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?!


  1. love your idea; looks great; i would be interested in using a window for a solar oven to break bread to go with your vegetables. lol

  2. Will you put anything on the cold frame to protect the wood from the elements?

  3. What a wonderful son you have, you are truly blessed with your children.

  4. Enola,


    Cool solar oven thing...Too hot down here in Texas for something like that and the feral hogs will just break right through those things to get a snack.

    I have been working the past month or so at an oil field diesel repair shop in the Eagle Ford. I got a managment position and I work a lot of hours and drink a lot of coffee. I have not been this tired since I was in the military, but the money I am making is just too good.
    Things are real dangerous down here in the oil field. I heard from one "Coil tubing operator" (from a company I am not affiliated with) that a worker on a frack operation (from rival company) was killed in the past few days when a cable from a wireline truck snapped and the explosives that were packed into three quarter inch steel pipe fell on him' crushing him. That was completly avoidable, I know this becouse I used to test crane cables when I was in the military, so I know about inspecting and load testing cables.
    One thing I can say is at least real men are taking chances just like the men who built the "Hoover Dam" and "Empire State Building" did.
    I would love to get a job with a fracking crew, I would do that in a heartbeat. The money is just too good...

    One hundred years from now they will be talking about the 'Eagle Ford shale oil boom" in Texas and now I am part of it.

    I work with over the road (OTR) truck repair, big diesel crude oil tanker trucks, frack chemical trucks, sand trucks etc. I am not a truck driver, but I do test drive a few on occasion. I really get a kick out of the ten speed Eaton Fuller tranmissions. Anyone try driving a car or pickup five speed stick shift?? Well try a ten-speed with a high low range shift and a truck that wieghs about 18.000 pounds.

    Nothings changed in my life except for the money I got coming in. I am tracking 90 wieght gear oil and lithium axle grease into my house at the end of the day almost every day from my shoes. This is one advantage to "not" having a wife becouse no one's nagging me. I already found more grease in one the guess bedroom carpet which already is littered with stains from Hoppe's no.9, Mobil One and Remlube all over it.

    The mold in the Microwave is still growing, I want to see how far it goes so Im leaving it alone. Yes' I am actually serious on this. I am so tired I can no longer keep up on the housework and if things keep going like they are with the hours Im keeping, I will have to pay someone to mow my lawn. I would get a house keeper, but I got guns all over the place in wierd spots and she would wind up shooting herself, not to mention I got edged weapons everywhere too.

    Its 2:57 am my time, I gotta eat breakfast (tv dinner) and go to work.

    I will check for comments on this for a few days and then I will crawl back into the oil field world for awhile. All I do now is check e-mail, check drudge report and listen to Radio Free Redoubt when Im doing wash or cleaning oil up off the floor or something.

    One last thing, as I understand it. Its now legal for Eric Holder to use drone aircraft with laser guided Hellfire missiles against Americans on American soil??? If thats the case, maybe I will order one of the ND3 Laser Designator flashlight things from Cabela's. Duct tape it to my roof with it activated and pointing it lighting up the meth lab down the street from me. Maybe the missile ment for my house will get confused and hit the meth lab instead...

    would'nt that be ashame, blowing up a perfectly good meth lab....The DOJ doing something right for a change.


    1. Congratulations, captaincrunch!

      1/4 cup each of borax, vinegar and salt; make a past and put on that oil and grease, rub it in, let it dry and vacuum when you get a day off. No fussing from this wife about a man that works!

      And despite what obummer, holder, and brennan say about drones killing Americans...IT AIN'T CONSTITUTIONAL!!!!

      Congratulations on your new job! Just think of new ways to spoil those cute babies you have for neighbors. T


    2. Side Track Susie,


      I use cheap diswashing liquid on industrial grease. It seams to work ok. I dont see the twins next door anymore. The dad and I are no "former friends" soap opera stuff and his aggressive California arrogent attitude took over when he started to hang out with other "former California residents" that moved down from California to Texas (male soap opera stuff)
      Oil Field worker accross the street is still a really good guy still. He's a native Texan not a refugee from somewhere else. He almost got blown up on the Wellhead he was working on a week before his second daughter was born a few weeks ago. Static electriciy ignited a small fire that he was able to put out in a few seconds fourtunetly.
      I hardly see him anymore, he comes home for a few days out from oil field and spends all the time with his wife and daughters which is understandle.

      Friends come and go, realasonships change. Everythings in flux when it comes to humans. There are no absoulutes unless it is with family which I dont have.

      In years to come and since I dont have any concrete realasonships to fall back on and if I dont re-locate to the American Redoubt, I think I will pay off my house by the time Im 56 years old, retire, move myself and all my money to Pacific Coast of Nicaruagua or El Salvador. I will live in a hut near the beach, pay cash for medical care as I get older (no Obamacare) or Medicare crap. This Country is falling apart and I think its over the socalist brink and we will lose most of the Constitution.
      I am at this point, very, very, Negative about the future of the United States.
      Sorry to forthright about this "Side Track Susie" but a while back I was saying something "I am no longer proud of this coutry" and you disagreed or something to that effect.
      I have gone from not being proud to outright disgust. We have strayed so far from what the founders have envisioned that I think its game over for the United States in years to come. It may be time to "GO Galt" and just get out or move to the American Redoubt.

      By the way, all this chatter about the movie Abraham Lincoln, well I think he's the first progressive tyrant out of a chain of many progressive tyrants that have gone against the 10th Amendment. The Civil War was about Taxes, all this hyperbole about "slavey" was a smokescreen. Its all about money, pure and simple.
      My Great Grandfather was a young child during the "Burning of Atlanta" in 1865 and passed down a few stories about the atrocites of the Union Army as they marched through the South.

      Be warned, history will again repeat itself!

      Again, since its just me and no one else and really nothing for me to live for, I may just bail out in the future to another country unless I wind up in the Redoubt.
      Texas could go either way, blue or red. With the flood of Mexicans coming in every day and with refugees coming in from other blue states, Texas could fall apart itself and I dont want to be around when that happens.

      Im sorry to rain on everyones parade, but I think this country's over with. I base my data also on how only six percent of blacks voted for Republicans in November and thirty percent of Mexicans (hispanics) voted for Republicans in November. They are the future of America. Everyone wants a handout. Everyone wants an EBT card, WIC etc, etc. Oil Field worker accoss the street is still paying for the birth of his three year old daughter and now he has to pay for the birth of his newborn daughter (and he has health insurance) If he was making less money, he would get free medical for his kids and his wife through WIC.
      Pardon the four letter word Enola. What the hell is wrong here???

      This country is done for...I think its 'Game over man' Game over.


  5. You and your husband are to be commended for teaching your son how to use a circular saw, drill, etc. so he can build things. I know grown men who couldn't do that.
    Queen Bee

  6. Hi Enola,

    Please take a listen to this young man on the front lines fighting for freedom.
    He's nineteen and started a activist group speaking out about the NDAA.

    Below is a link to a radio program interview. I was so impressed.