Froggy Frog

My son caught a frog the other day. We named it Froggy Frog. It’s not the first time we’ve caught a frog in our yard. We’ve even caught a salamander and a couple of garter snakes (or garden snake if you prefer).

We tend to just look at them for a day or so, then set them free again. There’s no reason to keep them in captivity or kill them. The little ecosystem in our backyard is as if living in a Disney movie. I even described the sounds we hear daily in The Early Bird as well as the time I had to set a hummingbird free. I’ve even discussed my dislike of Rats a few times. But country living is accepting that all of these critters live here as well.

Mr. Froggy Frog has been set free already. Maybe his journey will be an incredible challenge with a set of crazy memories of us. Or maybe he’ll just go about his business eating bugs and staying cool.

That’s about it for my frog blog post. Time to hop along.

Blame It On The Bossa Nova

Today has been a lazy Sunday. I rolled out of bed at noon to eat some pancakes. Afterwards, I put up a hammock in my backyard and proceeded to relax some more.

As I lay there enjoying the breeze and the sound of the birds chirping, I decided that I needed some background music. So I hit up the CBC Music App on my iPhone. I found that instead of my usual classical music, I chose to listen to Bossa Brazil. What a freaking awesome choice.

I closed my eyes and just drifted away for about 45 minutes. My yard had turned into a peaceful getaway where all my worries melted away. The day had gone full tilt lazy.

As I swayed back and forth with my eyes closed- I was reminded of the song, “Blame It On The Bossa Nova“. Except the version from the film “Amazon Women On The Moon” sung by Don No Soul Simmons. I’ve never listened to Brazilian music before, but today made me realize there’s an entire other relaxing world out there that I need to explore. Maybe one day my wife and I can travel further south to enjoy the culture in person.

Today is just peace. My own personal paradise. Absolute perfection. I’m blaming the Bossa Nova for life being grand.

Stick Village Maker

Our daughter has been spending time in our backyard being creative. She reads, writes, and draws while enjoying the fresh air. I’m proud of her for keeping her creative juices flowing. I also think she is quite talented. She loves to share her stories and art with everyone.

Sometimes when she is sitting on the lawn and at a loss for inspiration- she builds what she calls “Stick Villages.”

At least four of these “villages” have cropped up in our yard in the past week. She finds small branches and stabs them into the lawn. It’s cute and fun. I don’t mind if more of these show up in the yard.

The best part of all of these “Stick Villages” is she has to clean them up because she is the one who mows the lawn. So in the end, she gets to destroy them like a giant.

Artsy Joey

I’m not artsy, but I try. I have some talent I guess. I really enjoy writing. Mostly memoirs and opinion pieces. Hence this ongoing blog about the most important thing in my life– me. — I mean— family and friends.

I like to construct things, mostly if there are some guidelines or instructions. I really enjoy making things that remind me of something wonderful. Like Disneyland or our trip to Tokyo. I also enjoyed making prop replicas for the cosplay for our kids.

A few years ago, I made an art piece for my wife’s birthday. It was a pencil sketch on a canvas of our favorite spot in Disneyland California Adventure. I drew it from pictures we had taken from our vantage point. It’s one of the few pieces I’m really proud of. It’s almost perfect.

Creating perfection is my biggest flaw. If it’s not perfect, I don’t want it shared. Today was one of those days. I worked hard on a chalkboard piece for fun.

Now as our guests arrive, they can log into our WiFi network. I used a chalk board and did my best to write on it. Those days of fawning over Pinterest paid off. Side note: I used the same font as I did on Ningen Headwear.

It may not be perfect, but it is fun. Time to paint some pallets and short 2×4 pieces to build up that “Country Sheik” look.

Gonna Make You Sweat

Holy smokes it is hot out these days.

Ya. I’m being that person as well today. Everyone is mentioning the heat. But people forget about the fact that it makes you sweat.

All I can think about is C & C Music Factory on a hot day like today. I just want to yell out- “EVERYBODY DANCE NOW!” But that would mean more sweating.

I look forward to the little breaks in between the sweating. Like the AC in my car or a cold beer in the shade at home. Too bad I can’t have a cold beer in the car while I drive home from a hot day at work. (C’mon Josef- That’s just dumb.)

Ya, better to just chill out on the way home with some air conditioning and some music. Save the beer to have with the nachos!

WASPS!

Today we were cleaning around the yard getting ready for a bbq party tomorrow. As my son was cleaning up toys, he got stung five times by a group of wasps. They even chased him into the house to get him the last two times! I went to check where the nest was and got stung as well for just being in the area. FFS!

Every year I usually destroy two wasp nests. Seems like I found the first one of the year. Last year one was in my roof and the other next to our awning. So my son and I went to the store and got our spray attack ready. We are prepared to kill!

These jerks won’t be stinging my guests this weekend after tonight. Once the sun goes down, death shall be brought upon the beasts! Why must wasps be so evil?

Go make honey like the bees you jerks.

Empty Threat?

My wife has threatened to remove my train garden if I don’t fix it up. So today I went to my local garden center that supplies G Scale trains. I brought with me some parts to get fixed and wanted to buy some stuff.

Sadly, the fellow that runs it is retiring within the year. That means no new stock or parts any more. And the stuff he has- is just getting cleared out. I had to make a decision. Do I buy some boxcars for a train set that doesn’t run, or do I walk away empty handed.

I left without buying anything. I texted my wife as well about the hard decision I needed to make. When I spoke to her however- it turns out she doesn’t want to lose the train. She was just making it as an empty threat to get me motivated again. Little did she know that the place nearby would stop supplying my hobby.

On the plus side- it looks like I can spend a “little extra” to get the trains running again. As well as throw a pond in alongside the tracks. Maybe I’ll go with a steam engine this time… I like Trains.

En Suite Bathroom

I began tiling our ensuite bathroom at the beginning of December. But I didn’t actually start on the bathroom in December. I started 11 years ago. It was bit of a production to get started. Removing the toilet and vanity, pulling out the shag carpet, repairing drywall, getting all the supplies together. Yes, there was shag carpet in the bathroom.

All of that took a couple of hours.

Then I wasted 10 years of not doing anything. Sort of. We were doing a master bedroom renovation that took the majority of my time. Plus other home renovations came first, always putting the bathroom on the back burner.

Besides tearing out carpet, there was no door to the bathroom. It was a sliding closet door with wood panel. I had to build an entire wall. Which was good because I also built a small closet and a place to put our tv. I finished the wall four years ago as part of our master bedroom renovation.

During my vacation break in December, I decided to buy the tiles and start to put them in. I measured where I wanted the tiles on the wall and floor. Then I measured again. I measured a third time and got it right. I put up the tiles on the walls and floor.Then I gave up.

Until yesterday.

When I lay in bed feeling blah staring into the unfinished bathroom. My wife never gave me heck for not completing the job. It was a constant frustration to me though. So I got the motivation to grout the bathroom. Once that was done, I’d be in the home stretch.

The progress of tiling was slow for me- because I wanted it perfect. I think it turned out pretty good in the end. Long subway times with a glass trim along the wall. As well as black and white floor times made for a classic and sophisticated finish.

Today I installed the vanity, new toilet and mirror. The bathroom is ready to be used! All that is left is sealing the grout, putting up the door trim and a toilet paper holder. Today went really smoothly. I’m wishing I had gotten my butt in gear sooner. But it’s done now (almost).

I feel better about myself and the final project.

Not So. So-so Day.

I had no desire to do anything today. I ended up driving my my son to school then came home and went back to bed. I slept until it was time to pick him up again.

As I lay in bed before leaving to get my son after school- I stared into the unfinished bathroom. The bathroom that I began to refinish 11 years ago. Ugh. I just wanted to go back to sleep after getting my kid from school.

Instead, I fixed the pipes for the sink, then grouted the bathroom. I probably should’ve started earlier in the day. It’s now 11pm and I just finished. Quick blog, an ice pack and some tv. Maybe I can finish one of my projects before vacation is over.

Bug Off!

The heat is on- On the street.

Summer has hit us early it seems. With this sudden influx of heat comes MOSQUITOES! Everyone is getting eaten alive! Time to bring out the bug spray with a lovely scent that reminds me of toxic chemicals.

We also have a couple of more tools in our arsenal to keep us safe.

The bug zapper.

This is more for larger bugs. Not sure how effective this is. I just enjoy hearing a BZZZZTTTT when an insect dies as we sit outside for dinner. Because of this I had to buy another toy:

A bug zapper fly swatter.

This is hours of fun. Swishing around in the backyard like a tennis racket. Catching swarms of bugs in the electrical mesh. Pop! Fzzzt! And small lightning bolts as the bugs die. My children have fought over who gets to use it the most. (I’m secretly waiting for one of them to touch the metal part with their finger.)

All of these are an excellent way to deal with the bug situation. I still smack and kill the blood suckers when I notice them. But these bugs sometimes outsmart me. Take a few minutes ago for example: Tonight I smacked at my crotchular area to shoo away a mosquito. Turns out hitting oneself in the testicles adds more pain than the lingering itch of a bug bite.

I won’t be making that mistake again any time soon. From now on I’m going to drown myself in Off! No more self-dick-punches for this guy. I learned the hard way.