The Shed Project (continues)

11 10 2010

The shed project continues. You didn’t think it was finished, did you? Come on now. This project will never be finished.

So here was our dilemma. Look at this picture. Do you see the big wide open area to the right of the shed? That is unused space, my friend. It would have made a great compost area or small garden since it’s out of sight from the house but the shed casts some mean shade back there. So we settled on building an addition to the shed – a lean-to.

Here’s Larry using the post hole digger. As you’ll see coming up, we’ll be putting in (4) 4×4 support posts parallel to the shed. See the large shrubs behind him. They’re leyland cypresses. We had to chop them down for this project. I thought about moving them to another part of the yard but I couldn’t find a good place considering their height at maturity.

So the posts are in and the rafters are going up. The rafters are 14 ft long. The short end of the lean-to where the four posts are located is 12 ft long.

Here is Larry nailing the sheathing to the rafters. I had all good intentions of helping him with putting down the sheathing but the rafters shook too much when you hammered a nail. Gave me the willies. I had to get down.

Here’s the view from under the lean-to. Even though I loved my shrubs, it’s going to be nice moving some of the bigger garden gadgets like the tractor wagon and wheelbarrow out here instead of taking up floor space in the garage and shed. We plan to raise the ground in this area and put in a gravel base. We will be installing gutters connected to rain barrels.

From here he looks like he’s smiling but he was in pain. It’s hard to have a desk job 362 days a year then build a structure on the other 3 days.

We’re not done with the lean-to yet. We still have to add some side trim pieces, flashing, and then shingle it. I’ll try going up there again. Now that the sheathing is down, the roof should have a more solid feel to it (I hope).

As you can see in the pics, we don’t have any siding on this side of the shed. The other 3 sides are done but we’ve been waiting (on ourselves) to get this part of the project going so the ledger board, flashing, and siding come together well.

That was our Columbus Day Holiday weekend. What did you do?


NYC – View From Our Hotel Room

26 09 2010

The Empire State Building is across the street from our hotel.

When in Maine – One Must Eat Lobster

23 09 2010

We arrived in Portland, Maine this morning. After a long morning of traveling from NC, we were starving. As we were checking in, the hotel manager recommended a place on the waterfront that served great lobster rolls. We headed over to J’s Oyster Bar. Sat at a table outside. Then this showed up on my plate:

Lobster Roll

BRP: The Cascades Trail

10 07 2010

During our recent trip to the mountains, we spent the majority of our time exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP). The parkway is rich in parks and trails that surround the Boone/Blowing Rock area.

One such park is the E.B. Jeffress. It’s located north of Boone not too far from where the Blue Ridge crosses Hwy 421 at Deep Gap. There are two marked trails in Jeffress Park, the Cascades and the Tompkins Knob. On this trip, we took the Cascades trail.

The Cascades Trail can be found at mile maker 271.9. There is plenty of parking along with restrooms. The Cascades trail is approximately a mile long – round trip. The trail is fairly easy. No special footwear or hiking gear required. The only hazard you might encounter is tripping over an exposed tree root.

The trail follows Falls Creek as it meanders down the mountain. Native vegetation is highlighted by interpretive markers along the trail. Eventually, the trail descends stone steps to an overlook as Falls Creek tumbles down the mountain as a beautiful waterfall.

Highland Food

9 06 2010

As I get older, it seems my vacations are defined by what I ate and where I ate it. It’s always my goal to eat “local” any chance I get. During my recent trip to the mountains of North Carolina, I enjoyed eating at the following restaurants:


Boone, NC

I’ve been to Macado’s many times and they never disappoint me. They have an extensive sandwich menu but I have to have the KC’s Chicken Mac and Cheese.  It’s baked macaroni and cheese with grilled mesquite chicken strips, broccoli, and cheddar cheese. It’s so good. Hot, bubbly, and cheesy.

Six Pence Pub

Blowing Rock, NC

This was my second time to the pub. It’s such a convenient location when you’re shopping  in Blowing Rock. During this visit, I had their daily special – Fried Green Tomato Sandwich. The sandwich was good and tasty. The fried tomato was hot enough to burn the roof of your mouth. I do have one complaint. The core of the tomato slice was pretty hard. You had to eat around it. It would have been nicer if the center had been removed.


Blowing Rock, NC

I’m not sure which is better, the food or the view; both are spectacular. We happened to be there for the Sunday Jazz Brunch. The music was good and so was the food. I went with the Grilled Shrimp Chimichanga. It’s served with refried beans and rice. I couldn’t tell if the shrimp were actually grilled but they were cooked perfectly. I would definitely order it again. By the way, their servings are large.

Our Daily Bread

Boone, NC

The last time we shopped King Street in Boone, we ate at the Boone Drug Store. This time we tried Our Daily Bread. It’s a contemporary sandwich shoppe serving panini style grilled sandwiches. I had the Gouda Heavens grilled sandwich with a pasta salad. The sandwich was made of shaved ham, smoked gouda cheese, tomato, and lettuce. I liked the sandwich so much that I’m going to try making it myself.,+NC&cid=7907865557975232575

Old Hampton Store & Grist Mill

Linville, NC

After a morning of hiking the Cascades trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway, we drove to Linville for some pulled pork sandwiches. The Old Hampton Store smokes their pork over hickory and applewood then they pile it on freshly made sourdough buns. They serve the food faster than any McDonalds restaurant. They were calling my number before I had a chance to find a table. Seating is available inside the store or on the front porch. On the day we were there, a bluegrass trio provided music and singing.


14 05 2010

Tonight I ran across a Mark Bittman NY Times video on making a rhubarb crisp. Watching him prepare the rhubarb and describe it’s tartness, brought back memories of how I came to love rhubarb.

Back in the late 60’s and early 70’s, my sister Shawn and I would occasionally spend the weekend with Paul and Louise. Paul and Louise were friends of the family but we knew them more as family. Paul worked at the Belden factory in Richmond, IN and Louise was a stay at home mother.

During the summer, Paul would plant a big garden in the back yard. He grew corn, string beans, tomatoes, radishes, and rhubarb. He grew more than that but that’s what I recall.

For some reason, the rhubarb wasn’t grown in the actual garden. It was grown next to the garage. It grew well in that location. I can remember helping Louise string the rhubarb before she cut it up for the pies she would make.

I also remember tasting the raw rhubarb. I couldn’t believe the tart sweetness found in the pie could start out so bitter. It almost had a caustic chemical taste in it’s raw form.

I haven’t had a slice of strawberry rhubarb pie in a long time. It’s probably been 40 years since I last tasted one. I think it’s time I round up some rhubarb from the farmers market and give Mark Bittman’s recipe a try.

Ocracoke: Thai Moon

9 05 2010

If you’re ever on Ocracoke Island and you love thai food, you have to stop by the Thai Moon restaurant. From the second we stepped on the island, people were recommending the Thai Moon. It might be the best Thai food I’ve ever had.

We ended up going there to pickup lunch right before we got on the ferry to Cedar Island. I’m sort of glad we waited until the last day to try the restaurant. Their food is so good that I’m afraid we would have found an excuse to eat there every day. 

I had the shrimp pad thai while Larry had chicken satay with peanut sauce and egg rolls.  The pad thai was loaded with shrimp and they gave me enough food for two meals. All that was left from Larry’s lunch was wooden skewers and peanut sauce. He’s not a big fan of peanuts.  

It’s take-out only so don’t expect a sitdown restaurant.