Thursday, October 25, 2007

EggtoberFest 2007 - Atlanta

Another fantastic EggtoberFest. And this one was made even more special by being the Tenth EggtoberFest. The two of us were right in the thick of it too. We even cooked.

The final figures aren't in yet but I heard 3,000 showed up Saturday. That's over twice as many as last year. There were 500 at the Meet & Greet the night before. And the weather was perfect the entire time.

Texas wasn't well represented this year so I made sure they knew we were there though. I made some Texas shaped waffles here and took them with us. Saturday morning I fired up an Egg, put my cast iron griddle on it and heated up the waffles. I added some butter and syrup and handed them out. They went over great.

Then my Sweetie broke out a Dutch Oven and made a pot of chili for her famous Frito Pie. It sure didn't take long for the hungry crowd to scoop that up. They loved it and naturally asked for the recipe.

Then we started making our version of a Muffuletta. We started with sourdough bread slices, then buttered one side. Then we added some Creole Mustard, ham, turkey, genoa salami, provolone cheese and then the secret ingredient, olive salad (Just like they use in the original muffuletta in New Orleans). Then we buttered another slice of bread to top off the sandwich. About 20 seconds each side on the hot griddle and it was ready. They loved it...

Naturally, we sampled as much as we could too. Most of it was close to Fantastic. We got full real fast and missed out on a lot of stuff we wish we could have tried.

Then there was the After Party, a gathering of souls who just didn't want the day to end. We had another great time there too.

Here are a few photos for you but they really don't do it justice. It's unique, it's fun and it's gonna be bigger and better next year.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Flagstone Patio

Home ownership... There's never an end to the challenges or the opportunities for improvement. No sooner than I finished my outdoor kitchen, called The Coop, we decided to cover a 200 sq ft area next to it with flagstone.

Easier said than done.

First of all, the sod has to be removed down about four or five inches in order to be replaced with decomposed granite for a solid foundation that can also be adjusted upward or downward for each individual flagstone piece according to its thickness. All of this is very labor intensive.

As for removing the old sod, that is a real challenge, especially considering the fact that there is a clay-like substance that sticks to everything. A shovel can quickly become heavy with the clay as it accumulates more and more layers. Then you just have to stop and scrape it off.

But finding a place for the old sod is also a problem. I've pretty much decided to put it behind some heavy Pampas Grass to make a sort of levy between our property and the cemetery where a great deal of water flows into our yard during heavy rains.

All of this is taking time, lots of time, primarily because I've been sick with a chest cold for almost two weeks. And the weather, dewpoint mostly, is really dragging me down. But I've got a goal, a pallet of flagstone and a yard of decomposed granite just waiting to happen.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Back Surgery

They call it "surgery" but it's really an epidural injection of cortisone to reduce inflammation of the area between L3 & L4. In other words, to fix my sciatica problem that I've had for over an year. This was the third one. I had it done last Tuesday and I feel great. In fact, I've been digging up dirt and moving heavy walking stones all day, something I couldn't do without some serious pain before.

Tomorrow I will resume the digging and hopefully be able to start spreading the decomposed granite base for the flagstone I will eventually use to cover the area.

If you've never had sciatica you are lucky. If you have had sciatica you probably understand the need for epidurals, especially if you plan to live a half way normal life.

In fact, I feel so good I think I'll go move some more dirt right now.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Cough That Wouldn't Die

Ever get a cold and the resulting cough just won't go away? Well I've got one. Had it six days now and haven't had more than about two hours of decent sleep in all that time. It isn't just a cough, it's hacking up endless amounts of phlegm. So that means having to get up, find a place to spit and try to settle back down, only to go through the process again in five or ten or fifteen minutes... all night long.

So here I am at 4:30 AM during a lull moment attempting to put my frustration in writing with the hope that it will take my mind off the pending next round of coughing.

I really need some sleep too. Yesterday I was scheduled for back surgery (epidural) and needed to be at the hospital at 5:00 AM. I was home by 8:30 AM with instructions to take it easy because I was still under the influence of anesthesia. After being awake all night and undergoing surgery you would think I could sleep like a kitten. NOT! Not a wink.

Anyway, the coffee pot will automatically kick on in one hour and fifteen minutes and that's when my new day starts. My plans are to make some Big Green Egg handles for Lawn Ranger until about 9:30, then go to the heart center for exercise, and then start digging dirt to lay in almost 200 sq ft of crushed granite base with a flagstone top. It's all part of the Chicken Coop Project.

I suppose you could say, "Life is good." Well, except for this $#%^&@ cough...