Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Man in Training

"The glory of young men is their strength; and the beauty of old men is the gray head."
Proverbs 20:29

Raising boys to be men in our modern world is a continual challenge.  It is quite an easy task to raise boys to be boys - simply leave them to their own devises.  Hand them a game controller and a pocket pizza and they will apply themselves rather diligently to the tutelage of the "Xbox" or "Playstation".  If, in fact, you want to raise your boy to become a man, you will have to exchange his game controller for a gray headed man, wise in years, given to instructing and employing said young man.

Years ago, Sir Knight and I committed to raising Master Hand Grenade to take his place among the men in our community.  We wanted him to know how to work, how to think and how to reason.  We wanted him to be more comfortable in a room full of men than he was with his "peer" group.  We wanted him to listen and learn from his elders, to "sit at their feet", so to speak.  We wanted Hand Grenade to value the wisdom that is wrought through the failures, successes and knowledge that can only be gained over a lifetime.

Since he was a little boy, Hand Grenade has worked side by side with his father.  He has cut wood, sawed logs, built fences and rebuilt generators.  He has changed oil, changed tires and changed propane bottles.  He has rewired lights, maintained our mechanical fleet and serviced deep cycle batteries.  He has prayed for our family, comforted his siblings and bandaged little wounds.  He has spent his young life being a "Man in Training".  He has lent the strength of his youth to the gray headed wisdom of his father and together, they have built an empire.

The time has come for another gray head to give counsel and guide the strength of our young man.  Master Hand Grenade will be leaving soon to take up residence with his grandparents.  He has secured a job with a local entrepreneur and will be spending his summer working....hard.  He will be doing everything from lawn maintenance to construction to operating big equipment. In his "spare" time, he will be helping my parents with whatever they may need.  My dad, his grandpa, will be the gray head to Master Hand Grenade's strength.  Together, they will slay dragons.  The two, working in concert, will be better than either could be by themselves.

Our young men need our old men.  Young men are strong, and rash and foolish.  Old men (however imperfect) have experience, wisdom and quiet determination.  Although they no longer have the strength they need to accomplish what they want, they have the knowledge.  Imagine what our men could do if they only combined their strengths!  If our young men would listen to the wisdom of their elders and our old men would take the time to teach the young they would be unstoppable!

Oh, to harness the strength of young men and recognize the beauty of old men!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Man's Home is His Castle

The very foundation of our social political system is embodied in the succinct words of William Pitt, 18th Century English Statesman.....

"The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the crown.  It may be frail; its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storm may enter; the rain may enter; but the King of England cannot enter - all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement!"

And another tidbit to think on...

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.  It is the arguments of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves".

So, my question is this....Are you a tyrant or a slave?

Hack Job!

My friend, Joe Nobody, wrote yesterday alerting me to a problem that has been plaguing his website was hacked.  Here is what Joe had to say about it....

My blog @ was attacked today. You guessed it...China.
We suffered 16,000 hits in less than an hour before the hosting company had to bring the site down.
Part of the site is now back up, but every time they try and restart the blog the attack begins again.
I think the novel Apocalypse Drift hit a nerve. It's primary plot is a Chinese based cyber-attack on the USA.
I just hate it when I make several billion people mad.


Needless to say, Joe has been having a heck of a time trying to get his site back up and running.  If any of you have been trying, unsuccessfully, to visit Holding Your Ground, don't give up, the site will be up as quickly as possible.

Thank you all for your patience!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Practical Hospitality

Have you ever noticed that the root word of hospitality is hospital?  Can you think of any better place to minister to the needs of your family and friends and others in need of comfort than the welcoming embrace of your family home?  I can’t either!

The truth of the matter is that our homes provide the perfect environment to minister to the physical and spiritual needs of our family and those that enter our home’s sheltering embrace.   And as women, we are the administrators of this institution – the home, mankind’s first “hospital”.

In this modern age, true hospitality is quickly becoming a lost art.  We have given up the throne of our home for the lure of a corner office, and in the process, we have forgotten how to serve our family and everyone else within our sphere of influence. 

When I was a little girl, I loved getting coffee for my daddy.  I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to learn to make it and once old enough, I took great pleasure in making sure he had fresh coffee before he even knew he needed it.  A number of times, ladies that were visiting our family would say cutting things like “your dad can get his own coffee – his legs aren’t broken!”, and for a moment, just a moment, I would wonder if somehow I was breaking some cardinal rule, serving my father.  And then, I would take a breath and remember – serving was my calling.  I was just being hospitable.  I was ministering to those within my sphere of influence – and those old biddies could just go flour their eggies!

Over the years I have learned that hospitality truly begins at home.  My husband is the king of his castle and I do everything I can to make him feel welcome and honored in his own home.   I have found that I have many opportunities throughout the day to minister to my husband.  I rise first in the morning, kick the wood cookstove in the guts and put water on for tea.  I light candles on the tea table (a trunk in the middle of our kitchen), set tea cups and creamer and sugar out and fill the tea pot with hot water to heat it before setting the tea to steep.  I mill around a bit, picking up little things that the children left out the night before, put the dog outside and generally get the house ready to greet my husband.  As soon as tea is done steeping, my husband settles himself in the big rocking chair opposite the love seat and warmed by the heat of the cookstove, we enjoy a few cups of tea before he braves the elements of a new day.  We discuss our plans for the day, funny little things the kids have said and problems we are not looking forward to having to handle.  Essentially, we arm each other for the day ahead and then we pray together.  This is practical hospitality.

During the day, as my children and I hurry from one task to another, I make sure to set aside some time to read to the littles or play a game.  I spend much of my day talking to the older children – about everything from their favorite animals to the character qualities they want in a future mate.  This is practical hospitality.

When a car drives up our driveway, I immediately have one of our older daughters put on the tea kettle or fill glasses with ice in anticipation of lemonade or iced tea.  The younger children scurry around putting away toys or clearing away school books.  Our entire focus becomes welcoming our guests.  We do our best to minister to their needs, whatever they may be.   We laugh with them, cry with them, rejoice with them and mourn with them – whatever the occasion calls for.  We keep confidences and bandage wounds.  We speak words of encouragement and words of truth. This is practical hospitality.

More often than not, hospitality is all about binding the wounds of life.  It’s about building marriages and building relationships.  It’s about smoothing over hurt feelings and drying tears with words of comfort.  It’s about hugging someone who needs a hug and gently speaking to the truth to someone who is in the wrong.  Hospitality is much more than nourishing the body.  Hospitality is ministering to the soul.

When my husband returns from work, I have tea waiting for him.  We reconnect.  Talk about our day.  We share our highs and lows.  There are no children allowed.  Just my husband and I.  I minister to him.  He ministers to me.  This is practical hospitality.

I still love to get coffee for my daddy.  I love to get coffee for my husband as well.  But now, my daughters often beat me to it.  They too, have learned to love serving the people in their lives.  Any more, I don’t even have to ask to have the kettle put on or the glasses filled with ice – they just do it.  And it is not only my daughters.  My sons will quietly whisper “aren’t you going to invite them in for tea, mom?”, when an unexpected visitor shows up at our door.  Hospitality, it seems, is catching.

In a world filled with “entertaining”, true hospitality is a life-giving breath of fresh air.  True hospitality will build new relationships and strengthen old ones.  True hospitality will bind wounds and strengthen bonds.  True hospitality isn’t fancy and doesn’t put on airs – true hospitality is practical hospitality.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Quintessential Survival Bread

At its core, survival depends upon efficient, simple and effective methods for dealing with the necessities of daily life.  Food is no exception.  Although you can store yeast (for finite periods of time), make yeast from a starter and even cultivate new yeast, there are times when making yeast bread is too time consuming or altogether impractical.  Enter the quintessential survival bread - Irish Soda Bread.  This bread requires nothing but the most basic of pantry essentials - flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar and buttermilk (easily made with powdered milk and a splash of lemon juice or vinegar), making it tremendously practical as well as delicious.  One of its strongest attributes is that it requires absolutely no fat in the form of butter, shortening, lard or oil!  How's that for survivability?

Soda bread is really nothing but a glorified biscuit in bread form, however, being in bread form renders it infinitely flexible.  It is extraordinarily quick, requiring almost no kneading, rolling or even cutting into shapes.  It bakes in cast iron, so no special cookware is required and it lends itself to wood cook stove cooking admirably.  Because Soda bread requires no yeast, it is the perfect starting point for the inexperienced cook and the experienced baker will appreciate its no-fuss approach to bread-making.  It is also the perfect answer to hearty bread in minutes rather than hours.  Soda bread is equally comfortable sopping up gravy drippings as it is being smothered in jam or honey.  Basically, soda bread is one versatile bread.

This bread is really good warm, however, once cold, you can slice it thinly and make sandwiches with ease.  Grilled Cheese on Soda bread is the perfect rainy Sunday afternoon repast, especially if you add a hot cup of tea!

In survival situations, sometimes the right answer is the quick answer.  And that is where Irish Soda Bread comes into its own....

Irish Soda Bread
4 C flour (white, wheat or a combination)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 T sugar
2 C buttermilk (preferably room temperature)

Preheat oven to 375°

Sift (or not) the flour, soda, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.  Add sugar.  Stir with a fork.  Add buttermilk (I use regular milk with a bit (splash) of lemon juice or vinegar added or even powdered milk mixed with warm water and a little vinegar or lemon juice) and stir until it forms a ball.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 2 minutes (do not knead for more than 2 minutes - it will make the bread tough).

Form dough into a ball and place in a well-buttered 8" cast iron skillet (if you don't have cast iron, you can use a cake or pie pan).  Press down slightly and cut a cross in the top of the loaf.

Bake at 375° (or a medium/hot wood cook stove oven) for 35-40 minutes. (This bread does not require time to rise).

Just kneaded

In a well-buttered 8" skillet

Cross cut on top

Just out of the oven

Slice any way you like


And this, my friends, is the Quintessential Survival Bread.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

To Whom Will You Run?

When our daughter, Elizabeth, was little, she experienced a particularly defining moment.  My husband and I lived in Bellevue, Washington at the time and had decided to spend an afternoon window shopping at a few local malls.  It just so happened that Easter was right around the corner and when we entered the first mall, the Easter Bunny greeted us at the door.  Elizabeth was not amused.  Not yet two, she was very leery of a huge bunny, dressed in a waistcoat and carrying a gigantic basket full of eggs.  She was convinced there was something rather sinister in his expression and no matter where she went, there was that bunny, staring at her with his Joker-like smile and motioning for her to come nearer.

As we wandered, Elizabeth clung to my hand, never taking her eye off that suspicious herald of spring.  We strolled leisurely through store after store, Elizabeth settling into an uneasy pace.  After quitting the mall with the unholy bunny, we drove to another mall a few miles away.  The minute we walked through the door, I knew there was going to be trouble.  You guessed it - another bunny.  With tears rolling down her face, I scooped Elizabeth into my arms to shield her from her nemesis.  Finally, she settled down and I put her down to walk on her own.  Laughing at something or other, we rounded a corner and ran headlong into the most massive, colorful Easter Bunny we had ever seen.  A look of terror crossed Elizabeth's face, her legs pumping up and down with adrenaline.  When she finally caught traction, she ran, as fast as she could, straight past me and directly into the outstretched arms of her daddy.  The first bunny had distressed her and she held tight to my hand.  The second had horrified her and she clung to me.  The third bunny pushed her over the edge.  She was convinced that the 6 1/2 foot tall, plaid vest wearing, Joker-faced rabbit was stalking her, with less than honorable intentions - and she was terrified. And when she felt she was truly in danger, she ran right past me and to the one she knew could protect her - her father.

Our country is in trouble.  At first, we were distressed.  Then we were horrified.  Now, we have reason to be truly terrified.  But we are missing the bigger picture.  We are under the impression that our enemy is the Government.  Or our neighbors.  Or the Socialists...Communists....Marxists.  However, our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities.  God is sovereign and He alone sets kings on their thrones.  Even bad kings.  He alone deposes kings.  The question isn't really "What is the state of our Nation?".  The question is "What is the state of our Souls?"  This is the telling moment.  Who/what will you run to?  Will you run to the state?  Will you run to the hills?  Will you rely on your food/guns/ammo/skills etc....Those are all fine things to run to and rely on when you are scared or distressed, but what about when you are truly terrified?  That is when you run to your Father.  And your Father will be there with arms outstretched.  God is calling His children.  Sometimes His children are foolhardy and stubborn, perhaps even stiff-necked.  We get complacent and preoccupied and it takes something truly terrifying to get our attention.  This is it guys.  Nations will rise and nations will fall, but the Kingdom of God is eternal - and that is where we need to put our trust.

We need to be able to see the forest through the trees.  The trees are the dominoes of a falling nation.  The forest is the saving love of a Father who cares far more for the State of your Soul than he does for the State of your Nation.

To whom will you run?

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.   Ephesians 6:12

Monday, March 11, 2013

A New Day is Dawning

Not to be confused with the original, this is just an example of what our Declaration of Independence might look like if written today....

A New Declaration

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political ties which have connected them with another, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights - that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.  To secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.  Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.  Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly, all experience has shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the governments to which they are accustomed.  But, when a long train of abuses evidences a discernible pattern designed to reduce the people to living under absolute Despotism, it is their right - it is their duty, to throw off such a government and provide new guards for their future security.  Such has been the patient suffering of these United States; and such is now the necessity which compels them to resume their former system of government.  The history of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of our government has a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all resulting in the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.  To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

  • Government's refusal to establish and maintain a reasonable budget, thus reducing the United States to the position of an untenable debtor
  • Government's refusal to establish and maintain uniform immigration and naturalization rules, in accordance with Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution
  • Government's illegal and illicit establishment of the use of Drones in U.S. airspace, in direct conflict with Article IV of the Bill of Rights
  • Government's illegal infringement upon the rights of the people to arm themselves - the surest protection against tyranny, as guaranteed in Article II of the Bill of Rights
  • Government's refusal to comply and adhere to the laws which they enact upon the people
  • Government's consistent usurpations of the freedom of speech ("hate" speech legislation) and freedom of religion (banishing Christianity from any State entity, including schools) in direct conflict with Article I of the Bill of Rights
  • Government's illegal search (TSA, wire taps, data mining, internet monitoring, mass police "safety checks" etc.) and seizure (TSA, IRS actions, etc.), in direct violation of Article IV of the Bill of Rights.
  • Federal Government's usurpation of powers reserved expressly for  the State or the people as delineated in Article X of the Bill of Rights
  • Government's repeated failure to govern itself, expressly a refusal of each branch of government to hold the other branches accountable - exercising a limitation of power (the Judiciary branch acting as the legislative branch)
In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms - through correspondence with our legislators, through peaceful protest and through exercising our duty at the ballot box.  Our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.  A Government whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Also, we have not been wanting in attentions to our representatives.  We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us.  We have reminded them of the circumstances of our citizenship.  We have appealed to their familial justice and magnanimity, and we have appealed to them by the ties of our common kindred to cease these usurpations, which would inevitably disintegrate our connections and fidelity.  They too, have been deaf to the voice of justice and of common national connection.  We must, therefore, succumb to the inevitable, which is to proclaim our separation, and hold them (government), as we hold the rest of mankind - Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, as representatives of the people of the United States of America, in general consensus assembled, appeal to the Supreme judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do in the name of the good people of these States; solemnly publish and declare, that these United States are, and of right ought to be free and independent states.  And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.


I highly encourage every one of you to read our original "Declaration of Independence".  We were not a people to be trifled with!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Homefront

This has been a typical Saturday in "Little Shouse on the Prairie".  Everybody has been busy about their tasks, both work and play.

After a leisurely breakfast, Sir Knight, Master Hand Grenade and Miss Serenity hit the wood deck and split a huge pile of firewood.  We have taken to stacking it in our wood hut (built with cattle panels) rather than the sunroom because spring is in the air and our sunroom will soon be arrayed in its summer finery.

While the older set worked on firewood, Princess Dragon Snack and Master Calvin spent their morning chasing ducks through puddles and shooting arrows at hay bales.  I think they got some target practice in with their sling shots as well.

Maid Elizabeth and I washed dishes and cleaned the house.  It seems as though there is more mud on our kitchen floor than there is outside!  Keeping up with the floors in the springtime is a never-ending chore - oh!

After morning chores, we got busy having fun.  Fun for Sir Knight usually includes something to do with guns, so he and Master Hand Grenade lugged in ammo cans and 5 gallon buckets full of brass and began processing it so that they could reload.  Most of the brass had been tumbled already, but it still needed to be sized, decapped and trimmed.  When you're dealing with hundreds of rounds, it takes a looong time!

Inserting sized brass into case gage

Checking the back

Checking overall length

Press in the lower position, adding a new piece of brass

The Dillion press performing two functions at once - sizing decapping in the first stage and trimming in the third stage

Advancing the press so that we can do it all over again

Lubing the cases (we actually do this first)

Men at Work
Maid Elizabeth mixed up a couple of batches of play dough for the littles, who happily occupied themselves all afternoon, armed with nothing but a rolling pin and a few cookie cutters.  She also made some "sparkles" out of sugar and food coloring so that we can decorate our next batch of sugar cookies with a little "bling".
Edible sparkles

Cooking play dough

Ready to play

Princess Dragon Snack creating...

And Master Calvin

Me?  Well, I spent the afternoon in front of the computer working on a cookbook.  I keep thinking I'm getting close, only to remember that I wanted to include this, and this and this recipe!  I do think I'm about done with recipes and I am just finishing up sections on cooking on a wood cookstove and hospitality, and a few odd recipes on wildcrafting and homestead medicine.

That is what is going on on our homefront.  How is your weekend?

OH - and remember to set your clocks forward this evening!

Play Dough
1 C. flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. water
1 T. oil
1 tsp. vanilla (optional)
15 drops of food color (optional)

Cook all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 4 minutes or until mixture forms a ball.  Remove from saucepan and let the play dough rest on the counter for about 5 minutes.  Knead the dough until it is smooth and blended.   Cool completely.  Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.

Edible Sparkles
1/4 C. granulated sugar
Food coloring (as much as needed to make the desired colored)

Mix the sugar and food coloring until the color has saturated.  Spread the sugar in a pie pan and bake in oven at 350° for 10 minutes.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

10 Things to do Until the Revolution

All we wanted to do was to buy a little .22 ammo.  Nothing horrific like .50 cal or steel penetrators, just a little bit of non-obtrusive .22 ammo.  Nothing.  Nada.  Store after store and the shelves were empty.  Oh, there was .17 HMR and 204 Ruger in abundance - but not 1 round of .22 LR.

Disappointed but not despairing, we found our way to the reloading isle.  We thought since we were there, we would pick up a few reloading components.  Ha!  There were no large rifle primers, small rifle primers, or any other primers to speak of, except for shotgun primers.  Only expensive high-end hunting projectiles, most in off-the-wall calibers, were left on the shelves and all of the popular reloading powders for rifle and pistol cartridges had vanished. I personally witnessed a half a dozen men standing in the powder section with the store copies of reloading books in their hands frantically looking for substitute loads with the powders available on the shelf.  Leaving sporting goods store after sporting goods store, I'm positive I heard the rattling of sabers.....

Next came a simple thing like AR500 body armor.  Nobody buys body armor, right?  Wrong.  We found that there is at least a 10 - 12 week lead time for coated AR500 body armor.  10 - 12 weeks!  For body armor!

It is very apparent to this simple, country housewife that a revolution is afoot and the people are leading the charge.   Unlike previous "weapons bans" it is not just the guns, magazines and ammo that have been affected - it is everything associated with all-out freedom fighting, militia led, guerrilla war.

And so, rather than sitting around despairing, Sir Knight and I have come up with a list of things to do.  This is just a sampling of ideas - we would love to hear yours.

10 Things to do Until the Revolution

  1. Get right with God.  The state of your soul is the only thing that should worry you.  If you don't know Jesus - nothing else matters! "Fear not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yea, I will help you; yea, I will uphold you; I will uphold you with my hand of righteousness" Isaiah 41:10
  2. Inventory and make a list so that you can locate all of your gear.
  3. For goodness sake - zero your rifle!
  4. Clean and lubricate all of your firearms - check your ammunition and magazine supply.
  5. Make sure your tactical gear (you have tac gear, right?!) is in good, serviceable condition and is fitted for your mission.
  6. If you haven't already, learn to shoot the weapons in your possession.  Take a class.  If you can shoot and have no military background, read this blog (Mountain Guerrilla) and consider taking a class from this individual (be warned, If I ever find out where he lives, I'm going to send his wife (HH6) a bar of handmade soap to wash out his mouth).
  7. Make sure you have a face mask (balaclava) available to hide your identity, in case peaceful, armed protests are still an option - you don't want to be identified and harassed.
  8. I never thought I would ever say this, but.....consider purchasing body armor. The coated AR500 body armor mentioned above will serve very well for guerrilla/ prepper purposes.  Look here and here.
  9. OPSEC.  You are going to have to be very careful who you trust.  Read this story on SurvivalBlog.  In case you didn't notice, the author mentioned in the article works in law enforcement.  I myself, have been told personally, by a law enforcement officer, that his preps consisted of taking food and weapons from Mormons in his area, since he knew where they lived.
  10. Keep your head down.  
There's gonna be a revolution.....

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Make-do Cold Frame

I've been bitten by the gardening bug!  It happens every year around the end of February - I start dreaming of handfuls of warm, earthy soil filtering through my fingers.  Visions of Virginia Creeper, pole beans and yellow roses dance through my head and I begin envisioning new plantings for our summer delight.  And Master Hand Grenade starts twitching.....

Over the years Master Hand Grenade has become my right hand when planning and constructing outdoor infrastructure.  With Sir Knight gone at work all day, Master Hand Grenade has taken over, acting as Senior Contractor for all of my myriad projects.  I tell him what I need and he, in turn, gathers materials, locates tools and begins planning.  Armed with paper, a pencil and a tape measure, he lays out my design, carefully noting measurements and then begins cutting.  Soon, my latest flight of fancy begins taking shape.
Measuring and marking
Lately, I have been wistfully eyeing cold frames.  You know - those wonderful little creations that lengthen the growing season (by up to 1 1/2 zones!) in cold climates, allowing gardening to begin earlier in the spring and last later into the fall.  You can even plant some crops in August and September and enjoy fresh veggies while the snow piles high and the south wind blows fiercely.

Using a level as a straight-edge
As we pulled into the parking lot at church on Sunday morning, we noticed stacks and stacks of windows leaning against the foundation.  Our church had just replaced all of the windows with new vinyl replacements and stacked the old ones outside, free for the taking.  My new cold frame began taking shape in my mind!

Making a cut
Almost done
Master Hand Grenade's work shop
After school was finished yesterday, Master Hand Grenade and I set to work.  We measured our "new" windows and figured out how much wood we would need for the cold frame and began marking and sawing.  Hand Grenade has been collecting tools for a number of years, so he had everything we needed on hand.  He used a Skill saw that his Great-Grandpa gave him to make all of the cuts and a drill that was a gift from his Grandfather to run in all of the screws.  Using the skills taught to him by his father and his grandfather, Master Hand Grenade built, step-by-step, a wonderfully practical, highly anticipated cold frame.

A project complete

Although rustic, our cold frame cost us nothing to build.  We used salvaged wood from my parents old barn, rescued windows from our church, screws we had in the tool box, hinges that we had scrapped from another piece of furniture (long since gone), compost from our back yard and soil from another raised bed.  We also managed to build a couple of other little trinkets to tuck here and there.  One window we made into a decorative shelf and attached it to the chicken coop and another we built into a planter box and affixed it to the children's playhouse.  This spring we will fill the planter box with dirt and load it with a bevy of floral delights.

The chicken coop shelf

The play house planter box

Spring is in the air and I intended to take full advantage!  It all starts with a make-do cold frame - who knows where it will end?!