This is a blog about everyday life. Food, gardening, photography, and nature. What you won't find are pictures of lots of people.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Refurbishing Windows - House Maintenance Pt III

Remember the neglected windows?  I've been hard at work and fairly successful at restoring them to an acceptable state.  However, it is a learning process as you will see.

I started with this:

I removed all the loose peeling paint and rotted wood.

Got the wood hardener out.

I have to admit I was not convinced this stuff would work.  It is made by the Elmer's glue people and it looks just like Elmer's glue.  Like a 2nd grader I got it all over my hands and slathered it on the bare wood.

And no I didn't eat it like so many of my classmates did in 2nd grade.  I can still hear Mrs. Luney scolding them and shudder at the thought of getting whacked with her wooden ruler on the palm of my hand!  (elementary school could be brutal at times!)

I let the hardener dry completely.  It completely sealed the wood!  Then I mixed up some Bondo and sealed all the cracks.

As you can see I didn't work quite fast enough and it hardened before I could get it applied.  But it sands easily.  The point wasn't to make the windows look new again.  I wanted to seal them from the weather before they were totally ruined.

I glazed the panes that needed it and put a thick coat of paint on top of it all.  This step alone took 2 hours and I'm probably supposed to wait to paint the putty in the panes, but I thought I'd try it and see how it worked.

I think the next windows will not only be easier, but will look better now that I know how to do it!

I still have the top of this one to do today.  My ladder was too short to reach last night.

Remember the chest of drawers?  Well it ended in disaster.  I kept it wrapped in a tarp for weeks til I had time to work on it with no rain in the forecast.  I got it primed and got one coat of paint on when the thunderstorm struck.  It rained for 2 hours.  I had covered it with the tarp but by the next day after the overnight drizzle and a day in the damp it had swollen and smeared and looked awful.  I put a case of water on each of the drawers to force the dovetail back in place when it dried and hoped for the best.

The drawers are fine and now fit in the chest!  I, personally, think it looks dreadful, but the recipient declared it beautiful and wouldn't let me repaint it.  There really is no accounting for taste.

Uno is tired from all the work!

This is Bobbi's baby.  He is the only one that won't take peanuts from my hand.

Have a great day!  The inside of the house is finished and I'll post some final pictures later.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I got to work this morning and as I strolled across the parking lot I heard a squirrel barking.  I looked up and there was Bobbi!  With her were the other two squirrels, Frisky ( I think is her baby) and Split Ear (her husband).  I spoke to Bobbi and she stopped barking and sat up perky like on the power line and seemed content as she stopped barking.  Her cohorts were frolicking in the trees and shrubs below.

I had to rename Bobby to Bobbi because I discovered "he" was a "she".  Look closely....

I don't know how I missed that before.  :)  (These are older photos)

Every morning they come by for peanuts and one morning I arrived and I hadn't shut the window the day before and someone (as in squirrel) had chewed a big hunk out of the sill.

I can hear Bobbi munching on a peanut as I write this!

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Brief Trip Involving Food Porn

I had to interrupt my daily routine of painting to take a business trip.  I thought you might want to go along!

Naturally when I arrived and met a friend we had to eat.  It seems the more expensive the food is the more unrecognizable it becomes with descriptions I cannot pronounce let alone spell.

This dish my friends contains fried squash blossoms stuffed with seafood ( don't remember what exactly) and goat cheese and topped with micro greens.

I love the little clover looking thing!  Micro greens I gather is a fancy way of saying sprouts that are too old to be called sprouts anymore.  Very clever don't you think?  And the sauce was superb!  Roasted red pepper coolie (please do laugh at my spelling).  It was so good we sopped it all up with our bread.  You can take a girl outta the country but you can't take the country outta the girl!

Yes!  I love home grown tomatoes.  These were chilled then tossed with just a bit of vinagrette, onion, cucumber and feta cheese.

By the time the waitress had described all the options I had no clue what we were ordering.  I don't remember the high falutin' name of this but it is basically sea bass, spinach, fried oysters on cheese grits (polenta in Italia) with some delightful sauces.  

By the time this was taken we had already nailed one of the oysters each!

We also had some chianti but for some reason I didn't get a picture of it! 

My friend liked it.  Can you tell?  Once again the bread came in handy.  The green stuff was olive oil infused with something very tasty.

I was stuffed by this point, but not my friend!

I bit its little wings off immediately.  Chocolate bourbon gelato with berries and uh, a rosebud.  I usually drink my bourbon rather than eat it and smell my roses rather than eat them as well.  But I did taste the gelato and I have to say it had just a tiny hint of bourbon and was quite good.  I got the raspberry and my friend ate the blackberry.  The rose and two little blueberries were left floating in melted bourbon gelato with chunks of dark chocolate driftwood.

I think we were such enthusiastic diners they gave us a treat.  Macaroons!

Light and fluffy on the inside with a slight crunch on the outside and just the right amount of sweetness.
I rarely indulge myself with such flagrant food so it was LOTS of fun.  The goal for me was to eat at an Italian restaurant and not get the typical fare.  Success was mine!  The owner, my friend noted, looked like a young Omar Sharif.  They could have served him up on a platter sauce or no sauce and we would have been just as happy! 

After a walk I went back to the hotel.  The next morning dawned outside my window.  Not the best view but not bad either.

 I stole away from the conference later because one can only hear about pavement design, maintenance traffic schemes, and bridge design options for so long without needing to recharge with a stroll by the river.


I love barges.

Hmmmmmm. Wonder where the road goes?

Any racing fans out there?

And finally and uncooperative "Cocoa".  Neither me nor the owner could get a good picture.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by to see me!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Second Hand Furniture and The Window Challenge

I picked up a little stool with a seat of woven cane off the curb a few years ago.  Apparently the neighbor thought it should go to the dump after her basement flooded.  Well, I saw the little stool's potential and rescued it and eventually the cane came loose and was replaced with a plastic tub with locking lid.  I hide all sorts of outdoor treasures in there like matches and seeds and pens and knives and string.  I also use it as a table.

I don't seem to have any pictures of the table until I primed it.

Then I gave it a colorful coat of paint!

I was hoping to make the same transformation with this old chest I picked up.

Gotta love Sears!  And I do NOT live in Louisville (just in case you are wondering).

A little gorilla glue and a finish nail should take care of that loose bottom.   This is real wood folks.   

Next up are the windows.  Sigh.  The windows that have seen years of neglect.

Even the mailbox has been mistreated!

Can I save them?