Sunday, September 18, 2022

Upcycled Stained Glass Bicycle Wheel

 In 2014 I got together with some friends and learned to do some basic stained glass. Two years after that I started a big stained glass project that culminated in 2017 with the installation of an 8-panel stained glass piece (https://www.renaissance-dad.com/2017/06/diy-stained-glass.html). Since then I have dabbled in stained glass, doing little projects as an artistic stress relief. 

Fast forward to the COVID years, and stress levels were high. So amidst the other things that help me find balance (woodworking, gardening, DIY projects, home improvement). This past spring I decided to start another stained glass project, and figured my garden could use a little color. My inspiration was something my mom sent me years ago as a possible project, and it has been living in my brain for all these years. 

I started by obtaining an old bicycle. I took the front wheel and the fork off. After stripping the wheel of reflectors, the tube and the tire, and after cleaning up the wheel, I had the base for my project. The plan was to put glass pieces in the triangular sections of

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

An Amazing Fall Beverage

I love fall. I love fall because Arizona is so hot during the summer, and fall is the sign of many months of wonderful weather. During the summer in Arizona, I can walk out of the house at five in the morning and the temperature is already 90 degrees. Hope comes on that first day of fall when I walk out of the house and am hit with air that is cooler than the air in our house. That is always my favorite day of the season. And while that day is not quite here yet, I know it is just around the corner. 

And now I have a new fall experience that I would like to share with the world. The other night my wife and I were sitting on the couch after we got the kids down. We each had an adult beverage - she had a hard cider, and I had a delicious pumpkin beer. We each took a couple of sips, and then we had the epiphany. And by "we" I mean my wife. We looked at each other, looked at the beverages, and my wife said what we were both thinking, "What if we mixed these?" GENIUS! I am married to a genius!

So here is the Renaissance Dad's Fall beverage - equal parts pumpkin beer and hard cider. This is such an amazing beverage, and I am here and now claiming naming rights to this deliciousness. However, I now need help from my readers. What should this beverage be called? Apple Jacks? Apple Spice? Pumpkin Pie? Apple and Tan? Let the naming suggestions begin.

Here's to the hope of fall weather, and the beverages that help us along!

Monday, July 4, 2022

Repairing Gaps in Laminate Flooring

 From 2017 to 2018 my family and I worked the floors in our entire house. Over the course of nine months, every square inch of our interior floors was replaced. It was an exhausting project, but one of the most beneficial projects that we have done to date (in case you missed it, you can see our before and after photos here). 

I love our floors, although there are definitely times when I think about replacing them, upgrading them, or completing the new project when these floors wear out, which will hopefully be in a long time. 

A few months ago I noticed some separating, some gaps, between a few of the boards at the top of the stairs. I am almost certain that there is no way it was an installation error. And I really don't see a way that our kids running around the house like drunken monkeys could be the cause for boards to

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Easy Ginger Peach Ice Cream Sandwiches

I don't know why ginger and peach make such an amazing couple. It's like Fred and Wilma, Bonnie and Clyde, yin and yang, or lemon and lime. Actually, it's not like any of those things, but it is pretty good.

So this brainchild came up as I was looking for a quick, tasty snack to have one evening. It is a simple, two ingredient treat - Trader Joe's Triple Ginger Cookies (two sizes available), and Tillamook Peaches & Cream ice cream.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Planting a Garden for Polinators

All of my garden beds are mostly fruits and vegetables. I went nuts this spring and planted 19 tomato plants; we are on the brink of eating gazpacho for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We have cucumbers, melons, peppers, and herbs. 

But last fall my 11 year old helped me pick out some flowers to intersperse around the veggies, and she really appreciated the look (she's into the aesthetics of things). I did as well. It added color, attracted bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, and just made gardening that much more enjoyable.