Saturday, August 31, 2013
Friday was another hot and humid day, with temps in the mid-80’s. Michelle did a morning “breakfast run” to McDonalds so I had “second breakfast” of a sausage and egg McMuffin.
I had planned to go home for lunch, with a stop at GFS for charcoal and more kitchen bar towels. But, I was feeling stuffed and the idea of eating another hamburger seemed too much.
So, I went to the Newburgh Grill and had a cup of mediocre clam chowder and a mini Greek salad. Then I went to Lowe’s and got some "Cowboy" lump charcoal, their version of bar towels and some paint stripper.
Just after 4:00 p.m., my boss sent most of us home for the Holiday (nice). She and Reggie, the poor Help Desk guy, stayed to cover for us.
So, I got an early start on my long weekend labors. I started by cutting the front lawn with the push mower. Now, I’ve managed to keep the black walnuts on the front lawn to a minimum (by throwing them into the empty lot next door, so the squirrels can still find them). But the side lawn is a real hazard! There’s another black walnut tree just behind that big maple with the tree garden. Unfortunately, both are NOT on my lot.
I have to address these soon before I turn an ankle! But they are falling faster than I can get rid of them.
Then I took the push mower out back and cut all the spots the lawn tractor can’t reach. Speaking of things I can’t seem to keep up with, there were a lot more ripe cherry and Roma tomatoes. So I picked them all and put them in my old plastic colander (that’s my veggie-picking basket – lightweight, and a built-in drain when I rinse my harvest).
The green peppers were finally coming in and the yellow squash plants were dead. The peppers weren’t quite big enough to pick, but I did pull out the squash plants.
I opened the shed to find out what kind of seed was in the Pennington bag, but still can’t tell Carl. All it said was “sun and shade mix.” So, I locked the shed back up and went inside for the evening. It was 7:40 p.m.
My daughter Melissa called just after I came in. We chatted for a while. They are s-l-o-w-l-y adjusting to living life in Michigan again. Apparently, its quite different here, in a lot of ways, from North Carolina!
After we hung up, I still didn’t feel like eating dinner, so I snacked on all the cherry tomatoes (delicious, and I couldn’t get them any fresher!)
It was just after 10:00 p.m. and I was debating on whether or not to just go to bed when the weather alert went off. A severe thunderstorm was heading my way. Sure enough, about 20 minutes later, it blew in. “Severe” was putting it mildly! It wasn’t lightning and then thunder, but continual flashes (like a strobe light) and rolling thunder. The wind thrashed through the trees and seemed to keep changing directions. I sat in the dark living room and watched it all.
The rain came in sheets and then I heard a weird sound. It was small hail hitting the windows! The storm only lasted about a half hour, but it was intense! After it was over, I went to bed.
Sidebar: I went out Saturday morning and checked the gauge. That short, but wicked storm dumped 3/4-inch of rain on my yard! Thanks, I needed that. And, I didn’t see any major tree limbs down. I didn’t need that…
Friday, August 30, 2013
(Hey, nothing much happened!)
Thursday was mostly cloudy, hot and humid. I went home at lunch and ate a burger.
By the time my 3:00 p.m. walk rolled around, it was uncomfortably warm outside.
When I got home, I set up the sanding station again. This time I did the final sanding on every bench board with 150 grit sandpaper. Now, if this were, say, a cradle, I would sand it again with even finer paper. However, this is supposed to be a rustic, old barn wood bench, so this was the last time.
I got everything put away and the garage door down at 7:40 p.m. I cut up three hot dogs and added them to a can of bean for my dinner (there were only four pretzel buns and they were gone).
I was watching some taped TV when my Brother Carl called. He wanted to know “exactly” what kind of grass I had planted. He had a bald spot in his lawn from digging up something. I knew it was Pennington and I knew it was their version of “Sun & Shade,” but I didn’t remember if it was fescue, or rye or whatever. It was about 9:30 and there’s no electricity in the shed or I would have went and looked. But he said since I bought it at Home Depot, he would just go to his and figure it out.
I went to bed early, not wanting to sleep through the morning alarm again.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
I woke up to the alarm on Wednesday, but shut it off and went back to sleep. I woke up 45 minutes later! So, I had to hustle a bit.
I walked in the bedroom, just after my shower, to get dressed. Caley was standing on the bed. She looked at me, then turned her head and barfed a big, wet hairball!! So, instead of getting dressed, I mopped up the mess and then took the bedding down to the laundry room. Sigh…
I made it to work with five minutes to spare. That’s still early, I suppose, but late for me!
The highlight of my day was going to Time Out for lunch. I had a pulled pork sandwich (first time I’ve ever seen it offered) that was fantastic!
The afternoon at work had even more frustrating things happening. For example, I was composing an email and tried to type the word “Paul.” But, when I hit the shift key and then the “P” it typed “1.” I thought I’d fat-fingered it, until I realized that the two keys aren’t even close on a the keyboard. I kept trying for “P” and kept getting “1.” So, tried the shift lock and got “p” WTF!?!
I had to shut down the program and start it back up before it finally began to work again. Thanks, Office 365!
One good thing was that my boss returned from a lunch meeting with vendors and brought back five boxes of “Jimmy Lunches” (a box with a Jimmy Johns sandwich, a pickle, a bag of chips and a cookie). Of course, we had all eaten already, but I grabbed one for dinner tonight.
Finally, it was 5:00 p.m. and I was banging that drum! After treating the cats and changing clothes, I started the Wednesday night wash (this time two loads). I went out back to check the rain gauge and found another 1/2 inch of rainwater. So, I got a respectable 3/4-inch of rain on Tuesday.
I set up the sawhorses outside again and finished the rough sanding on the bench sides. The, I used clamps to hold each of them while I cut them down to size with the circular saw.
Next, I tried my idea for using the wire brush attachment on the drill to gouge the wood a bit. It worked great! Roughs up the wood, but looks quite natural.
Then the fun stuff! I got the propane torch, finally got it to stay lit and then started burning selected boards. Safety Note: I had a bucket of water and a wet rag close at hand. As my Brother Carl pointed out in his previous comment this, too, is a popular method to “age” wood. Plus, it’s freakin’ fun!
I noticed this showed the effect of the wire brush off, so I took a photo for you. It was too subtle to show up on the raw wood.
|Wire Brush Effect|
|Some of the Burnt Wood|
I finally quit at 7:50 p.m. and put everything away. I made sure I wiped all the burnt wood with the wet rag before going in (I don’t want any late-night surprise visits from the Fire Department!
I had my Jimmy Lunch for dinner. I took the “Vito” (their version of an Italian sub). I would normally take the “Turkey Tom” but didn’t feel safe eating a sandwich with mayo that had set out all afternoon. It was pretty good! And the chocolate chunk cookie made for a great dessert!
I finished folding the laundry, making the bed, etc., and watched some taped TV. But, I was beat and went to bed at 10:00 PM.