June 16, 2013: Newly laid Pavers, Evening Fire, Soap Bubbles, Sage Beer and Honeysuckle Mead

This has been an interesting weekend.  I was off Thursday (not feeling well), and I was on my alternate Friday off from work.  Friday my wife and gardened in the south yard, cutting back the iris, weeding, trimming various plants, and generally sprucing up the area.  The south yard looks much tidier and I know as the summer progresses we’ll have to continue to weed and trim to keep the area healthy and beautiful looking.  I haven’t really helped my wife with gardening and it was an eye-opener as we moved through trimming and weeding.  I enjoyed working in the garden and I look forward to helping more when I retire.

Sage beer with exciter added

Sage beer with exciter added

Also, my son and my wife made Sage beer on Friday.  While my son has made a wheat based beer before, making herbal beers is a much simpler process.  We’ve made Sage beer before and it has a nice light, refreshing taste and can’t be beat (well almost, Nettle beer does beat it) on a hot summer afternoon.  The beer had to be cooled down most of Friday and then my son added the yeast and later added an “exciter” which really made the beer to be start “cooking”.  Once the exciter was added the bottle can’t be moved without causing an incredible mess so it will sit on the kitchen counter until it stops bubbling.

Close up of the foaming action from the exciter.  If you look closely you can see the tiny bubbles rising just below the foam line.

Close up of the foaming action from the exciter. If you look closely you can see the tiny bubbles rising just below the foam line.

This batch will yield about four gallons and will be ready in a week or so.  The next herbal beer will be made from Elderberry flowers.

Honeysuckle Mead before the yeast has been added

Honeysuckle Mead before the yeast has been added

My son started the honeysuckle mead yesterday and will add the yeast either tonight or tomorrow when it’s at the right temperature.  The mead takes longer to mature but the wait is worth it as the honeysuckle mead is one of the best he and my wife has made over the past couple of years.

Saturday was much harder work but at the end of the day it was worth every muscle ache that accumulated throughout the day.  We laid the rest of the pavers (around 80 or so) around our outdoor fire pit.  My wife and son leveled the ground and laid the pavers while I picked up a half yard of sand from Spanaway.  With trowel in hand I went to work leveling the pavers around the fire pit.  Having the sand available made all the difference in the world and made my task a lot simpler.  It still took me about six hours to complete the job but as I progressed I could see the difference.  Finally, after I leveled the last paver, I put sand in between the pavers, swept the newly pavers off and we all oohed and aahed at how tidy the area around the fire pit now looked.

Christmas decorations in June as the soap bubbles float gracefully in front of the pines.

Christmas decorations in June as the soap bubbles float gracefully in front of the pines.

My son and my wife cleaned out the fire pit, laid in wood for the evening’s fire, and when the magic moment arrived, we went out, lit the fire, drank homemade beer, made soap bubbles and took photos.  It was a very relaxing evening.  My wife had picked up a soap bubble blower and when she was blowing bubbles my son and I grabbed our cameras and started to capture the bubbles as they drifted in front of the pines like Christmas ornaments.

The summer's first fire within it's new pavers.

The summer’s first fire within it’s new pavers.

My wife mentioned how beautiful they looked in front of the fire and for the next 20 or so minutes,

Shooting for the moon.

Shooting for the moon.

I was shooting away, including bubbles shooting for the moon.

Here’s some more images from last nights fire:

A flight of bubbles heading right into the fire.

A flight of bubbles heading right into the fire.

A flight of bubbles heading right into the fire.

A flight of bubbles heading right into the fire.

Soap bubble floating in front of the very intense fire

Soap bubble floating in front of the very intense fire

Stones, fires and bubbles

Stones, fires and bubbles

Hovering

Hovering

Spaceships above the new stones

Spaceships above the new stones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tools:  Nikon D300, 24-85mm, 18-55 mm, Capture NX2

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