Football Season: 4 Man Cave Essentials

mancaveEveryone needs a place to call their own, and that includes the man of the house. The man cave creates a space where he can relax and do as he pleases without fear of interference from the ladies. It is a place where he can enjoy an adult beverage, yell at the TV, play games, and hang out with the guys. It can be the basement, attic, a rehabilitated office, or a shed. A man cave does not need to be fancy, but here are a few things a fully functional “mantuary” needs. Here are 4 man cave essentials.

mancaveSeating The main point of a man cave is to create a comfortable place to relax. That requires plenty of seating. No man cave is complete without at least one recliner. Nothing makes a guy feel like the master of his domain like putting his feet up. Take the recliner one step further with a reclining sofa or sectional that provides seating for visitors. If your man cave has a bar, stools are mandatory. Beanbag chairs are classics, and you can opt for sofa-sized ones or special designs that convert to guest beds.

Refrigeration Since no one wants to constantly run back and forth to the kitchen for drinks and snacks, the man cave needs a place to keep them chilled. It can be as simple as an old refrigerator or mini fridge appropriated for the room. If beer is your beverage of choice, try a fridge with a built-in tap . There even are appliances specifically designed to hold and cool a keg, as well as dispense beer. DIY kits help you convert a fridge to a drink dispenser. Keep your drinks and food even closer at hand with a coffee table with a built-in cooler.

Entertainment The crown jewel of any man cave is its entertainment system. Often, the entire point of establishing a man cave is to have a place to host game day parties or to watch favorite movies and TV shows. A flat screen TV, as large as you can afford and the room can hold, and a DVD player are absolute musts. Include a game console for days when nothing is on. Don’t forget tables and equipment for other pastimes, like pool, foosball, darts, and poker.

mancaveDécor The thing that really sets the man cave apart from the rest of the house is its décor. It is a spot where a man can escape from the pastels, floral prints, and matching furniture that fills most homes. A sign on or near the door should make it clear visitors are entering a male sanctuary. Look for one with the logo of your favorite team, or get a personalized one with your name. Beer-themed decorations are very popular, but do not limit yourself to that. Show off your sports memorabilia, or transform the space into a tribute to your favorite pop culture icons. Do not forget posters from your favorite movie. A man cave with an attached bathroom is the ultimate in luxury. If you are so blessed, make sure to extend the décor into the bath.

 

Summer Solstice Celebrations

Summer-SolsticeJune 21st is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere — in Chicago, that means 15 hours and 13 minutes of daylight, but it’s not the same everywhere – some places get sunshine until late at night and it’s steeped in tradition. Here are a few places where the longest day of the year calls for Summer Solstice celebrations much different from American summer celebrations.

Eastern Europe

In Eastern Europe, they get more than 17 hours of daylight – giving them plenty of time to celebrate. Eastern European countries – Lithuania, Belarus, Poland – honor Summer Solstice as Kupala or St. John’s Day. Following tradition of Slavic folklore, the day is a festival of fertility and water. Children douse each other in water fights and uncoupled girls, read their romantic futures by sending flower wreaths in the river. According to folklore, it’s the only day the fern flower blooms; as a sort of pairing ceremony, girls are sent into the forest to find the fern flowers and boys are sent in to follow the girls. Young people already coupled jump over fire pits –hands locked—to determine the strength of their relationship.

MaypoleSweden, Finland and Norway

Sweden, Finland and Norway get almost 19 hours of daylight – the sun rises before 4am and sets after 10pm. Like Eastern European countries, they celebrate St. John’s Day on the Summer Solstice – or Midsummer – which is taken very seriously. In Sweden and Finland most businesses close up shop and people leave town for the countryside to celebrate. Flowers and plants are thought to have special healing powers on the solstice, so to welcome summer, children pick flowers to decorate the Maypole which they later dance around. Norway’s summer solstice is full of superstition – to protect their cows, they decorate barns with troll repellent birch and rowanberries. The center of Summer Solstice celebration for all three countries, much like Eastern European countries, is the bonfire – a symbol of the sun.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, Stonehenge reigns as the most identifiable place to celebrate Summer Solstice. Stonehenge is a stone monument near what archaeologists believe to be ancient burial grounds that date back to 3100 B.C.  Every year thousands of people gather at the site to watch the sun rise at 4:53am on the Summer Solstice. Archaeologists believe the giant stones were set up in alignment with the sun and they were used as ceremonial paths during the shortest and longest days of the year.

DaylightThe only place in the United States that gets a day an excessive amount of daylight is Anchorage, Alaska where they get 19 hours and 21 minutes of daylight. Celebrations aren’t rooted in cultural traditions, but there is a big festival and a Midnight Sun Marathon.

We might not get as much sunlight as our northern friends, but it doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate a day with extra sunshine. Happy Summer Solstice!