Sunday, May 24, 2015


The blog's been really quiet, but I've actually be fairly busy.

I built the second raised bed/bench thingy, a perfect clone of the first. They're in place now and that part of the yard looks much better. Of course, now the compost zone looks like a disaster so maybe I'll find a way to clean that up next.

I made an adirondack chair from some free plans I found on the internet. Despite really taking my time, the chair turned out to be a disaster. I tore it apart and threw most of it away.

I did save a few boards because I'm going to take an old chair I found in Tahoe, disassemble it (done), and then trace all the pieces and recreate it. I'm working on that now.

California's in the middle of a terrible drought so we're saving shower water to use in the garden. Our garden is much smaller than usual this year, as we're trying to balance wanting to grow food and having to water it. Hope the drought lets up soon.

Of our three chickens, TWO are broody at the moment, making for some hilarious scenes in and around the egg box. Firefly, our red sexlink/comet, is laying daily though.

And finally, the novel. I've been off and on editing the novel from nanowrimo last November. I found some fairly serious issues that ruined the story for me, but I managed to stick it out and find viable, fixes for each of them. In fact, I'm back in love with the story, and feel it's much stronger now. I've been working toward a beta draft to send out to folks who want to help give it a read and hope to have that done in a month or so...

Once that's finished and a few folks have read it, I'll be ready to make a version for editing/proofing and then I'll publish. I sincerely hope to have it out by November. It's taking much longer than I wanted, but it's definitely a better story now than it was at any time in the last 6 months.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Raised Bed Potting Bench

We built some raised beds about 12 or so years ago, and they've done well for us other the years. When they started falling apart, we moved them and repurposed them.  But they finally got so rotten that it was time to tear them out completely.

In this picture you can see what's left of the right-hand box. The left one is already torn out (it fell apart in my hands, no need for tools). The compost area is at the top of the picture, spilling over into the box zone. And though it's hard to see in the picture, the boxes are riddled with tree roots from the neighbor's yard, rendering them useless for planting..

And it's because of those roots that we're trying this type of raised bed:

I built it this morning. Didn't use as much scrap lumber as I wanted to, but if/when I build the second one, I'll be able to build the whole thing without buying any more lumber...

It's 32" high, 21" deep, and 48" wide. It weighs way too much...

I still need to get some lag screws for the sides to help keep it together, but that's about it. We probably won't even bother treating the outside. It's made out of the same stuff as the original boxes, and those lasted more than a decade.