Saturday, Will and our wonderful apprentice, Alisha, cut lumber and finished the board and batten siding on our new barn. Alisha learned to use Will’s pneumatic air gun to drive the nails. She used David’s 20 volt, battery-powered nail gun last year on his cabin and Will’s is even heavier. But she was soon nailing like a pro.

Will teaching Alisha to use the pneumatic nail gun.
The finished barn siding looks great.

Saturday evening, my oldest son, Bill, drove up with his truck camper and flatbed trailer. He was going to take home one of the big, heavy, plywood shipping crates David gets at no cost from work. (It’s going to be a not-so-high tree house/deer stand in Bill’s woods.) Unfortunately, his wife had to work so it was just Bill and the kids.

On Sunday, the sun was shining and it was nice and warm. So we “girls” set out to plant tomatoes in the main garden and put Wall O’ Water plant protectors over them. Granddaughter, Ava, was right in there helping and soon hopped out of her sandals as did Ashley and Alisha as the soft garden soil was soon a sea of mud from the hose which was filling the Walls. Everyone had a great time “playing in the mud” and joking about there being cow poop in that mud because of all the composted manure Will had previously spread on the garden. We got more than 30 plants in and protected before it started to get dark and too cool for bare, muddy feet.

Ava was a big help setting out tomatoes. Only a hundred more to go…

Meanwhile, David and Bill, with helper Mason, began framing the inside upstairs walls of David’s cabin. When we went over to check on the progress, we were surprised to find both of the bathroom walls finished and ready for sheeting. Very nice!

That night it started misting but we went ahead with our plans for a bonfire complete with marshmallows and S’mores. Then Ava read us a book so we could all go to sleep.

In the morning it was cold and raining off and on, but between rains, Ava got to shoot her new BB gun with lots of safety advice from Dad, David, and Mason. She never missed the target and scored twice on the bullseye. Atta girl! (Grandson Mason, 11, has already graduated to a rifle and went deer hunting with Dad last fall. Unfortunately, they didn’t see a buck, but it was still a great hunt.) As the kids had school on Tuesday, Will loaded Bill’s box with the Oliver and pallet forks and they headed home. After they’d gone, David and I worked some more on framing the walk-in closet/laundry room upstairs and got one long wall finished before dark. Yea!!! We’re making great progress.

Ava is learning to shoot, starting with her new BB gun.

I hope all of you had a great Memorial Weekend and remembered the veterans who died to keep us living the good life. — Jackie


  1. We had a fire in the stove for Memorial day. Very strange weather this year. I do have a question about rhubarb. My rhubarb is going to seed like crazy,is it just the weather or does the rhubarb need a little something extra? What is best, get rid of seeding part or let it be? I have been taking the seeding part off. Help!

    • No problem, Amy! That flowering/seed head on rhubarb comes on very early. My cure? Just break it off and toss it aside to make compost in the garden. The better the plant does, the more flowering happens. There’s often four or more flower heads on a plant at one time. Keep them off and your stalks will stay tender until summer.

    • Sorry, Norman, no videos. It seems like we’re always too busy to shoot them. However, if you’ll look back on my blogs from (I think) three years ago, you’ll find us teaching a seminar and the folks are helping with a wall, including photos.

  2. Looks like an awesome weekend with family all around. Oh my gosh though, I totally was thinking about you as I was filling just 3 Wall of waters…..wondering how in the world you set so many up!! What a great idea using the cut out 5 gal bucket. I will definitely be doing that next year! Do you leave yours on even when the weather warms up completely? I read somewhere it helps even when it gets hot?? Not too sure about that though.

    • We take our Walls off our tomatoes when they grow through the tops. Long ago, per the company’s instructions, I left mine on. BIG MISTAKE!!! When you have a 7′ tomato growing out of a Wall, you can hardly get the Wall off, come frost. And then you often damage it while doing so. Hey, it sells more Walls so I know why the company said that now!

  3. It looks like you set up your wall o waters just like I have done for years. Cut out the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket to put around the plant and sit on another one to fill with water.

    • Yep, it’s the easiest way we’ve found to do them. We used to invert a 5 gallon bucket over the plant but then had a hard time pulling the bucket off the plant with no handle to grasp.

  4. Its been very rainy in the Lower part of lower Michigan and farmers are having problems getting their crops planted as they are in the Midwest. I read an article about this and less than 50% of crops have been planted, soy beans 19% and corn 35% which is way low for amount usually planted at this time. So the article I read said look for higher prices for food. I think the problem has come with the soil getting so much rain it doesn’t dry out enough on the good days enough to plant.

    Hope you are able to get everything planted in time for it to mature. My family farms around 1,000+ acres so I’m praying they can get all planted.
    Sounds like the house is progressing well. Its quite an undertaking to build one.. I.m not able to work in my garden anymore and I sure miss it as I have been gardening almost all my life.

    • good luck with planting Ruth Ann. I really, really feel sorry for the folks who are experiencing flooding throughout the Midwest. That’s hard. Yes, I’m positive food prices will soar this fall. So everyone who can, plant a real big garden!!!

    • We live about 100 miles north of Duluth and 90 miles south of Canada, in northern Minnesota.

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