Raised Garden Bed Box for Backyard ~ Finished! Well…it’s made.



Yesterday after buying a new bed for upstairs I dropped my husband off at Savers and I went to Lowes to shop for the garden lumber. Taking with me the directions from Sunset’s Western Landscaping Book (below) ~

I bought 6 2x12x12 redwood planks and 2 4x4x8 treated fir posts, and one box of 3-1/4″ galvanized nails. Looking back…I should have looked for 2x8x10 or 2x8x12 as now I have LOTS of back-fill to look for! Luckily I have oodles of river rocks and can place at the bottom of the bed and then fill with some dirt then mix in some top soil/manure. Off to Craigslist to see if anyone has any free dirt I can go get.

The finished container is 2x5x12 (2′ high x 5′ wide x 12′ long). I’m thinking I’ll put a wood sealer on the redwood as I opted out of the treated wood. I may staple plastic sheeting along the insides too. Not really sure about that. And Boy-Howdy! If you make the size I did…you’ll want two extra hands on flipping that box over! It was a struggle with the two of us, but we did it.

And ladies…find the roll of duct tape as your husband will probably want to cuss up a blue streak. I about threw my hammer at mine, no patience at all that man! I would have much rather had my mom and sister helping me than my husband. 👿 I’m very handy with a saw and hammer…which I don’t think he has gotten used to, even after 13 years of marriage. LOL! 😉

Here are before and after shots of our back area. We’ve finally decided to find some decomposed granite for the the rest of the yard. Got lots of that around Northern Nevada…just back your truck up to any road side cut and filler up!

Soon to be veggies ~ Onions, beans, sugar peas, cucumbers, lettuce ~ red leaf and spinach, radishes, carrots, corn (outside the box next to the wall), garlic, potatoes (I have two tires for them to go into), zucs, tomatos (outside container), pumpkins (actually in front side yard), peppers.

Swarms of Earthquakes in Western Nevada

26 April 2008 Update….had a nice earthquake around 11:40 pm Friday night.  Was downstairs at the time as I was finishing sewing a quilt.  Good rumbler…I think they said it was around a 4.6 – heard the ground moan and pop. 

I grew up in Canyon Country, California…so these wee earthquakes are nothing to write home about, but since we’ve had so MANY of them and friends are emailing and calling, here is the poop:

University of Nevada’s Mackay School of Mines (yes, I still call it that) SEISMO LAB PRESS RELEASE on yesterday's 24+ earthquakes.

And for a really cool look at all of them in the past few days…USGS’s EARTHQUAKE LIST ~ I love the USGS's site.

I was dropping some paperwork off at the lower end of campus before the 4.2 earthquake hit…walking down the hallway when the door next to me started rattling. I looked at it and thought “what the hell is wrong with them?”…then passed another door and looked in and saw the water cooler swishing…AHHH! An earthquake. Just kept walking. Got downstairs and there was a group of women standing in the hallway all wide-eyed. I then commented that the hallway, under all of those lights is NOT the place to run out to when there is an earthquake.

As stated, I grew up in Southern California (first 14 years of my life)…went through the 1971 San Fernando Earthquake which had a magnitude of 6.5 or 6.6. And I remember screaming (I was almost 5 years old) on the top of my lungs UNDER the maple dinning table (mom still has that table). The aftershocks were big and lots of them.

The point is ~ Nevada is the 3rd most active state for earthquake activity, behind Alaska and California. As a kid we had Earthquake Drills in school. I started high school here in Nevada and thinking back, we didn’t have earthquake drills at all. Just fire drills. Do kids here know what to do if there is one? Obviously the workers in Ross Hall yesterday had no clue…let’s run out into the hallway! Where there are things to fall on top of our heads! What a great idea!

UNR’s Police Department sent out an email to employees yesterday afternoon and I thought it had pretty good sound information ~

According to the Nevada Earthquake Safety Council:

Nevada is the 3rd most seismically active state in the U.S., after Alaska and California.
Western Nevada is in a seismic zone similar to Los Angeles.
We are due for a 6.0 or greater earthquake.

What to Do When the Shaking Begins


Take cover under a piece of furniture or against an inside wall. Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you’re sure it’s safe to exit. Stay away from windows. In a high-rise building, expect the fire alarms and sprinklers to go off during a quake.

If you are in bed, hold on and stay there, protecting your head with a pillow.

If you are outdoors, find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, and power lines. Drop to the ground.

If you are in a car, slow down and drive to a clear place (as described above). Stay in the car until the shaking stops.

Other recommendations which are contrary to the DROP, COVER and HOLD ON advice, have been made by individuals with limited expertise and questionable credibility.

Research has shown that most injuries in U.S. earthquakes occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave. Quickly seeking a place of safety, such as under a sturdy table or desk, and moving as short a distance as possible to that place of safety, is recommended based on research.

In the 2003 San Simeon, California, earthquake, two people were crushed by falling debris when they ran from the building. Studies of the 1979 El Centro, 1987 Whittier, 1989 Loma Prieta, and 1994 Northridge earthquakes, as well as mounting evidence from earthquakes outside the United States, confirm this pattern of injuries. DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON reduces the likelihood of serious injury from falling objects.

After the Shaking Stops

Be prepared for aftershocks which can occur in the first hours, days, weeks or even months after the quake.

Help injured or trapped persons.

Check your home or building for damage. Leave the area if you smell gas or chemical fumes.

Josh Gates of Destination: Truth ~ NECKLACE ID HELP!

Ok…this is driving me crazy ~ I’ve been trying to get a good look at that dang necklace of Josh’s! Other than stalking the man (which still is a possibility…he’s a damn good looking man! ~ although my husband may not like it) so I can get up close and personal, I can’t figure out what exactly it is!

Googling doesn’t help, going onto his website hasn’t helped. Any ideas folks? Anyone have a close up of it? Is it a compass arrow? I’m guessing it’s a compass of some sort. I’d like to make one in copper or silver.

NOTE: A comment from a reader states it’s an explorer sundial necklace.

Could be…but it definitely looks like an Universal Ring Dial (could be the same thing). Also looks like a version of the Armillary sundial.

This type of portable dial is called universal because it is adjustable for use in any latitude. Pivoted across the center of the outer ring is a thin metal “bridge”. The bridge is slotted and bears a cursor pierced with a tiny hole. The cursor is moved to that point on the bridge which corresponds to the day of the observation. The Sun shining through the tiny hole casts a beam of light on the inner surface of the time ring, which is calibrated to show the hours of the day.

To use the dial, adjust the suspension ring to the correct latitude, using the upper scale if one is at the northern hemisphere and the lower scale if one is at the southern hemisphere. Next, slide the cursor on the bridge to the correct date. Then, put the hour ring 90° down until it touches the stoppers. Then hold the sundial on the string and turn it slowly until a sun ray hits the notch on the hour ring. Now you can tell the local time. If applied correctly, the outer ring will now be aligned in the north-south direction, the hour ring will be parallel to the equator and the bridge with the cursor will be parallel to the axis of the earth.

Leo, The Devil’s Cabana Boy and Max, Mama’s Bubba-boo

It’s time to meet the boys ~ we have two cats…with totally two differrent personalities. 


We’ve had Max since he was a kitten, picked him out of a litter in Mogul (between Reno and Verdi). His mom was a Ragdoll and his dad was the neighbor’s Russian Blue…they weren’t supposed to get together! But glad they did. Max is 13 years old now. Cranky…hates Leo. Tolerates my husband. Loves me. LOL! He was a perfectly adjusted guy that loved to drown his stuffed dino in the water dish, fetch his dino if we threw him, sleep on your head, and sounded like one of those large percolator coffee pots when he purred. He has long soft grey fur lined with silver…very handsome when combed. He LOVES to have his belly rubbed…will plop down in front of you and roll onto his back begging for a belly rub.

Then I brought home Leo…

We adopted Leo from a lab tech here in the Med School at UNR. I saw the flyer on the bulletin board for a FREE CAT. She said she adopted him from Petsmart one weekend and said he was over a year old. Took him to the vet and we figured he was under a year…still a kitten and still growing. We’ve had him for 6 years now. He’s a lean, mean 15 pounder now and is pretty pissed that Max is Alpha Male. We call him the Devil’s Cabana Boy as he’s part Bengal and part Terror Tabby. Also Snufflelufagus as I’m pretty sure he was hit or kicked in the head when he was little…his right nasal cavity is closed shut. He wakes us up at 3:30 am wanting to be fed. If I don’t get up he’ll start knocking things off the shelves, walls, nibble on you, snuffle in your ear, rouse Max off my head and make him howl. He is a lovey-dovey. Loves to snuggle, likes to get under the covers at night to sleep (bed hog!) and loves water. Begs to get in the shower. Likes to chase a stick. He has the most wonderful soft fur…like a rabbit’s pelt…and it always smells so good!

Leo trying to open (and succeeding!) the fireplace insert at Grandma’s house that we rented before buying our current house ~

Leo being sweet ~ when he’s sleeping! 🙂

Vegetable Gardening in Northern Nevada & How to make a Raised Garden

After just about killing ourselves over those bloody junipers and planting the lilac and weeping cherry, I’ve turned my sights to the back yard and making my raised vegetable beds!

In the very back of Sunset’s WESTERN LANDSCAPING BOOK, pages 404-405, in the Materials and Techniques chapter, there is a section on Building A Raised Bed.

Raising your garden above the ground can solve some of the most frustrating problems gardeners face. An easy-to-build bed makes it possible for plants to thrive where soil is poor, wildlife is hungry, or the growing season is short. And if you need easy access to your plants – due to a disability or simply to eliminate back-bending labor – you can sit on the edge of the bed and garden in comfort.
Fill the bed with the best soil you can. Good soil means that plants can be placed closer together, making a small area more productive. Line the bottom of the bed with wire screening to keep out pests, or fit it with a PVC framework for bird netting.
A raised bed can be any size, but if its more than 4 feet wide it will be difficult to reach the middle from either side. If the sides will double as benches, build the frame 18-24 inches high.

We have a small backyard ~ with a huge front and side yard. So much rearranging of the landscaping to do! OY! Here’s what I have to work with out back ~ The soil that has been turned was going to be sod…but I’ve decided to put pavers there instead. The compacted ground area behind will be where the raised garden bed will go. Behind those rocks is a an area of about two feet wide to the fence…that will be where I plant the corn.

A couple of weeks ago The State of Nevada Employees Council had an Open House at The Joe here on campus and I signed up for a lot of information from the University of Nevada's Washoe County Cooperation Extension office. I used to be in 4-H out in Washoe Valley…so I knew they were loaded with great information. I highly recommend them for all us in Northern Nevada and the Eastern California area! I posted a link to all of their free publications below.

Here are some of the pamplets I asked for:
Vegetable Varieties For Northern Nevada
A Quick Guide to Composting
Nevada Soils – Worth the Toil
Urban Forestry Tree Planting Practices for Nevada
The All Seeing, All Knowing, Lawn Care Manuel for Northern Nevada
Roses for Reno and the Northern Nevada/Eastern Sierra Area
Spring Planted Bulbs Boast Beautiful Blooms
Hardy, Drought-Tolerant and Moderately Salt-tolerant Shurbs and Vines for Northern Nevada
Seven Ways to Make Your Trees and Shurbs Drought Resistant


The Vegetable Varieties for Northern Nevada is four pages long and gives a list of all veggie varieties that are great for planting here with the planting dates. Great comments on which are better for canning, yields, rust resistance, maturing, indoor growing, storage values, disease resistant, most popluar, etc.

ps: For all of you in the Reno/Sparks area…or those of you who will be in town on May 17th ~ at the Washoe County Extension Office on Mill Street there will be a plant sale that morning. 🙂

Wind, Snow, Beach Glass and Monsterslayer ~ all in one day

The Truckee Meadows was wind blown yesterday and last night…checked the weeping cherry and the lilac bush, both were still standing uprightl! Had my fingers crossed as we had 40 mph winds with gusts up to 84 mph! Sheesh. And to top off the bloody bad weather ~ this morning when I looked out the window here at work ~ what do I see?! SNOW! It was snowing! It’s cool and cloudy out there now with a breeze…went from 81 degrees on Sunday to 43 degrees today. And we’re having a cluster of wee earthquakes (in the 3’s)…seems like the epicenter is near Verdi. Just felt one about 2:33 pm…was more this morning too.

The mail was sweet to me though! Popped into the post office at lunch today and found my order from Monsterslayer and Sea of Glass sitting there waiting for me ~ YEAH!

From MONSTERSLAYER I received a box of silver and copper wire and wire wrap pliers…I wanted to try out the silver square wire and I needed a couple of different gauges of copper. They are pretty dang fast with their orders! Placed an order in the mid-morning and that puppy was already being picked and out the door that afternoon. Very impressed with them.

SEA OF GLASS is a shop on Etsy run by Laura. I bought some green and brown sea glass that was collected in Rincon, Puerto Rico. Really nice medium size peices ~ I’ve gotten some beach glass from other folks…trying to find the right size. Sometimes you can’t really gauge it off of the pictures. Am very happy with this transaction.

I think tonight I’ll organize all of my tools, wire, glass, beads and other supplies…we’re going to have crappy weather the rest of the week through the weekend so it looks like I’ll be doing inside stuffus instead of yard work. G&G Nursery won’t have Old English Roses in for another few weeks…that gives me time to do other things. Like learning to braid/knot hemp….and drill holes in glass! 🙂

Never Fear….JERRY’S HERE! Garden Tonics ~

LOL! That was in my mail last night when I picked it up from the post office ~

Moles Driving ya’ Nuts? Weeds Gone Wild? Sick of Slugs? Never Fear…Jerry’s Here! Inside: 28 of the BEST ard and garden troubleshooting tips, tricks and tonics – and 2,168 amazing backyard problem solvers in all – and they’re all yours to try, FREE!

Ok…So ole Jerry peaked my interest and I opened up the flyer.

Jerry Baker, America’s Master Gardener. Special 40th Anniversary Issue ~ It’s amazing! It’s awesome! And best of all – it’s yours to preview – FREE!


You know what??!! I think I’m going to order it! LOL! If even 1/4 of the stuff that is in it works…it’d be well worth the price, me thinks.

Terrific Garden Tonics! In this Special Preview Issue, you’ll discover how my latest and greates all-natural mixers and fixers can give you…

Lovely Lawns – all it takes is a little beer, dish soap, and cola…
Fabulous Flowers – yours will bloom their fool heads off if you use wine, ammonia, and steel wool…
Towering Trees – you’ll have it made in the shade with these bourbon, coffee, and Epsom Salts tonics…
Incredible Edibles – enjoy mouth-watering cukes, tomatoes, and melons with baking soda, chive tea, and jello…

I’m either going to have one helluva great looking yard…or one in rehab! Did you see all the alcohol in the tonics?! ROFL!

The Suspects ~ Billbugs, Mole Crickets, Moles, Bark Beetles, Gypsy moths, Squirrels, Aphids, Cats, Scale, Lilac borers, Rust mites, Cabbageworms, skunks, bean beetles, squash vine borers….

The Solutions ~ Awesome Aeration Tonic, Hot Bug Brew, Mole Chaser Tonic, Peppermint Soap Spray, Orange Aid Elixir, Spicy Squirrel Stopper, Amazing Aphid Antidote, Hit-the-Trail Mix, Crazy Daisy Spray, Double-Punch Garlic Tea, Knock-‘Em-Dead Insect Tonic….

Key Indgredients ~ Beer, dishwashing liquid, peppers, garlic, onion, hot sauce, chili powder, orange peels, peppermint oil, baby shampoo, cloves, mustard, Murphy Oil Soap, alcohol, vegetable oil, bleach, vinegar, flour, milk, instant tea

A Whiskey A G0-G0 Elixir!

My Seed and Soil Energizer will give your veggie seeds as much pep as go-go dancers – they’ll just keep on going and growing!

1 tsp of whiskey
1 tsp of ammonia
1 tsp of dishwashing liquid
1 qt of weak tea water

Mix these ingredients in a bucket, then pour the solution into a hand-held sprayer. Shake it gently, then apply a good misting to the surface of all newly-planted seed beds or plant containters.

I’ll let you all know how it works at the end of the growing season!

If you have already tried some of his tonics ~ let me know if they work!!! 🙂

Saturday Afternoon Yardwork ~ Monday’s Aches & Pains

AKA ~ Die Juniper Die!

LOL!  Boy am I sore today! 

While the husband went to the UNR Wolf Pack double-header against the New Mexico Aggies with his dad…I worked on the front yard.  Needless to say, I didn’t get to work on my raised garden beds in the back. 

We inherited some Devil sent Juniper bushes out front when we bought our house.  I hate them.  I HATE THEM.  I WANT THEM DEAD!  Errrr….ummm…sorry about that rant.  Pssssttt….stickery ugly bushes?  DIE!!!!!

I pulled out my 17″ electric hedge trimmer (yes…woefully under-powered for the job), clippers, hand saw, wheelbarrow and box of trash bags and went to work. I must have looked like cross between Edward Scissorhands and Sweeney Todd ~ as whenever I did look up from my work, I saw worried and amused looks from my neighbors ~ some even kicked back with a beer in hand to watch. And I’m glad for the church next door, their choir practice drowned out my swearing. My arms and legs look like a demonic cat attacked me!

These bushes have been trimmed…but I want them out. I’d like to plant OLD ENGLISH ROSES and some peonies that came from my Grandma’s house in Nebraska. But that will be another day as I’m still working on the OTHER side of the yard….Stage RIGHT!

That sad looking brown thing in the corner? That is the same stinking bush that’s on the left side of the yard…only it was a lot taller. I’ve got it down to fence level…now we can take a chain saw to it and haul it to the transfer station. In the very corner I’m going to plant a lovely lilac bush/tree. And next to it, on the right, I’ll plant either Old English roses or Flutterby bushes. More Columbine, Foxglove and Delphiniums.

This is what the corner looked like last year in July ~ the vine over the bush is a Virginia Creeper. I let it take over so I didn’t have to see the bush…was very pretty in the fall when it turned all red.

Oh yeah…and those dang Day Lilies will be yanked too. Will give them away to the lady across the street. Stupid things are growing in the grass now.

Luckily our trash management people send out a free dump voucher every spring…those bushes will be heading to the dump today. I “free-cycled” all the stuff my husband was going to add (couch, chair, army chest and dvd/cd tower)…we live on an alley with lots of “creepers”, so all you have to do is set something outside your fence and in 5 minutes it’ll be gone. Now I have lots of room in the truck for those dang bushes.

Oh…and tonight? I’m borrowing my FIL’s chain saw. Then I’m drilling holes into the stump and pouring nitro down the holes and blowing the thing outta my yard!

(We no longer live at this house…and I hated those junipers so bad that I deleted the pictures I was hosting) 

Loom Beading & French Beaded Flowers

For some reason my brain’s been fried this week…it’s amazing how waking up at 4:30 am, just one hour earlier than usual, mushes my thought patterns.

So I’m going to just post some pictures of my beadies…

I don’t really remember how I got started into beading with wee seed beads (my favorites are still plain ole 11/0 Czech Seed Beads…although 11/0 Delicas are a close second!).  I DO remember is was UPZNDOWNS of ebay that inspired me first with her BEAUTIFUL French beaded flowers. And VISIBLESOUL from Texas…I’d post his links, but he’s in the process of changing servers. I’ll post it later.

African Violet Daffodils Hyacinth Iris sunflowers lilacs columbine mistletoe kissing ball

Then about a year after learning french beaded flowers, I tried my hand at square stitch bead work.

This is my very first square stitch project…the tension was way off! LOL! It was fun learning though.

Square Stitch Beadwork

I was a little intimidated by the Peyote stitch, so when a friend, Judah, posted the tutorial for a BEADED PINCUSHION  (the tutorial is also being changed due to the server, so I linked to her site)…I did it by Square stitch instead! Here is that project ~ Celtic Waves.

Celtic Waves Pincushion

Then I bought a loom! Precious! 🙂 I’ve beaded quite a bit on the loom, but alas ~ have not taken all that many pictures! Patooey.

This is my very first loom project ~ a Celtic Knot book mark. My husband uses this in his Bible.

Celtic Knot Book Mark

A Celtic Cross ~ shown without the frame it’s in now. Here is a link to the eBay seller that I bought this pattern from ~ Celtic Cross Stitch and Crafts. I have a bunch of the floral tapestries patterns too…they make up wonderfully on the loom.

Celtic Cross bead Loom

Sewing Sunset’s Mississippi Hospice Volunteer Work

Going to steal part of my friend’s post on her blog today so we can get her message out to as many people as possible.   One should get in touch with the director of the program, as you will have to fill out a volunteer packet (log your hours) before starting.

From Sewing Sunsets ~

As you know, I always encourage readers of this blog to share their talents and skills with others, and today’s post is about sewing for others, and in this case, almost literally sewing a sunset by volunteering to sew for people who are experiencing those final sunset days of life.  A couple of days ago, I received a request from someone who manages volunteers for a hospice in Mississippi. She was looking for volunteers to sew for her hospice patients and was asking me for resources. I will be sewing for this hospice, Odyssey Healthcare (www.odsyhealth.com ) as well as continuing to sew for Mission of Hope (www.missionofhope.org ). I would like to encourage you to sew simple projects for this hospice, or perhaps one like it in your area. Although my dad was never put on hospice care before he died, I had the opportunity to watch the hospice staff as they visited other patients in the nursing home, and I was always impressed with their unique ability to bring smiles to people who were in situations where all they wanted to do was cry. I think that people who are directly involved in hospice work must be very special people indeed.

Anyone who sews, knits, crochets, or quilts can volunteer to donate simple projects. Blankets, pillows, pillowcases, adult bibs, crafts, and quilts are all acceptable.  Apparently, there are no restrictions and any donations will be used, with nothing going to waste.

If you should decide to volunteer to sew, knit, quilt, or crochet for this worthy cause, here is the contact information

TClark@odsyhealth.com or 228-297-5976

(I would suggest that initial contact be made via e-mail or phone because there are a few guidelines that must be followed.)

The mailing address is : Tiffany Clark, Manager of Volunteer Services, Odyssey Healthcare, 9414 Three Rivers Road, Suite 3, Gulfport, MS 39503

I hope that some of the readers of this blog will consider sharing sewing, quilting, crocheting, or knitting skills, even if it’s just one time. You might play a small part in making someone’s final sunset just a little bit easier, and after they have passed through that final sunset, the blanket or pillow that you made might bring some comfort to the family left behind.   At first, they might see through tears, but eventually, they will be able to look at a project that someone sewed or quilted, and remember happier times with their loved ones. The tears may still come, but with each passing day, it may become just a little bit easier to smile through those tears. Wouldn’t it be a great feeling to know that perhaps by creating just one simple project, you might play a part in bringing a small measure of comfort to someone?

Today, I hope to sew.

Happy Sewing!


Lap quilts, blankets, adult bibs, hankies, totes, small purses/clutch bags, greeting cards, lip balms, lotions, soap, hats, socks…if you can make it, they can use it!