Mark the Date: Unpacked the China

The bone china has seen the light of day for the first time since it got packed and will see use for the first time since… Christmas 2010?

The kids and the unpacked china

I’m not sure exactly who mentioned it first, but the idea got floated that we could use the china at Thanksgiving dinner tonight. I didn’t realize that there were three 2x2x2 boxes down there all marked “china”, or I might have had second thoughts. The kids and I worked at it. The dinner plates were at the bottom of the last box, of course. It will be nice to actually use the dishes.

The china has been “homeless” since we gave the china cabinet to Tammy’s friend Trish in 2011. It was part of a larger purging of the old furniture. At the time, Tammy was turning the dining room into the classroom for home schooling, and we put the whiteboard where the china cabinet had been since we moved in. Now it’s sitting downstairs, and perhaps we will get a cabinet to put it in.

The turkey’s in the oven and all the side dishes are either cooked or ready to be. Tammy made pumpkin pies this morning.


Happy Thanksgiving!

New Bike Work Stand

Manna from heaven, that’s what this is.

On Tuesday evening, I got an email from my boss, Brian:

Simon, I have a Park Bike stand I am not using anymore. If you could use this you can have it. Trying to slowly declutter house!

I tried to play it cool, but I did include this GIF in my affirmative reply.

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Canada to Mexico


Sinaloa, Mexico

Seven days on the road and major highway construction from Henderson, Nevada to Mazatlan, Mexico and the total distance 4277 km from Port Angeles, Washington to Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico. A couple of photos taken from the front seat of our car, the never ending Nevada highway and the best construction job in Mexico watering the sand and gravel to keep the dust down.

25 Years… Since that first date

Today is September 28th. Before we got married, that was our “anniversary”. On that day, back in 1992, a then-nineteen year old Simon took Tammy to see Sneakers at the Caprice Theatre in Langford. I wanted to hold her hand, but I knew my hands were clammy with anxiety. Afterwards, we went to the Tim Hortons on the Island Highway, across from where the casino is now. The theatre’s closed, and the Tim Hortons is a Serious Coffee now. I didn’t have coffee: I had tea. I didn’t drink coffee back then. I also had a truly awful chocolate chip bran muffin. I don’t know what I was thinking.

We sat and talked for hours. It was a tremendous first date, if not flashy. I got a good-night kiss, but it wasn’t flashy, either. I remember Tammy stopping to pull the gum out of her mouth first. If we still lived in Victoria, I’d take her back to the same spot and kiss her again. 😘

Crazy Smoky Summer Coming to an End

2017’s summer in Calgary will be the summer of smoke. It has been dry and hot, with only two thunderstorms that I can recall. Yesterday was over 30 degrees again. I imagine that we might be close to a record for number of days over 30 this year. Combined with the sun, you’d think that I’d be in cycling heaven. But before vacation and especially since we have returned from the coast, the air quality has been horrible. Last night was the worst: after dark, you could look out at the streetlights and see cones of smoke under them. The warnings from Environment Canada aren’t dire, but you have to wonder if there is a health risk associated with extended strenuous exercise in it.

Hazy Calgary

Last summer it was so wet and stormy, it took three months to finish the deck. This year the lawns are parched.

Phase Eight Complete: Miranda’s Room Trimmed

As I posted before our vacation, there are nine phases to this mad scheme of Miranda’s. Today, she and I completed the eighth.

The completed room

I think it has turned out better than I hoped. When you walk in, the sensation is definitely the right one.

Now she has to work with us to finish phase nine: decorating. Miranda is in there now, moving stuff around to figure out the layout of her room. For furniture items that we don’t have yet, she is mocking them up with substitutes to see how they work.

Hard work pays off

Flooring in Miranda’s Room

Yesterday was a bit of a relaxation day for me, but today it’s right back on the horse. I want to get the bulk of the work in Miranda’s room done before the end of the month. That way I can relax a bit and work on other projects like editing my 2016 Nanowrimo novel so I’m ready for November.

Miranda and I did some reconnaissance and information gathering yesterday, so that we would be ready for today. We hit Rona for nine cases of laminate flooring, then Home Depot to rent a laminate cutter. It’s like a big paper cutter with a guillotine blade and it was awesome. No electricity, no noise, no dust. It was a huge timesaver. Using that and my rechargeable Ryobi jigsaw, Miranda and I got the room done in about six or seven hours.

Starting out. One tricky cut accomplished already!

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The End of the Trip, And a 20th Anniversary

Friday morning was my last chance to have a ride before heading home, so I grabbed a quick bite and headed out for a loop through Metchosin and East Sooke. It was a 50 km ride, and the first part was a fight. I went up and down and up and down so much I swear my ears were popping. Worth it for the photo, though:

Sooke Harbour, glimpsed from Gillespie Road

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