Monday, July 15, 2013


I woke up at 6:00 AM on Sunday. I got a cup of coffee and then wrote the Blog entry. It took two cups of coffee to finish, BTW.

I got dressed (I’d shower later) and went out back. I hooked up the hose to the vegetable garden’s soaker hose and turned it on. I set the stove timer for two hours. Then I went out in the garage and pulled the car out. I parked it under the maple tree in the shade. It was predicted to be a high of 88 degrees F. with increasing humidity today, and the upcoming week is supposed to just get worse. We caught a few nice days, but it’s over now!

I finished staining a small project I’d been working on and had a lot of stain left. So, I stained that old bench out back by the fire pit. I was using “Red Chestnut #2” Stain. It’s my new favorite. It’s darker than, say, maple (which always looks orange to me) but not too dark and has a nice red tint in it.

It will take eight hours before I can polyurethane the bench, so I set it in the garage to dry. I went in and finally took my shower.

My friend B___ called. We’d been playing phone tags for the past couple of days. So, we caught each other up on things and then hung up.

I got the two replacement blades for the lawn tractor and took them out on the patio along with the Dremel tool. I need to sharpen the blades before installing them. For some reason (safety?), new blades are not sharp these days. So, I sat there grinding until they were sharp. 

While I was out there, a beautiful butterfly flew in. The dill flowers fascinated him. I have no idea why, as I would think the pollen or nectar would be bitter (or at least sour). But, he hung around enough to let me take several pictures.

Then I pulled out the mower onto the fire pit pad, laid down and replaced both blades. I chewed up the knuckles on my left hand, but I always do when replacing the blades.

Then I tested it out. Bingo! No vibration! So, I recut the back lawn. Checking it out afterwards, I realized one side of the mower deck was now higher than the other… Sigh… Oh well, that won’t be fixed today!

Before I went back inside, I did two things I’d been meaning to do in the shed. First, I put down some masking tape and painted a red line just past the door tracks. I did that in the garage after the door jumped the tracks and I had to pay a garage door company to fix the beat-up, bent-up door. Granted, there’s no automatic door opener in the shed, but I think it will help to gauge how far to pull the mower in, etc.

Then I coated the top of the workbench with Tung oil, to protect it.

I went back inside and it was almost 4:00 PM. Since my next project cannot happen for three more hours, I decided to take a nap before making supper. I set the alarm, just in case. But, not to worry: I couldn’t fall asleep!

So, I got up and stated supper. I decided to make a potato salad and a riff on my favorite burger: a Patty Melt.

I boiled 1 1/2 pounds of baby redskin potatoes. I also turned five eggs into hardboiled ones. While they were cooking, I made my dressing. I put three big spoonfuls of mayo  and one glug of deli mustard (horseradish and coarse-ground mustard) into a big bowl. I added a splash of red wine vinegar, sea salt and coarse ground black pepper. I went out and harvested some thyme and flat leaf parsley. I stripped the thyme leaves off the stems and rough chopped the parsley.

I diced up a medium Vidalia onion and four stalks of celery. I peeled a carrot and ran it through the box grater (for some color). When the potatoes and eggs were done, I cut the potatoes in half and cut the peeled eggs into large chunks. I threw them both (still warm, Carla!) into my dressing. I stirred that a while and then added the veggies. I mixed them in, covered the bowl with foil and stuck it in the fridge to chill.

Meanwhile, I sautéed half a sliced red onion in butter. When the onion was soft, I threw in eight ounces of sliced Crimini mushrooms and sautéed those as well. I just let them sit as they will be toppings for my burgers.

I started the charcoal in the charcoal chimney. I cut two pounds of ground chuck into six equal pieces and formed them into patties. I seasoned them with some sea salt, fresh ground black pepper and a touch of garlic powder. I was all set, but the coals were not! I was just about out of newspaper (I buy one every month or so just to start my charcoal). In desperation, I used the Redford Township paper that was on my doorstep last Friday and I didn’t have time yet to read. Sigh…

But, the coals eventually caught, so I cleaned the grate, oiled it and proceeded to grill some brats for next week’s lunches or dinners (I hate to waste good coals!)

Then I grilled the burgers. I pulled them off and let them rest a bit. I topped one with two thin slices of provolone cheese. I put the patty on a sandwich thin, added a smear of Dijon mustard and topped it with the mushroom/onion mixture. I put that on a plate with a big spoonful of potato salad and ate my Sunday supper.

The burger was excellent! The potato salad was good, but under-seasoned. A little more salt and pepper fixed that problem, though.

I went in and watched TV until 7:00 PM. Then I went out and did the first coat of polyurethane. I repeated the process at 9:00 and finally did the last coat at 11:00 PM. I backed the car out from under the tree and parked next to the porch. I locked it and then I went to bed.


  1. I can't believe you have to sharpen blades before use...
    good tip on the red line by door!! Thanks

  2. Well, maybe your mower blades are different. But Troy Built blades come with a thick coating of paint/plastic.

    Yeah, the red line has saved my butt (and door) in the garage, so I thought I'd use it in the shed.