Thursday, May 22, 2008

Garden Like a Rock Star

I've always liked the idea of having a garden, but as the folks on HGTV will tell you, it's not something you can half-ass. You basically have to work the shovel till your arm's sore. I don't know what happened...I must've tapped into some dad power or something, but what follows is something that people who know me might find very uncharacteristic.

In years past I've put together gardens, but always found a way to shrivel the hardiest plants. The watering schedule would be neglected, the weeds would take over...basically no tlc was administered at all.

This year is different. The land is going to produce for me, and I'll tell you why. If you work the land, the land WORKS. That's the key...never mind that I just made that up now. What I've actually done is prepared things more carefully this time around. I've gotten my ducks in a row if you will. Here's how it all shakes out.

As you can see, I've covered all of the essentials. No more paying outrageous prices for specialty items at the grocery store or fireworks stand. In a few short months I'll be laughing all the way to the garden.

I decided to break ground between a couple of old clothesline poles. Not only was it a good size and a nice flat surface, the poles would serve as good support for the mini pergolas I hoped to build.

Take note of that pile of crap on the ground. Those were as many roots as I could stand pulling out of the ground...a little oversight having deemed this the best spot for a garden.

Here's Dana and myself assembling the aforementioned pergolas.

Fried dirt cakes...and dirt on the cob! Eh, eh?

These dusty old bits of lumber were so corkscrewed I'm surprised I was able to get them to behave at all. I really had to tighten the screws on their failure to conform.

The most important crop of all, and quite possibly the main thrust of this entire project is the hops. Oak Lair Hops will be a prominent supplier for Brandodojo Brewery going forward. Why else would I labor so diligently, so fervently, so tenaciously on trellises. If you nurture the hops, the hops will nurture you. be continued.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

More-a Maura

Alright, I told myself this wasn't going to be a baby blog, but two posts is a trend, so I've already got some work ahead of me if I plan to restore any dudely order to the Lair. There will be plenty of time to chronicle all of the other facets of my life, but for now I'm just going to try to be sensitive to all of the developments on the baby front.

There isn't really that much to report lately, aside from her increasing ability to eat and fill diapers well. She sleeps a lot, but when she's not sleeping she is incredibly calm...serene even. She makes enough faces to keep us entertained, and I have a feeling it's only gonna get more entertaining.

She's a pretty good kid.

Friday, May 2, 2008


First blog, first post, and oh yeah...first baby.

I know that too much shouldn't be made of the unveiling of this blog. After all, I'll probably do it for a couple of weeks, see something else shiny and drift out to sea. In the meantime though, I offer you an all access pass to the Oak Lair.

About a week and a half ago my wife and I met our daughter for the first time. Throughout the pregnancy there was no shortage of baby/labor/delivery advice and testimony from friends, family, books, tv, etc. I was starting to form a pretty good picture of what it was going to be like as we approached blast off. As it turned out, we could've just gone ahead with our carefree, know-nothing-about-childbirth lifestyle.

Tuesday, April 22nd Jodi woke up with what could be described as a moderate pre-labor discomfort. As the morning wore on, she became more and more uncomfortable, but not in a way that was consistent with contractions described by the books/classes/nurses. At any rate, the pain was becoming pretty hard to ignore, and it was becoming more apparent that we needed to get to the hospi....TTAAAAAUUUGHL!!

Upon arriving (around 8:20 a.m. or so), Jodi was asked to get into the appropriate attire, during which time she was urged to hurry, as she was displaying some all too familiar behaviors. After being helped onto the bed and hooked up to all necessary monitors, it was soon determined that she was pretty much fully dilated. It was at that time that the nurse said something along the lines of, "Get the doctor in here now!"

Until this moment I had wondered about what exactly I was going to be doing during this process. I figured I would be doing some coaching, some massaging...just generally trying to make Jodi a little more comfortable...all the while sitting safely next to her head. I have to admit, though, that the anticipation of this event and all that it involves had me more than a little anxious.

Fortunately for everyone involved, I didn't really have time to get worked up. As it turned out, Jodi had pretty much done all of the work prior to arriving at the hospital. After pushing through one contraction, Maura Kay Bright was introduced to the world about 15 minutes after we checked in. I can't help but think of how it might've gone down had I gotten pulled over on the way. I kinda wish I was able to tell the story of how my kid squirted down mama's pantleg. I should probably be thankful for the way it actually turned out.

Here are some movies I whipped up...