Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Planted The Pumpkin Plants!

Hey everyone,

Pumpkin growing season has officially started! Today my two daughters and I planted the first two plants! We started them 3 weeks ago and they were getting quite big so it was definitely time to start.

I have to admit that I have failed every time I have tried growing pumpkins. But every time I failed I realized what I did wrong and come up with a way to do it better. So hopefully this year things work out better.

The first problem I had years ago was the plants not getting enough water. Also when I tried to water them the soil eroded away exposing the roots. So since pumpkins need lots of water I built boxes to contain the soil and I installed plumbing. I connected 2 lengths of ½” PVC pipe with a 45° elbow connector. Then I drilled lots of holes in bottom of the “L”. The idea is to fill the pipe so that the water gets directly to the roots.

Another problem I’ve had is that pumpkins need a long growing season and Alberta isn’t ideal. So in order to get decent sized pumpkins I needed to start them inside. Also there is a frost risk even throughout May so I built a makeshift greenhouse. I pounded 4 stakes in around the plant and wrapped plastic around them. This should keep the heat and moisture in and cause a greenhouse effect. But they still may freeze at night.

So as you can see I put some thought into this. Hopefully all turns out well. Just incase the plants that I put in today die because of frost I have more started inside. My plan is to plant more throughout the week.

I have also been mindful about teaching the kids every step along the way. Growing a garden and caring for plants is a sacred thing that our society unwisely no longer values. It is a human heritage to grow food and pass that knowledge on to the next generation. I hope my kids remember the things I show them so that they can have the joy and satisfaction of growing things when they are adults.

A special thanks to my neighbor Frank for letting me commandeer his back yard for this. We live in a new part of Red Deer and he hasn’t seeded his back yard yet. So he is ok with me putting in a pumpkin patch.

By the way and call me crazy, but I am seriously excited about the possibility of being allowed to have urban chickens in Red Deer. If it gets approved I will fence off underneath my deck and build a hen house! Fresh eggs everyday! Heres an interesting blog I found about Urban Chickens in Red Deer, its worth a read if you're interested.


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I want to hear from you. Please comment on this blog.

What do you think about my pumpkin growing operation?

Have you grown pumpkins before? Do you have any tips? I greatly appreciate any you may have!

What do you think about urban chickens in Red Deer? Would you have a backyard coup?

Friday, 26 April 2013

Carried My Groceries Home

Hey everyone,

Today I carried my groceries home from the store. As I was walking along I saw people looking at me weighed down with bags in each hand. One guy who was with me in line loaded the same amount of groceries I had into his big fancy truck and drove past me. He gave me a weird look and left me in a cloud of dust.

It was a humbling experience. I was aware that I was the one person who walked while everyone else drove. I could feel their eyes on me as they passed by. I could hear their thoughts “Look at that guy, he’s so poor” and “look at that guy I am so much better because I can drive”.

Then I realized that I don’t actually know that anybody was thinking those thoughts at all; I don’t even know if anyone even noticed me beyond a peripheral glance! What I do know is that all those thoughts were reflections of what is inside me! I have been that arrogant young man with the big fancy truck who drove by and had those sneering thoughts when I saw people carrying their groceries home.

When I got home I put away my groceries and the discomfort in my hands and shoulders from carrying those bags for 15 minutes subsided. The sweat on my brow dried up. I felt energized and focused enough to write this blog post. Out of this experience I gained one very important thing:

Humility – Just a little bit more. I will no longer be that arrogant young man who sneers at people carrying their groceries.

Maybe, however, next time I will ride my bike! Red Deer does have those fancy new bike lanes all over the place. I will have to give them a try!


By the way; my Big Fancy Truck is FOR SALE. See my blog post about it by clicking here. It needs to go!

You can follow me on twitter @CityMotionRD

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

My Trip To India

I am not sure if I believe in fate. There is the practical side of me that lives in this world; lets call it the left side, which acts as though I believe in fate. Then there is the right side; that strong philosopher side of me that is seated firmly in an armchair on another planet and who is most assuredly undecided. The right is indeed adjacent to the left and is right, by the way. No play on words.

Often I put myself in front of new opportunities. I mindfully remove myself from my normal routine and observe. Last week I was taking a safety course in Edmonton and found myself in a situation just like that. Being in a room full of strangers I gazed about and observed at all the faces.

At this point I could derail the subject of this blog and talk about how prejudices are meaningful both positively and negatively; for, as I bemused myself in the quiet moment of noise and the swirl of faces about me; I pre-judged a man. I noticed his travelers beard and his nomadic attire. I recognized that he was doing exactly what I was doing; letting fate resound. A relationship was formed in an instant of eye contact.

Was I supposed to meet this man? In hindsight everything seems as though there was no other way. But the right side of me objects; “alas, we live in a world of possibilities!” Before I actually met this man there was uncertainty. How would events unfold? Would a relationship form?

Is uncertainty an indicator of non-causality? If so does that imply that free will is possible after all? Or is uncertainty just the result of our feeble minds, feeble knowledge and feeble senses? I don’t know. Something to ponder the next time I go fishing.

So as things happened I became acquainted with this man. His name is Mike and I was right he is a seasoned traveler and a mindful fellow; my favorite. The course recessed for lunch and Mike and I went on a journey together to the grocery store across the street. Just like travelers we bought what we would eat. I felt like I was in another country when walking beside him!

After the course we met up for coffee in a wonderful cafĂ© named The Wild Earth Bakery (Tweet @WildEarthBakery). If you haven’t checked them out yet you should. I have nothing but good to say about them. I am especially impressed that they dont have wifi. The world is noisy enough and people need to focus on the person they are having coffee with not the person on Facebook. Put your phones and computers away and make eye contact!

Over coffee I found that I was sharing myself with him. It is as though my empathy for him was a reflection of myself. I saw all the things in him that I most wanted in myself, such as his peace of mind, his genuine curiosity and his simple spirituality.

Mike told me that relationships are a measurement of spiritual progress. This ties into what I learned about the concept of “person centered” from another friend of mine +Justin Hubert. Focus on the person right in front of you. Don’t try to focus on anymore than one at a time because you cant. Center that person and build a relationship with them. I don’t know yet how to describe how it feels to do this but it is amazing. Read Justin's Blog. Tweet @JustinHubert

After coffee Mike and I went to India. 

We boarded his 2006 Volkswagen (which painfully reminded me of my old car) and flew to Spice Grill just off Whyte Ave. That restaurant was lifted straight out of Delhi and air-dropped into Edmonton. The food is authentic (so I have been told) and the owners are genuine. Mike was a friend with everyone in there. He knew them by name and could speak to them in their language.

We dined on curry and nan and carried on our insightful conversations. I hope to someday join him for real in India and share another bread dipping meal. He will soon own a boarding house in Varanasi so it’s a very real possibility that I may come by for a visit.

“If I can carry it in my mind I can carry it in my hand.” – Bob Proctor


By the way; my 2010 F-350 is FOR SALE. It just has 64,000kms and is practically brand new, as I have babied it. I am only asking $33,400. Please see this link for more details. Feel free to call me and arrange to come have a test drive.  

Also heres a shameless shout-out for City Motion Fitness Studio! Krystal and I would love to benefit you on your fitness journey. So if you are reading this blog come in and mention it for a FREE CLASS! More info here. Our studio is located in Red Deer here

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Growing Pumpkins WITH my Kids! Keyword WITH!

Hey everyone,

When was the last time you did something for the first time?
For me it was last week when I tried the Chrissy Workout for the first time (it’s now my favorite workout, See: Kettlebell Workshop); which occurred shortly after I swung a kettlebell for the first time. Thanks Tim Day. But upon more reflection I have realized that first time experiences are becoming more and more of a rarity as I get older. I am not filled with the sense of awe that I had as a child.

One source of new ‘first time doings’ for me is my relationship with my children. Often I have the opportunity to teach them new things and thats a new thing for me! If I am mindful about being a father I can teach my kids new stuff all the time. Although up until now I haven’t done a very good job. All too many times I get caught up in the business of the day and forget this.

My time spent with my family is hit and miss. Sometimes I teach my kids new things and spend quality time and other times I just get caught up in the taking the kids here or there and doing chores and rushing around. My actions for the most part are habits that require minimal mindful input.

I was reflecting the other day while washing dishes that I always do the plates first, then the bowls then all the other shaped things then the cutlery last. I probably reasoned this out once that it is an efficient way to pile the dishes together and ever since then have gone through the moves without thinking and without actually being there.

But now to the point.

I love growing things and one of my favorite things to grow is PUMPKINS! I have never been successful at growing pumpkins. But this year I have decided to give it another try. I have dreamt about all the steps and have planned all the things I want to do. I have read books and watched YouTube videos about growing techniques. I have talked to old people who know. I am ready to try again.
So after buying the seeds and standing ready to open the package, I paused. I had a sudden inspiration. I should include my kids in this whole thing.

What a face-palm moment.

Something like that should be so obvious! But until now I hadn’t even thought about it. So I called my kids over and let them open the package of seeds and I proceeded to teach them something new. That was the first time I had taught someone about starting plants from seeds.

Then I learned something new as well. My kids love doing things with me. It doesn’t matter what we are doing either! The menial task of soaking a seed in water overnight then planting it in a cup of dirt was really exciting for them. They were captivated when I explained to them how the seed will sprout and then we will plant them outside; and how they will grow and bear pumpkins eventually.

Then I realized that I have the power to give them first time experiences. I can put whatever I want in front of their malleable little minds and they will just absorb it.

Well, I better do a damn good job. There is a lot riding on this.
Going forward I am going to be more mindful about what I do with my kids and all the wasted moments when I could have taught them new things.
Suggestions please?
Please leave your commnets below or tweet it at me. I love connecting with people in my community.

My twitter handle is @CityMotionRD.


Also, my F-350 is still for sale. I have reduced the price to $33,400. It needs to go please see THIS LINK for more information. Also please share that link on social media to help get the word out. Your help is greatly appriciated!