Friday, May 26, 2023

The wall project, plus routine painting

One of the Boss's spring projects was to beautify our concrete block retainment wall on the dock level. When we first bought our place we pressure-washed the wall and painted it, and that was that. However, years later now, we decided to give it a major face-lift, not for structural reasons but mainly for beautification and ongoing ease of maintenance. 

Pretty ho-hum and needs paint. We can do better!

After some research, (nothing gets done around here without prior research - thank God), the Boss sourced some Tritan BP Faux Stone Panels which nicely mimic a stone façade. He performed a serious pressure washing and did some additional surface maintenance to the  concrete blocks, then began measuring and trimming the panels to properly fit the wall. We opted not to cover the top of the wall, too many possibilities for breakage/damage. The panels were installed without issue and the remaining wall surfaces subsequently painted the same color as the dock. We're super pleased with how nicely it came out & hope our neighbors are pleased as well.

Part way through.. He had an engineered system of
weights and heavy "brace" boards to hold the panels
in place while the adhesive set up and dried.

Sweet! Completed and just some general cleanup of the
palm tree beds and a freshen-up of the flower baskets
and it will be a project well wrapped. (So much better! 🥳)

In the ongoing saga of trying to empty the freezers, I thawed-out, dry brined and spatchcocked a Cornish hen. Nestled on top of some fresh broccoli and carrots and surrounded by some tasty dressing, into the oven it went.  It came out great and we had lots of dressing left over, so since I have 2 more hens in the freezer I sense a repeat coming on in our future.

The hen stayed nice and moist, and surprisingly,
the veggies stayed crisp/tender.

Finally, I've begun to get together my trivet supplies and so I laid-out all the stuffed "tubies" to see what I've got - boy, lots of choices. I also have another bag full of unstuffed tubies of different fabrics. Suffice it to say, I shouldn't have any problem finding something to amuse myself with out west.

Thanks for dropping by, hope you're having a great day.

Monday, May 22, 2023

Time's a truckin' along, fun visit with family, canning & fabric fun.

We've been continuing to prep for our trip out west by doing household chores, routine maintenance on the cars, whittling down freezer contents and getting our dental and doctor visits out of the way.

We also got together with my sister and brother-in-law for a wonderful picnic lunch down in Mt. Dora, FL which is about half way in between, a little over 100 miles. It was a beautiful day for a drive and we made things super easy by agreeing to each pick up sub's for lunch rather than doing a potluck affair. Even though we talk all the time, and email back and forth, this is the first time we've actually been together in a few years. BIG HUGS all around!! 💖🥰

The Elizabeth Evans park was pretty nice, and right by Lake Dora. We were blessed with a shady picnic table and a medium-strong breeze all afternoon which kept temps down and bugs away.

Donna and I each had a goodie bag with several small gifts
for each other to make up for all the missed celebrations. It was also
her Birthday weekend coming up so we didn't want to miss that.

Looking towards the lighthouse, the shoreline is natural with lots of cattails and such.

One of the neat things about the park were all the large trees. There was one cluster that actually had a palm tree growing up out of the middle of it, and you can see how nice and shady it was at our table.

The guys talk car racing and stuff, while Donna digs for
 something in her purse. I'm just being a nuisance taking pics.

Palm tree just growing into the mass.

Lots of hills & small lakes dot the area near Ocala.

The Boss enjoying his new shirt.

In addition to that fantastic visit, I've lately had time to indulge in some canning, some floral work and some sewing fun.

First off, the canning. In the 2 freezers I had a stockpile of ground pork, ground Italian sausage and brats that I decided to can - there was no way to eat it all and it never hurts to have a few things on the pantry shelf.  It requires a hot pack, so browning it first and having some hot beef stock to cover the contents, then pressure canning for 75 minutes.

I've got this huge, deep wok-like pan which is great
for cooking up large quantities. Even so, I worked in batches.

Since meat shrinks when cooked, it ended up only being
enough for 6 pint jars (16oz).  Rainy day goodness.

I was also hit by a need of the Southern cooking variety, which lead to homemade cornbread, black-eyed peas over rice, and fresh spinach (in lieu of collards) to go with our roast pork. Yum, so good!

I fry up some chopped onions & add
minced garlic, then I use an envelope of 
onion soup mix and 1/2C water. 
Let it simmer a while.

More rescued straw baskets with their new and perky flowers. We use these all over, and they're especially nice on the back deck.

A nice pop of color and civility, lol.

Last topic, my purply-squares fabric project turned out to be a bed pillow sham. I liked it so much I made another using pastels and tried utilizing a geometric pattern instead of random like the first one. I like them both, and they didn't take a world of time either - win, win. Which do you like best?

Well, thanks for hanging out with me and catching up on my rather unexciting activities. Hopefully, next month we'll be out west and we should have some new scenery and stuff to talk about. Until then, see you next time.