Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Ocean Trip!

On the second day of Ashley's time off, we decided to meet up with some family at Popham Beach State Park.  This is one of Ashley's favorite places in Maine and a place I grew up loving as well.

We had a great time and all wished we could have stayed a little longer.  The water was cold but the girls were brave!  I only got in knee deep.It is so great to be close to the ocean again.

Ashley noted how Kaleigh and I will have a similar association to the ocean as we grew up around it where she will always see it a little different because in Atlanta, the ocean is a full days drive.  She is right, Kaleigh and I will be spoiled with the salty ocean air but I'll take it!  There is nothing like being at the ocean.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Rained out.

In celebration of Kaleigh finishing 2nd grade, Ashley took a few days off and we decided to do some vacation type stuff!  After Kaleigh got out of school on Monday, we packed the car and headed to the White Mountains National Forest in New Hampshire!

Growing up so close, I was disappointed I had never bothered to go before, as it was beautiful.  We were driving to Crawford Notch State Park to attempt our first ever tenting trip for both Kaleigh and Tessa!

Kaleigh set up her tent quickly and was great.  Tessa was pretty reluctant to eat or stay in the tent but eventually warmed up to both and we all got a good nights sleep.

Tuesday was rainy.  Really rainy.  We opted to push through and hike to Aerthusa Falls in the weather.  It was just shy of a 3 mile hike which is typically nothing for us but in the rainy conditions, it caused the trail to be slippery so we took our time.  The falls was fantastic!  They girls did not stay long but I lingered and enjoyed the waterfall.  I caught back up with them quickly and we hiked back out, drenched.

We made the tough choice to head back to Maine shortly after since it was suppose to rain all day.  We took the scenic route home and got to see lower falls as well.  While we were all sad to leave so soon, it was nice to be dry and warm again.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Father's Day!

We celebrated Father's Day on Sunday.  I was the first time I have seen my father on Father's Day in more years than I can recall so that was really nice!

I woke up in the morning and Ashley made some nice brunch, pancakes, soy sausages, and hash-browns.  It was a great morning meal, full of starches the way brunch should be!  Kaleigh and Ashley also got me a rice cooker!  I had been wanting one for awhile so I can not wait to use it!

That evening, my father came over and we tried to have a cookout.  It did not work out well since it was a little rainy and we could not get the grill going.  We got some nice smoker effect though, that added a nice touch to our portobello mushroom burgers and asparagus that we eventually had to cook inside.

With dinner finally served, we all got specialty sodas!  We rarely drink soda in the house so this was a treat.  I got a root beer called Rat Bastard, it was quite good!  Kaleigh got Kitty Piddle, my dad got a creamy vanilla root beer, and Ashley had a salted caramel root beer.

For desert, Ashley made a cookies and cream pudding pie topped with coconut whipped cream!  It was delicious!  All in all, it was a great father's day!  I am a lucky person to have Ashley, Kaleigh and my dad in my life!

Monday, June 22, 2015

More punk shows at the house!

Friday night was our second punk show at the house.  It was the first show we have done with touring bands though.  Maine does not get touring punk bands all that often, especially on a weekend night however, we had the opportunity to have two on Friday!

The show opened with Stokin' the Neighbors.  They are some buddies of mine from a few towns away that play some good quality skate punk.  It was their first show but you would not have known it, they were pretty tight and played flawlessly.  Jared, their drummer, is incredibly good and fun to watch.

Next up was the local favorite USA Waste.  They played a good set as more folks arrived at the show.  I still wish they played their anthem, Maine Punx but they never do.  USA Waste is a real crowd please and got folks dancing around and having fun.

Third was Insubordination from Richmond VA.  They play pop punk with a blend of rock in some tunes.  They were on the first 2 weeks of a 6 month tour so they were still pretty fresh.  There were plenty of fist pumps and circle storms for this set!  Great guys too.

Last was the Las Vegas ska-punk band, Bitch 'N' Dudes.  They sounded similar to a female fronted Star Fucking Hipsters.  They played a great set and the crowd loved them.  More circle storms and even some skanking was the name of the game for them.

Although we nearly tripled our turn out from last week, it was still smaller than I had hoped but it was a great show.  The bands seemed to really have a good time and the folks that have been coming out are spreading the word.  People have been really appreciative of the space and it has been a blast.  It has been years since I have been throwing shows and it feels great!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Help with Thai

We are still pushing the Asian foods in the house.  Thai flavors is what I have really been working on.  I really enjoy Thai food but have never really learned the dishes and flavors.

I have been working really hard to find a peanut sauce that feels very Thai that I like to make.  There are a few decent ones from the store that provide some ideas and I have made a peanut stir-fry for years but it wasn't really Thai.

Has anyone had any good results with making Thai dishes?  Any tips or pointers?  I would really love to make amazing Thai food!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Vegans with Bees?!

We recently got our first bee apiary set up.  As a long time vegan I actually feel really good about this.  Bees are one of the few animals that have the freedom I feel good about.  We provide them a bee box to dwell in however, there is nothing confining about it.  They are never on a leash like a dog, never shut in a house like a cat, never fenced in like livestock; if they ever feel like they want to live elsewhere, they simply fly away.  Even as a vegan, this was an easy choice when I gave it some thought.

In the meantime, we certainly hope they are happy with what we offer then and choose to stay with up.  We have a lot of flowers they can help pollinate as well as up and coming fruit trees and a large garden.

The world need more well cared for bees.  With the massive decline, it was important for our family to do what we could.  We really hope we are successful because we would love to add more apiaries in the future.  It is a great educational experience for all of us.  Go bees go!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Back to the stove top.

Over the past year or more, when I have made Indian food I have been using the slow cooker.  Recently, I have been unhappy with the performance and felt it might be a lazy way for me to have gone about making such dishes.  They just did not have the flavors and textures I was looking for,

I decided to go back to basics.  I made channa masala on the stove top like I should.  I brought it all back to the way I made it years ago.  It turned out fantastic.  The rice soaked up all the great sauce and the dish was heavy in flavor without being acidic.  It was great.

For now, I am back to making it on the stove.  This was a great dish!  Not to mention the vegan samosas we foud at the dollar store being fairly good.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Squashed Warehouse Kick Off Show!

One of the goals in moving to Maine was to have a space that we could use for punk shows.  It needed to be a big enough space to get about 60 or so folks in but also small enough to not be a burden to the neighbors.  We have a standalone 900 sqft garage space that we call the Squashed Warehouse that fits the bill perfectly and last Saturday was our first show; the test run.

The first band to ever play at our space, was Cheers to Verona.  They are a local band that plays some melodic post hardcore type stuff.  They were a really fun band to watch live.  They were energetic and the love for their songs really came through.  They might have felt a little out of their element with such a DIY punk space but they still rocked out.

The second band to ever play the Squashed Warehouse was Hogans Alley.  These dudes have been around forever.  When I was a teenager these guys were playing the DIY spaces and they are still holding to it.

Due to an unforeseen issue, Sonic Libido did not play but fortunately, Tyler Voter was able to step in and take their place!  Tyler is a staple at The Loft shows in Skowhegan so he fit right in at our space.  He rocked his usual set with the help of some of the other Skowhegan kids as his back up band.

Lastly, Uncle Spudd was the cap to the show.  Near the end of their set, the Cheers to Verona folks showed back up as well as some other punk folks from further north.  Still a small turn out but perfecct for the first show.  The circle storms were started and I think the Cheers to Verona crew started to feel a little more at home as they participated in what melted into a mayhem of old punk covers (a couple of which I joined them singing) repeat songs from their set and generally fun chaos.

Although I wish more folks had shown up, I think the 1st show went extremely well.  There were no real issues to work out for the next time and we made some new friends as well.  The next show is right around the corner, come check it out and have fun!

June 19th!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wordless Wednesday!

Peanut Stir-fry

BBQ tofu with roasted brussels and broccoli

Elvis smoothie

New England corn showder

Banana Bread

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Trip down the coast

Sunday we had plans to get a hike in, however we got a late start and opted for a trip to the coast.  Ashley, Kaleigh, Tessa and I struck out toward Orrs Island soon after lunch.  We stopped at a few thrift shops on the way to the Lands End.

From there is was walking along the rocky coast of Maine and enjoying the scenery while avoid both poison ivy and strange strangers.