Friday, March 31, 2017

Weekly Retrospective....

What I’m reading: Finished The Functional Art by Alberto Cairo – great book for learning about visual design from a scientific angle, such as what we see and why, which helps us better present information to readers.

What I’m listening to: O.L.D. Podcasts (Optimal Daily Living) by Neal Malik. Ingenious idea where Neal reads condensed versions of various blogs from the internet focused on helping you to improve your health, finances and general well-being.

Where I’m failing: Learning Spanish, which I need to start taking more seriously with Joshua and I participating in an upcoming mission trip to Honduras in less than 3 months. Also need to get up to date on my long-distance Bible-study with Kadar….

What I’m experimenting with: Cold baths. Great for inflammation, tissue repair and flushing out waste products.

What I’m looking into/considering for the future: Minimalism….

What I need to continue to work on'Nosce te ipsum' – Know Thyself…..

What I’m looking forward to: Dinner with the wife tonight and some community service work with my little brother (Corey) tomorrow (starting a garden for an elementary school)…

Thursday, March 30, 2017

'Would You' Question of the Week

Would you rather have an easy job working for someone else or work for yourself but work incredibly hard?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Old-School Pic of the Week

My wife's grandfather fought in WWII with the 8th U.S. Navy Construction Battalion and later enlisted in the U.S. Army when the country entered the Korean War. He later disappeared in a military flight over the Yukon that has never been found. My father-in-law recently visited and brought some of his old Navy photo albums, from which I found the following pic I will share this week:

Monday, March 27, 2017

Successful Man....

From a Church bulletin my wife found in her recently deceased Grandmother’s Bible:

When Is Man A Success?

A man is a success when he can make steppingstones of to higher experiences out of his defeats; when he has a great conception of God and a true sense of his own littleness; when his faith and courage are as unwavering when things look bright and lovely as when they appear dark and fearful; when he views things against the background of eternity instead of the horizon of time. When God acknowledges that a man has lived for His Glory, then that man’s life has been a success. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Saturday Project

Moved fallen trees and limbs from the backside of my property to the slope below my house to build an au naturale retaining wall....

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Hemingway Quote

The world breaks everyone, and afterwards, some are strong at the broken places                    – Ernest Hemingway 

Friday, March 24, 2017


Currently harvesting enough spinach to make a few salads a week....

Sorry about the length of the last post. But check out that site for some great advice for improving your planning (and therefore outcomes)....

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Great Site...

...if you're serious about living life fully...

Here's how I've borrowed from this article:

·       Choose a goal that motivates you:
I set some big goals for the year that have far-reaching benefits. Doing less wouldn’t have created the excitement each small win brings me.
·       Make it specific:
Thanks to my accountability group (Kadar/Tyrone/Corey), I have specific goals that I report on each month.
·       Set a deadline:
Each of my financial goals has a set date for achieving (so far, so good)
·       Set up milestones:
Transitions are important to allow you to achieve small wins along the way….
·       Reward yourself:
All work and no play leads to a dull life. Paid the house off last month and took the family to Chops for a great evening out….
·       Break the goal down into small, achievable steps:
Having monthly goals and Smart goals along the way allows you to build up momentum…
·       Schedule it:
Like my old platoon sergeant in the Army used to say: If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.
·       Measure your progress:
By sending monthly reports to my accountability group, I am keeping up with my successes and failures and constantly readjusting to ensure success.
·       If you fall off the wagon, get back on:
To quote Chris Hogan: “Life happens.” And when it does, adjust and move forward.
·       Find a way to hold yourself accountable:

Nothing makes a man more successful than knowing he has to account for his actions. I know that each and every month, my friends will question me if I feed them a line of bull, and congratulate me on true successes.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

"Would You" Question of the Week

If you could write your own eulogy, what would you want it to say? Knowing that our lives are our eulogies, what would you change now to ensure the final speech someone makes about your life represents your core values?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Old-School Pic of the Week

I found this picture when going through my grandfather's old photo album. Looks like both a really cool dude, and one not to be trifled with....also a great name for a business, Rock Band, Cigar Shop, etc. the more I think about it....

New Recipe to Try (from Kadar)

·        1 pound penne or rigatoni
·        2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
·        2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
·        Salt and freshly ground black pepper
·        2 cloves garlic, minced
·        1 large onion, finely diced
·        One 25-ounce jar good-quality marinara sauce
·        1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
·        2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
·        8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into medium cubes
·        1/4 cup Parmesan shavings, plus grated Parmesan, for serving
·        12 basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
1.      Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Allow to cook, without stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Stir the chicken around to brown it on all sides. Remove to a plate.
2.      In the same skillet over medium-high heat, add the garlic and onions and stir immediately to start cooking. Cook until the onions are deep golden, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes.
3.      Reduce the heat to low and pour in the marinara sauce, red pepper flakes and 1/2 cup water. Stir until the onions and garlic are mixed in, then add the chicken back to the skillet. Add the parsley and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 8 minutes.
4.      Make sure the sauce is bubbly and very hot, then gently stir in the mozzarella. Let sit, undisturbed, until you can see that the mozzarella is very soft, 2 to 3 minutes.
5.      Drain the pasta and pour it onto a platter. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Immediately sprinkle on the Parmesan shavings. Pour on the sauce, sprinkle with grated Parmesan and the chiffonade of basil and serve immediately!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Saturday Projects

Got to ride around and hang out with my buddy, Corey, during the morning and early afternoon, looking for new tools and visiting his workshop. After not being able to find a decent chain saw (my chain needs replacing), we decided to take down a tree the old-school way. Great workout, as it took us 9 sets of 20 swings each to get it to fall....

 I then went home and started a brick walkway around the outside of my fence and used some lumber Corey gave me (thanks, bro!) to finish the rough framing of my outdoor garden sink (going to stain it and add wheels later).....

Saturday, March 18, 2017


To answer before listening -- that is folly and shame – Proverbs 18:13

Friday, March 17, 2017

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Garage Gym Shout-Out/Health Tip(s) of the Week

Check out my friend, John's, YouTube channel @

Two years ago I got water on my right knee. Went to an orthopedic doctor, who provided no relief, other than draining my knee, which only worked for a little while. Since then, I came across two different actions that led to greater health and mobility:

  1. Stretching chair: The YMCA I workout at has a chair designed to really stretch out your back and lower body, especially the IT band, which apparently is my biggest problem.
  2. Cold baths: I've been sitting in cold water for 10 minutes 3X a week for the past month and recently broke 8 minutes in the mile again after not having ran in 2+ years.

FYI - all of the 'tips' I post here are things I find work for me, whether it be gardening, health, or financial in nature. I'm an expert at nothing.  More than anything, I am my own guinea pig and would ask that you come to what works best for you through your own trial and error...

Please check out John's website when you have time. Some great stuff going on over there...

Monday, March 13, 2017

'Would You' Question of the Week

If you were financially independent and had all the money you needed, what would you do differently for yourself and others......?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Double-Check All Your Bills....

The biggest lesson (after disciplined budgeting) I'm learning in this race to financial independence is to double-check all outgoing money headed to the 'regular' vendors. Here are some examples where you can save money, but also need to continually check your bill due to changes:

  • Insurance: Continually compare rates for life, home and vehicle insurance. I had a life insurance policy that increased from $10 a month to $70 per month over a 20 year period without me ever being notified because it was an automatic deduction. Guess what got dropped? We were also able to cut our home insurance in half by shopping around. Auto insurance is a little bit trickier, but raising your deductible is one way to watch premiums decrease if you already have a good policy.
  • Internet: Roping various bills together can lead to discounts, but watch for price increases with cable. And do you really need 700 channels? 
  • Groceries: Write out your meal plan before you go shopping and only buy the items needed to eat for the week. You'll save money and lose a few pounds. And try Aldi if you have one near you. I was blown away by the prices.
  • Cell Phones: Pay cash when buying new cell phones to bring your monthly bill down. 

I hope these hints are helpful. Feel free to share your own experiences.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Gardening Tip of the Week

It's that time of year where there's still a chance of a final frost in North Georgia (despite the recent 70 degree temperatures), making it the perfect time to put down the following cold-weather vegetables to harvest before summer:
  • Beets - Up until April 1
  • Broccoli - March 15 
  • Cabbage – Mar 15
  • Carrots – Mar 29
  • Cauliflower – Apr 1
  • Collards – Mar 15
  • Mustard – Apr 1
  • Onions – Mar 15
  • Potatoes – Mar 15
  • Radish – Apr 1
  • Spinach – Mar 15
  • Turnips – Apr 1
Additional tips to remember:

1.      Get your soil right. Homemade compost is best. Do not turn the soil any more than necessary to avoid doing damage to the soil structure. I find a handheld auger to be best for only pulling up the necessary amount of soil when putting down transplants and a 1 inch drill bit for planting seed.

2.     Use good seed and transplant sources.

3.     Layout your garden in a manner which allows for full sun and good water retention. Plant your taller crops on the north and west sides of the garden to ensure you do not shade out the shorter plants. Have designated walking spaces between rows, as walked on soil is compacted and retards plant growth.

4.     Water as often as necessary based on your soil. Light sandy soil requires water more often. Heavier soils only require about an inch of water per week.

I will be putting out my first video post once we get closer to the planting season. Good luck and feel free to email me or post any questions here if you need further advice.

Good luck!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

A Quote For The Current Age....

Never trust your intuitions without testing them - Alberto Cairo

Fortunate enough to get to attend one of his classes tomorrow.....

Matthew 12-14

Had an awesome long-distance Bible-study session with my man Kadar (center of pic) early this morning. Great time and a humbling reminder of how I'm still very much a work in progress with a lot of room left for improvement...

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Thought for the Day....

I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty - John D. Rockefeller

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Somber Moment

My father died way too soon. I think of him often, especially when I see him in my son, but today would have been his birthday, so I'll miss him more than usual. This is a picture of him as an early teen taking in the 60s....

Monday, March 6, 2017

'Would You' Question of the Week

Would you continue to work where you currently do if you did not have to?

If so, how can you make yourself more productive and increase your value/worth so that you can either generate more income or work less?

If not, how can you increase your wealth to the point that you don’t have to do what you do now anymore? 

Oftentimes, people discover they make more money than ever before once they start doing something they truly love.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Weekend Work

Saturday I consolidated a lot of fallen limbs, etc. for a future neighborhood bonfire:

Today I bought a sink a guy had in his front yard for $10 and cut out a table top out of some plywood I had. More to follow once I find some old 2x4s....

Something to Ponder....

Kuei-shan asked Yun-yen,
“What is the seat of enlightenment?”
Yun-yen said,
“Freedom from artificiality.”
- Kuei-shan (771-854)

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Scrambled Farm Eggs (from local farmer) and (fresh cut from my garden) Spinach Breakfast

  1. Use bacon grease to coat frying pan and turn heat to 'low' on stove top
  2. Whisk eggs and fresh  cut spinach together in container
  3. Pour eggs/spinach mix into pan
  4. Toss and stir until texture is right for you
  5. Salt, pepper and eat!

Infographics....New and Old

Put together a BOMB Sankey chart for work this morning, as well as coming across this old picture of my grandfather (Pappy) with a couple of his buddies:

Garage Gym Life Shout-Out

My friend, John Greaves, is doing a great job growing his brand and building his business the honest way. Check out some of his behind the scenes videos:

Friday, March 3, 2017

Financial Tip

I committed to getting completely out of debt in 2017. In making this decision, I've read everything I can get my hands on, including Dave Ramsey's, numerous blogs, including my favorite: as well as perusing the internet at night looking for helpful insight from folks who've already had success in this endeavor. To date, I've paid off 57.5% of my debt and am on pace to be completely debt-free earlier than originally planned. I'm no expert, and have been humbled along the way, but wanted to share some of the lessons I've picked up on this journey:

  • Get on a budget. Try EveryDollar.Com for a free budgeting tool. It's intimidating (and quite humbling) at first, but the only way to true financial freedom. 
  • Take another look at your outgoing expenses. I was actually surprised at how some of my insurance premiums had increased, causing us to find cheaper options. Make sure to review your automatic deductions regularly. 
  • Do you really need a home phone if everyone in your house has a cell phone?
  • Cable bill? After looking at how much I actually watch Showtime and HBO, I cut my cable bill by 67% and still watch all the same movies on Netflix for considerably less money.
  • Did you know that new cars lose 65% of their value in 4 years? Most millionaires buy 2-3 year old cars for this reason. Shop around and try to find a used cars from a private seller to avoid paying for a car lot's overhead. And pay cash, if possible.
  • You can give more when your money is not going to debt. My favorite part of this journey. 
FYI - None of this is paid for advertising. I've become a Dave Ramsey, Chris Hogan and Mr. Money Mustache groupie the past two months. The best way to stay focused on the prize is to keep the information turned on full blast, which I do on my 50 minute rides to/fro work each day. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Mike Hewett's Farm

All - Please check out my friend and mentor, Mike Hewett's blog:

He and his wife have created an awesome farm and self-sustainable lifestyle.

Visit his site and check him out in person in coming months at the Dallas Farmer's Market:

For Newer Friends...

If you're new to this blog, please notice the 'Older Posts'  at the bottom of the page, as there should be something that piques your interest somewhere. If not, please share your thoughts on what you'd like to see included in the future.

Daily Quote from Kadar

Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering - Theodore Roosevelt

Farm Eggs

If you're in the metro Atlanta area and want some fresh farm eggs for a great price, please check out the following: