Tag Archive: garden

Yellow Potato Skins

This is not a recipe for baked yellow potato skins covered in sour cream, cheese, vegetables and bacon. This is about a personal discovery I had in my garden.

Some of my Potato Harvest

Some of my Potato Harvest

Maine is a potato growing state therefore we take our potatoes a little more seriously. I prefer the yellow potatoes. They have the same brown skins of most potatoes but inside they are a yellowish gold. Imagine a potato that once cooked and mashed, looks like you already added butter.

Rough Skinned Potato (Left) Smooth Skinned Potato (Right)

Rough Skinned Potato (Left)
Smooth Skinned Potato (Right)

I chose to plant yellow potatoes in my garden this year. This morning I harvested the earthy gems. As I washed off the soil, I noticed some had smooth skins while others had rough. Why? If there were all the same, why was there a difference in the skin texture. Was this one of those female and male plant things? I didn’t think so because the potato is the “fruit” of the plant. Perhaps it was because some were planted at one end of the garden and the rest at the opposite end? No, I don’t think the soil would be that different in a short distance apart.

Rough Skinned Potato

Rough Skinned Potato

Smooth Skin

Smooth Skin

So what was the answer? A little research uncovered the fact that in my area there are two types of yellow potatoes. Yukon Gold and Katahdin.

Yukon Gold

Yukon Gold

The Yukon Gold, an all-purpose potato has a  golden interior with rough brown skin. These are great mashed, boiled, in salads, fried and the best for soups and chowders. Yukon gold potatoes are the result of crossbreeding a North American white potato with a wild South American yellow-fleshed variety. These originated in Canada and made its way to the U.S. in the early 1980s.

Katahdin Potatoes

Katahdin Potatoes

The Katahdin is also an all-purpose potato. This is a smooth skinned potato with tan skin and yellowish flesh. These are ones I knew and thought I had planted. Katahdin potatoes are your French fry potatoes. They have that classic potato flavor. They’re fluffy, creamy, smooth and soft, and best for boiling, baking and, most importantly, making French fries. They’re not great for potato salads, gratins potatoes or any dish that requires the potatoes to hold their shape.

Obviously, I  had planted two different types of yellow potatoes. You are never too old to learn something new. Now I know a little more about yellow potato skins.

How To Paint Wooden Furniture

This is borrowed from AnaWhite.com. She put together a great tutorial on How to Paint Wooden Furniture. She demonstrates on a small planter that can be used indoors or outside.   Photos and tutorial  courtesy from AnaWhite.com

Hi DIY Friends!

Thank you so much for the plan love on my $2 DIY Cedar Kitchen Herb Garden Planter! 

It was so fun and easy to make, and I’m so glad you enjoy theplans! Really looking forward to seeing your planters!

Someone commented that their planter would probably not look as good as mine, and I just gotta call foul on that!

Here’s what my planter looked like when I finished building it:


Nothing special!

And here’s what my Herb Garden Planter looks like now after a quick stain job:

It’s ALL in the finish!!!

And I’m delighted to tell you that this finish is actually very easy to achieve!  Don’t be intimidated by stain, just follow the steps and take the time to test and you’ll be amazed at what you are capable of!

I’m partnering up once again with the awesome folks over atMinwax® to bring you this tutorial.- Thanks Minwax!



Shopping List:

For this stain tutorial, I used

•    Sandpaper in Medium and Fine grits

•    Minwax® Wood Finish™ in Special Walnut

•    Natural Bristle Brush

•    Minwax® Helmsman® Water Based Spar Urethane 

•    Synthetic Bristle Brush

•    Staining Rags



Project Preparation


Because I’m using cedar fence pickets which are very rough and uneven, I sanded my boards first before any assemble.  It’s much easier to sand a flat board than it is to sand a little planter!

I used medium grit sandpaper, sanding in the direction of the wood grain.


Then I followed up with a quick hand sanding using sanding blocks.  I started with a medium grit, working in the direction of the wood grain, just to make sure the power sander didn’t leave any marks.  Then I followed up with fine grit sand paper.

It just takes a minute to do this!

Then before I move on to actual staining, I get rid of all sanding residue by brushing off, vacuuming, and then just to be sure, wiping down the project with a barely damp rag.




For this project, I want to not just protect the wood, but add color to it.


So I choose Minwax® Wood Finish™ stain in Special Walnut.


Since the Minwax Wood Finish is oil-based, I’m using a natural bristle brush.  Minwax matches brush colors to can colors to make picking a brush easy!  Yellow goes with yellow.


Even though the stain is brand new, I mixed it up because residue can end up on the bottom – resulting in uneven colors.  I also mix as I work, just to make sure the contents aren’t settling on me.



I choose to stain after painting the letters just because I’m doing a dark stain, and wanted to be able to see the letter outlines when I painted them on the light wood.

I just apply the stain with the natural bristle brush in the direction of the wood grain.

I love this color!



After about 10 minutes (5-15 is recommended) of allowing the stain to penetrate the wood, I took a clean cloth and began wiping excess off.  Don’t let excess stain dry on the project – it won’t look good! (and could prevent the topcoat from adhering properly)

The cedar took the stain so well, I only needed a single coat.  But for a deeper coat, additional stain coats can be added after a few hours of dry time.  Before applying the protective top coat, I let the project dry overnight.




Protective Exterior Top Coat


To protect the finish, I used Minwax® Helmsman® Spar Urethane.  I could use oil-based, but I have the waterbased on hand (and love it) so I opted for it.



Notice I’m using a blue brush now with the blue label on the can.



I applied a light, even coat of the Minwax® Helmsman® Spar Urethane to the project.  I choose the Helmsman Spar Urethane because it’s specifically formulated for exterior conditions to protect against water damage and sunlight.



I applied two coats of Helmsman®, waiting a couple hours between coats, and lightly sanding between coats with fine grit sandpaper.


Amazing how a finish can transform a project!

Thanks Minwax® for bringing us today’s staining tutorial!

Funeral Planning: Personalization

One more thing to think about planning your funeral is to personalize it. Perhaps you want a poem read or printed on the memorial service program such as this one:

The Broken Chain

We little knew that morning that God was going to call your name,

In life we loved you dearly; in death we do the same.

It broke our hearts to lose you, you did not go alone.

For part of us went with you, the day God called you home.

You left us peaceful memories; your love is still our guide,

And though we cannot see you, you are always at our side.

Our family chain is broken, and nothing seems the same,

But as God calls us one by one, the chain will link again

  • Anonymous

Another way to personalize your funeral is to  display certain items to symbolize something important to you and your guests. Symbols say for us what we could not possibly say in words at this time. When words are inadequate, ritual and the presence of symbols like candles, flowers, and special objects  help us express our thoughts and feelings.

Symbolic gestures within funeral and memorial services are sometimes used as a final good-bye to their loved one.  Rituals help to alleviate some of the pain felt towards loosing a loved one, especially if he or she dies suddenly and people do not have the opportunity to say goodbye. Symbolic gestures do not require a great deal of money or time, but the resulting feeling of comfort truly makes the event worthwhile. There are varying types of symbolic gestures so choose one that you feel comfortable with that truly represents your feelings.

Release Doves  Doves represent love, peace, hope, purity, and innocence. They symbolize the spirit of the deceased flying towards the skies.  Check the internet to find one of the many companies who rent doves to families for this purpose.

Release Butterflies
 — Butterflies symbolize spirit, freedom and beauty as they take flight.  Check the internet to find one of the many companies who provide butterflies to families for this purpose.

Plant a Tree or Garden This type of symbolic gesture provides an easy way for multiple people to contribute to the memorial service. Everyone can feel like they have played a role in remembering the person’s life and celebrating memories. Looking for the perfect location? Contact the local Park and Recreation Department to see about donating  a tree to a park.

Make a Wish  Locate a nearby fountain where everyone can throw a coin in as they make a wish for the person who has passed away.  This type of gesture is easy for even the youngest children to partake.

Fly Kites  Gather family members and friends together and fly a kite in memory of the person who has passed. Or light and release Asian balloons/sky lanterns. Who said memorial services couldn’t be fun?

asian sky lantern


Memory Circle  Bring everyone together to a place that was of special importance to the person who has died. Have everyone join hands and take turns telling their favorite memory of the person. The circle creates a feeling of connectedness.

Name a Star  Dedicate and name a star in memory of someone who has died. If you want it to be official, check out www.starfoundation.net or www.starregistry.com.  Hold the memorial service at night and let everyone find the dedicated star. This gesture works well with both adults and children, and every night they can look up at that special spot and recall memories of your loved one.