Rummaging in Boxes

Anthony and Grandpa 001

I have always been a person who likes to rummage. I like rummaging through garage sales, flea markets, and the like.  I probably should be one of the hosts of Canadian Pickers–except that I think the whole thing is probably staged and I dislike how it makes people think their riches are in other people’s hands.

Today’s Perfect Moment originates from this. This afternoon, I came across something while going through some boxes.  I found a wonderful childhood photo of me and my Grandpa.  I hadn’t seen this picture in quite some time, but I was glad to find it.  It brought back some wonderful memories.

Obviously we are looking at the aftermath of Christmas, but I love the photo for its period details.  There was a time when people had ashtrays in their houses.  As for Wink, I am assuming that it is something like Sprite or Mountain Dew.  I can’t imagine what you would mix that with…

Posted in Christmas, family, memories, memory, perfect moment, pictures | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Shaking the Status Quo

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Some days, you’ve just got to change things up. Some days, you’ve got to buck the status quo.  This is true for work and life, so it should come as no shock that this is true for sandwiches as well.

I wanted to do something different for today’s lunch. Before you worry, I am not going back on my carb free diet that helped me lose weight successfully but also allowed me to put it back on in record time.  I am just talking about changing up the ingredients in my sandwich.

For today’s version, I added a fried egg. Perhaps this was my homage to Japanese cooking which often placed a fried egg on top of the hamburger.  Perhaps this was a way to enhance the flavour because I had only one kind of lunch meat and my spicy mustard had run out–I was forced to use honey mustard.

For a shake-up the routine sandwich it was okay. It tasted fine, but I forgot or didn’t have enough ingredients.  It could have used more tomatoes, onion or alfalfa sprouts, mayonnaise, pepper, and even some more cheese.  I still take my sandwiches seriously, and I have no trouble awarding this one Today’s Perfect Moment.

Posted in cheese, comfort food, food, food blogging, lunch, perfect moment, sandwich | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Good Omens in the Mailbox

20200121_234931I don’t want to bore you with all my trip stuff, but I need to share with you a coincidence that is Today’s Perfect Moment.

I usually write my blog posts at night and then publish them in the morning. The reasons for this are twofold.  The first is that this seems to lead to more viewers.  Like a lot of people, but not all, I am trying to grow this blog and when I publish might be important.  (If you think, or know, that another time of day is better, please let me know)  The other, and more important reason, is that I wait until I go to bed so that I can reflect on my day and choose the Perfect Moment.  This also helps set myself at ease and I have some nice thoughts to fall asleep to.

Last night, I was too tired to even really decide what was the Perfect Moment and had to wait until I woke up and made a list of great moments before choosing one as the Perfect Moment (you should see what I rejected). So, really, it was almost the afternoon by the time I wrote the post about my trip to South Africa.

By the time all that was done, I was looking out my kitchen window when I realized that I hadn’t put the compost and recycling bins away. One of my neighbours had kindly moved them to the front of my garage, but they still needed to be put away.  After doing this, I also considered that the mail carrier had probably already been by and there might be mail in my mailbox.

How surprised was I to find a new catalogue for Exodus Cycling trips? I quite literally had just published the post where I wrote about the trips I had taken with them and about the one I am going to take.  Like I wrote a couple of posts ago, the coincidences are piling up and I am taking them all as good omens.

There’s no way I can start planning for 2021, but I will definitely flip through the book during my commute to work in the morning.

*                 *                  *

Just some questions for blog writers out there.

  • Do You write your posts at the same time every day?
  • Does it matter when you publish your blogposts?
  • Do you see a difference in the number of readers if you publish at different times?
  • Do you have enough time to read all the blogs you follow?
Posted in catalogue, coincidence, commuting, Exodus Travels, growing your blog, growth, literature, mail, Omens, perfect moment, portents, public transportation, travel, travel writing, vacation, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Five Continents and Counting…

cycling Africa

Long time readers to this blog will know that I often have a tough time deciding on things and then have a tough time committing to the decision I made. This is true with food, clothes, and joining activities.  This is true with travel plans.  I really don’t like to look so far ahead, but these trips have a way of filling up before I am usually ready to commit.

However, with ten months to go, I have committed to cycling around South Africa with Exodus. (I am going to have to make a new addition to my travel section).  At the urging of my British friend, we chose to forgo the typical Asian trips we’ve been on to do something else.  So now we are cycling around the cape and I might finally develop a taste for wine.

When I think back, it is quite interesting how that first cycling trip to Vietnam changed the way I thought about vacations and opened my world up to so much more.  I took that trip after more than a year of thinking about it.  I was inspired by the Lonely Planet/Globe Trekker program and the wonderful episode featuring Justine Shapiro.  She made Vietnam seem so accessible and fifteen or twenty years later, I was there.  Group travel had never seemed appealing, but that trip changed all that.  I met some great people and had a wonderful experience.

Since then I have been to Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam (again) and Costa Rica.  My food options have opened up and travel has become a big part of my life.  Best of all, everywhere I have visited has had some amazing coffee.  This year, I am scheduled to go to Colombia and South Africa.  By the end of the year, I will have visited five continents.  That is amazing.  Who knows what the future will bring?

Monday’s Perfect Moment is definitely all about signing up for more adventures and making my world a smaller place.

Posted in accomplishment, achievement, airplanes, bicycles, coffee, cycling, Exodus Travels, experiences, Lonely Planet, perfect moment, plans, South Africa, travel, travel writing, vacation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Signs are Everywhere

miniature travel stuffToday’s Perfect Moment could have been many things today.   By the time I sat down to type this, many candidates had already presented themselves.

Today, I accomplished quite a few tasks around the house. Though most of them were rather mundane, it was still nice to see them done.  I have already written about battling procrastination, but it is great to see that this is something I am continuing.

I finished reading another book. While this doesn’t set any kind of record, and doesn’t even put me on one book a week for 2020, it is still a wonderful thing to close another book.  When I took this book out, I took out the next two in the series.  I normally wouldn’t do that for fear of burnout, but in this case, I am looking forward to reading the next instalments.  I have already put the book in my bag and it is ready to crack open when I get on the bus.

I shovelled quite a bit of snow this morning. The snow and the wind caused quite a few snowdrifts in the front yard and made for quite a decent bit of exercise.  I managed to get the car cleaned off, the driveway cleared, and the sidewalk cleaned.  I am not going to lie to you and tell you that shovelling is fun.  Shovelling is not fun.  However, knowing that you and all your neighbours are out doing the same thing has a nice feeling to it.

On a related note, the snowplough driver did something different this time. Instead of blocking everyone in, he or she took their time and actually managed not to put a big pile of snow on my driveway or walkway.  Yes, there was still stuff to shovel, but it was just the normal snowdrift.  My neighbour said she was going to call in and compliment the driver.  I think I should do that too.

As you can see, the day was full of some really good moments. I could choose any one of them and sleep soundly with my decision.  However, that would be a little disingenuous. Something else stood out as Today’s Perfect Moment.

After getting back from a little shopping, I took the time to fill out some forms for my upcoming trip to Colombia.  I cam going in about a month’s time and the trip company needed some information from me.  It was all pretty mundane stuff, but it got me thinking about my trip.  It got me to look through my passport and the stamps I got on my recent adventures.  I can feel the excitement starting to build.

Perhaps it was meant to be because two other travel related things happened today. The first was that I found myself, accidentally, standing in front of the travel section at the drugstore.  It’s the one with all those overpriced travel sized products.  These days I have learned that they sell the same things at the dollar store for only slightly more than a dollar.

The other travel related thing that happened was a person who was on the Vietnam trip contacted me on FB.  Since I last saw him he has done an Exodus cycling trip in Myanmar and going to be doing another Exodus cycling trip in Costa Rica.  When I mentioned my trip later this year in South Africa, he gave it a good rating because he had done that before I met him in Vietnam.

Looks like all the dominoes are falling into place.

Posted in appreciation, Colombia, cycling, dollar store, Exodus Travels, G Adventures, packing, perfect moment, preparation, procrastination, recommendations, snow, travel, travel tips, travel writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When it’s Winter Outside

The weather forecasters were right for once and we got a ton of snow. It has been coming down all day from late morning until night.  While you read this blog Sunday morning, I will have donned my boots and I will be outside shovelling.  And strictly for your information, I will be doing it old school.  I do not have a snow blower or riding lawnmower with snowplough attachment.

So, if I am grumbling, what in the world could be Today’s Perfect Moment? Never fear, I do have one.  As the early morning sun gave way to the daylong snowfall, I was inside spending a dating day with the girlfriend.  We had some delicious food looking out at the accumulating snow.  We watched a mediocre movie as the snowdrifts formed.  We ate cappuccino frozen yoghurt while traffic slowed to a near standstill.  While people clutched their coats even closer to keep the wind from penetrating, we were toasty warm and watching it all through the windows.

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Sadly, I had to take a bus home from all of that and I had to venture out into the snowy wonderland. It was so bad that I had to walk on the road and I realized that my cool charcoal grey, almost black jacket really wasn’t effective for the dark and snowy night.  I think I am going to have to get a brighter one for my safety.

Posted in adversity, bus, perfect moment, seasons, snow, Viva, weather, winter, YRT | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Test Results

close up of girl writing

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Way back in December, I concluded teaching a group of students who were studying for a proficiency exam.  Some were studying for the FCE and some were studying for the CAE.  Some were a bit shaky and took both exams.

I really enjoyed teaching them and, if I am being honest, really miss the class.  The odd thing about the class is that it kind of ended abruptly.  Partly that was my fault.  When the preparation course was done, I took some time off to regroup or recharge–I am not really sure.  I just wanted to get out of the school.  It also coincided with a possible work stoppage (or strike) and I wasn’t really feeling in the loop for the whole thing.  While I was off, the students took the test and quickly, and also quietly, departed for their countries or to other vacation destinations.  A few stuck around to give me their impressions of the test, but others were just gone.

I got caught up in a lot of stuff happening in my life and forgot to ask about their test scores–which the school registrar has access to, once they have been sent to the students.  Today, asked about them and was quite overjoyed to discover that all but one of the students passed their exams.  The students who took both exams also passed both of them. This was great.  I am so proud of them.

This was phenomenal news and it had me bouncing up and down for joy for quite some time.  Anyone who ran into me couldn’t believe how happy I was.  As I said, I was happy for them and I was also happy for myself.  I wasn’t sure I was teaching them effectively, but I am so glad that they could get over the hurdle.

In case any of them are still reading this blog, Congratulations!!!

Obviously this was Today’s Perfect Moment.

Posted in class, ESL, passion, perfect moment, students, success, teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Battle Against Procrastination

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Today’s Perfect Moment is a victory over procrastination.  Without adding it to the list of New Year’s resolutions, I have quietly been trying to root it out of my life.  Far too often I have let things pile up and just not get done.  I’ve shrugged my shoulders, but actually felt like it should have been accomplished.

Today, I got both my driver’s license and health card renewed.  I also got the license sticker for the car and actually cleaned and dried the plate and put the sticker on.  That could have languished in the glove compartment for weeks or months if I hadn’t done it today.  I remember once that I left the thing in the car and it got so cold that it shattered.  I learned a hard lesson that day, and I don’t want to repeat it.

Lately, I’ve just thought I should get things done when I think about them and not wait until later.  This means putting dishes away soon after they are washed.  This means making my lunch for the next day the moment I think about it.  This also means putting stuff away and organizing stuff instead of thinking I will do it later.

Overall, I feel quite positive about this course of action.  Unfortunately, I can’t make everyone in my life do the same things.

Is there something you are procrastinating doing?  Do you have any tips you want to share?

Posted in driving, perfect moment, procrastination | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

A Quieter Lunch

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Not yesterday’s lunch, but a meal I recently had which deserves to be rememberd

For a variety of reasons, I have never had to make or live by a lot of rules like “No eating in front of the TV” or “No screens at the table.” However, I can certainly understand why these guidelines might be imposed on other people’s lives.

As a late adopter of the smartphone, I am not a big user of it as a news source. I don’t get tweets and I actually not fond of being alerted to breaking news.  I let other people alert me, but my phone is not set to make a noise anytime something happens.  If I want to read it, I have to go look for it.

Other people, though, have a need for information that they can get electronically and more immediately. They take my father’s adage that he wants “news, not history” quite seriously, and I don’t blame them.  Things around the world are heating up and being informed is one way to combat it.

Yesterday, consciously or unconsciously, my lunch partner and I pushed our phones to the side and had a quiet lunch. I don’t know if we had more conversation or better conversation, though I finished lunch with the feeling that it was better…..much better.  Upon reflection, it was Today’s Perfect Moment and will probably lead to banning of cell phones at lunch.

Posted in cell phone, comfort food, conversation, food, food blogging, lunch, perfect moment, quiet, smart phone, talking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A Little Bit of Good Economic News

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Close to my house is an Asian grocery store.  That statement is mostly true.  I call it an Asian grocery store, but they sell Canadian food as well as food from all over the place.  Their philosophy seems to be that they will sell it if

  1. they can get it
  2. it is pretty good
  3. somebody wants it

I noticed today that they have expanded the retail space in the store.  Some of the other tenants in the building have left, so maybe even further expansion is in order.  I thought they were just renting the building, but perhaps they are the owners and this was always the plan.

I only remark on this because it is nice to see a successful business rather than a failing one.  All too often businesses seem to come and go, never gaining a foothold.  I remember some local residents saying that they store wouldn’t be successful because there were few Asian people in the area.  While I knew that this was a little untrue, I also could see that things were changing in the neighbourhood.  I also could see that this store offered some good deals on some fresh produce.

This extra post for the day is just to celebrate something growing rather than closing.  Well done.

Posted in business, comfort food, ethnic food, food, food blogging, food shopping, grocery shopping, perfect moment, positive comments, Retail, shopping, shopping mall, success | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments