Odd Chore April

This quick post has nothing to do with Upwards of Twenty but is a quick way to hold myself accountable. This month I am focusing on “Odd Chore April”, which involves me accomplishing an odd chore each day.

So what is an odd chore? Well this is any unusual task around the house that I have been putting off due to time and resources. A short list of some of these tasks:

  • Fixing patio pavers
  • Fixing sprinkler leaks
  • Rerouting a sprinkler zone
  • New sod plugs in front yard
  • Caulking bathtub
  • Cleaning vents fans
  • Repainting air conditioning grates
  • Cleaning out a drawer or closet.

The list will continue to grow as I find new things. In my initial handwritten calendar I added some larger projects for the weekend and smaller tasks for the evenings after work. I am on day four and so far I fixed a cracked sprinkler pipe in the front yard, ordered replacement primer bulbs for my weedwacker and edger, and cleaned two vent fans. I also called and had my alarm system reduce my monthly bill by  28% and was able to get rid of an additional $20 reoccurring monthly charge. So far I am off to a good start. I will try to post a follow-up to this short-term goal later in April.

Accomplishing these small tasks remind me of video i watched of a commencement speech by Admiral McRaven at the University of Texas, Austin:

“If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.

By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.”





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Hatchimals and a Coworker

Back in September my wife was showing me a list of the hottest toys for the upcoming Holiday season. She then proceeded to show me the two Hatchimals that she had purchased for our daughters for Christmas. Immediately I thought she was crazy and was wasting money.

So as Christmas crept up on us I saw an article on Money.com about the Hatchimals being sold out all over the world and how they were the hottest item for sale this holiday season. JACKPOT! I had two of these toys sitting in my garage and the best part about it was these were not even items that my daughters were interested in. I know this because we make them tell us and write a letter to Santa each year.

Research was showing that these items were selling for around $150-$250 each. We had purchased them for $59.99. What a potential profit to be made. I was a little bit late to the dance and when I went to list them there were many other eBay listings for two Hatchimals for $250. I still decided this was the way to go and listed my 2 and waited for my money. I immediately received an offer for both for $200. This is when my big mouth ended my chances for profit.

While discussing my potential profits with a coworker the next day at lunch it was brought to my attention that another coworker and friend (Charles) was going to Target each morning at 6:30 and waiting for the morning shipment to come in so he could find one of these for his daughter. Well talk about taking the wind out of my sails. After lunch I went straight over to Charles and told him it was his lucky day. I had two Hatchimals and would sell him one. He was ecstatic and very appreciative. I told my wife about this and she thought it was the right thing to do. I brought the Hatchimal to work the next day and we agreed on $75.00 a small profit none the less.

Here is the real kicker, I figured I could still make out alright with the remaining one left. My wife had already decided since I had removed the eBay listing that she would give the remaining Hatchimal to both girls on Christmas and they could share it.


Wait a minute……. Hundreds of profit to $15 of profit. Just like that my whole plan had been smashed.  The truth is it felt better to do the right thing for  friend than it would have to make a some money.

Final Note: The Hatchimal we saved for our kids was defective. It doesn’t matter they had just as much fun helping it break out of its shell on their own.

Total Profit for Upwards of Twenty $135.72. Check out my spreadsheet below.capture

I hope to be able to post more frequently this year. I have already completed two projects I just need to find time to put them together. Drop me a line or comment on my post to help keep me motivated.



JB – Upwards of Twenty


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My 1st Hatchet Project

I have been buying Axes and Hatchets for some time now. I will usually try to pick them up cheap from family, garage sales and Craigslist. I originally started wanting a nice hatchet when I paddled the Withlacoochee with my brother. It would have been helpful multiple times and I also like the versatility of it as a camping tool. I have always had a few axes that I used for various projects but never a good hatchet. I was lucky enough to receive a Snow & Nealley Penobscot Bay kindling axe for my birthday in October. This hatchet has become my go to and I couldn’t be happier. I still need to put a better edge on and remove the varnish but overall this is a powerful hatchet and I love the feel of it.

Snow & Nealley Penobscot Bay Kindling Axe



This new hobby brought me to my recent project. I found a discarded hatchet outside and vacant home I was looking at for a client. I was extremely excited and figured this would be a perfect first project. I thought originally I would polish or paint the axe head but after cleaning, sanding and grinding off rough edges I felt like the patina and rugged look of the hatchet added to its character. I had a new hickory handle that I had ordered months back of amazon. I was going to try to save the original handle but it was terribly warped and felt strange when swinging it. So I removed the original handle and installed the new one. The two things I do not like about the finished product is the extremely small swell at the bottom of the handle and the fact that when setting the axe head the shoulders on the handle were small and I couldn’t set the head as deep as I would like. All in all it turned out well. I soaked the head in boiled linseed oil and the handle and really like how it brought out the grain in the hickory. I will oil it a few times and but a nice new edge on it shortly. Take a look at my gallery and let me know what you think. I may decide to sell this on Ebay and start back up the Upwards of Twenty blog. But for now I am going to play with it for a little while. I also wanted to give a shout out to Wranglerstar for giving me inspiration and a something to enjoy on YouTube.




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2016 Debates – My Thoughts

I will not start a political post just wanted to throw out a funny Meme that came to mind last night while watching the Debacle… I mean Debate.

My love for #Seinfeld will always remain.


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Goodbye to The Deuce

Well last Monday, April 11th, 2016 was the last day I was able to spend time with one of the loves of my life: my 2001 Chevy Silverado. I had purchased this truck from my wife’s uncle and had enjoyed numerous adventures with “The Deuce”. I hope the new owner truly appreciate what that truck was able to do for me.

The Deuce helped me when I ran my own lawn crew for over 5 years. Those jobs alone probably paid for the truck 10 times over. This truck has endured thousands of trips to Home Depot, local nurseries, dumps, landfills and other adventures. Now that I am without the use of a truck I realize how much I truly enjoyed and needed this type of vehicle. I have to agree that the use has diminished as my family has grown. I no longer have the time or need to perform second jobs and other projects have been put on hold. So as a tribute to The Deuce I will dedicate this Upwards of Twenty post to her.


Lately I have been devoting my time to the following Family and Work. I haven’t been able to dedicate much time to Upwards of Twenty so this one fell right in my lap. A coworker was doing some renovations and was unable to haul off the construction debris. The quotes she had received were in the $100 plus range. Being a friend I decided I would help her for free.

Upon arrival I realized I had made a huge mistake. The debris looked as if it would take a semi-trailer to get it all. I stuck by my word and began loading the debris, with help from her family. Luckily it only took two oversized loads to get the job completed. On the way to the dump the second time she handed me $60. I immediately refused the money but she said that was the least she could do. I told her that I would use it to add to the Upwards of Twenty funds. Little did I know that this would be my last adventure with The Deuce. This is also a reason I am sad to not be a truck owner any longer. I miss the ability to be able to help someone out without the need for a trailer or any other equipment.

Oh well. All in all I made $40 for about 2 hours of work. This includes the $10 dump fee for the 2 loads. This brings a 66% increase in the funds totaling $120.71.


Let’s keep this rolling and see how we can end the year. Please help me out by sending me your ideas and comments. Thanks- JB

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A post to my Mother.

Yesterday was my Mother’s birthday. This day was different from most since this was the first Birthday since she passed late last year. I know this post has nothing to do with my blog but I feel like since no one reads this, it is a great place for me to put my feelings to paper. Losing my Mother has really hit me hard. I feel like it still hasn’t set in, even though it happened over 5 months ago. My mother Shirley was truly the closest thing to a saint that I have ever known. She treated everyone with kindness and genuinely cared about what was going on in their lives. Lately I have been experiencing feelings of sadness, anger, resentment and depression. Losing someone that you rely on so heavily truly affects every aspect of your life. I am writing this to get this off my chest. I refuse to let her passing bring me down, as this would not be the way she would want me to handle it. Instead I will focus these feelings towards honoring her memory by striving to be more like her in every way. These areas of focus will be spirituality, humility, kindness, generosity and family. Shirley truly touched many lives through her teaching, but luckily I learned the most important lesson from her: Life is too short. Make the most of time with friends and family. Get out there and experience life because in the end possessions mean nothing and time spent with loved ones is truly the most important. Happy birthday in Heaven Mom I hope you are proud of me and thanks for watching over all of us.





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I’m Actually Going to Sell Something (1 of 2)


Welcome to Upwards of Twenty. I recently stumbled across a cool older chair and wanted to see if I could quickly give it a little love and put it on the market. It is only one chair but for some reason I was drawn to it.

The chair is an early 1900s Oak wooden chair. The chair has a scalloped back, and a dark brown vinyl upholstered seat. Its vintage is most likely from 1890-1930. It is in great structural shape, with its original finish. Completely untouched and un restored, with all its original hardware-pictures say it all! I would call it Craftsman in style, but it may be described as Victorian as well. A great deal on an antique chair in excellent structural and cosmetic shape. Dimensions of the chair are 37.5 inches high by 18.5 inches wide by 15 inches deep. I have some plans in mind for this project but wanted to keep them a secret. I hope to have this completed and pictures posted soon. What would you be willing to pay for a chair like this in current condition?

I have attempted other projects in the past that I figured I would be able to blog about. The problem is that every time I build something we decide to keep it. I bought my wife a peel and stick wall calendar on Amazon. I thought it would change our lives completely. Well…. she hated it and felt like it looked out of place and it doesn’t stick to textured walls very well. So I decided to take the old pallet I had outside for months and build a cool frame for it. If she didn’t like it then I would sell it and post it to this blog. Well pictures below show the completed project and its final resting place.


So this lead me to the chair project. I will keep you all updated but had some additional questions. Should I refinish with stain or paint? Should I keep clean or go with distressed look?  Your feedback is appreciated. JB


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