Gratitude day 87

I am grateful for a day of playing hooky with Julie. We saw “Interstellar”. It was fantastic. I suspect it’s a movie we’ll be talking about for decades to come. I will be, anyway, I really, really liked it.

I am grateful for a moment I saw Coop at school when he didn’t know I was there. Looked like he was doing great.

I’m grateful that when we got home to find out home inhabitable for a few hours due to the work happening on the reno, we found good friends to call and invite ourselves over for dinner. The guys working on the basement were using a gas saw to cut the foundation, and exhaust fumes filled our house and were making our carbon monoxide detector wail in protest. Nice to know we have people to call in this circumstance, and it turned out to be a nice evening out, with grocery store rotisserie chickens, and kids playing together. Our house is still a bit smelly, and chilly after several hours with windows open and fans on, but we’re snug and warm in our beds now.

Gratitude day 86

I am grateful for my house. I dig it. Coming home to see more renovation in progress has been nice too. It’ll be good to have that suite set up; the rental income will make buying this place seem like a better idea. The Boulder was pushed up the hill, now we’ve given it a push and it’s rolling.

I am grateful for homemade mac and cheese. I often like to cook, solely because I can prepare food just the way I like. Mac and cheese is like that. I am also grateful that many of things I am grateful for are simple pleasures that are easy to come by, like food I can make for my own self, and when they aren’t too fickle, my adoring family, too.

I am grateful I planned to take a few more days off after returning from our vacation. It’s nice to have a soft landing. We didn’t send the boys off to school and daycare today, so they had a soft landing, too. They are, however, going tomorrow, and we have a sitter booked for tomorrow night. After a fantastic 12 days of kid intensive weekend, beach and Disneyland time, a childless tomorrow with a day off work for Julie and I will be a nice change of pace.

Gratitude day 85



I am grateful for air travel. It probably stresses me out more than any other mode of transport, but what, with the onboard wifi and free colouring book and crayons, it sure beats walking.

I am grateful that I was compliant with the dress code at the bar the other night.

I am grateful for triple AAA rating 5 and 2 year old behaviour on the trip back home so far. We’re only 2/3 the way through the first flight, so it could go pear shaped at any moment, but it’s been great this far so I’ll be grateful for that even if it does.

Gratitude day 84

I am grateful for charcoal briquettes. So much more like a real fire than propane, and better tasting BBQ cuisine, like the salmon fillet, potatoes, and red peppers we dined on tonight.

I am grateful for water just warm enough to swim in all day at the beach here. It’s about the same temperature as Elk lake in the summertime, which is the one you see when you drive to Victoria from the Ferry Terminal. In the ocean it’s even better, and especially when it’s November.

I’m grateful that I’m not grateful to be coming home soon. Usually by now in a vacation I’m ready to come home. This time I am not. I’m choosing to see that as a reflection of what a great vacation this is, and not what my normal life is like, and I think that’s supported by a quiet longing to get back into the thick of things when I return.

And, today of all days, I am grateful for the service of our military, particularly in the past and the service of my grandfathers and great grandfather. More so, I am grateful for the peaceful existence I’ve been privileged to live, and for the fact I’ve never known any armed conflict. That’s not the case for many people alive today or in the past. That’s just plain dumb luck, being born in the right part of the world at the right time. I wish everyone could live like that, and I think any cause that works for peaceĀ is probably a good one.

Gratitude day 83

I am grateful for this technique you can use to make poached eggs ahead of time, by undercooking them slightly and keeping them refrigerated after putting them in ice water. I am making eggs bendict for a crowd tomorow, and I just poached all the eggs and cleaned up. One less thing to worry about. Sweet!

I am grateful for a fun day with my family, brother, niece and nephew at the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park. It seemedĀ easier (and cheaper) than some of the bigger attractions, like Legoland and the Zoo, and it fit the bill nicely for what we all wanted to do today.

I am grateful for my folks, who took care of all 4 grandkids (aged 2-8) so that my spouse, my brother, my sister in-law and myself could all go out for appetizers and drinks during happy hour at a bar by the beach. It was great to be childless adults for a bit, after being pretty much full on with kids doing kid stuff for the past number of days.

Gratitude day 82

I am grateful for a day without my phone. It ran out of battery power, and I left it that way, intentionally, for a good long while.

I am grateful for in and out burger, and particularly, the dinner my brother and sister-in-law bought for everyone from there. Thanks, Paul and Gina!

I am grateful for extended family (2 second cousins, once removed, and their spouses) here. Makes San Diego feel like home. Or maybe it would feel like that anyway. It’s pretty dang nice here.

Gratitude day 81


I am grateful for a lazy day by the beach. We’re in San Diego. There’s lots to do, and also, there’s nothing to do. Both are great options; but we opted for the nothing to do option, save for a bit of shopping and several trips to swim in the waves.

I am grateful for Cooper, who, when he was figuring out body surfing asked me, “Papa, will you put my a$$ here?”

I asked him, “What? What are you talking about?”

“Put my a$$ here.”

“How do you know that word?” (knowing full well he’s heard me say it a gazillion times)

“After I’m dead. Put my ash here, okay?”

Halloween brought up the topic of tombstones, and then cremation. I guess he figured this was as good a place as any. And he’s right.

I am grateful again for bicycles. Simple, beautiful machines that they are. Cheap, too. There’s lots of renting options, but I found a second hand one for $60, and the guy said he’d buy it back for $20 when I go. I am now the proud owner of the bike we’ve named “Rustbucket”

Gratitude day 80

I am grateful for an uneventful road trip to San Diego from Anaheim today. There is a stomach bug going around our crew, and I was feeling a little queasy at the start. Perhaps it was psychosomatic, or perhaps the Gravol worked. Either way, I am glad nothing happened.

I am grateful for these swell little cottages we are staying in, right on the beach. They are a little rustic, and remind me an RV without wheels, but this is a delightful way to camp.

I am grateful for a meal prepared and eaten by us. Eating at restaurants is fun, but less so with little kids and it gets monotonous after a few days. A steak, salad, grilled peppers, and tomales (from a guy selling them on the boardwalk) made for a fine dinner. Sitting on a patio by a beach with that and a few beers is a great way to spend a warm evening, all while kids made friends with other kids and raced around in an endurance game of tag.

Gratitude day 79

I am grateful for The Carousel, Star Tours, Space Mountain, Autopia, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, The Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain, Disneyland Railroad, Peter Pan’s Flight, Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, Casey Jr. Circus Train, Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train, It’s tough to be bug, Tuck n’ Roll’s Drive’em Buggies, Luigi’s Flying Tires, Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, Radiator Springs Racers, and the Grizzly River Run, because I did them all, some twice. Not bad when you are tagging it out with a sub 32″ 2 year old in tow!

I am grateful for a change of pace starting tomorrow. Disneyland is fun, but it is also exhausting.

I am grateful for any beverage cooled with ice. Water, particularly, is good that way.

Gratitude day 78




I’m grateful for the over-the-top, dinner theatre spectacle that was Medieval Times this evening. Totally fun. Who doesn’t love theatrical sword fighting and jousting while eating rotisserie chicken with your hands? What’s not to like!

I am grateful for the photo my mom showed me today of me in the bed I slept in as a kid. Farley now sleeps in that bed, same as his dad, cousins, uncle, grandad, great uncles, great great grandfather and great great uncles. IKEA just doesn’t make kids furniture like that. It’s solid as a rock, and I’d bet it still has several more generations ahead of it.

I am grateful for the amazing view in the hotel room we are staying. We’re on the 15th floor overlooking the Disney California Adventure theme park.