How to Redye Jeans

How to Redye Jeans

In the past month, I’ve redyed fleece, towels and now jeans. Yep, it’s fair to say I’m on a bit of a redying kick. It’s just such a cheap and easy update; I can’t help myself. [Read more…]

Weekend Homestead: Summer Progress

The kids have been back in school for two and a half weeks now, so let’s talk about what we got done at our cabin this summer.

Hanging Cedar Shakes

You may remember that my husband started installing cedar shakes on the backside of the cabin over spring break. Well, that project had been really slow going, mostly because he hated the drudgery of it. I happen to love repetitive tasks (gives me time for my mind to wander), so I took over that project about a month ago, and now it’s moving right along. [Read more…]

Second-Hand Mulch

Free Mulch

We’ve gotten many things second-hand over the years, but I never though mulch would be one of them. Here’s the story that goes along with our latest find:

Our daughters are in separate schools this year. We pick up our youngest daughter, and then 40 minutes later, we pick up our oldest daughter. Since that doesn’t really leave enough time to go home again, we’ve just been sitting in a shady pavilion at the church across the street from the school. My husband and daughter bring a card game or a board game to play, and I read. It’s been a nice use of the time.


Well, when we got there yesterday, there was a landscaper working on the playground next to the pavilion. We talked with him for a few minutes, and he explained that he was having to dig up, and haul off, all the mulch around the playground because the ground didn’t drain properly (they’d put the mulch on top of a bed of sand). Now, we’re talking about a big playground with six-inch deep or better mulch. I can’t even begin to guess how many yards of mulch were there, and it was all beautiful, dark, partially-composted mulch.

So, you know what I did next, right? I asked him what he was going to do with it. And happy day, he responded by asking if we wanted some. In fact, he even offered to deliver it. We only live a mile from the church, so our house was the perfect drop spot for him, and he was happy to see it go to good use.

He’s dropped off two truck loads so far, and he still has one more to go. That’ll make a total of nine yards of mulch, and all he wanted was $40 to cover the delivery. We tried to give him $60, and he wouldn’t take it. After insisting that he take $50, he announced that the load of horse manure he’d offered to bring me will now be free. So, for $50 we’ll end up with nine yards of mulch and three yards of manure. That’s one heck of a deal.

I called our local garden center to see what they were charging for mulch, and it’s $30 a yard. That means it would have cost us $270, plus tax and delivery. And that’s not even counting the value of the manure.

Freshly Mulched Front Yard

Now comes the fun of spreading nine yards of mulch. Maybe free mulch is lighter? Hey, a girl can hope.

2015 World’s Longest Yard Sale Finds

We went to the World’s Longest Yard Sale this past weekend (it’s kind of a tradition for us), and although we didn’t think it was quite as good as it’s been in years past, we still found some things to take home with us. Here’s what made the cut:

Countertop Dishwasher

A countertop dishwasher. This little appliance wonder was waiting for us at the last sale we stopped at, and we paid $45 for it (the current model sells for $219 on Amazon). We plan to use it at the cabin, once we get our running water hooked up.

Inside of Countertop Dishwasher

It’s designed to hold six place settings. I’m envisioning throwing our dishes in there after meals, and getting on to other things. Because, really, who wants to spend time washing dishes when you can hike, fish or porch sit? The fact that we haven’t stocked our pond or built a porch yet … those are just minor details in this plan of mine. We’ll get there. [Read more…]

Uses for Corn Cobs

Uses for Corn Cobs

I’ve been shucking, blanching and freezing lots of corn lately, and that got me thinking about the cobs. I don’t really like to add them to our compost pile, since they take so long to break down, but throwing them away just feels wasteful. Were there other uses for them that I was overlooking? There sure were. Check out all these cool uses for corn cobs that I recently discovered (and can’t wait to try). [Read more…]