Home Garden – Take One: Raised Bed on a Budget

I have always wanted to have a vegetable garden, but until our current house, I have always been a renter or lived in a condo. And since moving away for college, I have rarely stayed anywhere for more than a year.

Our current house is on a wooded lot with several large, old oak trees, which is lovely, but means shade. Lots and lots of shade.

There is one spot on the side of our house that gets more than six hours of sustained sun. Our first summer here, I planted a single Ghost Pepper plant straight into the ground which produced enough fruit for me to spice up all my food for a couple months and make about a year’s worth of pepper jam. This year, I thought I’d go further and build a raised bed so we could finally have a real garden.

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That Damn Rainbow Bridge

I realize as a woman how lucky I am. I was there when that wonderful creature drifted into my life and I was there when she drifted out. It was the most precious moment of my life.

M’Lynn, Steel Magnolias

TISSUE ALERT! I may have used a tissue or two while writing this post… you have been warned. Also, this post talks in terms of ‘dogs,’ but these ideas are really interchangeable with any animal who has captured your heart: cats, guinea pigs, iguanas… we love them all the same.


Elderly dogs can be gross. (Puppies are gross too, but for different reasons.) Now when I say they are gross, it doesn’t mean I love them any less, but they do tend to develop that old dog smell, weird skin growths, and icky teeth. They tend to need expensive medication and food, more potty breaks, and have more potty accidents in the house.

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