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The First in the Deck Series

Our most recent DIY experience through the process.

Out With The Old, In With The New

Gotta love a new beginning, right?

Peppermint Shortage

Just a funny afternoon.

Coffeyville, KS

I loved this experience so much that I had to write about it. Then, through e-mails it spread to Coffeyville itself.

Photo Restoration

I had a lot of fun with this "old school" photo. It turned out too cool to not blog about it.

Kitchen Remodel (part one)

This is the first of a nine-part series documenting the remodel of our 50-year-old kitchen in our 100-year-old home!

Deoin Bedell

Members of our church have maintained a long-standing tradition of organizing meals to be brought to couples in the church who have just had a baby. They did it for us when Lyric was born in 2007 and it was a huge blessing. For two weeks solid, we didn't have to worry with the daily task of deciding upon and preparing dinner. It was brought to us ready to serve by a new face every evening.

In 2006, we were still relatively new to our church and didn't know too many people yet. Jodi volunteered to make dinner for the Bedells who had just had their beautiful baby girl, Nia Rain. This was when I officially met Deoin Bedell. We showed up to their home with a big batch of Jodi's Italianized version of Rasta Pasta, a meal I discovered I loved on my first date with Jodi at the Rasta Grill in Downtown Springfield, MO. Jodi made it far better, though, substituting garlic, olives and other Italian spices for the Caribbean Jerk spice found in the Rasta dish.

We've been friends ever since and helped each other along the way with whatever creative projects we had going on. Between the four of us (our wives included), we've invested financially into joint business ventures, invested creatively into each other's art, and have taken turns being a catalyst to the others for progressing our desired goals.

Recently, Deoin had almost completed a song entitled This Is My Life. With his idea for a music video storyboarded out, it hardly took any time at all for us to see its conversion from an idea to a finished product. Deoin also sought the help of my wife, Jodi, to add a needed vocal layer to the chorus.

Both the song and the video turned out great and can be seen in full HD video on YouTube by either searching for Deoin Bedell or clicking this link.

Please support this local Christian music artist by purchasing the song from CD Baby for only 99 cents at this link. And, look forward to the full album This Is My Life coming soon.

Back to Eden (part two)

The second part of our gardening adventure was to put down the covering. We chose to use un-screened wood chips from Springfield Recycling Center. They were $5 per yard which equates to $15 a truckload. They also have screened wood chips which gets out all the big chunks and leaves much smaller wood chips that will break down and compost much sooner. They run $12 a yard. We decided that it was so early in the season that the larger chips would have time to break down before next year and we were afraid that our covering would break down too soon if we used the screened. We'll see how our decision turned out next spring.

In case you don't know what I'm talking about, the covering is what protects the garden and the topsoil underneath. It acts as a fairly decent weed barrier, too. How it protects the garden is pretty simple. Have you ever moved a pile of leaves or even a pile of construction scraps or a pile of virtually anything that has sat undisturbed for a few weeks. You'll notice that when you do, it's always moist underneath. The dirt is always dark and rich in appearance. The reason for this is that it was protected from the crazy environment.

Think of the wood chips to the garden just as our skin is to our body. Our skin protects us. If not for our skin, our bodies would dry up and die. So our gardens go. If they are exposed to the air, they will dry up and the top soil will erode away with the wind and wash away when it rains.

However, if you cover your garden with wood chips, the wood chips retain moisture for the dry periods, keeping your soil moist and rich, while also diverting excess water away when it rains. And, every time it rains it composts and breaks down those wood chips a little bit. And all that organic material acts like a compost tea with all the nutrient-rich tea flowing down into your garden. Your plants will thrive on it. Also, it keeps your soil from becoming compacted. The wood chips evenly spread out your weight and keep the ground from becoming compacted and unworkable. And the plants that grow in it will keep it nice and aerated.

It's been a couple weeks now since we put the covering on. Sorry for the belated posting of the video. I actually put the video together the next evening, but have been preoccupied with other projects. But, here it is. And now all we do is wait until it's time to start planting!

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