Get ready for summer 2024!

Did you have a good Memorial Day weekend? I heard on the radio that it was one of the busiest travel days ever. Boy, I’m glad we stayed home. I hate traveling when airports are so crowded. However, it was too early for us to travel far because school was still in session. We didn’t take a local flight either. It’s usually cold and rainy in Portland at the end of May. We learned years ago never to go camping before Independence Day. It’s too cold and rainy to sleep in a tent now. Yes, we become Lenin in our old age. This year, we chose to stay home and enjoy a relaxing BBQ. We will head to Japan after the school year ends.

End 7y degree

Memorial Weekend means the end of the school year for many students. Congratulations to all the graduates out there! Don’t miss my best advice for recent college grads. As for the little ones, enjoy the summer vacation! You won’t have many of these things left before life gets real. This is what I tell our son.

Unfortunately for RB40Jr, he still has 3 weeks of school left. 7y The grade was good for him. He is more familiar with the school and the teachers. He’s also made a lot of new friends which is always helpful. Last year was tough because he loved his elementary school and moving to a new middle school was a big adjustment.

This year has been a busy year for the RB40Jr. His class held a show trial and he was the last persecuted. It was great to see the kids dressing up and arguing in ‘court’. The RB40Jr performed well and his team won. However, the girls on defense were much better. They prepared more and argued their case well. Unfortunately, the jury decided to go to trial. I think it’s great that kids get the chance to learn more about our legal system.

Another fun assignment was to create a trailer for a movie set in the Middle Ages. This weekend, RB40Jr and his friends met in the park and made several funny clips. They are editing it now. The kids had so much fun together. The clips are silly, but very funny. I think they’ll get a good grade just for the laughs. Sorry, I can’t show the clips here because there are other kids in them.

Speaking of school, I’ll be taking an introductory ceramics class at the community center this quarter. it’s great. I’m learning a lot. There are two weeks left and I’m trying to push as many items as possible. Clay pottery is easy to make at home, but it is difficult to fire it in a kiln. There is an alternative, though. I learned that you can fire pottery in a pit or barrel. Over the weekend, I tried lighting a pot in my new fire pit. I’ll take it out on Tuesday and see if it works. From what I understand, the survival rate is very low for this type of shooting. Pottery is a lot of fun. I enjoy it immensely.

Memorial Day 2024

Well, we had a nice, sunny Memorial Day. RB40Jr invited a couple of friends and we had a fun barbecue. I got 2 racks of ribs, 4 bunches of greens, 5 bags of chips, corn, and drinks. Yum! I had a great time relaxing outside.

Ah…this is life. Why go anywhere when you can run the grill at home.

Backyard shooting

I’m taking ceramics classes because I want to make some Japanese matcha tea bowls. It’s really neat because you don’t need to be perfect. Distorted chun is valued more than perfectly shaped pieces. I’m having a blast making these dishes.

The difficult part of making pottery is firing them. Clay is very brittle after it dries. You need to harden them by firing. After the first firing, you can glaze it and fire it again at a higher temperature. The community center has 3 kilns and they fire for the students. This is great, but how do I light pottery after class? A local studio charges about $10 to release a single piece. This is very expensive.

One alternative I’ve found is to start a pottery fire in your backyard. I recently got a fire pit so it’s perfect. I could try lighting a pot and enjoying the fire.

My poor salad got hit by the pan while it was drying in the oven. Mrs RB40 was putting the pan away without looking at the oven first. If you’re Asian, you know what an oven is for. Ha ha ha. Anyway, let’s continue with the backyard test shooting. There’s nothing to lose now.

I line the container with aluminum foil with banana peels, corn husks, dried seaweed, and various random scraps from the compost bin. Presumably these can provide some coloring. In the middle of the fire pit, I place a layer of charcoal and wood. Then I placed my package on top.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go well. The bowl broke into several pieces after about an hour. I think this is not the right clay for pit firing. It is also possible that the fire got hot too quickly. Oh well, live and learn. Next time, I’ll add more sand to the clay and slow down the fire somehow.

Did you enjoy your weekend? What did you do to start the summer?

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Joe started Retire by 40 In 2010 to learn how to retire early. After 16 years of investing and saving, he achieved financial independence and retired at 38 years old.

Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is investing in commercial real estate with CrowdStreet. They have many projects all over the USA so check them out!

Joe also highly recommends Personal Capital to DIY investors. They have many useful tools that will help you reach financial independence.

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