Pushing Through Hard Days

Work days are the hardest days to blog. I feel like nothing happens that is worth blogging about. Someone yelled at me within the first 5 minutes of my shift today though, and I dragged the frustration of that around the city with me. It made for a super long day. Then I came home and had dinner and got ready for bed. I did however have a really important moment of self-discovery while recording today’s vlog.

The Most Unusual Christmas

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What an interesting Christmas day I had!

I have worked in a job that requires shift work for at least the last 10 years.  As a result, I usually end up choosing to work on Christmas Day so that someone who values spending December 25th with their family can have the day off.

My family has always done our big family dinner on Boxing Day (December 26), which I wasn’t able to get off this year (but yet I could have had Christmas Day off if I wanted).  I’m a little disappointed that I have to head into work here shortly, but I am sure that it will be a much better day than yesterday.

The people that I encountered yesterday for the most part were super nice, but there was at least one person every hour that was a definite grinch.  It made for a pretty long day, but at the end of it I survived and came home to my nice warm bed safe and sound.

Today is going to be a completely different challenge though as we move from all the stores being closed yesterday to everyone crashing down the doors for the sales today.  Personally, I haven’t yet seen any sales advertised that I am willing to go and endure the lineups in the stores.

If you are planning on going out shopping today, here are my survival tips:

  1. Make A Plan:  Look on-line to see what stores are selling the items you actually need to purchase and see where has the best price.  That way you can figure out the best route and avoid back tracking in the congested traffic.
  2. Check the Original Price:  A lot of sales happening today are only a $150 off, if not less.  It could be worth the convenience of paying the regular price tomorrow to avoid the headache of Boxing Day Shopping today.
  3. Order Online:  If you can be patient for a few days, you can certainly save some money today by taking advantage of the online boxing week sales.  It will of course mean you’re likely going to be waiting until after the New Year before you get to start enjoying your exciting new purchase.
  4. Make Sure You Can Afford It:  Christmas just happened and for most people that means burning a hole in your wallet.  Don’t make any purchases for a great price that are going to mean going without food for the next three months while you try to pay it off.
  5. Have Fun and Be Polite:  This one should come without saying, but I am sure that we will hear of all sorts of huge battles going down in the stores over the last sale items on the news tonight.

I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas (or whatever holiday your family chooses to celebrate) with your friends and families.  I’m looking forward to seeing my family later this evening.

Until then, have an amazing day and go be kind out there!  Don’t forget to checkout my YouTube Video for more fun adventures:

Take 2

  

Day two of being 29 was equally relaxing as the first. There was also a lot of recovery that happened from the bonfire. It was apparently way more fun than I remembered. 

I was supposed to do coffee with a friend who forgot to write our “date” down in his calendar. As a result, I rolled over and went back to sleep after not receiving a confirmation text message that he was awake. 

It ended up being a blessing in disguise to be able to lounge around and not have to take on the responsibility of getting out of bed before noon. I didn’t do anything until mid-afternoon at which point I had to get ready to go meet my family for the annual birthday dinner. 

It was a great evening sharing dinner at Montana’s. I even earned a $20 gift card from them after our server made an error on our bill that I didn’t notice until after we had paid. The food was delicious and the time shared with my family was priceless as always. 

My youngest foster brother then invited me to join them at his lacrosse game. We all piled into the truck and headed off to Fort Richmond. It was amusing trying to give my parents, who live outside of the city on a farm, instructions on how to drive in the city on multi-laned roads that add and delete lanes without much notice. 

We ended up taking a bit of a scenic tour around the University of Manitoba since my instructions weren’t clear enough about which lane my dad needed to be in. The important part is we made it to the arena without getting into an accident. 

I only stayed through the first period of the game since I was tired from being old and staying out the night before past 10pm. I got to see my brother score a goal before I departed, so that was pretty cool. The score was 2-0 when I left so I’m assuming they won.

So far I have had two quality days as a 29 year old. If things keep up like this, it is going to be an awesome year. Stay tuned for more adventures. 

A Long Overdue Blog and a Happy Earth Day

 

I feel like I don’t even remember how to sit down and write a blog. It has been such a long time and there have been so many changes in my life I don’t even know where to begin. 

I guess I should start with the thing that is still the same since most of you will think that this is the first thing that I would change. I haven’t changed jobs and am quickly approaching my one year anniversary of driving a transit bus.  I am really happy and don’t see that changing anytime in the near future. 
The biggest change that has happened in my life is the separation of me and M.  After four years we have officially separated (again). As a result, I have moved out of our home and have become roomies with one of my very best friends. I have spent two nights in my new home and it has been great so far. 
Since my last official blog, I have been living with my parents who thankfully were able to provide me accommodations through the rough period of the initial separation. My parents and I have had our challenges in getting along in the past, but this time I would describe the past month of living with them a blessing. I have realized how precious time is and how quickly it passes by. I am really thankful that I had the opportunity to spend time with my parents while they are still young and healthy. 
As I mentioned earlier, I moved in with my friend S at the beginning of this week. I was really nervous about learning how to share my living space with a friend and uncertain about how me intruding on her living space was going to go. However, we have made it through two days together and so far we am adapting well, but I can only speak for my views of the situation. 
I have also switched back to driving the late night buses at work. It is wonderful starting work after 3pm, but it would be even more wonderful if my body would adapt to sleeping in past 10am. I’m sure with time the change will take place, but until then I am having to schedule afternoon naps into my day to make sure I am well rested for my work shift. 
I think I have briefly summarized all the major highlights of the last little while in my life. I am really enjoying focusing my energy into positive changes and striving to become more aligned and focused on my values and goals. One of my goals that you’ve probably noticed me struggling with has been writing and maintaining my blog. I am looking forward to adding the change of writing to my life and making it a much higher priority than I have made it over the last while.
I think that is where I am going to end my blog today. There are many more stories to come so stay tuned. Happy Earth Day!

Sitting of the House

This weekend, my parents left me responsible for taking care of the farm. I figured that the task couldn’t be that difficult. I grew up there, I managed to keep anything bad from happening in the past. I happily agreed and they packed up and headed east to Kenora, Ontario for a hockey tournament.

I grew up on a grain farm where we grew mostly oats and canola. We would occasionally have random animals such as chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys or cows, but my parents haven’t had any livestock since the neighbourhood foxes had dinner in our barn. Therefore, taking care of my parents farm really isn’t much different than taking care of a house in the city.

My only responsibility was to make sure that the dogs and cats had food, water, and got outside frequently enough to do their business (I think the cat might be running an illegal weapons cartel, but I don’t have any hard evidence yet to support my theory). Heating is also a major concern in the winter up here in Canada to make sure that the water pipes in the house don’t freeze and crack. Luckily, there wasn’t any major snow storms this weekend and the power kept the furnace roaring hot.

The weekend went off without any sort of a disaster. I managed to keep the animals alive which I consider a major accomplishment, and I didn’t burn down the house which I am pretty impressed with. All things considered, I think I might actually volunteer to watch their homestead again in the future.

There was only one issue that I had, the coffee maker. My mom still owns one of these perky, noisy, slow old school coffee machine that has to harvest the coffee beans from Columbia itself, then roast and grind them, then heat the water to the right temperature, all before finally deciding that it is ready to start dispensing my first cup of coffee in the morning. Don’t get me wrong, coffee tasted delicious. However, it would take an entire three minutes to make me a pot of coffee which is completely unacceptable. I really need to bring my mother into 2015 and get her a Keurig so I won’t have to endure the exasperating pains of the prehistoric technology in her house first thing in the morning ever again. That was painful.

Eating on Ice

I know that today is February 7th, but I literally just realized that it is already February. Where is time going?

I have been enjoying a relaxing week of catching up on sleep and working long days. I also managed to finish making my second scarf which I gave to my aunt for her birthday this past weekend.

We had the opportunity to enjoy sharing a meal on the middle of the frozen Red River at a pop up restaurant at the Forks in downtown Winnipeg. We braved the freezing cold weather and went for brunch on Sunday morning with her, my parents and my cousin.

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It was the perfect way to celebrate together with family. It was definitely cold outside, but nice and toasty inside. Each weekend they host a brunch on a first come first serve basis. They also have a different menu for you to experience.

On our visit, brunch was being prepared by The Tallest Poppy which is located at 103 Sherbrooke Street in the West Broadway neighbourhood of Winnipeg. They served a fixed menu three course breakfast consisting of Red River cereal with fruit, a Belgian waffle with bacon, and an egg on a bindaetteok with coleslaw.

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It was an amazing experience and I am so glad that I was able to share it with my family. The price of admission was quite reasonable at $25 per person. The meal is always something different so you can keep coming back for a different experience every time.

Have you had the opportunity to get brunch yet on the Red River?

Let’s get this year started!

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I’m actually kind of nervous about what kind of adventures 2015 holds in store. I know that today is only the second day of the year, but it is already proving to be off to a pretty amazing start.

A week ago, I broke my Nokia Lumia 1020 by dropping it not once, but twice. The first time shattered the glass screen and the second time delivered the fatal blow which broke the display. Needless to say it was completely unusable and in need of replacement.

Shockingly enough, I still had my iPhone 4 still functioning in good working order with the exception of a broken home button. I managed to suffer with it for a week, but I reached my breaking point. I gave myself a belated Christmas present and purchased a new iPhone 6. I’m not going to lie, it is really sexy.

I had a tough time deciding between the free iPhone 5S or spending some yet to be earned money and putting the iPhone 6 on my credit card. At the end of the day, I decided to splurge and upgrade to the iPhone 6 because of the better quality camera. It is certainly a nice toy that I probably didn’t need, but I am really enjoying getting everything all setup on it as i start 2015.

Yesterday, we enjoyed a quiet day of relaxation. It has been a while since Mike and I were both off work on the same day with no list of chores that needed to be accomplished. We enjoyed a lazy morning before deciding to go for a random drive. We toured around looking at houses in the Sage Creek area for a while. They are really beautiful homes, but generally have a detached garage that takes up what would be the entire back yard. Then we headed south out of the city just enjoying the scenery as far as St. Agathe, Manitoba. Then turned around and headed back to the city. It was so refreshing to just escape the city for a bit to enjoy the landscape.

Mike’s parents invited us over for dinner in the evening where I enjoyed my very first pork crown roast. It was a very nice dinner enjoyed with the family. Then I was assigned the task of setting up the Apple TV for them which they received as a Christmas gift. This was a little bit beyond teaching them how to use the microwave, but I’m sure they’ll figure it out and enjoy it very soon.

I hope that I can enjoy 364 more days like yesterday, because that was an awesome January 1.