Monday, July 8, 2013

Sunday Story

I did sleep in on Sunday, until almost 6:00 AM! I put on my robe and went out on the patio to check the gauge. I picked up 1/4 inch of rain, so I decided to pass on watering the garden.

Sidebar: It was already 72 degrees, overcast and sticky here.

I got a cup of coffee and posted the Blog Entry. I was trying a new technique (for me anyway) and incorporating the photos into the text, so you can easily see what I am saying, rather than looking at photos and then having to read the post to understand why I took that photo. It was a Jake suggestion.

I made some soft-boiled eggs for my breakfast.

Then I started on the usual Sunday morning chores. I realized as I was washing the bathroom tub, toilet, sink and finally the floor that I had messed up. I should have been outside, working early, and done all this during the heat of the afternoon!

I had been looking at the exquisite photos of his English garden that my Brother Carl sent me. I noticed he has a good-looking perennial I saw at Home Depot yesterday while looking for those coneflowers: foxglove. So, I made a quick trip to Home Depot to get a couple. I got a Camelot Lavender and a Camelot Rose, BTW.

I also have been researching English gardens on the Internet. Many of them feature fake old ruins or antique statues (I suppose I could just stand out there, as I am somewhat an antique ruin, myself…).  However, I don’t have enough room for either of them, but I do have the metal fairy birdbath that Jake and Carla gave me a while back. Since I took down the bird feeder for the summer, I had just left it in the back room. The years outside have weathered it nicely so, I thought I would put it out front as well.

I cleared the spot I picked of mulch and cut through the landscape fabric for the flowers. I put some leftover leveling sand where I wanted the birdbath. I put a circle of concrete I had, left over from something else, I guess, down on the sand. Then it started raining and this project stalled. BTW, the mosquitoes and flies were terrible this morning!

So, I went into the garage and started to assemble the router table I bought. 

Router Table and Router

Shop Vac hooked to Router Table

Then the rain stopped. I needed the little level that I left out in the shed (to hang things up correctly). When I dug out the leveling sand, I had found half a bag of pea gravel from yet another past project. So, I set that in the wheel barrow to put in the front of the shed (both for looks and to minimize the splatter on the shed walls from the rain hitting the dirt).

When I swung open the man gate, I damn near wiped out my new drain spout! So, what to do? After some thought, I got out the aluminum nails and the plastic spacers I used to rejuvenate the existing gutters last year and pounded a nail with a spacer into the rubber expansion joint in the concrete. Problem solved!

Gate Stop

I put down the pea gravel and got the little level. Back up front, I leveled the concrete circle and put in the birdbath.  Then I planted the flowers and put back the mulch. Looked nice!

Camelot Lavender Foxglove

Camelot Rose Foxglove

Foxglove and Birdbath in Context

It was 12:30 PM, so I washed up and ate lunch. I warmed up the last burger and the rest of the blue-box mac and cheese. Then I took a 30-minute nap.

When I got up, I got another cup of coffee before getting back to work. I worked in the garage for the rest of the day. I quit when my back began to ache and went inside. It was 7:30 PM. I took a rinse-off shower and then threw the towels, my sweaty shorts and t-shirt into the washer. Then I started the last load of weekend wash.

I was beat, so I decided to skip the side dish I’d planned: fried eggplant. I love it but its messy and a lot of “fussing.” So, I just made the main dish: Spaghetti Cacio E Pepe. It’s a famous Roman dish and the sauce consists of only three ingredients: butter, pepper and Parmesan cheese.

BTW, you only have as much time as it takes to boil the spaghetti, so be sure you grate the Parmesan cheese ahead of time. I bought my already grated at Westborn.

So, I boiled some salted water and threw in eight ounces of thick spaghetti (I prefer that over “thin”). I set the timer for nine minutes for al dente. While it was cooking, I melted half a stick of butter in a large skillet. To that, I added a LOT of fresh cracked pepper (about a tablespoon). When the butter began to bubble, I pulled it off the heat.

When the pasta was done, I drained most of the water, reserving about 3 tablespoons. I put the pasta and the reserved water into the butter. I cooked it over medium high heat, tossing the pasta frequently until the liquid bubbled and thickened. Then I removed it from the heat and tossed in 3/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. I tossed that vigorously until the cheese was incorporated into a creamy sauce. I topped it with a little more Parmesan and more black pepper.

I dished up half of it (the recipe serves two) and tried it. Excellent! So simple, but so good!

When the laundry was finished, I hung up my pants and shirts and folded the rest. I turned on Mountain Men, which had already began to tape. When it was over, I went to bed.


  1. See, Garden is starting to take shape...keep up the good work!!!

  2. Thanks! I've already picked out perennials elsewhere in the yard I want to move in the Fall.

  3. How about that episode where Tom made the bow? That's my man!