One of the most common problems when online shopping is the question of quality. How do you know how good something really is. Backyard Water Fountains offers a money back guarantee but many websites do not, they often give you customer reviews, but are they real customers? Finding third party reviews can be time consuming and sometimes difficult. One site you might give a try is thesmartestbuyer.com they give an in depth review of products making it easier for you to make an informed choice. Take for example, you are looking for a new umbrella.
They do not just show you the umbrella, they actually test and review it so you have the information you need. This particular article can be found at
http://www.thesmartestbuyer.com/5-best-cantilever-umbrellas/. Find out the size of the umbrella, the material it is made of, are the pole and the base big enough to support it, do the led lights put off enough light? All important factors before you purchase.
To end this I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving Holiday!
See you Next time
Staring out into your yard and wondering what should I do with it. We have all done it. Friends and family offer advice, but it is what they envision and no necessarily what you want. What to do then? That is one of the beauties of the internet. You can research for days if you want, sometimes getting information overload.
You can browse sites like our’s www.backyardwaterfountains.shop/ and see plenty of products, but that does not always inspire ideas. I always find a picture of a completed yard more inspiring, maybe like on http://www.countryliving.com/gardening/garden-ideas/g2314/backyard-ideas/ or https://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/decorating/outdoor-living/outdoor-decor#red-orange-decor-outdoor-terrace. These sites have pictures and ideas that just might give you an idea of how to incorporate different products inspire your next backyard renovation.
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I have been reading that there are no true rivalries in golf anymore. Everyone is just too friendly. They don’t want to gut the other guy, they want to cheer him on. I am specifically talking about Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, and Rickie Fowler. When one of these guys win, the others are going to be around to congratulate him and celebrate the victory with him. Some people want them to act like the old Tiger and Phil. Well, it’s just not the same.
Tiger was the guy with blinders on, never having time for anyone or anything else but winning. Phil was the likable guy who had time for everyone. The difference in the two was so polar opposite that the fans picked a side to cheer for. That is what really made it so intriguing. They really needed each other though to elevate their games to the highest levels.
Jordan, Justin, and Rickie are great friends. They hang out on and off the course and grew up together. When the tournament starts though they are trying to beat each others brains in. If you don’t buy into that I have to think you never played anything at a highly competitive level. Think back, remember playing a game with your friends. Any game. Hell, some of ours came to blows, but after all was said and done we remained friends. The victor was celebrated and the losers worked harder to get the W the next time. It drove you to want to get better, to get the next win.
I find it refreshing, friendship and sportsmanship at the highest level. Jack, Arnie, Gary, and Tom were more like the modern version, you just didn’t see it because there wasn’t 24 hour coverage of everything back then. My hat is off to the boys, they have it figured out. Gentleman, play on.
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Are you ready for some football? If you are like me this is the beginning of the best time of year. The football season begins and the baseball playoffs are just around the corner. With friends there is always a little debate over which is better college or professional football, I fall to the professional side. Really I can’t explain why the pro game is more my style other than because it represents the best of the best at every position.
I do still watch some college football, but I follow it more in the boxscores than on TV. The NFL could benefit from adopting some of the college game rules though. The overtime rule in college is much more entertaining than in the pros, and also a lot more fair. The same goes for a pass interference penalty, I hate seeing a 47 yard penalty… Really! Are you listening NFL? Probably not I bet. They did recently make a change to their OT rules which is better than the old rule but still not as good as the college rule. I guess maybe they just can’t admit to themselves that somebody has a better way. No can’t be.
Then we have the baseball playoffs and World Series. I love the finality of it all even though I think they drag it out far too long. When we got married in early October ( a long time ago ) the Series was in it’s last couple of games, Now they go until almost November. Money, money, money it is ruining sports as we knew it. Funny in business customer satisfaction is HUGE, the customer always comes first. To bad all of our entertainment choices don’t get or live by those rules. Heck you might actually be able to afford to go to a game, or show, But that is a whole different story.
Now, if you don’t like all the sports, grab yourself a good book or your favorite movie, find a peaceful spot ( maybe next to a fountain :) and enjoy the peace and quite, at least until someone watching a game starts screaming at the TV.
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Labor Day - the last holiday weekend of the summer is upon us. The holiday created to celebrate all of the hard working people and the incredible work that they do. Without all of you nothing would get done, so go out and celebrate in your favorite way. Many friends like to make a final camping trip and sit under the stars next to a campfire roasting their favorite midnight snack. Still others have a backyard bbq with friends and family. Whatever it is that you like to do, do it. This one’s for you.
Back in the late 1880’s Oregon was the first state to recognize Labor Day as an official holiday. Soon many other states followed suit and passed laws as well. Even though all of this occurred well over a 100 years ago there is still some debate over who first proposed the holiday. No matter, we all certainly deserve it.
Labor Day is a marking of time for many. Back when we were house boaters the unofficial season began on Memorial Day and ended on Labor Day. For some it marks the start of school, while others celebrate the beginning of football season ( me ). Many look to labor day as a changing of the seasons. Tired of the oppressive heat ( me again ) and with the fall equinox approaching rapidly beginning September 22, the hope for cooler temperatures is something to look forward to.
For us this year we will celebrate not only Labor Day but on Sunday of the weekend our granddaughter’s 11th birthday. Man I thought my kids grew up fast, Grandkids take that speed to a new level. Whatever it is you are going to do this weekend, enjoy it, be safe, and be a friend to your fellow worker.
My final thought of this week goes out to the people in Texas. They will not have the opportunity to celebrate like most of America. They have been thrust into a kind of hell I simply cannot imagine. I hope you can find it in your heart to help in some small or big way. Nothing is too small because a bunch of small things can add up to a really big one.
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Last weekend in Charlottesville we saw history of the wrong kind. Was it over the removal of Confederate statues, or something entirely different? Were the White Supremacists, KKK, and the Neo-Nazi’s really there to voice their displeasure of the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue or to voice their mission statement and attract more members? Or, were they there looking to cause exactly what we saw on our TV screens?Anyway you look at it they certainly got the attention of the country. Most people find the values of these groups vile at best and the scars from past wars and demonstrations run deep and it does not take much to make them painful all over again.
The US Constitution gives us all the right to believe, demonstrate ( peacefully ), and say what we believe. This is a freedom we all have, and have fought to protect, and it is as it should be. A right we do not have, the right to incite violence. Most are smart enough to know this but we also must be smart enough to stay away from potential power kegs! Hate is destructive in so many ways.
Robert E Lee Statue in Virginia
For the statues, schools, and other things that are named for Confederates I do not believe we should celebrate people who went to war against the US over the rights to own slaves. While Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were great war generals the ideals they fought for are not mine nor the majority of people. Stonewall Jackson’s own family has written an open letter to the Governor for the removal of his likeness and all others. Perspective plays a huge roll in this debate. Are we celebrating Confederates, great war generals, or are they a reminder of terrible things that can happen when we don’t treat everyone as equals.
Just because something in past history is ugly doesn’t mean if we tear it down and bury it all of that history will suddenly go away. History is not always pretty people! Whether the statues stay or go will fall on the communities where they now stand. The only thing I want to make sure of is that we don’t lose our history. The lessons learned from the Nazi’s or the Civil War were expensive, so many lives were lost. Those lessons must remain and be taught so they are never allowed to be repeated.
I am heading to the backyard.
Peace to ALL
See you next week
Can you believe it, school time already. Can’t you hear all of those stay at home parents yelling, YES! While Backyard water fountains is our business and we love to talk about and look at fire pits, gnomes, and outdoor furniture, our main business is educating kids and this week it was back to work. School in the beginning of August… The school year just continues to get longer.
I see people out scrambling to get backpacks, school supplies, shoes, and clothes for the upcoming school year. As a kid it was pretty cool to go school shopping, getting new stuff is always cool even if it was just clothes and shoes. Being a parent is was nowhere near as cool, just another of many bills to pay. Todays parents have it even worse, they are asked to buy school supplies because the school districts don’t have the funds to provide everything that is needed. VERY SAD.
School traditionally started the week after the Labor Day Holiday giving kids an extra month of summer break from what they now have. Maybe the powers that be figured the kids are bored at this time of year anyway, they might as well be in school. I have personally never checked but maybe in other places across the country they still have the extra time. Drop me a comment and let me know when your kids went back to school.
This shift in starting dates has caused other things to change their schedule as well. The State Fair used to run the last two weeks of August and finish on Labor Day, but now plays out in July. One thing that has not changed is the Little League World Series. Yes, the boys of summer will probably miss the first month of school to play out their dreams. I wonder if that is a good thing? Do they return a hero, and all missed work is forgiven? Or, are they working their tails off for the next month trying to catch up? Either way I am sure they would not change a thing about their amazing summer ride.
Now just because school is back in session does not mean that we have to go inside. The weather is still warm, the pool water is still swimmable, the flowers are looking good, the backyard still beckons. Enjoy it! Before we know it the fall will come, we will pull out the heavier clothing and dream of those warm summer nights.
See you next week
I know that it is not Memorial Day or Veterans Day but it is backyardwaterfountains day to say thank you to all who serve or have served this great country of ours. Really though, everyday is the perfect day to say thank you. The men and women who put themselves in harms way for the American way of life are so special, so unselfish, so under appreciated. Most of us take all of this for granted, the thought to serve probably never crossed most of our minds, in fact, most probably avoided it like the plague.
I am a child of the sixties and like most people my age my father was in the military. There was really no choice at that time. There was a draft and if your name was called, you went. By chance if you chose not to go, you went to another country or to jail. The draft ended in my seventeenth year, it became the Selective Service. While I don’t really remember how it all worked, it meant for the most part you were safe from being chosen. That was the beginning of the volunteer military.
Jacob's ROTC troop in parade action
While I admit that I don’t think of the sacrifices people make nearly enough, it has crashed into my reality very quickly. Tomorrow we will be having a going away party for my grandson Jacob who will leave for Navy camp August 14. Jacob has been in the ROTC program at his High School and has enjoyed it so much he volunteered, he signed up, he’s going! Like all parents or grandparents, hell family in general, I am a bit scared for him. More than scared though, I am PROUD of him. Since the day he made his commitment he has already begun to grow. He is becoming a man, and I know that the next time I see him he will be forever changed.
Thank you Jacob, and thank you to all of the members of our Military,
Coast Guard, Police, and Fire depts.
God Speed to you all
See you next week
Backyard Water Fountains salutes all the girls and boys of summer but: look out it’s almost over! Remember when you were a kid and the last day of school rolled around. There was a certain kind of euphoria you felt, a freedom, a certain anticipation of all the fun things you would do with all your free time. On the first day of summer you felt like you had a never-ending break, you did not even think about the first day of school, it was months away. All you could think about was swimming, barbecues, ice cream cones, campfires, going to the beach, Disneyland, you could not wait to get started!
During the first few weeks you had no problem staying busy. There was always a game going on to play and all those other fun things to do. Just get up in the morning and go, make sure to check in at the house with Mom, then go again. We would watch the calendar for when Dad’s vacation and the family trip was coming and the excitement grew.
After a few weeks things slowed down. Your friends would be on their family vacation or you on your’s. At a certain age maybe a friend could go with you on your trip, those were great times, and life lessons, like you should not ride your bike off the end of the dock! Sometimes you found over that week that you really did not want to spend that much time with that certain friend. Those trips were the best part of summer by far, but they also somehow seemed to derail the fun train you were riding with friends at the beginning of summer when everyone was around and ready for action.
As summer progressed all those exciting things you were doing, were just not that exciting anymore. “Mom I am bored”! That was the sound mothers all over were hearing. They would come up with things for you to do, but the answer back was always “naw”. I don’t know how mom’s back in the day kept their sanity, or today for that matter.
Wendy and I are both teachers so we are still lucky enough to have summer vacation ( not so lucky when it comes to payday! ). And unlike when I was a kid I am not bored! Most of us school people, teachers and kids alike only have a small summer window left, let’s not waste it. Maybe one more trip to the beach!
See you next week
In past blogs I have told you we are big fans of the beach, and that we love beach themed and nautical decor. Over the last few weeks we became involved with a supplier that has some of the coolest decor that is now making it’s way on to our website. We have started with ships from the past. Make sure to check these out. The fine detail, the time taken for authenticity, and materials used is fantastic, any history or nautical lover will really admire them.
15'' Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge
Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge, originally named Concord, was an English merchant vessel until it was captured by France in 1711 and used as a slave ship. Pirates captured the vessel in 1717 and Blackbeard used the ship to capture many prizes before running her around only a year later.
34'' CSS Virginia
The CSS Virginia was the first steam-powered ironclad warship built by the Confederate Staes Navy during the first year of the American Civil War. The ship, originally the Unions USS Merrimack was burned to the waterline in 1861 to prevent the Confederates from taking her, but the Confederates salvaged the hull and engines to restore and then build it into the CSS Virginia.
21" USS Monitor
The USS Monitor was the Unions new Ironclad commissioned for the Civil War. The USS Monitor was built in an amazing 101 days when the union caught wind of the Confederates salvage and rebuild of the CSS Virginia. In 1862 at the Battle of Hampton Roads the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia fought to a standstill.
35" Enterprise Racing Yacht
Lastly we have the Enterprise, a very popular name for vessels of every kind. This particular vessel was a 1930’s yacht and successful defender of the America’s Cup races. Unbelievably the yacht was scrapped just five years later in 1935. Well that is it for the history lesson I hope you find these as interesting as we do.
See you next week