Getting the Car Ready for Winter

IMG_2895.JPG

I have been putting it off for far too long, so long in fact that I actually smashed my car into a curb. I thought that I just knocked the alignment out, but it turns out that I scratched my tire rim pretty badly and bent the steering arm for my front axle.

Needless to say, I finally made the long trek out to my parents farm and put winter tires on my car. I always feel like it is a way bigger task than what it actually turns out to be. I figured that I would need at least four hours to change my tires over, but apparently it only took an hour.

Now, you might be wondering to yourself why I would expend so much effort on changing my tires every season. If you have never had winter tires, you may not understand how much better they work in cold weather, in snow, and on ice. However, the difference in driving is very black and white.

Winter tires are manufactured with softer rubber which provides better traction at colder temperatures. They also typically have a much deeper tread depth in order to maintain control through the snow. Also, your tires will last longer as you will only be using them half the year.

This year, Manitoba Public Insurance has offered the opportunity to finance your winter tires. They are offering financing for up to $2,000 to eligible Manitoban’s to purchase tires, rims, tire pressure monitoring systems and much more. If you have already purchased your tires, you may still be eligible to apply for reimbursement through the Winter Tire Loan Program. For full details, click here.

Drive safe this winter.

Warm up with Lions Winter Ale

IMG_0069.PNG

Last night, I made my way down to Osborne Village to see some friends for dinner. I think that it may have been the longest journey every because traffic was at a complete standstill through downtown. I finally caught up with them at the Toad in the Hole for a beverage before we went for dinner.

I was really excited to see that I was able to order Granville Island Brewing’s Lions Winter Ale on tap. Granville Island Brewing was established in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1984 and boasts the title of Canada’s first microbrewery.

Lions Winter Ale is only available from October to March. I find this beer is a slightly heavier, which makes it perfect to relax with on a cold Winter evening. It is also a fairly sweet beer which makes it great to drink on its own.

TASTING NOTES
Caramel malt aromas dominated by cocoa and vanilla. Complex layers of vanilla, bready malts, toffee, cocoa bean and a slight nuttiness. Moderate hop bitterness gives balance so that sweeter flavours do not overwhelm.

Don’t miss out on tasting this great seasonal beer from Granville Island Brewing. I give this beer two thumbs up! To see their full selection of products, click here.

Should it match the sofa or the drapes?

IMG_0040.PNG

The temperatures have dropped, the snow has fallen, and the mice have built their home within our house. However, after numerous requests for them to start contributing to rent and to stop eating our food, their lack of compliance has resulted in a full fledged war.

I put out two different types of poison traps which has appeared to reduce the number of mice we have seen, but there is still some rodents in the walls that we can hear randomly. As a result, we have discussed inviting a new family member into our army to help solve our mouse invasion.

After doing some errands last night, I convinced Mike that we should stop by the Winnipeg Humane Society to look at cats. To be honest, I was more interested in the adorable dogs, but I was quickly informed that a dog was certainly not an option for our family at this point.

We wandered around and, I suppose it is a good problem to have, we were disappointed with the lack of selection of cats seeking adoption. There was a decent selection of short haired adult cats, but Mike is being very particular in his desire for a long haired feline. The only long haired cat that we found was a 2 month old grey kitten. While it was cute, we decided to sleep on it before committing to adopting a pet.

Once we returned home, Mike spent the rest of the evening searching the internet for a cute kitten to adopt. I am struggling to understand the criteria he is using to determine which kittens are cute and which ones are not. I feel like if it matches the paint scheme it is deemed to be cute, but if it clashes with the curtains it is not cute.

Do other people decide which animal to adopt based on how well they will match their household decor? Stay tuned to find out which feline he decides best matches our sofa and drapes.

Why doesn’t it look like the picture?

IMG_0033.JPG

Last night, I came home from work to find that Mike had purchased more furniture.  This time it was a dresser to match the night stands he had purchased last week.  I have to admit, I am rather shocked because this is now the third piece of furniture from IKEA that he has decided to tackle on his own.

In our relationship, he tends to be the one that enjoys shopping, decorating, and leaving the purchases on the “Honey Do…” list.  I certainly enjoy working on these projects that he brings home because they have all the necessary parts and instructions in one convenient box for me to start, build, and finish without having to search for more than a few random tools that they didn’t include in the box.

However, over the summer we moved into a house that is 102 years old. As a result, my “Honey Do…” list has been feeling quite overwhelming.  From plastering, painting, demolishing, and landscaping, I have been struggling to get motivated to keep working on projects because there are so many left to complete.  The next major project is going to be finishing the basement and insulating the attic as it is getting quite cold here in Winnipeg.

When the new furniture made its way into our home, I assumed that it was also going to be added onto my list, but to my pleasant surprise it wasn’t.  I am thoroughly enjoying watching Mike sitting on the floor surrounded by random parts that are “poorly labeled” and “don’t look like the pictures at all.”

As I have been watching him, I began thinking about how life has a lot of poorly labeled parts and in the end looks nothing like the pictures of what I thought life was going to turn out like.  After a bit of a struggle to get all the pieces to fit together though, there always seems to be something beautiful that emerges out of all the blood, sweat, and tears that have been invested into it.  I have a lot of amazing people in my life that make up the pieces to my wonderful world and it is awesome.

 

Inspiration in my Inbox

I was recently cleaning up my email inbox and found an inspirational message that a very good friend sent to me.  It is so easy to get caught up in life, tasks, responsibilities, and distractions.  It was written by Regina Brett.  I have selected a few of my favourite quotes to share with you, but make sure you click here to read the full list.

 

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

13. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

32. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

36. Growing old beats the alternative – dying young.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

48. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

The blog is back, alright?

Man it has been way too long since I have curled up with my keyboard and typed out a blog post. I am really excited to announce today that I have relaunched my website. I apologize that I took so long to get back onto the inter web, but sometimes life happens and we are forced to accept things happening in our life that weren’t expected. At least that is what happened in my case.

I am not going to write a long post tonight, you’ll have to wait for that to happen in the next few days. However, I will leave you with my latest YouTube video to tie you over until I have the chance to write again. Have a SuperSunday and don’t forget to subscribe!

Missing: Date Night

Matt & Mike

In the same way that our culture has evolved, so too has the way that we date a future partner. Relationships develop and move at a much faster pace.  Why do relationships move so quickly, and can we protect our relationships from fizzling out?

Previously, the way in which we met potential partners was through face-to-face meetings.  We were limited to our circle of our acquaintances and those circles of friends and family.  However, with improved access to the internet and cell phones, our circle of friends have expanded exponentially.

As technology enhanced people’s addiction to information, we have applied this craving to knowledge about future partners.  Instant messaging allows us to quickly assess total strangers and interview potential partners. Social media applications also provide us a massive list of potential partners to consume.

With this rapid access to information, we can gauge our partners at a quicker rate than ever before.  While old practices such as courtship are not generally used, perhaps there are some positive aspects that we can bring apply to our current-day relationships.

I propose we back dating.  Whether we just met a prospective partner or have been living together for many years, creating special moments together are important to keep our relationships invigorated outside of the home.  Here are a few ideas:

1. Geocaching

Geocaching is a free outdoor activity that you can share with a partner by using a GPS-enabled device to find different hidden containers or geocaches in cities all over the world. You can download the geocaching app onto your iPhone or Android, and after a free registration begin searching for your first cache in a matter of minutes.  You will be amazed at how close you are to the nearest cache!  Go to www.geocaching.com and happy hunting.

 2. Museum

Visiting a museum can be a fun way to learn about our history, and also gives us the opportunity to explore our partners past though stories they share from their families past.  Perhaps their grandparents were pioneers or soldiers and used various pieces of equipment that are now showcased in the museum.  A trip through the past may provide you both an enhanced journey.

3. Art Exhibit

Beauty is different to each one of us, and going to an art exhibit can provide you with an opportunity to learn more about your partner’s likes and dislikes.  Abstract art work can provide us with a way of expressing different feelings and emotions, and sharing those thoughts and emotions can be a very intimate experience.

4. Restaurant Block

If you want an easy way to have a number of dates with your partner, choose a city block or a street and make it a goal to try every restaurant in your chosen area.  Each week you select the next restaurant down the street until you have completed it.  This is a fun way to not only get to know your partner, but share the experience of getting to know your neighbourhood together.

5. Sports Event

Going to a professional sports game can be an expensive night out.  Why not go cheer on the local University or College team?  These games provide a much different atmosphere at a much lower cost and can provide you with special memories.  Plus you will be supporting the local community.  It is win-win.

Hope this provides you with some new ideas.  If you have more, share them in the comments below.

Happy Dating!

I survived a month of vacation



The weekend is rapidly approaching and I am falling behind in writing yet again. This time I am blaming it on returning to work.

Having a month off was perhaps a bit too much time away from the desk. I didn’t make any safety errors, but certainly was feeling a little rusty upon my return. It is wonderful how quickly our memory is able to retrieve skills and put them back into use. After a few small errors, I totally am back into the swing of things feeling refreshed.

The night shifts have been a bit more challenging to come back to. My sleep pattern has strayed very far away from staying up until 5am; and wasn’t helped at all by spending the weekend on time zone ahead in Winnipeg.

I had an amazing visit with friends, and thoroughly enjoyed celebrating my gay mama’s 50th birthday with his friends. On Sunday before I left, I also found myself able to enjoy a dinner party hosted by Désiré. Moving away was hard, but being able to take part in some of these events makes the experience that much more special for me.

I am also working on a new video project that you can look forward to being posted on YouTube as well very soon. I just need to take an hour to record the necessary audio component which is missing and then it will be ready to share with you.

I hope you all are amazing as always and I look forward to sharing the pictures from my vacation within the next few days with you. Until then stay fabulous.

Happy Anniversary to Me!



Yesterday, WordPress informed me that my blog celebrated its first birthday!  I am a little disappointed that I didn’t remember that it was coming or planning a party, but alas one year of blogging has come and gone.

The last year has been filled with many changes and most of those I didn’t see coming.  I am lucky to be sharing a life and home with Mike in Calgary, I am glad to have accomplished my goal of returning to work for one of the two major airlines in Canada, I am happy to be driving bus again and seeing things that I wouldn’t have if not for this hobby made into a job, but most importantly I am blessed with amazing friends that I am able to share my story with.

I will admit that I had hopped that I would have been more dedicated to writing, but life got in the way and it is impossible to change the past.  Writing is one of my favourite creative outlets as it allows me the opportunity to organize my thoughts, share my experiences, and hopefully benefit you as the readers in one way or another.

Over the next year my blogging goals include to share more travel stories with you as Mike and I, along with friends, travel around the world and hopefully make some amazing memories together.  I would also like to be more dedicated to writing as I love sharing my thoughts, ideas, and experiences with you.  Lastly, I would like to make time to create video memories along with the written ones to share with you.