Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Importance of Taking an Occasional Break

 As modern Americans, we, collectively, tend to forget to take a break from the grind every now and then.
A nice dinner and a few drinks one night....appetizers and a plethora of beer samplings another night and then     some sitting around doing nothing....these are the things that help to take the edge off. And, by edge, I mean stress of course.
During recent adventures, I found my two new favorite places to chill out...The Ground Round and Bocktown Beer and Grill. Each of these places has a unique feel and an easy vibe. The Ground Round by our house is, as far as I know, the last of it's kind anywhere. It's aged and a little worn...frequented by "regulars" but still changing up the menu and keeping prices low. Bocktown is purely beer heaven...huge coolers line one entire wall.
This place oozes comfort for me....dark wood, low light, acoustic acoustic sounds, being played by Just Bucky. Food and drink to keep me zen all day and the company of my wonderful wife.

I'm thinking that we need to take more breaks....

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Garden Update, Let There Be Food

These pictures don't do our garden justice.  We've got over 40 grape tomatoes,  20 or so peppers of different varieties, several large regular tomatoes,  huge onions and our squashes, lettuces and cucumbers are growing by the minute.  So far so good! 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Rock Hill Resources - 18v Tools

One of the most costly items for new home owners can be tools for improving and maintaining the home.  When we purchased our house, Lori and I picked up an 18 volt Ryobi combo kit from Home Depot.  The kit came with a circular saw, drill, dustbuster and flashlight along with one 18v battery and a charger.  Each of the tools have been moderately to heavily used and, so far,  I have zero complaints.
As our first spring approached, we picked up a run of the mill gas push mower but we were in need of a weedwacker and hedge trimmer to keep our suburban yard lookin good.  We purchased an 18v lithium ion weedwacker and hedge trimmer also made by Ryobi. The li-ion power cell is much more efficient and powerful than the standard 18v  and each tool came with one battery and one charger.  The weedwacker and ttimmer get used at least once a week for about 8 months out of the year and, again, no problems at all. 
Back in April 2012, we did some camping in the Allegheny National Forest and we chose to leave the chainsaw behind. After struggling to find or paying to much for details decent fire wood, I realized that we would need an alternate solution for next time.  The problem with a chainsaw comes from all of the accessories that are needed ; gas, sharpener,  oil,  tools,  spare chain etc. and I am not a fan of hauling around all that stuff.  Again, we turned to Ryobi....this time for an 18v li-ion sawzall.  The sawzall also came with its own battery.  When equipped with a pruning blade, it will chew through logs and limbs up to 8 inches in diameter and maybe thicker.  I have been using it at home to shorten up fire wood, trim trees and work on the Rock Hill Mission walking sticks. 
By far the most beneficial part of cordless tools,  especially ones from a single manufacturer, is the interchangeability of the batteries and the fact that all of the pieces are portable.  For example,  I can throw all of my Ryobi tools into the truck and head for camp knowing that everything I need is on board, including a renewable power source.  All it takes is a simple inverter plugged into a cigarette lighter combined with one or two of the chargers. I am an especially big fan of the sawzall simply because it could come in handy during a storm scenario or a bug out scenario when dealing with trees or debris down on the roads... and it makes getting firewood for camp a breeze! 
With regard to price, these Ryobi tools average about 20% cheaper than the big brands like Dewalt and Makita and the quality is just as good. Parts, accessories and several dozen additional tools are available at Home Depot and on the web at 
I intend to expand my 18v collection and we'll keep adding additional "resources" posts as things progress.  

The Start of the Property Search

There has been a debate going on lately between Lori and I. I have a strong desire to move to a farm somewhere or to the wilderness. Lori, however, doesn't want to move out of our current school district. After some deliberation, we have decided that the best thing is going to be looking for and then purchasing some property in the mountains of PA....a place that has a "camp": type structure on it or, maybe, just raw land.
Ideally, we will be able to use this property for camping and hunting etc ad it will, eventually, be a retirement place for Lori and I.
We most certainly want a minimum of five acres and we would like a place bordering a state park, state game lands or national forest. By purchasing a property bordered by government land, we will be protected from development and annexation along with, basically, expanding the amount of land at our disposal to some degree.
Follow along with us as we ramp up our journey towards liberty! Finding a place to use for recreation while also developing a "bug out" location (a place to go if things get hectic in suburbia) we are killing two proverbial birds with one stone.
I am excited and the search will kickoff soon!