Several years ago I rescued a metal headboard and footboard from my parent’s house.  It used to belong to my grandmother.  They have been painted several times and the paint is chipping.  But I have a love of old things, particularly those that come from family, and I knew one day they would be repurposed.

Our good friend Greg is a very talented finished carpenter and he agreed to make them into outdoor benches for me.  They look amazing!  The bases are painted an artichoke color (I just made that up because that’s what the color reminds me of and I can’t remember the real name) and the seat slats are painted blue, red, yellow, orange and green.  The peeling paint on he headboard and footboard make them shabby chic.  I just finished the second coat of rustoleum polyurethane.  Not exactly sure where I will put them but they will certainly be eye catching.  The chairs around our fire pit are also colorful so the benches will fit right in.

So happy I know someone as generous and talented as Greg!!

Here are some pictures we took while we were painting them.

One coat of primer and two coats of paint.  Making sure to coat the feet well to prevent moisture from wicking into the wood.

Primer and two coats of paint on the slats.  It helps when the sun is shining because the paint dries quickly.

Two coats of rustoleum polyurethane to protect the paint.

Looking forward to enjoying these for many years to come.


Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Pasta Salad

Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato is one of our favorite sandwiches.  Combining all of those ingredients in a salad had to be a good idea.  A perfect accompaniment to burgers or sausages on the grill.  Most recently I served it as a side dish to barbecued beef brisket.  My daughter always says bacon and butter make everything taste better.  She’s right.


1 pound of dry pasta (your choice)

1 pound bacon

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 T minced shallots

3 T minced fresh basil

2 T cider vinegar

1 T sugar

3 T bacon drippings (cooled to room temperature)

salt and pepper to taste

4 cups of lettuce (I used baby kale and arugula)

4 cups cherry tomatoes halved

Cook your pasta according to package instructions.  Once it’s cooked shock it in ice water to stop the cooking.  Set aside to drain.

Cook your bacon until it is crispy.  Drain it on paper towel and set aside 3 T of the drippings.  Allow the drippings to cool to room temperature before adding them to the dressing.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, shallots, basil, cider vinegar, sugar, and bacon drippings.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  I whisk it in a large mixing bowl because that becomes my salad vessel.

With the dressing on the bottom of the bowl layer the remaining ingredients.

Pasta first, followed by the cherry tomatoes.

Add your salad greens.  I chop the bacon and put it in a zip lock until the salad is ready to serve.  That keeps a little more of the crunch on the bacon.

When you’re ready to serve the salad toss all the ingredients together and enjoy.

NOTE:  You can use your favorite pasta, or whatever you have on hand.  Diced green onions or a little red onion can be substituted for the shallots.  And chopped romaine or even iceberg lettuce, if that’s what you enjoy, works equally well.  The fresh basil is a bonus and adds a great flavor to the salad.  As with most recipes you can customize this based on your personal preferences.