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5 Simple Raised Bed Gardens for SPRING!!!!

Spring is around the corner (or at least down the block), so I’m going to start posting “get ready for spring” projects on a regular basis. Most come from “The Backyard Homestead Book of Building Projects!” Going the raised bed route, you can grow great veggies even if you live in the ‘burbs or heart of the city. Get going!
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Does this look familiar to anyone (or is it only me?)HOW I SPEND MY TIME

CABIN LESSONS launch (save the date!)

Spike will be launching his latest book, Cabin Lesson: Building our Dream Cottage from 2x4s, Blisters and Love  (Storey Publishing), May 6th,  7:00 at the Stillwater Public Library, 224 Third St. N., Stillwater

The weird thing is Spike will not  be building anything during this presentation; the library felt constructing a cabin in the meeting room would cause too much ruckus. But he will talk about some of the characters and events in the book, and discuss why writing a memoir is—well—weird.

Books will be available through Valley Booksellers. There will be a get together at the Carlsen’s afterwards. All are invited. Please save the date and help spread the word.



clamp 3 loWorking on an arch top cabinet as part of an all-in-one changing table—dresser—closet—storage chest for our soon-to-be-born 6th granddaughter. Lot harder than building square stuff, but more fun and educational, too. I’ll keep posting photos as things progress. Due date? Early May. Gonna keep cranking.

CABIN LESSONS—A long, long journey from pen to publication

Twelve years ago Kat and I bought a chunk of land along Lake Superior. Ten years ago we—along with our kids Kellie, Tessa, Zach, Maggie and Sarah—began building a cabin on it. Nine years ago I started writing a book about the experience. Eight years ago the book was almost published—but “almost” doesn’t cut it in the world of publishing. Then, surprisingly, a year ago my current publisher, Storey, approached me about publishing it. (My editor had come across it in a pile of “I’ll get to it someday” papers while cleaning out her office!) May 15th, 2015 the book will be released. It’s part memoir, part construction manual; complete with photos, sketches, lists and thoughts on life. I’m thrilled, since it’s unlike anything I’ve ever written before. And I’m terrified, since it’s unlike anything I’ve ever written before. The subtitle says it all. More details as the details develop. A few more details here.

Cabin Lessons (Storey Publishing) available May 5, 2015

Cabin Lessons (Storey Publishing) available May 5, 2015