Old Car Problems

For a couple minutes today I thought I might be running home unexpectedly. Luckily after calming down a bit and thinking things through I figured out how to avoid that.

Previously I wrote about how I love my old car, and really I still do. However not sure I would trust it as our only vehicle anymore. It has some electrical issues and isn’t always reliable. When Caile and I came out to and hop in the car to go home it just wouldn’t start. Before I started thinking I immediately thought I had left the lights on again and killed the battery. This has happened a number of times since the buzzer stopped working to warn me when I leave them on. That didn’t end up being the case and we started noticing a slight electrical burning smell. That can’t be good.

At this point I figured it was something serious so I called Jen and asked her to turn around and come back for Caile and I would try to figure out what was going on and if I couldn’t I’d run home. After processing things for a bit I realized I was getting power no problem so I didn’t need a boost. The only thing was is the car wouldn’t turn over. I wasn’t even getting a click of the ignition when I turned the key. In my head I have it narrowed down to the starter or ignition switch neither of which I’m going to do anything about here in the parking lot.

When Jen got back she jumped behind the wheel, put it in gear with they key on and the clutch in. The kids got a big kick out of watching me push the car to get it moving. Jen let go of the clutch and it started right up. She followed me home just in case but it drove no problem. Now it’s home where I can figure exactly where the problem is and hopefully fix it up myself. It’s been a long time since I’ve bump started a car like that.

Since I last wrote about my car I’ve probably put around $1000 into repairs into it which is cheaper than a car payment, but I’ve also spent time without having the car which can be very inconvenient. If I could afford a new one right now I’d probably do it just for the reliability aspect. It would also make it easier to plan financially without havin unexpected repair cost pop up. But for now I’ll keep fixing it up until it gets to a point where the cost to repair is just to high to make sense.

Where Has The Time Gone?

For those of you not in Nova Scotia we have both a vehicle registration that has to be renewed every two years as well as a safety inspection by a mechanic every two years.

The end of November is when our registration was due to one of our vehicles. Today my wife went online and paid that fee shortly before she left to pick up the kids from school. On her way she called me, guess what I looked at our inspection sticker and it ran out in August. I questioned her about it and she responded, yeah it’s marked off as expiring in August 2016. I can’t believe we let it go this long.

My reply was well if that one is expired than so is my car. I knew the registrations were opposite years for the two, but the inspections were the same year. She called and booked an appointment to get it inspected for tomorrow.

Shortly after Jen arrived home I had to leave to pick up our oldest at school so I hopped in my car. Before I left I looked at the sticker and said to myself, wow she was right it does expire in 2016. Wait a second. Back into the house I went. Jen a couple of things, are you able to pass me my phone I forgot it on the counter? Thanks, next what year is it? She replied, 2015. Right. Slight pause.

Somehow we both managed to skip ahead a year. So instead of being really late for our inspections we would have been quite early instead. Luckily we had to get something done to the vehicle anyway so we just changed the appointment with the mechanic to cancel the inspection part.

Stressful Couple Weeks

Glasses seem to be a common thing in our family. Jen wears glasses for some things, for the past few years I have worn glasses pretty much all the time, Caile now wears glasses, and Alex did wear glasses when she was younger to help with an eye turn. So even though Ella hasn’t had any problems with her eyes yet we figured we should get her a proper eye exam.

She was pumped for the idea, in fact she hoped she would have to wear glasses. She counted down to the day of her appointment. Everything went great, but they did determine that she measured about +3 far sighted. However her eyes were able to pull things in to focus so she was still able to see everything. In fact when they had her test through lenses that matched her measurement it made things worse for her.

We ended the appointment where they gave us some of the pupil dialating drops to take home and take before a follow up appointment. They wanted to test her with her eyes relaxed to see what she could read at that point. Figuring it would be closer to what their measurements showed. Shortly after getting home though the Doctor called and told Jen that she hadn’t wanted to say anything in front of Ella but she had seen what looked like could be swelling near her optic nerve. It could be something called drusen, or something causing pressure behind the nerve. They referred us to an Ophthalmologist who works in the same building for further tests.

At this point Jen and I were pretty nervous and feeling a bit of stress wondering what could be wrong and what it would mean. Sometimes with all it’s resources the internet can be scary for situations like these. Luckily we received an appointment fairly quick and this past Friday we went in for some more tests that would be shared with the Ophthalmologist. This included more imaging of her eyes and a field of vision test. The whole time with all these tests Ella is being a champ and very interested in what’s happening and all the cool machines. Seeing the back of her own eye in a picture was one of the highlights.

We had another appointment booked for the 24th to see the Doctor and so he could run some more tests and give his diagnosis. Not knowing what was actually wrong is probably the worst part, but I was doing OK. During the last round I heard them saying that some things looked good and she was doing well etc. So when I was out for a run this morning and Jen wrote me to say the office had called and asked if we could bring her in today because they wanted to see her, that’s when all kinds of horrible thoughts and worry started going through me.

Once I was home and clean I picked her up from school and took her to the Doctor’s office. We had a fair amount of waiting and some more tests. Finally the Ophthalmologist came in and gave asked about the results of the last tests and perform his own visual inspection while her pupils were dialated and eyes relaxed. When he was done he was pretty certain that there wasn’t any actual swelling at all. It looked like things were swollen but that it was tissue and the way the nerve was looked like there was swelling because of it. Being far sighted as she is he said that it all fit. Given she has no eye or neurological problems he was confident everything was fine. The next step would be to do an MRI or a Cat Scan to get a better look to be 100% sure, but he said if it was his daughter he wouldn’t and would instead just keep an eye on it to make sure things stayed as they are. To top it off because she has no eye turn and her eyes are able to compensate so she can see fine, she isn’t even getting glasses at this point.

With great deal of relief we booked a follow up appointment for two months out so he can see her again and make sure all is still good. It is amazing how much stress and worry can take out of you. Even after being hit with the feeling of relief, my brain was scrambled for the day. It wasn’t just my mind though, I was physically exhausted as well. Thank goodness I’m starting to feel normal again now tonight, but I’m looking forward to waking up tomorrow fresh with the good news we received firmly settled into my thoughts.


When I first sat down to write this post it was going to be a funny little anecdote about how I’ve never bought myself a razor. Up until very recently I’ve only had one razor that I’ve used for about the last 20 years. It came in a Christmas stocking a long time before I would ever have to use it. Just this week I received in the mail a free razor from Harry’s that a friend gifted to me.

With the book I’ve been reading I’ve been thinking a lot about shame and some of the things that trigger it for me. Remebering back to when I received my first razor brought back some tough memories. One section of the book talks about the different things which trigger shame for men and women. One of the big categories for women was looks and appearence. This didn’t seem to be as big for men, which given our society, was not surprising to me. This doesn’t mean that men can’t be shamed for their appearance though.

The razor was a gift I received around the same time a lot of my friends were begining to shave. As I mentioned it was a long time before I ever had to use it. The exact time has escaped me, but probably close to a couple years at least. To this day I don’t have a lot of body hair. This led to being made fun of a number of times. It even effected the clothes I would wear. Despite hot weather I would never wear shorts to school because I was embarrassed by the lack of hair on my legs. People would question it and I would just say I didn’t like shorts.

One hot summer day with a planned day of mountain biking with friends I did wear shorts because I knew we would end up very hot and likely in water. Besides I was going to be around friends who really wouldn’t care one way or the other. One aquaintance, who I didn’t expect to be there, upon seeing me in shorts took one look and said I can see why you don’t like shorts, you have girl legs.

Looking back there are obviously a number of things which are ridiculous about that statement. Why should anyone be made fun of for something like body hair? Why is it an insult to considered feminine in any way? Why did I let anything this person said have any effect on me?

It pains me that as a society we haven’t made more progress in the last two decades to the value that we put on looks. The fact that my children have to grow up where things like this still matters is beyond frustrating. All we can do is try our best to help them grow up with enough self confidence, and to value people for who they are, that they are resilient to these sorts of views.

Of course there are larger concerns with everything going on in the world these days. If we could all learn just to accept people for who they are and treat everyone with respect, regardless of how they look or the God they believe in, the world would be a lot happier place.

There are still many ways I’m self conscious when it comes to my appearance, but I’m working on it and getting better. Thankfully my lack of body hair isn’t one of the things that bother me anymore. If anything I’m glad I can get away without shaving for a few days at time. It’s probably one of the main reasons I was able to keep the same razor for so long, it didn’t get much use.

Long Weekend Get Away

Today we arrived home from a great long weekend away. We went to visit our good friends in New Brunswick. It’s always nice to get to see them and their family. It’s also nice to get away from the every day routine for a while as well. Also I may have been spoiled as they have an espresso machine, so there was good coffee all day everyday.

Given my new running goal I knew I would have to get a run in while I was there. I figured Sunday morning would be a good time so Saturday night I mapped out a few different routes. I wanted to get in a 10k so it would make the rest of the week easier to reach my goal. One option was to run a 3.5k loop from their house a few times and that’s what I settled on. Until I ran up the first hill which was long and steep. Before I made it to the top I knew I was changing it up and running the 10k loop I found that went down a windy side street. There were still hills but I wouldn’t have to go up that one hill two more times.

Besides the cold, there were a few flakes in the sky when I first left, it was a beautiful day out. There were a few times where the wind was really strong which made it even colder feeling, but not too bad. As it wasn’t the route I intended on I didn’t really map it out super well and where I was my phone didn’t get any signal so it wasn’t terribly surprising I got off course a bit and was a bit lost. The realization came when I could see up ahead that the road I was on came to an end. There had been an intersection a little bit back so I was pretty sure that’s where I was supposed to have turned instead of going straight so I turned around. There was someone out in their front yard so I asked them to be sure and I was right. Between the hills, cold, wind, and extra 3k I was pretty sore and tired at the end, but there were some great views looking across the US border.

We had a lot of family fun as well. We headed out to a farm over in Maine just across the border. We played some mini golf, visited the animals, and got to see a water slide to no where. If we had come a bit earlier in the season we could have done their corn maze and carousel too. We’ll come back next year I’m sure.

The river front in town was beautiful. We had a pretty warm day so we decided to spend some time down there. We took a walk across the bridge then down the river for a while. It was wonderfully relaxing. Sitting on a piece of wood washed ashore and watching my family play and looking down the river was some of my favourite time during the trip.

New Running Goal

It was in mid July when I guess I started running again this year after taking a long detrimental break. After the 10K race for the Valley Harvest Marathon in October of last year I basically stopped running.

Getting started again was hard but it’s come along well. This year after the race I decided that I wasn’t going to fall into the same funk I fell into last fall/winter and I was going to continue on with the running. Looking through my Runkeeper stats I found that I had ran just over 300km since July this year. My best month was September leading up to me training for the race at a little over 100km that month. If I could do that for the next two months I’d be over 500km for the year in running.

That is my new goal. This time not to lose weight, but hopefully that will happen as well, but just to run 500km by the end of the year. That means I will need to do about 25km a week which is really achievable if I don’t slack off and let weather get me down.

My last goal setting didn’t end up in me meeting my goal, so I’m going to have to work extra hard on this one and maybe it will even help me reach my last goal as well.


Getting Up Early and Being Vulnerable

Not long ago there was a time when I always was up early and before anyone else in the house. That time I would use to go out and get an early morning run in before the day began. When days started getting shorter and the mornings were much darker I fell away from that habit. Instead I started getting up just shortly before I’d start work for the day, or what ever other plans we had going on.

Even with the recent falling back of time it’s still darker than I’d like at 6:00 am to go running but this morning I decided I was going to get up early anyway. Before I went to sleep last night I set my alarm for 5:30 am so I could get up and have the house quite to myself. Quietly I made a coffee and headed to the couch to sip it and read a new book I started a couple days ago.

The book arrived from Amazon over a week ago, but I only just started it and was finding it hard to find quite time to sit and read which is what prompted the schedule change. I’ve been looking forward to the book a great deal ever since I heard about it in a co-workers flash talk while at our Grand Meetup.

There were many great flash talks that I listened to while I was there, but there were two in particular that really hit me and stuck with me. The one about this book being one of them. The book is Daring Greatly by Brené Brown. It alks about the Authors research into vulnerability. Both of these talks had the speakers being very vulnerable which is why I believe they really hit home. They made me want to be able to be more like that as well. Thank you to both of you!

Having that bit of time before I jumped into my day really set the tone for me. I was still able to go for a run at lunch time when the temperatures were warmer and it was lighter out so I didn’t miss out on that either. It may mean a bit of an earlier bed time that normal, but that probably isn’t a bad thing either.


Birthday Weekend

This past Friday was my 36th birthday. The same day Noah had a class trip to Noggins Corner Farm, so I took the day off and went with him and his class. It was a cold windy day but we still had a good time. Every time I go on a class trip though I gather more respect for teachers. They modestly remind me that not every day is like a class trip, but even eating lunch was an ordeal :-)

Our little group flew through the corn maze and with them as the leaders we were the second group out with all our stamps. The farm also has a large play area with the kids loved playing on. Complete with a large tire mountain with tunnels running underneath it. Thankfully no game of king of the castle broke out because that could have been dangerous. The wind was so bad at one point that it blew over a large bridge structure that was in place with us all standing there. Thank goodness no kids were on or beside it when it happened or the results would not have been good.

Our walk through a bit of their trails to the apple orchard and pumpkin patch was really nice and the kids each were able to pick an apple for a snack and a pumpkin to take home at the end. They were instructed to pick small pumpkins so they could carry them, but there weren’t many small ones left so my arms ended up a bit sore as well.

That night at home we had a nice family dinner and Jen had a wonderful dessert made for me. Mini cherry cheesecakes with Wapuu toppers on them! My large number of years didn’t lend themselves to fitting on top of the cheesecake very well, but they still tasted delicious.

Saturday the kids decorated and carved their pumpkins and I was able to get a nice run in. My running hasn’t been as regular lately, but I’ve been exploring different trails that I’ve never been on all near my home, and with the autumn colours, and no set goal in mind, my runs have been more enjoyable that they have been for a long time. They were starting to become more chore like, but now it is just fun.

Starting in the afternoon we started at the mall trick or treating, it’s great for the younger kids and it’s cool to get together with friends and see everyones costumes in a warm light place.  From there we have a bit of a new tradition where we head out to a friends place with a bunch of our families for a quick dinner and then head out around their subdivision with the kids. We had a pretty big group of us going around. With all the loot they brought home I’m going to have to step up my will power game a bit more again.

That night however was not the best night once we arrived home. Between the time change and one of the kids up with the flu in the night there wasn’t a lot of sleep and an early wake up call. Who says you get an extra hour of sleep. It would be great to get rid of DST all together.