Burn!

Having an acre full of trees and bushes is wonderful. The lush abundance of nature is tranquil and serene. As well, we have a sense of privacy from our neighbors which is fantastic. The only problem is the upkeep of the yard.

But we have two times of the year that we can really tackle and take back the yard- October and April. That’s because we get to burn all the dead branches and leaves. My wife claims it to be the best yard work job to do. In other words- she loves destroying with fire!

Burning Season means we also get the entire family out in the yard to help. Cutting branches, ripping out brambles, pulling out invasive plants… All of which gets tossed onto the fire. My wife likes to take full advantage of the weather and her days off in order to make a big dent in the landscaping. Next month we will be maintaining what we planted as well as basic chores.

I enjoy the final results. After a hard day of yard work, you just want to sit and relax. I have come to be using our wheelbarrow as a seat now. I chill with a cold beverage and watch the fire as it winds down. A great opportunity to reflect on life. A fire pit and the sun setting on our abode ends the day.

Don’t Worry – Be Happy

Back in 1988, I got a tape cassette for the “Cocktail” movie soundtrack. I had never seen the film- I was only thirteen at the time (I still haven’t seen it). Going to movies at that age were generally comedic or of a family style. But this film had a soundtrack that perfectly summed up that year.

I listened to it on my ghetto blaster over and over. A favorite song being, “Don’t Worry- Be Happy“. I played this soundtrack so much that a couple of years later- when my parents bought their first CD player- I was given the soundtrack again on CD.

To this day, I still like this soundtrack and that particular song. The advice is prevalent even more so in this day and age. So get out there and live life. The best way to do this-

Don’t Worry – Be Happy

Delete That

I began writing my blog for today, but wasn’t happy with it. It was a very heavy opinion piece that even made me angry reading it. Not because I wouldn’t agree with my piece, but rather that people could end up offended. And that is not the goal I have with my blog.

So I deleted it.

That blog ceased to be. It is in the dark recesses of technological ones and zeros. I removed it one character at a time. I watched as my cursor blinked slowly at first as each letter vanished. Then whole words disappeared, followed by entire sentences.

So now you get this blog entry instead. I wish it was more inspiring. Perhaps it is?

Perhaps not sharing a differing opinion because I knew it could push some buttons is in fact an inspiration.

Skating Never Ends

The Speed Skating season is over. But that doesn’t mean that training is over. On Saturday morning I took my son to meet up with some other members of his Speed Skating club for an hour so that they could get a bit of a workout.

It was a beautiful day, so the kids went out on their in-line skates for some more practice. The four of them enjoyed it tremendously. What I really liked was that it was one of the skaters that wanted to arrange this, not a parent or coach. Speed Skating is a serious endeavor for those involved. The fact that these kids are taking it seriously makes me proud.

I need to get myself more disciplined like these youngsters. Perhaps it’s time for me to put my inline skates back on…

Do A Barrel Roll

Friday was a day of yard work. My daughter helped me set up a couple of planters and some new drainage.

I picked up a couple of half whiskey barrels on sale. Our daughter drilled some drainage holes for me. Afterwards we placed them on either side of our carport. We put some styrofoam about half full followed by some drainage stones and soil.

I dug up a couple of ferns and some vines we had in our yard and transplanted them into the pots. My daughter and I removed the downspouts and set up something different.

My daughter and I cleaned up some old chains and spray painted them gloss black. We hung the chains from the copper spouts and into the planters. We added some stones on top of the soil to help keep the dirt from washing away. Having the chains go from the downspouts will help to drain the water from our roof and keep the pine needles from clogging up the drainage. The final result also changed the look of our home tremendously.

As a small celebration, I enjoyed some “Barrel of Sunshine” afterwards. Having a shot helped me to appreciate the hard work being done all day. I’m excited to possibly try this in other areas of our home.

How is your garden growing these days? Ever plant a whiskey barrel before?

Do A Barrel Roll

Friday was a day of yard work. My daughter even helped me set up a couple of planters and some new drainage.

I picked up a couple of half whiskey barrels on sale. Our daughter drilled some drainage holes for me. Afterwards we placed them on either side of our carport. We put some styrofoam about half full followed by some drainage stones and soil.

I dug up a couple of ferns and some vines we had in our yard and transplanted them into the pots. My daughter and I removed the downspouts and set up something different.

My daughter and I cleaned up some old chains and spray painted them gloss black. We hung the chains from the copper spouts and into the planters. We added some stones on top of the soil to help keep the dirt from washing away. Having the chains go from the downspouts will help to drain the water from our roof and keep the pine needles from clogging up the drainage. The final result also changed the look of our home tremendously.

As a small celebration, I enjoyed some “Barrel of Sunshine” afterwords. Having a shot helped me to appreciate the hard work being done all day. I’m excited to possibly try this in other areas of our home.

How is your garden growing these days? Ever plant a whiskey barrel before? Let me know in the comments.

Good. Friday.

Today is Good Friday. The kids were home from school and my wife and I had the day off. Our two youngest did one of the nicest things for their mother today.

They set up an Easter Egg Hunt in our living room- just for my wife. With only a little bit of help from me. (I bought the chocolates and made sure to get their mom out of the house this morning so they could set up.)

Over the past few days, the kids have been making little notes to go inside the plastic eggs. As well as a card from “The Easter Bunny”. The kids were really excited to surprise their mother today. I’m impressed that they kept it a secret.

Needless to say, my wife got very emotional. Easter and the Easter Egg Hunt has always been her favorite thing to do for the kids. This year was a nice way for the kids to treat their mother. I think my wife is a bit upset at me because for the past few days I kept telling her that the kids are getting too old for the Easter Bunny. That was a tough sell that didn’t go over well.

I don’t really think anyone is too old to enjoy a surprise scavenger hunt. If our kids still enjoy searching for chocolates as teenagers- so be it. Having them grow up is tough as it is.

Super Easy. Barely an Inconvenience.

My kids have become obsessed with a YouTube channel these days. So much so that they are doing their best to incorporate some of the catchphrases into their daily routine. Which is “super easy, barely an inconvenience” if you ask my children.

Go and check out Screen Rant: Pitch Meetings and enjoy the banter of how your favorite films and tv shows got made. Or rather, a humorous take on how the film was created. Every video shows a “Producer” getting a pitch idea from a “Writer”. Oftentimes pointing out glaring plot holes and lazy movie making. You know, the stuff the studio doesn’t want you to think to hard about.

Whoops

Good YouTube channels are “Tight”. I highly recommend this one. I’ve even rewatched a few of the pitch meetings a couple of times. They are pretty amazing. I can’t wait to see their take on the next Marvel or Star Wars show.

Go and take some of your free time and enjoy Screen Rant. You won’t regret it.

Growing Food

We aren’t exactly the best people to ask advice for when it comes to growing your own food. One year we have the best luck growing beans. Another year we have peppers. Usually we have zucchini galore. Tomatoes Are almost out of the question. We got lucky one year however. But in the end, we do grow some foods.

I like growing the easy plants. The ones that really don’t take much effort. Which sounds lazy. But really it isn’t. Take green onions or romaine lettuce for instance.

Romaine lettuce can regrow. But only for a little bit. If you cut the romaine down to about an inch or so from the base and put it in water- in about a week and a half you have some leaves growing. That’s about as big as it will grow. It’s only enough to get yourself some tiny lettuce leaves for a sandwich.

Green onions are similar. Cut them down to about a half inch and place it in water. They will continue to grow for quite some time. You can trim them for use repeatedly as well. Eventually they wilt or lose flavor.

We have also attempted to grow an avocado tree from a pit. We can usually get a good start, but after it’s planted in a pot, we have a dead tree on our hands. No matter how many times we try and grow it. Hopefully one day we will be successful.

Bonsai

I have always wanted a Bonsai. I tried to make one about 15 years ago, but I failed miserably. Mainly because I didn’t put in the care and effort needed to keep it alive. So why not try again..? I am using this as a zen inspired activity. Keeping it watered and trimmed from time to time will help to calm and relax.

I picked up a small juniper since they are the heartiest and easiest to form. I took it out of the plastic pot and planted it into a new clay pot. Unfortunately the pot I do have is a tad large for the roots. A healthy bonsai needs to have the roots trimmed as well as the branches. Unless I want the tree to grow fairly large. So another transplant may occur by the end of summer. We’ll see how it does.

Then came the time to trim away almost everything. A bit of wire was used to help form the branches. This is just the start of my bonsai. Keeping it trimmed and cared for will be ongoing for the remainder of my time. And a desperate hope to keep it alive…

Wish me luck in my Zen Adventure.