Brew Class: for the Novice Home Brewer

This was my Valentines Day Present.  Home Brew Class put on by Ice Harbor Brewery in Kennewick WA.

We were brewing on way to small a scale (plus with extract instead of mash) so we didn’t get to use they’re awesome Mash Tun.


We enjoyed their IPA, Runaway Red Ale, Kolsch, and sampled the Lucky German Stout.  Our waitress Joe, was amazing and brought us their delicious Po Boy and Prime Rib Dip to enjoy while brewing.

They have a great brewery supply store as well with everything you could ever need!

We’ll go to the bottling class in two weeks and learn how to bottle and then take home our portion of the delicious beer. We’ve been informed that it will take another week and a half after bottling for it to be fully carbonated.  Check back as I add updates!


Beard Oil

All the rage I know.  But it’s snowboarding season so my handsome partner elected to grow a beard.  It rapidly got out of control and as of last week he finally trimmed and shaped it.  We discussed beard oil and selected this ‘recipe’ or balance of carrier oils.  It remains to be seen whether the peppermint ‘flavor’ is enough scent, but I know my eyes watered!

The finally result warranted a “That’s badass!”

For a 50ml bottle:

25ml of Coconut Oil


Organic Coconut Oil

25ml of Sweet Almond Oil with Vitamin E Oil


Organic Coconut Oil

~5 drops of Tea Tree Oil (extremely potent)

~8 drops of Peppermint Oil (just seeing if it even works)

I had to melt the Coconut Oil due to the chilly weather here west of the Blues, once it was liquid I poured it into the measuring cup and added the scents.

I topped it off with the Sweet Almond Oil and mixed briefly.  Using my nifty little funnel I poured it into my recycled bottle (probably the cause of ‘badass’).


Sweet Almond Oil with Vitamin E Oil

For those that are local I got the coconut oil from ThriveMarket (this doesn’t mean that you can’t buy it locally, but I was trying out their pretty awesome deals last month).  I got the almond oil and peppermint oil from Super 1 in the Huckleberries section. I’ve had the tea tree oil for a long time, and have collected the various tools over time.

My only worry for this mix is the coconut oil separating and solidifying again.  Time will tell!


So for some reason I decided to check single dad laughing tonight.  I spent two full hours laughing at his pregnancy brain post and the following comments. But the point of this post is his far more recent post titled scrooged.  He writes as if the first ghost visits him.  In his self discovery he doesn’t reach the second or third ghosts which I would have found interesting; yet it could have taken away from the story he did tell.  I read this with a perspective of one that is over this holiday season, one that was over whelmed with the holiday section at shopko.  I started reading thinking that I wouldn’t finish this blog post… tldr…only it hooked me and I made it to the second page and with that I kept reading.  I couldn’t help but feel, cry, laugh, and relate.  I needed this post, I needed the perspective it gave me and the reassurance that I’m not crazy, that life is not just black and white and that I too am enough.  I am important.

I’ve made it this far into December with only minor breakdowns.  I’ve set boundaries with the holiday shopping and decor and yet I’ve done everything I have done with all the love and hope I can muster; I say can because I summoned more than I ever thought I could at this point.


Crossing the Line Between Personal Time and Work Time

In my attempt to study between making a large breakfast, entertaining children, and watching the Panthers loose I stumbled across a quote that applied so readily to my situation with one of my jobs.

Employers, who want to maximize the value-added
of each employee, have the technological means to
expect constant contact and an increasingly blurry
distinction between work and non-work time (e.g.,
Porter, 2009)

In a resent event, where I was unable to put my personal life on hold to come in on my day off for a meeting, my employer deemed this inappropriate and disrespectful.  Now, a week later and two full hours of my time spent emailing back and forth while not resolving anything I have been ‘punished’.  I have been removed from the schedule completely.  This is as far from a punishment as possible.

Between two jobs and school I have been too busy to think straight or even do my laundry.  My intent was to take a few days off of this job to have my grandfather visit me.  Now with this increase in time I am able to catch up on school, be more productive at my second job, and have my grandfather visit.

Now I must admit that If I had simply gone in on my day off I would still be on the schedule and it probably would have taken far less of my personal time (over two hours have been spent emailing with my employer), however I could not find a motivation that was strong enough for my values.  The second job is more demanding of my time in my personal life too, though I am an independent contractor and work from home most of the time so it balances out.  This second job also appeals to my values, beliefs, and I find I am respected and valued, not just as an employee, but as a person in general.  I am trusted to do my job, do it well, and get each job done.  With this respect I find that an interruption of my personal time less invasive, and that the communication that takes place far less time consuming.

My school is slowly coming along.  I had to change my working thesis half way through this week, which I first felt was a hard set back.  Four days of research, citing my sources, evaluating and rereading each document and I have found that this thesis is only encouraging my frustration with the first job.


As is sit here starting my research, seeing if there is even enough valuable information out there to support my concept, I’m driven towards what I want. Having suffered trough my previous course I felt like I was lacking. I felt like maybe I hadn’t selected the right degree, or plan of action. Right now I’m drawing the bow back, aiming as some far off point that becomes a little clearer then a little duller and repeats. Working for small businesses again has become my greatest educator, even more than my university on the average day. Maybe that’s because I’m still in the pre-requisites, maybe that’s because these small businesses have so much to teach me.

I love the idea of opening my own business. Yet I wouldn’t have given it a second thought until recently. Unless someone else held the reigns there would be too much fear on my part. Now, I fear another dead end job, and my own sloth like nature more.

Sadly convincing myself to return to the small business I work primarily for is more daunting. I want to take it over; I want to correct the turns that have steered this business off track. Some days I want to start from scratch. I have to coach myself; it’s not my business, it’s not my money; and opening another of this small business would just injure both at this point. This is a rant I did not intend to go down as I started to write.

The second small business I’ve been working with sounds amazing and looks even better on paper. This business venture is run by a serial entrepreneur and has the potential to be a great success. Here I feel like the steps are being taken too slowly, or in the wrong order. There is drive and passion, there is determination, and there is caution. The determination and caution are butting heads. They are two rams charging at each other repeatedly; one day one wins, the next the other. I struggle to sit back and do my part when my part is going back on what I say so often. All of this is driving me to desire to be my own boss more than anything.

I need to take a step back because investing myself in these two ventures has distracted me from my own. I’m electing to write my argumentative research paper on something I’m passionate about, something that my or may not have the sources I need.   I know that I need to write this paper on this subject I care so much about to further pull back my arrow. I need this to reignite my drive.