The Country Doctor Converts An Old Tramp… Giveaway Closed… Results Posted Wed PM.

June 30th, 2009

The Country Doctor has a real heart for taking in the downtrodden, the down on their luck, and the Debbie Downers. He likes to help them turn their lives around.  He gets a kick out of sprucing them up and giving them a new skill so that they can go out and make a real difference in the world.


Look!  I’ll even prove it!

Exhibit A…

Our old trampoline.  It is the behind the cake.  We had it for years.  We moved it from the old house to the new house.  To move it, the Country Doctor balanced it on top of our mini-van with it’s legs hanging down over the sides.  The highway patrolman who bought our old house helped the Country Doctor load it up and then he looked the other way when the Country Doctor drove off with it perched on the top of the van.

The trampoline was old when we moved it.  It had been patched, and re-patched, and patched again.  All the springs were sprung… except for the springs that were missing.  There came a point when every jump, by every child, seemed to be the rattling gasp of death.  We eventually had to stop using it.  The weeds grew up around it and we bought a new trampoline.









Exhibit B.

The Country Doctor, a man who hates to throw anything away.




Exhibit C.

Our old tramp undergoing the conversion process.

Can you guess what it eventually became?


I have some autographed Sarah Susanka books, and some autographed Mary Carol Garrity books, and a few pieces of Polish Pottery that I picked up on sale this weekend.  Tell me what you think it is and two lucky correct guessers will be chosen randomly to pick the item of their choice.

Comments will be moderated so you can’t cheat, though no one would of course!  

Contest ends Tuesday night when I get home from my son’s triple… yes triple header.


  • jane:

    backstop for baseball pitching?

  • Laura Stultz:

    I am not sure, but is it something the kids can kick a ball into and it will bounce back to them? Just a guess.

  • umm… a batting cage?

  • Um…looks like a baseball backstop

    or a soccer goal place. Whatchacallit.

  • Oh Good Lord. A triple header?!?! You are one terrific mom. I do not love my son that much to sit through three baseball games in a row in one night. He has three double headers this week. Thankfully, I was totally nauseous this afternoon and just dropped him off and didn’t even have to lie that I didn’t feel well. Of course, I felt better soon after I got home. Which means that I’ll be at both games tomorrow out of guilt. Do you think it is a sin to pray for rain?

    What the heck is that thing anyway? A frame for a covered wagon in which the kids can throw themselves against the back to whittle away the time? Are you going to try to outdo the Pioneer Woman by blogging your way out west?

    Is it a practice pit for pitching?

    You aren’t going to run outside naked and fling yourself against it during a storm… like a velcro wall minus the, ya know, velcro? Sorry, I just remembered some long ago post… I should look that one up again. I remember laughing until my stomach hurt. You are a very strange woman.

    What else could it be?!?!? I don’t know. Is it a gift for your sister? She could throw her chickens at it and scare them to death instead of chopping their heads off. Boomerang chicken killing or something.

    You should give me a prize for coming up with totally ridiculous and assinine guesses for whatever the heck that thing is.

  • Kc:

    A batting cage

  • nancy in alaska:

    A thingy to hit balls on – using a bat.

  • Grace:

    It looks like it might have become part of a fishing boat … maybe a sunscreen or something. . I have no clue.

  • Denise:

    I think it became one of those things where you throw a baseball at it and it comes back to you. So one can practice one’s pitching and catching skills. Can’t wait to get my book hahaha!

  • Well, it looks like a “pitch back” for baseball practice, but then again it could be a goalie practice return for soccer. Since I have not seen your guys playing soccer, I’ll have to go with my first choice. A return for pitching practice for baseball.

  • Wow that sure is a great piece of art! Way to go, CD!

  • Tammy:

    That sure does look like a pitching practice thing to me, where you practice pitching the ball into the middle and it bounces back to you. If it’s something else, I’m even more astounded by CD’s creativity! We should all be such re-purposers!

  • cath:

    I couldn’t resist, and whilst think I’m way off the mark, am wondering if you may be getting a greenhouse, or a little garden grotto. failing that, it may just have to be a moon rocket launching pad.

  • Is it for pitching baseballs? I don’t think it it is a pitch back, there doesn’t look to be enough spring to send the ball back to the pitcher. But it would stop the baseballs.

  • Judy:

    It’s a pitching booth/thing? Great repurposing!

  • Joe:

    It’s a pitching backstop so the ball will bounce back to the pitcher.

  • Southern Gal in SC:

    It’s a practice pitching thingy. Your boys will practice their pitching by throwing the ball into that! What a great idea.

  • You are making it into an 18th century French wig and hat that you will be taking with you on your trip to Paris where you will participate in a reenactment of the eve of the French Revolution. Oui, Oui!

  • Linda Joan:

    Hello Rechelle,

    I think it will be used as a backdrop for the basketball goal to keep balls from rolling away into the yard. Am I right?

  • Lucy:

    It appears to be something for sports. Perhaps it’s something to hit baseballs/tennis balls etc. into for practicing.

    Hope you are well. Thanks for your posts.


  • Lisa:

    It looks to me like a backstop for pitching into or hitting out of, or at least it should be. Good luck at the triple header!!!

  • Martha in Kansas:

    Oh, what’s that thing called?! It’s for batting practice. Baseball/ softball. You hit the ball into the net, right? Very clever of him to recycle the old tramp this way!

  • Tammi:

    I think it is a batting cage thing. It will stop the baseballs, golf balls, etc from flying through the yard and inevitably hitting something they shouldn’t. :)

  • susan:

    Well, I have two thoughts but I will go with backstop.

  • Stephanie:

    I’m guessing it’s a pitchback for baseball…a brillant makeover idea….
    I have one for you….I took the boys soccer goal….stood it on end
    and now it’s a trellis for my morning glorys….

  • Debbie:

    It’s gonna be……a batting cage Ya know for hitting baseballs into ?????

  • Wow perfect! Awesome idea! It’s a friggin’ batting cage! My hubby and son would love this!

  • I think it is a contraption to help the kids practice baseball?!

  • Terri:

    A backstop or a batter’s cage

  • Sarah:

    Soccer practice thingy?

  • Kathy from NJ:

    A Baseball backstop?

  • Melanie:

    It looks like a great place for batting practice!:)

  • Is it a golfing mat? the thingey he can practice his golf swing and it catches the ball so they are not lost forever in the back 40?

  • Chad:

    Looks like a backstop to me. could even be a pitch back. I would have used the whole mat though.

  • angiep:

    Well, it’s something to do with baseball. It’s either a backstop for batting practice, or it’s for practicing pitching. It’s a great idea. I’ll have to show this to my husband. He’s been wanting to make something like this with a target for our son to practice his pitching to a certain spot. And we happen to have an old trampoline in the yard. I’m just not sure dear son is ready to let go of the trampoline yet.

  • The protective cage/net behind a batter
    A soccer goal for the blind.
    A gateway to an alternate universe
    That’s all I got:)

    A triple??? I hope you have a good book(s)

  • kristinrose24:

    Batting cage!

  • Micki:

    It’s for practicing his golf swing. The tarp catches the ball so he doesn’t have to go far to retrieve it.

  • M.R.:

    A soccer goal.

  • Michelle:

    I don’t know sports lingo but is it a goalie hut of some sort? Or a backboard for balls to hit so you don’t have to chase them? Whatever it is, how did he bend the metal like that?

  • I wouldn’t know the official name but something you would practice pitching into.

  • A batting cage….isn’t it still baseball season?….So that is my guess. A batting cage. Have a nice day!

  • It definitely has to be a baseball cage for batting practice. the batter stands inside the cage while someone pitches to them. This will stop foul balls from going backwards….they will get caught in the cage instead of hitting whatever is behind it. Also stops all those missed pitches too. My parents would have probably loved to have one of these when I was younger. Having to hear the softballs hitting the back of the house almost daily probably wasn’t too fun.

  • Carol:

    A batting cage.

  • jancd:

    I think it is something to help improve your son’s pitching arm. A goal to pitch to thing-a-majig. Yes, that’s what it is!!

  • Monica Schneider:

    Hitting cage or to practice soccer kicks. (Since my son played soccer and yours obviously don’t, I threw that last suggestion in just for me.) Sure and begorrah, it’s a hittin’ cage.

  • Well I’m not sure what you mean by what I think it is, but I’ll guess you mean what kind of pottery as opposed to what kind of pottery. :D I’ll guess Boleslawiec folk art stoneware. :D Either that, or a few bowls, if you mean what kind of pottery. lol!

  • I have Mr. Miller who never throws anythings away. I think it is for practicing hitting baseballs into the net.

  • jamoody:

    I believe it’s either a batting cage type apparatus or a soccer goal….or perhaps it could be used for both.

  • Debby J:

    Why, it’s a baseball backstop of course! (if not, it certainly could be.)

  • Darla (McIntosh) Schmalzried:

    A batting cage!

  • Nancy:

    It will be a new backstop for either throwing baseballs at, and then you try to catch them, hitting balls into.

  • Michelle:

    A pitching practice thingy. Where you throw the ball and it bounces back at you!. We use our old tramoline mat as a tent ground cloth, and another one as a brushpile mover.

  • Amy in West TX:

    I think he’s going to make a fishing dock from the trampoline.

  • Debra:

    I think it’s a batting cage backstop!! Verrrry clever! (I’d be happy to win any of your goodies!!) LOL

  • Susan K:

    Batting cage. This is the backstop part of it.
    Cool idea!

    In my house, I am always “re purposing” stuff.

  • KATHY:

    The backstop to deflect balls when praticeing swing for baseball

    cant think of the name of it lol

  • Amanda:

    I think it’s going to be a batting cage.

  • Perhaps a tent or some type of enclosure – like a screened in porch type thing?

  • It is a pitch-back set-up for baseball. A boy (or a girl) throws the ball into the rubber center and the ball bounces back for fielding practice.

  • I believe it’s going to be a pitching/ ground ball practice thingy where the ball is thrown into the trapoline tarp and the ball comes back to the thrower.

  • a driving range cage (for golf?)

    A huge field hockey/soccer cage….

  • I’m going with batting backstop.

    I’d say golf net, but I don’t believe anyone in your family golfs. Unlike ours…

  • Clare:

    I think it will be a baseball back stop, once it’s finished. I admire your husband’s skill in repurposing!

  • Lea:

    It’s one of those pitching practice contraptions!

  • It looks like one of those nets you hit balls into, so you can practice your swing and not have to hunt in the yard for the balls.

  • TamiC:

    A batting cage?

  • I’m thinking some sort of giant seine for the fish.

  • Spinoff:

    Well, of COURSE it’s a baseball backstop/pitchback. Good job, Doc! But a more important question: How do you keep birds from eating your tomatoes? I went out to my garden this morning ready to pick the three lovely, ripe, orbs of lusciousness I had left for a few more hours of sunning yesterday, and the stupid birds had picked them to pieces. Bah. Stupid birds.

  • Kathy:

    It seems like a baseball net of some sort.

  • Stephanie:

    I think it will be a pitching tent. Or a soccer goal.

  • Looks like the backstop that I had when I was a kid. Well, it’s a bit bigger than mine was, but still. I could throw baseballs into it, and it would bounce them back at me. I could stand in front of it as a batter, and then, when I missed then baseball when whoever slung it at me at a gazillion miles an hour, it would immediately spring back like lightning and hit me at the base of my skull with concussive force.

    Which probably explains my issues today.

    Hope your son’s team wins!

  • DirtyKSmama - Nikki:

    Official answer: Baseball backstop/ pitching wall?

    Orrrrr…..A safe wall for you to bang your head against?

    A safe wall for you to run and throw yourself against while screaming?

    A washable place to throw your step-tomatoes when they get diseased from lack of care?

    A backdrop for when your fake show cats put on a talent show?

    The beginnings of bandshell/ amphitheater for you to have your own concerts?

  • Pam:

    I sat through many a youth baseball game and immediately recognize that as a bounce back to practice pitching! Very clever.

  • It’s definitely some kind of ball returner thingy – soccer, baseballs, golf ball (although that may hurt a little), etc. It would be a great tennis ball returner but I’ve not read that any of your kids play tennis.

  • martina:

    For batting practice, and later, to use as a soccer or hockey goal. Hey, you said he didn’t like to throw anything away!

  • A pitchback or batting cage

  • Pam:

    At first glance-can’t tell if the ‘trees’ are background on the ‘tarp’. IF so, you could use it as a ‘background’ for photography!!
    But given you have boys and CD is a baseball coach-& since CD concocted this thing-it is the ‘batting/throwing’ target. It is much more elaborate than the old little ‘bounce back things’ they use to sell for about $10.00 that were about 3×3 foot.

  • becky up the hill:

    Pitching back stop. My guess via help from the old retired CHP.. ;o)

  • I think he is somehow going to sink the metal, and make a cover for his boat. Sort of like a sun shade garage on the pond.

  • Regina:

    CD is building a garage for the mini-van.

  • Nancy:

    It’s a “pitch back” or whatever they call it for baseball practice.

  • Lucy Golden:

    It looks to me like a baseball batting/pitching practice net.

  • Cyndi B:

    A backstop for the new ball field you’re building on the Back 40!

  • Indiana Laura:

    It looks like the beginnings of a pitching and batting cage to me.

  • Is it a backstop for baseball and other sports?

  • Shela:

    My guess is a batting or pitching cage. We turned ours into a 8 sided hog pen!!!!

  • Sandy in MI:

    Hmmm, a big batting target?

    Anyway, I’m not that interested in the books but I wanted to tell you that your site takes a loooooong time to load. I visit several blogs every day and this one is takes so long it’s frustrating. I don’t know if that’s peculiar to just me or if it’s the same for everyone. If it’s the same for everyone you probably know this already. Anyway, happy Tuesday!

  • Brenna Hornbaker:

    The CD made it into what looks like a baseball backstop – good for pitching as well as batting practice!! How ingenous of Mr. Country Doctor!!

    Brenna :-)

  • Kay:

    Isn’t it one of those baseball pitch practice things?

  • A rebounder for ball practice!! Am I right? I have Susan’s books already (love them!!) but I only have 122 pieces of Polish pottery from my 3 trips over the border when we lived in Germany, so I desparately need some more.

  • Amy Cook in WI:

    I am golf oriented since my husband has played for 45 0f his 53 years. I play reluctantly, but enjoy it when I do go out. I just hate to practice (he loves it). So, in my narrow world of sports, I believe this is meant to be a golf net to hit balls into…probably great size for practicing chipping.

    This would not be welcome by ME in my backyard, but my husband would be in heaven.

    PS if it isn’t a golf net, it could be used for one. Really, I think your boys would love hitting each other, er I mean golf balls into that net.

  • Hallie:

    It looks like a net for pitching practice. What a cool way to recycle an old trampoline frame!

  • Barb:

    That has got to be a larger than life “pitch back machine”. It is where you practice pitching the ball and it comes right back to you.

    We had one of those when I was young….until my brother pitched a ball really hard and it came back……into the big picture window.

    Can’t wait to find out what you use it for.

  • Joni:

    A covered tent thingy.

  • E:

    It’s a batting cage thingie.

  • SameDay:

    I can’t guess and I don’t even have anything clever to say what it might be. I can only think that if no one guesses you will pick randomly for your giveaway. I really can’t wait to see what it will be though – I did have all kinds of stupid ideas but can’t bring myself to type them here.

  • MrsCoach:

    It appears to be a ball return, I would guess a baseball pitching target.

  • umm a softball pitch?

  • SoCalLynn:

    Is it a soccer backstop?

  • Cindy Tipton:

    It’s a backstop so the boys can practice pitching/throwing.

  • It looks like a baseball batting or pitching thing for the kids.

    I like that the country doctor can repurpose things like that. What a wonderful man.

  • It looks like the creative CD made it into a backstop for practicing pitching!

  • sweetpeah:

    why, it’s a backstop for the batting cage! everyone needs one

  • It’s going to be the thingie behind the batter in baseball?

  • it’s a pitching cage

  • kristi:

    Is it used for pitching practice?

  • Rebecca:

    It looks like a batting cage to me.

  • Jennifer Mann:

    a Throw back – so your boys can practice pitching or a back stop

  • Reenie:

    I think it’s going to be the back of a batting cage….you know where you stand in front of it and someone pitches balls to you…..and if you don’t hit the ball, this backstop will stop it. Or I guess you could pitch to it too….I don’t know if the ball would bounce back to you or not though!

  • Jennifer:

    Oh, well that looks like a backstop for batting/pitching practice.

  • Rae:

    This is a hard one….so many thoughts come to mind. Is it a game of some sort…like darts?????? Oh wait….maybe it’s a clothes line : )….no I’ll go with some kind of a game. Can I have more then one guess? : )

  • Marilyn:

    It’s a batting cage…how ingenious!

  • alemos:

    It’s one of those pitching things….you know where the pitcher practices his throwing.

  • I’m going to guess that it is for baseball…so that the missed balls don’t go beyond the players.

  • jean:

    It looks like a baseball stop. I’m guessing it has a real name but I don’t have a clue.

  • MelissaM:

    Maybe a batting cage?

  • Joni:

    I guess either a screen for a batting cage/soccer goal or a big screen for showing movies outdoors.

  • PaulieY:

    I think it has something to do with the baseball and I’m not exactly sure what they all it. So it is either a thing to pitch into or a batting cage.

  • Roseanne:

    I’m thinking it’s for practicing your golf swing. It catches the golf balls.

    If that is what I’m thinking, clever Country Dr., very clever!

  • Lois:

    A goal for soccer.

  • Mary:

    I think it will make a nice hammock to rest in.

  • Stephanie _Oh:

    My guess is a Batting cage????

  • Anna:

    Some sort of contraption for practicing baseball stuff. Is it called a batting cage?

  • Donna M.:

    Oooh, I have two thoughts and I don’t know which one to submit!! I’m going to go with a baseball cage! You know, one of those thingies that “stops” the baseball! Awesome idea! (If I’m right!) :-)

  • Wendy Krueth:

    Would that be a backstop for practicing baseball or throwing the ball at and batting at?

  • Karen:

    I think it is a football throwing net machine contraption.

  • batting ‘cage’

  • joanh:

    Looks like the beginning of a pitching cage to me- my son played baseball here in Saskatchewan, Canada when he was younger, so that is what it reminds me of! Miss those days! If I am right, it will be too complicated to send me anything so please give it to the next correct person, if you don’t mind! I enjoy reading your blog!

  • Lisa S.:

    Is it going to be a batting cage? something to do with batting?

  • Jennifer W.:

    Is it something to do with hitting golf balls at?

  • Mary:

    It’s a baseball stop

  • Gayl Venman:

    A batting cage?

  • Looks to me like it’s becoming a small greenhouse/arbor.

  • Kathy:

    It’s a backstop for hitting and pitching baseballs or golf balls into. Beware boys are notorious for discovering evil ways of using this device. They bounce a variety of odd items off of it while trying to hit each other with them. They avoid getting in trouble by saying “I didn’t throw it at him it just bounced wierd.” Or “I don’t know why he was standing there anyway.” etc…….Aren’t boys the best? Good luck.

  • jessica:

    It looks like one of those things you hit golf balls into, to practice your drive? :)

  • Wondering Woman:

    It looks like a thing that you hit golf balls into and I think it’s called a catch-all.

  • Obviously something to do with baseball. Either for pitching or batting practice. The doc is so green, isn’t he? I Sara Snow would say he ‘lives fresh.’

  • Tish:

    Looks like a ball pitch-back, back stop or ptiching target to me. We’d use it for practicing lacrosse throws and catches, but I’d guess it would be used for baseball in your house.

  • Ronda:

    It looks like some sort of pitching backstop, but I don’t think that’s right.

    By the way, a triple header sounds ideal!! You lucky mama!

  • Alabama Grandmother:

    Love your blog, you’re so funny!
    It looks like the back ‘fencey’ thing for a baseball game that the batter stands in front of.

  • Shelley:

    Could the Sarah Susanka books be Not So Big Life: Blueprint 10th Anniversary and Mary Carol’s Feather Your Nest?

  • Kelly:

    I am thinking that at least one of your sons will be using this to pitch baseballs at though I can’t exactly remember the scientific name for the contraption!

  • tammy:

    Looks like a soccer goal to me???

  • Joni:

    i have another guess, this is my second one: it’s a baseball toss back.

  • Well, at first I was thinking batting cage but then had to double check your language to see if it was complete in the picture or note. I still think batting cage. Or pitching cage — except it’s not really a cage, is it?

  • Kat:

    Batting cage?
    Please Polish Pottery, please Polish Pottery, please Polish pottery!!

  • Is it to throw baseballs at?

  • Looks like the start of a greenhouse to me.

  • It looks like the country doctor made himself his own driving range! Great idea!! It’s either that or a batting cage for the kids but I hope he made something for himself! (As we parents tend NOT to do) :-)

  • Laurie:

    It’s a batting cage. Doesn’t everyone have one of those in their yard?

  • Cally:

    Well it looks like a huge thing you pitch at and it bounces back at you. Or a back stop either way a ball gets pitched in its direction. Thats my guess!

  • A batting or pitching cage?

  • marewood:

    Could it be for batting practice? Maybe pitching? Whatever it is, I like his thinking. I took the old post from my mailbox, painted it red and put it in the garden. – did the same with some old armrests from a futon bed. Fun stuff.

  • Ummm…a batting cage? For your baseball players?

  • Alicia:

    looks like a potential batting cage, my 11 year old would love it!

  • Yaya2Three:

    Looks like a backstop to me!!???

  • susan in FL:

    Well it is a batting cage of course.

  • Barbara:

    A batting cage????

  • Kellye:

    I think it is a pitching net. A thingee so the boys can practice their pitching and the ball will bounce back to them. I love your giveaways!

  • Looks like a batting cage in the making!

  • Jeanne:

    I believe it’s a pitching thingy magigy. You know, where you throw a baseball at it and it bounces off the bouncy part! Technical terminology can be tricky, your welcome for the free lesson!

  • I am slow to post, but it sure looks like the beginnings of a batting cage!!
    Country Doctor should meet my suburban husband…he likes to save and reuse too!!! LOL

  • it is the back for throwing balls at, to catch them.

  • Bethaney:

    Uumm, that shape makes absolutely no sense to me, but maybe a raft for the pond? or a springy platform to jump into the water? That’s my best guess…

  • one of those baseball pitching thiny-ma-bobs…

  • Nanc in Ashland:

    Oh, it’s um, that thing! Bounce back? Pitch back? That thingy where baseball players can throw a ball and it bounces back so they can practice fielding. And you put a target of a strike zone up so pitchers can practice accuracy. That thing. Right?

  • calamityanne:

    It’s a thing for practicing soccer kicks or football kicks. Or it could be like a tennis back board? Or a thing to practice pitching against (because even three baseball games in one night isn’t nearly enough baseball for SOME boys). Using the whole idea that whatever you throw at that thing is going to bounce back, it could have myriad uses? Wouldn’t be surprised if some of them involved multiple boys and pushing/tackling of some sort. Am I right?

  • Sarah S. in NM:

    Is it a Pitch-Back? (That’s what we called it when I was growing up) For practicing baseball skills?

  • Naomi:

    How can there be no other comments???

    Anyhow — I cannot think of a name for it — but where your boys would hit baseballs into it & they would bounce back….

  • Laura:

    Hi, it looks like it’s on it’s way to becoming a batting cage?

  • Alexia:

    I think it’s going to be a Golf cage, so he can practice his golf swing!

  • Jennie:

    Old trampoline guesses:

    Batting cage

    Pitching tunnel


    Hoop/green house

    photo booth

    basket ball court


    or – if the CD is like my hubby, it is truly an ingenious project, but he lacks the time and sometimes the motivation to finish the project in an appropriate amount of time, so the “GREAT IDEA” becomes an eyesore. A constant reminder of all that could be, but alas, is not in the stars right now.

    You can cheer yourself up like I do by using this chant . . . “My husband is recycling.” Repeat.

  • Naomi:

    I’m a little slow!!! now understanding why no comments…

    being as this is the first I’ve commented — that I do love to check in w/you from time to time == enjoy those boys == they will be grown men in no time…

  • Boy, did I misunderstand! lol! Well, I’ll guess a soccer goal. Pretty boring guess, but whatever.