Yard Work, Yard Work, and More Yard Work

I have been tackling our yard over the past couple of days. Yesterday I was working on trimming our rhododendron bush when the rain hit. Today, I cleaned the green moss/mold off the front edges of our roof’s flashing.

Then I formed our boxwood bush using bailing wire and my electric hedge trimmer. Followed by planting some Hostas and Helleborus in a shady part of our front yard. I figure by the end of next week our front yard will win back it’s curb appeal.

Having an acre is difficult to maintain. It’s also difficult to figure out how to decorate and keep the flow going. We have a few spots that are overgrown or ignored. I’m hoping to change that this summer (on a budget!). Lots of work to do for the family.

Having three teenagers around can either be useful or frustrating depending on their attitudes of the day. Hopefully they will enjoy the fruits of their labors. I figure by the summer our home will be easier to maintain. Only time will tell.

Dead Frog

Dead Frog Brewing has been around for a few years. I think it was about a year ago they moved locations to a higher traffic area. I have been to their tasting room a handful of times now. Unfortunately I find that many of their beers aren’t as good as they once were. It seems they are going for quantity not quality.

8fd3666e-283f-4474-a4cb-3ebac90eaea4-1

On Saturday, my wife and I went to Dead Frog with our friend to sample what they called “Sour Ass Saturday”. Many of their sour beers were on special as well as a sour beer float. Since I was driving, I only had a couple of beers. None of which were sour. One of which was absolutely nasty.

There was a beer called “Poseidon’s Stool”. Sardine and seaweed stout. I can only describe it with the utmost vulgarity.  Please stop reading if you wish to not be offended.

It tasted as if a teenage boy had masturbated frequently into a dirty, sweaty gym sock; then used the sock as a coffee filter- straining beer through the coffee grounds; then Poseidon drank said beverage only to cause himself a severe case of explosive diarrhea into a keg thus allowing underlings to sample it. As you can see from my expression, I was happy to try a unique flavor until it actually hit my taste buds. Now I know what killed the frog.

Not everything should be attempted. Blending seafoam sperm and beer shits is not my idea of a pleasant drink. Afterwards I had to go home and drink other types of beer to try and forget the flavors. Perhaps I should’ve stuck with a samples from Sour Ass Saturday.  But if the name is anything like the other beer- drinking sour ass isn’t my thing either.

Good Fortune

On the last day of my work week, my boss threw a fortune cookie at me. It read:

“Be yourself and you will always be in fashion.”

This is pretty much how I live my life. Especially when it comes to fashion. I just dress the way I want. Sometimes it’s a bit out there and odd. I guess that’s what makes me unique.

But if I believed baked goods could tell me my future- then there may be something wrong with me. But since I don’t, I suppose it’s still fun to read these fortunes. Horoscopes are the same way. Decipher the deeper meaning to make it pertinent to your life or situation. Read into the signs to reflect what you want to hear.

Or just be yourself and always be in fashion.

Photography Runs in the Family

I loved taking photography classes back in high school. When Instagram came around- I fell in love with the idea of quickly manipulating photos and sharing them. Our oldest daughter has also been taking photography classes in school as well as being on the Yearbook committee. Over the past couple of months, she has gotten the Photoshop bug and has taken to creating some fun works of art.  So much so, that she requested that I write about it and share with you some of her pieces.

Back in November, our daughter had bought herself a brand new laptop. She had been saving up for months to do this.  Naturally, she has been using it to work on photos and music.  The photos she wants me to share mostly come from a site called Pexels that allows people free use of the images.

She loves blending colors and overlaying numerous images on top of one another. She is quite good with her use of lighting and shadows.  Her and I often discuss different techniques such as line of sight or even point of view.

sunset on the mountains

Her Photoshop skills have an air of fantasy about them. With many alternate views of reality or the world around us. One of my favorites is the one of her and her little sister from when they were younger.

Reading

I love how our children enjoy creating music and photos to share with others. If you wish to follow her skills as they grow and become better- she has a public account on Instagram under the name Frigid_Spark613. She would love to gain more followers.

Miller Time

It’s been a long week. I couldn’t race out the office door fast enough today. Not that I don’t like my coworkers or the job. It’s just time to take a mental recharge.

I don’t even have the time to finish writing today’s blog and my first beer is poured.

The crisp fizz hit my tongue and a rush of sensations came over me. Ah… simply refreshing. Memories of underage drinking of cheap beers to last year’s plane rides and cold ales after take off. There’s an idea that enjoying a cold beer just feels normal. Not drinking to get wasted. Just a sample of cold, liquified fermentation has become a part of my dietary desires.

Chilled, crisp and exactly what was needed to start my weekend. A small break from responsibilities. A mental vacation away from the hustle and bustle of moving trains.

Happy Friday to my Readership! This glass is raised to you!

Long Work Week

This week is a much longer work week for me than usual. I’m also working in a location that I haven’t had the years of experience in that others have. Since I’m helping to cover for my coworkers vacations- I’m putting in six days straight. Twelve hour days at that. I have two more days to go.

Needless to say I am starting to feel it mentally. Each day is blending into the next. But that’s okay. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I’ll snag four days off after. Except those four days are filled up with appointments and commitments.

I just hope for a few moments of peace in between.

Aka: Naps. I’m gonna need them.

Safe Neighbors

Growing up I remember seeing signs around my neighborhood such as these:

Now as an adult, I rarely see these signs. Or perhaps I just don’t notice them. I have found however- that information and reporting of suspicious activity gets shared quickly amongst friends and neighbors. Even though the signs aren’t out- I feel good knowing that my neighbors all look out for one another.

Sharing information is great. Sharing fear is not. There is a fine line when it comes to what or how people should share as well. Staying safe and having a safe community to live in is of the utmost importance. So I will continue to talk with my neighbors and keep my eyes open for anything out of the ordinary. I hope that you will do the same.

Stay safe out there. And do your part to keep your neighbors safe as well.

Breaking the Fast

I live very separate lives when it comes to eating breakfast. Part of me wants to eat a huge greasy meal that is sure to clog my arteries. Then there’s a part that wants me to eat healthily. Another part of me skips breakfast all together. I have no idea which is which until my day begins.

I love to cook.

Period.

And when I make breakfast- my family loves it. Especially on weekends. That’s when we are all at home together. Oftentimes my family is asking me if I can make them something to eat. From scratch-made waffles to vegetarian omelettes- I make it all delectable.

And my family devours it.

But those days that I have to be at work at 06:00am- I won’t eat anything until closer to 10:00am. By then my stomach is pretty empty and ready to enjoy food. Usually it’s a PB+J sandwich or some granola and yogurt. It also helps with the entire day. It keeps me from wanting to eat too much junk. If I eat too early, I usually want to forage and snack the rest of the day.

April is Here

Somehow I lost January, February and March. Except for a couple of key moments, like my birthday two weeks ago, the past three months blasted by. Ahhh!!!

I need to take it easy a bit more. With a quarter of the year gone, it’s time to reel it back a bit. The first thing I am going to do to achieve this? Change the music I listen to. No more Heavy Metal or Industrial music. I have discovered the joy of Lounge Music.

No joke.

Hearing covers of “Fame” or “Funky Town” or even Pink Floyd’s “Money” brings me joy. We ate dinner tonight on our back beck as the sun set, listening to some amazing lounge covers. Even our kids commented on how it felt like we were eating at a restaurant on a patio as we tried to guess the songs as they played.

Hearing Michael Jackson’s “Don’t stop ’till You Get Enough” covered by Bossa N’ Disco made my busy day at work seem calm and relaxing. I almost completely forgot about work until I wrote that sentence. I’m off to discover some other great Lounge Style Covers before bed.

Hi Knoll Hike

It was a beautiful day on Saturday. My wife and I decided to take the kids for a leisurely walk. So we went to one of the parks in Langley.

Hi-Knoll is an easy hike that I would recommend. We went through a field and over a small bridge that crossed a stream. We ended up walking along the far edge of the park before cutting back into the wooded area. There were a few other people meandering along the pathways. We each nodded or said a “Hello” out of respect- the way many people do when out on nature walks.

It was a peaceful walk that ended up being extremely pleasant. Our kids enjoyed the mild hike as well. We talked about me growing up near the area and the adventures I once had with former friends. It was all so surreal as my mind picked out snippets of a life that once was.

I’m looking forward to future walks with my family. Perhaps there will be more stories to share. Only time will tell.

Do you know of any other good parks to check out? Where do you go to clear your thoughts? Let me know in the comments.