. It took at 7 minutes to clear my plug and of course my neighbours plug as I always have the joined driveway dilemma.
Then it was off to Zehr’s to stock up on some tasty treats and pickup what was needed for the lovely turkey dinner that I will be making for the family tomorrow night. It looked like everyone else in Barrie had the same idea, get it done early Saturday morning and out of the way. I parked at the back of the lot so it would allow me to ride the shopping cart all the way down towards to store. I absolutely love the looks I get from everyone as I go whizzing by them riding the back of the cart. It is so much fun, and the next time you go shopping I suggest you give it a try. I had a vague recollection of what I needed and proceed to zip through in and around all the other shoppers with great speed quickly filling my cart with what was needed.
As I headed to the checkout line my brain analyze which line was the quickest, I channeled my inner Apu and picked the line with all the single Dads, all cash, no chit chat and was out in no time. While standing in line I listened to the other conversations that were going on around me, filled with stress, stories of fighting over parking, etc… I looked around the store and saw nothing but frowns and frustration on far too many faces. In fact I think I may have been the only one smiling.
I told the grocery bagger to have a little break and packed up my own items into my reusable bags, wished them both a Merry Christmas and then rode my cart at break neck speed across the parking lot back to my Jeep. I believe I was even singing Christmas carols as I zoomed along.
Next was the LCBO and wouldn’t you know it, not a parking spot to be found. That is never a problem anymore as if there are no spots, you simply make one for yourself. This time on top of a pile of snow and the curb.
I quickly grabbed what I needed and got into a line that wound back through the entire store, as luck was with me this day the line moved quickly and then another cashier opened up and I was out of there in under five minutes. While standing in the line, I overheard the cashier ask a male customer if he had finished shopping yet, and he replied with the cliche answer of… “I am guy, it not Christmas eve at 5pm yet. I’ve still got plenty of time.” At the same time I was thinking that I was one checkout away from being finished for the season. I literally ran out to my Jeep laughing out loud as I was able to mission the store so quickly.
When I got home I had been able to shovel the end of the driveway, hit both the grocery store and the liquor store and back home in exactly 45 minutes. A quicker mission has not been since in a long while. Last minute shopping, no problem, I got this!