Monday, February 10, 2020

Grill Tool Rack Made From Scrap Materials

In case you missed the point in the post about my Weber Performer, I love grilling. There is something about fire and vegetables and meat and cooking that is peaceful and relaxing. The perfect burger sizzling away, corn on the cob roasting, slices of grilled pineapple warming over the flames... I'll have to finish this post later. I'm getting really hungry.

I'm back.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Renaissance Dad's Ten Favorite Products of 2019

The year 2019 has come and gone, and as we enter 2020, I can't help but think that the Jetsons steered me wrong. While I don't think there was ever a specific year mentioned, I'm disappointed that 2020 hasn't given us flying cars, food conveyor belts, or sassy robot maids. While there will be many amazing things in the coming year, I certainly won't be holding my breath on that list.

But this has caused me to pause and think of 2019 and some of my favorite things that I discovered or rediscovered during that year. I made some fantastic discoveries in 2019, and I would like to share my ten favorite products of 2019, in no particular order. Please note that none of the companies gave me products or money, but I am simply so happy with my experiences that I wished to share them.

1. Home Master Artesian Reverse Osmosis System - I didn't want to change out my reverse

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Homemade Limoncello: Put Your Lemons to Good Use

Years ago I had a parent of one of my students bring me a gift. It was in a tall, skinny bag. She told me that I probably wouldn't want to open it at school, which meant that it was a great gift. It was a bottle of homemade limoncello. For those of you who don't know what limoncello is, it's like adult lemonade. It's like liquid sunshine in a glass. It is fabulous. So if you happen to read this article, Tammy, this one's for you.


-16ish organic lemons (you use the rinds, so it is very important that the lemons are organic. The trees in your yard or the neighbor's yard are probably perfect)

-a bottle of vodka (if you can find 100 proof vodka, that is preferred. If not, choose your favorite. I like Skyy vodka because the blue bottles are great for storing the limoncello)

Monday, December 30, 2019

Five Tips for the Best Fire in the Fireplace (Including How to Make Homemade Fire Starters)

We have had a chilly, rainy winter in Phoenix. Last year I had, at most, a dozen fires in my fireplace. This year, we have had fires on a regular basis. We have also yet to turn our heat on, which I take as a win considering that it is the tail end of December. So aside from the nice ambiance of a fire in the fireplace, fires also have given us warmth to get through the chilly parts of the day.

I never seem to have a problem starting a campfire. In fact, about 18 years ago I built an epic campfire that still lives in family lore, through which I am certain I conjured the Bolrog. And yet I often seemed to struggle with getting a fire going inside a fireplace. This became evident when my wife and I bought our first house with a fireplace. Fires would smolder and fizzle, but seldom would blaze.

At some point, when time travel becomes possible and I can send myself information, my past self will be grateful to learn some tricks and tips to build a perfect fire. But for now my present self will be content to sit and read, blog, or watch a movie in front of a blazing fire in the fireplace.

So here are my tips on getting that perfect fire in the fireplace (or fire pit), based on hundreds of failed fire attempts.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Christmas Movie Jeopardy

Nothing prepares me more for the holidays than curling up on the couch with a fire in the fireplace, cuddling with the family, and watching a wonderful Christmas movie. Our family has a pretty significant Christmas Movie Canon, and it is now to the point that we have to schedule out our movies to make sure we have time to watch them all. Needless to say, we love our Christmas movies.

For a teacher party, I recently made a Christmas Movie Jeopardy game. It was a huge hit, filled with some more difficult movies and some that may or may not be on your particular Christmas movie list.

So gather your friends, fill up your moose-head glasses with eggnog, pour some syrup onto your spaghetti, light up the Christmas tree and challenge your friends. And you may just end up with a new Christmas movie to watch this season.

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