Tag Archives: house

Building a Raised Bed

Welcome to Mowenackie’s Do-It-Yourself Home Show!

Your host for the day will be Sarah, a wannabe carpenter with absolutely no experience. Joining her is her trusty sidekick, Owen. Owen likes digging, rolling in the grass and chasing the cats. He also likes piña coladas and getting caught in the rain.

Today’s project (which was actually completed two weeks ago) is: Making a Raised Bed Garden. Or at least the raised bed part.

Here are the materials you will need:


  • (2) 2×6 boards, 8 ft. in length (Aside: did you know 2×6’s are actually something ridiculous like 1-7/8″ x 5-3/4″? Why? This makes me feel cheated. Good thing Lowe’s gives a 10% military discount.)
  • 1 piece of flatwood, 1’x3′
  • handsaw
  • level
  • measuring tape
  • carpenter’s retractable pencil
  • power screwdriver
  • 2 “ 2.5″ screws (about 20, plus a few to strip or lose in the grass)
  • Band-Aids

Got all that? Okay, first lay your 8′ boards over two saw horses the picnic table bench. Use the measuring tape to find the 4′ mark, then draw a straight line across it. Try to follow this line as you cut the board with the hand saw. Try not to cut the picnic table bench.

4' boards

You should now have four 4′ boards.

Next, use the deck platform your husband just built as a level surface. Line up the boards face to end. This is called a butt joint, but I wish it wasn’t. I feel awkward telling you to hold your butt joint tight while you secure it with screws.

butt joints

You should now have a nice little frame.

Back to the picnic table. Measure off one square foot of the flatwood and cut. I made up the term “flatwood”. I have no idea what this type of wood is called. It’s not plywood. It’s flatwood.

Trace a line from opposite corners of your square and cut to form two triangles. Sawing the wood will be more difficult at this angle, but suck it up.

Repeat this step. You’ll need four triangles – one for each corner.

cutting corners

Secure the triangles in the corners using the screws.

finished bed

Fine. If you want to be all fancy-dancy and not lazy, you can go inside, get a hammer and some nails. Or you could probably use thinner screws if you had them or wanted to take another trip to Lowe’s. Because the 2.5″ screws may or may not split your flatwood.

split corner

In fact, they probably will.

As long as you can get the screw all the way in before the wood breaks completely, it will hold it. I think.

split wood


Other advice? If you come across a knot in the wood, it will be very difficult to get the screw through. You will have to take it out and start over in another place.

Or another.

Or another.

stupid knot

A word of caution: if you try to force the screw into the knot by using all your weight to lean on the power screwdriver, the screw will be %@#! hot when you finally give up and take it out. Handle with caution. Or have burn cream handy.

Don’t worry if your seams aren’t perfect.


The thing only has to hold dirt, not water. So get off my back, alright?

Injuries are possible.


Cue the Band-Aids.

Ignore the pain and focus on the results.

raised bed

See? Owen is ecstatic.

On our next show, well show you how to turn the sandbox-looking thing you just built, into this lush abundance of fruitfulness:

raised bed garden

Thanks for watching!

Baby Booties

I wear a size nine shoe. This is not terribly small in the world of woman’s feet.

My husband also wears a size nine shoe (in men’s sizes, of course). This is not overly large in the realm of men’s feet.

All of which may explain T’s constant amusement when he folds our laundry and, in particular, our socks. He thinks I wear “little baby booties”.

baby bootie socks

I have to admit that even I don’t understand the physics behind this sock anomaly. I mean, there certainly isn’t this big of a difference between the size of our feet in real life. So what’s with the socks?

Isn’t it good that we have so many interesting things to ponder in life?

Keeping the Fights – and the House – Clean

One of the things I love best about my husband is that he’d rather spend time with me than with anyone else. This is sincere and it holds true in any situation.

Example: At most military functions I’ve attended, I find that the guys will split from their wives and form an elbow-bending group where they can jostle each other around, laugh loudly and generally behave like the primates from which they descended. This leaves the wives to gravitate towards each other, forming groups almost out of self-defense where they can shake their heads and roll their eyes at their spouses’ antics.

Not my husband. He stays with me, and not because I would be a little lost satellite without him. At the last Yellow Ribbon event before his unit deployed, I asked him why he didn’t go hang out with the other soldiers.

“You can, you know,” I told him. I have the potential to be a clingy wife since I am so shy around people, so I try to self-monitor.

“Oh, believe me,” he said. “I’ll be seeing those guys more than enough very, very soon.”

Coincidentally enough, I love spending time with him as well. So, you see, 90% of the time, we’re perfect for each other.

Make that 85% of the time. The other 15% we’re busy arguing or being mad at each other over the household distribution of labor.

Actually, 5% of the time we’re arguing about it, 10% of the time I’m mad at him over it, and he doesn’t get mad, which is even more annoying.

Housework is, without contest, the area that causes the most friction in our relationship. Often I wonder whether I’m being overly critical or sensitive, though – as I’ve written before – I do believe my way is the best way.

As it turns out, I’m not the only one. Housework seems to be a commonly disputed topic, according to my latest “Tell Me” poll.

Here are the full results:

Tell Me: What do you argue about MOST with your spouse?

Housework         32% (7)

Money                 23% (5)

Children/Pets    14% (3)

Other                   14% (3)

Politics                 9% (2)

Work                    9% (2)

Religion               0% (0)

All three people who selected “Other” provided alternate answers. The first answer – and my favorite – was:

He points out that I’m not perfect and I disagree.

Another said:

Snoring! I don’t…He does!

And one sickening individual made the comment:

We don’t argue.

Shameful. Who doesn’t argue? Clearly, this person is not Italian.

So there you have it. I feel better. Do you?

Thanks for voting! New poll will be coming soon. As soon as I think of one.