10 August 2016

How to make a hot tub deck for $250 and 2 hours work (for our very portable Swift Current spa)

By Ed

Several months back, we tried out the Canadian Spa Company's Swift Current model. Our intention had been to try it, drain it and when the weather permitted, move it to our mobile home makeover property.

We liked it so much, it ended up staying in its 'trial spot' for 2 months.

So when we finally got around to draining it for the move, we thought we would add some more details and talk about why we opted for a deck this time too.

We drained it easily.  We used an old garden hose and siphoned it down the driveway. Science! It does have a built-in drain as well, but we had it facing in a less desirable direction, so siphoning it was.

We were thrilled that things once again worked out as described by Canadian Spa Co; the hot tub disassembled, moved and reassembled easily. All of the parts are easy to manage and again - the whole move was accomplished in the back of our RAV-4. This is a huge selling point based on how difficult/expensive it is to move a conventional hot tub.  We didn't need a team of Clydesdales or lumberjacks to move this spa.

The Disassembled Swift Current - post-move. If you could fit all the stuff on this picnic table into your car, you too can singlehandedly move a hot tub

Our intention all along with buying this hot tub was to bring it up to our weekend retreat.  We've been making over our mobile home on the river - (you can read more here.) The kids love playing in the river - catching fish and kayaking - but the place really needed a water feature you could immerse yourself in. And really, who doesn't love a hot tub?

So on to how we built the deck...

27 July 2016

Easy Baguette Recipe (with buttery Spreadables) #BornOnTheFarm

By Ed

Is Robin the only woman who fantasizes about riding her bike with a baguette in the basket?  Ladies, is this a universal female fantasy?

By the time you read this, it will already be done, so I'm not ruining any surprises. In fact, the way we run this here blog, I'll actually have done the surprise, written it up, have Robin proofread the post and then it goes live, so all the spontaneity needs to be up front.

What on earth am I talking about? Well, I'm going to surprise my wife with a picnic in the park. I've got her bicycle basket loaded up.  We will hop on our bikes and pretend we are in France. Her wicker bike basket is ready, loaded with red wine, good cheese, strawberries, chocolate and a fresh, homemade baguette (recipe follows).

I've tucked a tub of Gay Lea Spreadables Butter in the basket.  It's such a great choice when you want to be spontaneous.  Butter seems to be the one item that doesn't go from fridge to table very quickly.  When it's cold (and food safe) butter is really tough to spread on bread.  Spreadables is always ready to go, whether it's to the dinner table with rolls or to the local park in a bike basket with a fresh baguette. It also has heart-healthy canola oil, no preservatives and is a source of Omega 3 (perfect for that Parisian diet you're trying to copy in your local green space).

Et Voila!  Here's the easy baguette recipe I promised...

16 July 2016

How to Make a Backyard Fountain (in an afternoon!)

By Ed

We've been looking to add a water feature to our yard for well over a year now. We've kicked a few ideas around in that time. I liked ponds, for example. Robin pointed out that we have a dog who would spend all his time in said pond and we would never have a dry pet again. I felt this was a good point.

We settled on a standalone fountain type water feature. We decided to build it ourselves because:

a) we like building things ourselves and
b) most store-bought water features look exactly like store-bought water features and cost a lot more than the individual parts that go into them.  It's a poorly kept secret that we're a bit frugal.

We started planning.

Concept 1 - A Water Wall.  Sounds amazing right?  It was going to be made with some glass shower doors we found at a Re-Store.  That plan was rejected after basically a year of thinking on it because I still couldn't come up with a practical way to support the glass and have water run down it and have it not look hideous.

Concept 2 is what this post is about: A Simple Fountain Made with Pots. There was a spot in near our deck silently begging for a water feature.  It would be much more doable.