Monday, October 12, 2015


 Thirteen years ago we built our dream log cabin in the woods.  Our first spring my husband indulged my love of gardening and we put a flower bed along the front porch.  We were naive to the ways of clay soil and the bed slowly shifted into the porch supports.  This was not good to the structure of the cabin, so the bed had to be removed.  My husband still indulged my love of gardening and we replace the old flower bed with one that is solid and anchored down.   To the left, we are jacking up the porch and resetting the supports.  Below shows everything removed. The new bed is taking shape.  It took a long time to get everything leveled and pull up the sod.

If you look closely you can see the original four posts and how far the back ones moved.  They are almost under the porch.  You can also see that my husband enlarged the bed for my gardening pleasure.

 Ok, this is the unbelievable part of the story.  About 6 years ago, my husband and I were burning piles in the early spring.  We burned 4 or 5 piles.  While we were working on this project, I lost the hair trinket to the right.  I looked and looked for it the next day.  Every spring I would rummage around the piles looking for it.  My husband knew nothing about the loss.  Yesterday he went down to a spot at the end of our twenty acre property, where he thought he could find some good soil to fill our new flower bed.  He scooped it up with the tractor and dumped it into the driveway.  We scooped it in the the wheelbarrow and slowly filled the flower bed until it was quite dark.  This morning I was scraping up the last of the dirt when lo and behold!  There was the hair catch.  In perfect condition.   I am amazed.
 Here is the new solid bed ready to be filled with my every whim.  As you can see below it didn't take long for me to get my poor displaced flowers into their new home.  

 I am pleased with the final result.  My old bed was falling apart, ground hornets constantly built nests in it, the mice had holes throughout it, and it was filled with slugs.  I de-slugged the plants.  The bed is not covered by the porch roof, so now it will get watered naturally with the rain.  It has a nice ledge to sit on when I'm pulling weeds or picking slugs.  

In the cabin kitchen things are doing great.  The beekeeper swung by with 8 quarts of honey.  My bees may have been mean, but they made up for it in productivity.  Last year I didn't get any tomatoes and this year I have bags of them frozen.  One of these cold weekends I will can several batches of tomato soup.  I ended the weekend with an experiment.   Cucumber Jelly.  It is excellent.  Puree cucumbers, 4 T. vinegar, 4 T. lemon juice.  Strain.  Use 2 1/2 c. of cucumber juice, 6 cups of sugar, and 1 pouch of Certo liquid pectin.  I didn't keep track of how long I boiled it.  It made 6 pints of jelly.  It tastes great on crackers with cream cheese.
As always my weekend was busy.  What big projects did you do?  Any experimental projects?  Do you have a lost and found story?  I always enjoy your comments and answers to my questions.  

To answer a few of yours.  I put the sweetgrass in window sills and in my jeep.  I keep one in my office as it soothes unruly students.  I have one on the window sill next to our bed and it helps me sleep.  They last about a year or two.  My mom got me one for Christmas long ago and I loved it so much that I bought a few plugs, my sister gave me one, and planted them near our pond.  They love moisture.  This year was very wet and it grew like crazy.


  1. I was at a fall festival all weekend. I love to watch old tractors and go to craft shows, so there were a few to see.This is a time of year to catch church suppers and I let them have the mess.I thought my tomatoes were finished but have a couple dozen I need to pick today. Yesterday was the average frost date, so I will play with that a bit, it is really nice out all week again.I like the raised bed, it will be fun to work with.

  2. Can you post a photo sometime of what the sweetgrass looks like growing?

    That was a major project but good you did it before the porch collapsed. Major projects here? We are having the concrete sinks in our master bath replaced in Nov. Decided we just didn't like the shape or the color and how they we wearing after 10 years. Figured when it came time to sell and move to a retirement community we'd have to re do them so why not enjoy the replacements before then.

    Gardening projects have been the put away type. Also planning what to do next year differently to keep the deer out.

  3. Your garden bed looks great. I am impressed with all you accomplished in one weekend. Also, now I have to find some sweetgrass (or seeds or keep an eye come spring:)
    Thank you for sharing.

  4. I love your new flowerbed!!! It will be so nice there. I love all of your honey. My bees were the meanest things I ever saw. The absconded with the honey after we robbed them in the fall. They left that hive as clean as the day I put them in there. I wasn't sorry to see them go, but I do miss the honey.
    I would love to tell you a lost and found story. When I was a kid, we were down at the barn, where my back yard is now. We were throwing hay to the cows. My Dad had bought himself, this huge diamond ring. This was the early 70s. He must have lost the ring while throwing hay. We looked for it for years and years.
    When we decided to build this house, we had to have all of the dirt work done and there was lots of heavy equipment and they took out the old foundation where the old barn had been. The old pens and such.
    After we had finished the house and had got the white fences up my husband and I were walking around, when he saw something in the dirt. He leaned over and picked it up, and it was that ring. All of the diamonds were in tact and it was a little scratched but none the worse for wear. I still have it as a reminder, that nothing is ever lost. Isn't it fun to find things like that? Thanks for asking.

  5. That new bed looks wonderful, all that lovely dark soil, and then full of your flowering plants. I made tomato soup for freezing last weekend too. I love having soups and stews all winter long. I do have a lost and found story. Once many years ago while getting into the car, I banged my engagement ring on the car door and the diamond got knocked out. It could have been on the ground, outside the car, or it could have been somewhere inside the car. I couldn't find it. A couple of years later, while getting in the car, my son saw something shining in the dirty auto carpet, and lo and behold, it was my diamond! Good thing we don't vacuum the car much, I guess.

  6. Your cabin is GORGEOUS and the jelly is lovely. Honey, too? Wow!

  7. I love your new garden bed, how handy to be able to sit and garden! And to find your hair trinket after all that time is truly unbelievable (and neat!!) We are missing two shovels and a watering can, I always wonder what became of them, but I doubt I will have your luck. :-)

  8. I love your raised bed. I am forever fighting with the weeds and raised beds are my dream!! That is pretty amazing about your hair trinket. Once we found one of the kid's plastic toys in the lawn which had met an unfortunate end with the lawn mower. Not nearly as exciting as your lost and found. -Jenn

  9. the new garden looks great, a lot of people are using raised beds for flower and vegetable gardens!! it's so nice that you husband appreciates your hobbies and helps to make things works out!!! the cabin looks great but i can't help but think, it will soon be covered in snow!!!

    looks like you had a great season!!!!

  10. Oh, I hadn't noticed your preserving list on the side. That's great! Do you make your own hard cider? I just went to a workshop about that... mostly to learn about cider vinegar making as the workshop leader prefers to use his (uncarbonated) hard cider to make vinegar to get more consistent results. :)
    Your home looks wonderful! And that is so crazy about that hair trinket!

  11. What a great guy your Hubby is! The new flower bed is so nice.

    Beautiful, golden honey. We got 4 cases of honey from the bee keepers. Yay!

    I've been picking tomatoes and yet there are still many green ones on the vine. I gave them a talking-to today in hopes that they'd hurry it up before frost. They've had a good, long season to ripen. I might have to put the spade down in the roots to get them to ripen.

    The lost hair clip -- how cool!! It's funny, but we have found many little trinkets that were lost on horseback through the years or while fencing. I often find little plastic army men or hot wheels cars in my garden diggings. The kids left a few things outdoors. Hubs found a wrist watch some years ago -- a Timex that was still ticking! (remember the ads?).

    I would love to see the sweet grass growing too. I don't think we have any such thing out here. But we do have sage, and I like that too.

  12. I've never heard of cucumber jelly, but it really sounds interesting. I love your new flower bed, and all of your garden produce and products are gorgeous!


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