Sunday, July 30, 2017

Thirty Dollar Storage Shed

We’ve all been there. You find you need extra storage but, it’s mid-summer and what with graduation parties, weddings, vacations and family reunions, you just simply don’t have the $200 or $300, at the moment, for the cost of a new shed kit, not to mention the $100 or more you will need for wood and supplies for the base. The solution? Look around to see what you can find that you can recycle and breathe new life into.

Gathering Supplies

That’s what we did and we saved more than 90% off the cost of a new shed. Here’s how we did it. My brother John, was tasked by his landlord with clearing out an old dilapidated shed from a tenant that had been evicted from their rental community. The shed, while yet intact, was laying over on its side. He called our brother David and enlisted his help to load it up on one of our trailers and haul it over here to the camp. It was pretty beat up, but they worked on it awhile and soon got it straightened out.

Then, because he works for a prominent hardware outlet, who tosses out older pallets, some of which retain usability, he managed get some for us, at no cost. The pallets that are yet basically whole, we keep for things like bridges, deer stands, decks, etc. The rest, we piece out for various other projects around the camp. The broken-up stuff makes good fodder for the fire-pit. 

Finally, for the price of doing the work to clear them out, he scored a load of building bricks. Once again, no out-of-pocket cost. So, the lesson here is, keep your eye out for opportunities and don’t squander them! Since I already had a screw gun and screws, all I needed now was a couple of 4x8 sheets of plywood and, as it turned out later on in the project, some wasp spray. Combined cost, $30.

Building the Base

We started by laying out the brick pattern for four 48”x40” pallets. Then, using only a pick, a flat-bladed spade and a level, I cut the sod and dug out the patches to fit the bricks in such a way as each pallet laid level on top of them. It took a few hours but in the end, I had a level pallet base, eight feet wide by six feet eight inches long. 

Then, David and I laid out the two plywood panels on top and screwed them into the pallets below. After that, using a hand rip saw, I cut off the remaining excess plywood. Now, we were ready for the last step, moving our repaired metal shed onto the base.

Mounting the Shed

That’s when the wasps began to bite. David took three stings before we realized what was happening. Fortunately, he does not have an allergy to wasps or bees and we had some anti-allergy topical ointment medicine on hand. I went to the store and picked up the wasp spray and in minutes, we were back to work.

Basically, because the shed has no bottom, we simply stood inside and lifted it by the “rafters”. Then, we walked it over to the newly built base. There, we lined it up and screwed it down to the plywood edges. Lastly, we removed the plastic runners which the doors use to slide open and closed and re-seated them in their tracks. Finally, we reattached the doors to the runners while making certain they were properly slotted in the base track. After a little clean up, the result is a solid, working shed.


Our Cost
1 – 8x6 Shed Kit
4 - 48”x40” Used Pallets
2 - 4x8 Plywood Sheets
100 – weather resistant wood screws
Pest Repellent

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Red Beans and Rice Dinner

This is a fantastic recipe for easy preparation in the Camp or at home. Turn an ordinary, ready-to serve side dish into a full-blown meal with just a few additional ingredients. A great one-pot dinner making clean-up a breeze.


2 pkgs. of your favorite ready-to-serve Red Beans and Rice.   
1 small onion (diced)   
½ ring Polish or Smoked Sausage (thinly sliced)   
1 15oz. can Chili-ready diced tomatoes   
Garlic salt   
Olive oil   
1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar (opt)   


In a medium-sized saucepan, add a tablespoon of olive oil and the onions cut in small dices. Season with a bit of rosemary and garlic salt and sauté until translucent. Thinly slice up the sausage and add it to the onions. Continue to sauté another one or two minutes, stirring regularly until the sausage is nice and hot. 

De-glaze with the vinegar and tomatoes and simmer until hot through and through. Add the two pouches of ready-to-serve Red Beans and Rice and cook, stirring vigorously for another couple of minutes.

Serve as is or with a garnish of your favorite shredded cheese.

Serves 2-3 (for 4-5 servings add an additional pouch of the rice and another half of the sausage).


Wild Rice Sauté
(Make the following substitutions)
Rice: Long Grain and Wild
Meat: 1 lb. of Chicken or Venison (or any game meat)
Herb: Sage
Moisture: Mushrooms or your favorite cream/onion soup.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

With Camporee just a couple of weeks away, I thought it would be a good idea to show off a little of the work we, David, April and I have been doing to clean up the compound and make it ready for the picnic.

Don't forget, we will be doing a hamburger and hotdog pre-picnic followed by a bonfire on Friday night, the 12th. Then on Saturday, I will be laying out the meats on the smoker (wild boar, beef and pork country ribs, turkey and polish sausage). Please feel free to bring a cold dish and your favorite beverages! Sunday, the 14th will be the clean-up party where whomever remains all pitches in to clean up and then partake of picnic left-overs.

Hope to see you all there!  Enjoy the video!

Friday, July 15, 2016


This year on August, 13th, I will be 56 years young. I have made a lot of changes in myself to prepare for "middle age", including bariatric surgery, which helped me to lose over 150 lbs and tuning up my health issues, like new glasses, dental updates, etc. This way, come Camporee time, I will be better able to participate and enjoy the festivities.

Yesterday, for an early birthday present, Mom and John got me a little red sports car. Of sorts. My very own personal red dragon. I call him, Franken-Grizzly (note the really bitchin' scar on the right-front fender down by the brake). Oh and yes, by the way in which he growls, he is most definitely male.

Thanks guys!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sparrow's Flight

Well, I know it's been a while, but we are still here and doing quite well. This year, I attempted to do a little "snow-birding" so as to be able to assist my mother while she undergoes knee surgery. As a result, I have been working right here from camp on a daily basis. Also, I have managed, without the influences and noise of all of the hustle-bustle of the city, to find the time to finish my first novel. It is called Sparrow's Flight and is the first installment in a series entitled "River Brooke Saga". Read my interview with the publisher (Smashwords) here, and please check out my book.

Monday, July 28, 2014



John and Dave made three raised garden beds approx. 12’ x 4’ and one bed 16’ x 2’ at the end of May. And Mom bought two self-watering garden boxes and 20 - 5gal. buckets for our camp garden project.







Broccoli and Cucumbers

Made some Broccoli Salad and Cucumber/Onion Salad yesterday from the broccoli and cucumbers from the camp garden, yum!




Saturday, July 26, 2014

Home Grown Salad

Well, I just made our first home grown salad from the bounty of the garden up here at Woodpecker Hollow. It starts with a generous bed of leaf lettuce. Then I sliced up a half of a cucumber from the bushy cucumber plants, and threw on a few flowerets of fresh broccoli. Finally, I traced the plate with a baby carrot that mom pulled up.

Home Grown Salad

Now it’s time to plash on a little Italian vinegar dressing, and enjoy; mmm mmm good.