Monday, June 23, 2014

Making the Most of a Sunny Sunday

I slept in until 6:00 on Sunday. I made a cup of coffee, turned the dishwasher on (I forgot to Saturday night) and went in to attend to the Blog. It must have rained briefly overnight, as the street was wet, but I didn’t have any puddles in the driveway.

I made scrambled eggs with fresh chives for breakfast, along with sourdough toast and orange marmalade. Then I got started on the Sunday morning chores. I finally shaved, showered and then got dressed.

I went out and started the bike so it could warm up. The conditions were perfect for a ride in Hines Park. I decided to go up and down San Jose first, though, just to check everything was okay after removing the front wheel. It was a good thing I did as the speedometer wasn’t working! So, I took it in the garage and checked it out. Appears that I had over-tightened the knurled fitting. As soon as I backed it off a bit, the speedo was good to go. So, I did.

Traffic was light and before I knew it, I was going down the ramp from Inkster to Hines Park Drive. During break-in, I’m not supposed to maintain a steady speed, so I varied it from 35-45 mph (speed limit is 40 mph). I know I was driving the cars behind me crazy, because two of them passed me in no passing zones.

I had forgotten the old biker salute when you encounter one going the other way. The first time it happened, the guy raised his clenched fist, but I was past him before I could react. The next time it happened I was ready and we both raised our fist. But, the next time, I raised my fist and the guy gave a two fingered wave, down low. WTF? I finally realized it varied, with more people give the low wave that the ones who did the clenched fist. These must be the newer, kinder, gentler bikers or something. I decided to let the other biker go first and respond in kind.

My one big problem was my glasses. Back in the day, I used goggles over my glasses. But with just regular glasses, my eyes were tearing something awful. It was distracting and seriously affected me checking out the female joggers!

At first, I was embarrassed about all the tears. Then it dawned on me that the newer, kinder, gentler bikers probably just thought I was “sensitive” and I smiled.

I took it all the way over to Wilcox Lake. I pulled in to take a break and parked next to an older couple who were eating their McDonalds breakfast in their car with the windows down. The man leaned over and asked where I had gotten such a beautifully restored antique. I laughed and told him the story. We chatted for quite a long while.

Then I went to the restroom and finally blew my nose. I came out and, after checking the lawn for goose shit, sprawled in the grass to take a rest. My back was fine (I deliberately sat up very straight) but my butt hurt!!! I watched blue birds skim across the lily pads and catch mosquitoes.

Finally, people started showing up and lighting charcoal in barbecue grills. I took a couple of pictures for you and then got suited up again. Fortunately, I had brought my clip-on sunglasses. I didn’t need them on the ride west, but I definitely did on the ride east!

The ride back seemed to go by a lot quicker. Before I knew it, I was back on Inkster Road, heading home. When I got there, I put the bike back on the battery tender and went inside to change. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with Caley (she kept following me around, meowing) and then it dawned on me I didn’t give her a treat! So, I did.

My friend B___ had called, so I called him back and caught each other up on things. He laughed when I said I had gone only 20 some miles and my butt hurt! He said I better practice toughening up my butt before heading to Sturgis.

After we hung up, I got back to work. I took all the labels off the three remaining pairs of pants and started another load of wash.

Then I started prepping the Sunday supper. I used the kitchen shears to cut both ends of six ears of corn and stripped off some of the leaves. The corn went into the small stock pot, covered with water and a water-filled bowl o keep them submerged.

Next I sorted through a pound of fresh green beans and chose the ones that were of a similar size (I’ll steam the rest sometime next week for a side dish). Since I had dirtied them anyway, I used the kitchen shears to snip off both ends of the beans before putting the beans in a baggie. I could make any kind of marinade (the recipe Amy had shared on Facebook was non-specific about the kind of marinade) but since I had it left from the last pasta salad, I just used some Kraft Zesty Italian dressing (I put that sh*t on everything, LOL!) I massaged them to distribute the marinade, stuck the baggie in a bowl and put them in the fridge to get happy.

Then I went out to weed the front gardens. Now, here’s my quandary. I have just heard (though I have not had time to check with my Brother Carl for his opinion) that you are supposed to use a fork and turn over your mulch once a year. What? Otherwise, “they” say, as it composts, it creates a barrier to rain. Never heard of that one before.

And, I have a problem with turning it with a fork. As Jake moved the mulch with the Bobcat, Carla and I laid down huge swaths of landscape fabric. So, sticking a fork in it would be bad.

So, I used my three tined hand cultivator to gently stir it up while I was weeding. As I was doing that, the lady who lives in the house next to Rick, my neighbor walked over. I met her and her husband last year during a power outage, if you remember. She said she had NO green thumb but found some variegated (my word, not hers) hostas in the back, A co-worker told her they were hardy and could be moved. So she had just transplanted three of them and asked if she should water them. I didn’t have the heart to tell her she should have watered the hole first. She asked if I would take a moment to come check them out, so I walked over.

They looked healthy enough, so I told her I’d dump a gallon of water on each right now and then again in a day or two, depending on rain. He husband came over (he was trimming a hedge) and she said told him she thought she’d ask “John” (I’m embarrassed to admit I don’t recall either of their names) for some advice. He said, “Good!” And then said to me, "She needs all the help she can get!" We all laughed.

She said she was going to put down some mulch, so I told her about landscape fabric. I told her not to buy any as I had tons of the stuff left over and I’d give her all she would need. I made my goodbyes and went back to work.

By the time I got the front gardens done, my back was hurting. I took a few photos for you and then took a break. But before I did, I went out back and sprayed the weeds and grass coming through the cracks on both patios. It’s funny. If you remember, I had a dill plant in a container last year. So, half the plants growing up in the cracks on my patio are dill!

Spirea, starting to bloom

Somebody needs to thin the hostas!

New blooms on the Gebera Daisy

Anne's Yellow Rose Blooms again

I went inside and massaged the green beans again. Then I took out the steak and the onion sausage so they could come to room temperature. I laid down on the bed to rest my back and butt.

I got bored watching TV, so I went out back and weeded the raised bed vegetable garden. I found two small catnip plants, so I pulled them out and brought them in to Caley. She was pleased.

By then it was 5:00 p.m., so I fired up the charcoal starter. When the coals were ready, I grilled the corn, then the onion sausage and then the steak. The corn was in the oven, keeping warm, the onion sausage was cooling and the steak was resting, so I grilled the green beans.

Sidebar on grilling green beans:  I found out you really have to watch them. They start off slow (probably due to the marinade) but when they get going, they go quick. Also, even though I was very careful in only using the longest beans and very careful with the tongs, I lost about 15 down in between the grate.

I took the grilled green beans in the house and sprinkled them with grated Parmesan cheese. Then I plated my supper.

I cut the steak in half, added an ear of corn and a good helping of the green beans.

The steak was a little overdone (probably medium, rather than the medium-rare I prefer. And, I know why: I was so into getting perfect grill marks, I left it on a bit too long. But, it still tasted great!

The corn was perfect, but it always is. The one thing I never screw up is grilled corn.

And the green beans were interesting. They tasted good, but not like green beans. Don’t know if it was the marinade or the cheese or my mind was just stuck on what green beans “should” taste like, but they were definitely different. I liked them.

After eating, I cleaned everything up and started watching some TV (a mix of live, taped and Netflix). I was beat, though and was fast asleep by 10:00 p.m. I should have taken a nap…


  1. I'm glad you had a good ride. The plants all look great! Dinner looks delicious.

  2. Yeah John, I agree with bad you didn't make a couple of extra plates for Carl and Carla and Jake too!. I have never heard of turning your mulch, so I guess I'm just as guilty as you, and I am NOT running out to the garden to turn it,.

  3. @Carla: Thanks!
    @GPF: I think that turning the mulch thing is weird myself. But it is kinda compacted when you dig into it. I dunno...