Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

This little blog of mine is just a few weeks over six months old. In that time I've made some exceptional on-line friends. You have all enriched, not only my life, but that of my family too. I am blessed.

Thank you all.

Here's wishing each of you a safe and prosperous New Year. God bless.


The Last Night

Is here and we're finally home. Little Bit is watching a movie, Casper I think, Sweet Wife is in the laundry room, and I'm here to post pictures for kymber.

Today, as you know, we took a day trip to St. Augustine in order for Little Bit to see the lights. Here are the results. Please forgive my less than adequate photography.

Above, the cathedral captured in the setting sun.

Note the date. I love this old church. We just missed New Years Eve mass.

Little Bit and Nana shopping in the old slave market.

This shot was taken from the Salve Market. In the background if you look close you can see the Bridge of Lions.

The front of the Cathedral. Just about sunset when the lights flicker to life.

We took a quick break at the Bunnery. I bet you wish you had been with me when the picture was taken. That's a Sticky Bun coated in pecans and caramel with coffee, of course. We've eaten at the Bunnery for close to thirty years.

A blurred image of St. George street after sunset.

kymber, I thought you'd like this Christmas decoration made from local pieces of nature.

And here they are on a balcony.

Just another street scene.

I thought this was kinda nice. Wish I had a decent camera, then again I lack the skills to use one.

Above, look closely just above the building and see if you can spot the star in the western sky.

I took this shot of the oldest school house in America with tourist taking pictures of the oldest school house in America.

Head shot of Little Bit riding the carousel. She just about drove me crazy with her, 'Papa, please, can I ride the carousel now, ugh, please. Repeat every five seconds. She finally wore me down.

Bad shot of a carriage dressed for Christmas. Hey, it was dark.

At one point Nana and Little Bit noticed a shoe store. Guess what happened next. So, here I found myself, once again....Standing Outside, Looking In.

Goodnight, our year is finished. God bless.


St. Augustine

Will be our destination for our last night of 2011. We will leave in about two hours. What awaits is an evening of what the Irish fondly refer to as a 'soft evening' of warm temperatures with trees coated in tiny white lights, the smell of fine food, gentle laughter and history.

St. Augustine is the oldest city in our country. Many of the cobbled streets are worn smooth from several hundred years of horse drawn buggies, and the streets are narrow between walls constructed of oyster shells and lime; ferns and moss grow among the cracks that give onto hundred year old figs which stand next to sweet scented limes and Live Oaks old enough to have witnessed Spanish landings.

I just want a cold glass of Sangria.

I'll try and take a few pictures.


Friday, December 30, 2011

She's Back

Our Little Bit that is...she came home with me this afternoon. First though, we took a run to our local Publix.

Once inside Little Bit took control. I have had a smile on my face all afternoon. It isn't often we're separated for such a long period of time.

Her hair is a mess, but her Nana is correcting that problem as I write. Above, she's considering a selection of dairy products.

She has her favorite brand of bread ready for the cart.

All is again as it should be in my world.

Have a great weekend and a Happy New Year.


Free Books For Your Kindle

Visit, here for a ton of free books for your Kindle. When you arrive, click the 'e-book' button.

Just a way to help my friends. You will find cookbooks, fiction, classic fiction and tons of other great works.


Brain Freeze

I'm thinking, I swear I am...just can't seem to write this morning. All this New Year stuff has me in a fog.

Guess I could hang my new calenders.

Or, watch Atlas Shrugged, it arrived yesterday.

Or, Ronin again for the fifteenth time.

Or, read one of my new books.

Or not.

Business is very slow, or couldn't you tell.


Thanks & Welcome

To my new follower and friend, MSgtB, a fellow veteran and writer of My Muse Shaked Me. Master Sargent, please be advised I shall always, I promise, answer any comments you leave here. It might take me a few hours or even days if business gets in my way, but rest assured, I will reply.

I ask the rest of my friends to please trot over and give our new friend a wave and say hello.

Again, thank you and welcome. You are now among friends.


Thursday, December 29, 2011


It's quiet. We have a fire this evening, our second of the season. I'm content, well, almost content. I do miss Little Bit. She's on vacation with her Dad. She'll be back tomorrow night and we'll have her for the weekend. Can't wait.

Have a good evening.


Thanks & Welcome

To my new follower and friend, BBB from I promise to always reply to your comments.

To my other friends I ask, please, run over and check out BBB's blog. Its filled with great information.

Again, thank you and welcome. You are now among friends.


10/22 Fun

Now this looks like fun. Cheap ammo in a hot rod modified 10/22.

Bring it on.


Policy on Comments

I received an email recently (yesterday) and I've had to give myself a wee bit of time to think about my reply.

The nice person asked me why I haven't commented on their blog of recent. Well, it's kinda simple. I never, when I did take the time to comment, received a reply in return.

Please understand, I'm not a mean person, not trying to tick you off, or tinkle up your rope, not ignoring your blog. I read you daily. Like your work. You're a fine person. But, if I take the time to write a few words during my busy life to compliment you on your article/post, then I expect a reply in kind.

We Southerners are funny people when it comes to etiquette, or as my sweet departed mother would say, nice manners. If you don't believe me, ask my friend, Duke. Even a simple 'thank you' will suffice. Nothing more, just a simple, easy to type - thanks.

Please don't be offended. Like I've said, I like you. I can understand those bloggers that post and receive hundreds of hits per post reluctant to reply, it's work, yet I'd still make the attempt. I'd simply write one reply to all and say, thank you. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy lives for leaving a comment on my blog, even if I feel my poop doesn't stink.

If you'd take the time to read the comments on my blog you'll find I always, ALWAYS, reply. And, if I've missed one here or there and it's brought to my attention, I'll find it and correct my mistake. Never fear, I will continue to read and visit your nice blog. You are a fine person and your work is worthy.

Sorry, but class tells.

Your friend,


Bits & Pieces

Stepped outside this morning to crisp cool weather with just a hint of brambly oak smoke in the air. I love it. The river was flat and gray as I climbed into my truck, very strange as there is normally a bit of wind to stir the water. Either way, I'll take it as we only get two days of winter here.

Florida, given its preferences, sucks; all this sunshine has a tendency to depress the heck out of me.

Yesterday halitosis man came into the shop to chat. I'm sure each of you have a halitosis person in your life. Well, my man is a senior citizen, a gunny that loves to restore old world war two equipment, including machine guns and rifles. He's the only man I know that drives a Willy's Jeep with a mounted Ma Deuce. Kinda cool, and it sure scares the heck out of the local democritters.

When they see the Jeep round the curve they practically run out of their felony fliers.  I like the 'ole boy, don't get me wrong. It's fun to have him hang around the shop and chat. He was jerked up in a little town over on the west coast of Florida, Cedar Key, it's a tiny fishing village of which I've written about in the past. Anyhow, he loves to give heart warming stories of his youth spent out on the waters shooting dolphins (I'll use the local term) you know, Flipper, from television fame....

He swears they are great on the BBQ. He's probably on to something, who knows. Problem is he likes to climb into your face when he speaks, and since his mouth is perpetually open, as in his mouth has a six inch constant gap, and he sports a set of dentures made in Hong Kong, and said dentures seldom if ever are cleaned, his breath can knock over a south bound skunk riding a poop wagon. Talking stink here folks....bad stuff. My nose hairs curl.

He speaks to me, "Hey, Stephen, heeeyyyyy," Whoosh, green fumes....

Stephen, passed out, toes curled.

Like that.

My friends can remember the old fella that used to attend our gun shows. Ask Duke about Stinky. Stinky would clear the floor from body odor. Stinky doesn't hold a candle to halitosis man.

Sorry, it's time to jerk another cup of joe and open the shop.  

Until later.


Thanks & Welcome

To my new follower, russell1200. Nice to have you onboard. I promise to reply to all comments. It might take me a few hours, perhaps a day or two depending upon business, but I shall reply. Feel free to drop in anytime and write a line or two.

Russell writes a blog of deep thoughts and his view of current events at reflexiones finales. Take a few minutes out of your post Christmas week and run over and say hello.

You are now among friends. Again, thank you and welcome.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Survival Bread

Hey, it's the staff of life.


Remember When

It was possible to purchase a crate of SKS surplus rifles coated in cosmoline for $75.00 or less? Think about it, a case of rifles for less than a hundred bucks. Now, for you young people out there this was before Clinton dipped his cigars for added flavor and texture.

Those days are over.

Last evening via text I tried to help an out of state friend find one for less than three hundred dollars. Most, it seems, have an asking price, in good to excellent condition, of between three hundred and fifty to six hundred dollars. God help you if its a nice Albanian or Russia made model.

Folks, if you haven't as yet purchased a good battle rifle.....better get with it.


My New Read

Arrived yesterday - as if it's a rare event for books to walk into my shop. I'm sure many, like me, enjoy a good culinary book ever so often, and this should fit the bill. It's subtitle is 'America's Quest for Culinary Glory at the Legendary Bocuse d'Or Competition. In other words, the real Iron Chef.

If you don't like to eat or cook - never mind.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Story Time

Here's a story I found on-line. The first chapter is titled, The New Normal. The story is titled, 'The Union Creek Journal.' It's a work in progress. It seems very well written. You decide.

When you arrive your intelligence should take over and give you instructions on how to read the following chapters. If not, oh well.

This is how I've occupied my time on this very slow business day.



Edit Work

Allow me to say, screw it. I'm a very fast typist. Really. I can whip out a few lines in seconds.

It was brought to my attention by Sweet Wife this past weekend that I suck at edit work on my blog posts. She is forever catching my mistakes. A dropped word here, a missed comma there. Well, excuse the heck out of me.

I'm a very impatient man. Just ask my friends. For instance; some knucklehead will begin to tell me a story of his day, or life, or something, and I jump in with, "Get to the it, what's the bottom line." Bore me to death.

I hate to reread my post. There, I've said it. So, if you find I've forgotten or in haste dropped a 't' or a period, deal with it.

I have a business to run.

Sorry, Honey.


Quiet Aftermath

It's quiet here this morning with light rain, and warm. Our winter has yet to arrive. I went to bed a bit after two this morning. My rhythm of sleep is all out of whack.  Need to work on the problem as next week it's back to my normal routine of life.

I've nothing of value to relate today. Brain's kinda dead. I've much to do here at the office. It's only a few days until the New Year which leaves me with files to organize for the tax year. My Quicken program has died on me and my computer geek hasn't the time, as yet, to correct the problem. Another headache with which to deal and look forward. Hate computers.

Melancholy time of the year, isn't it.

Next Saturday, New Year's Eve, I shall load my car with the family and we will drive to St. Augustine and show the lights (voted the second best in the world) to the grandchildren. At some point during the night I will walk to the seawall and thank the good Lord for all his blessing of this past year. I shall also pray and ask that He protect us all, and pave the way for an easy life in the forthcoming year. I always reflect back on the tiny hardships I faced, and then, contemplate what the future holds. I pray I'm suitable for the task.

Fireworks in St. Augustine should improve my mood. Should...

If you remember I mentioned over the last few weeks that business has been very good during the Christmas season. This morning, nada. Which is what I had expected. Riches to rags....

 Until later,


I Ate

My first seven dollar piece of chocolate last night. Serious. A seven dollar chocolate bar. Wrapped in a gold package, I suppose, to make me feel better.

It was a Christmas gift. I unwrapped the sucker and noticed the price was still on the bar. $6.99 for less than two ounces.

What a ripoff. I can still remember when ten ounces of chocolate candy, a huge bar, cost a nickle.

I was not impressed. I'll stick with Butterfingers.


Monday, December 26, 2011

The Day After

All is quiet. I've taken the day off; call it my vacation. I might, not sure yet, take Sweet Wife out later for dinner, perhaps some good Southern BBQ.

A few minutes ago I loaded Sweet Wife's little Elsie Pea's magazine with a fresh batch of hollow points. I did so from my armchair, so when I finished I reached to place the ammo box on a bookcase and noticed it already held six different boxes, each with six different calibers of ammunition. Kinda colorful.

Guess it just proves I need to get off my bottom and move some ammo boxes.

Sweet Wife just yelled and said it's time to get a move on and head out for dinner. See you guys tomorrow.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Snack Time

Peanut butter is to me like crack to the weak of mind. Just finished a batch of peanut butter fudge. Simple ingredients, quick to construct. Takes me about fifteen minutes on the range, then a few hours in the refrigerator to cool. Pecans may be substituted for walnuts.

I strongly suggest you get thyself to the kitchen.

Recipe can be found here. When you arrive on page just scroll up a tad bit.




All is quiet in our home. It has been a nice Christmas. The children and grandchildren are happy.

Little Bit set a record for 'scream time' with each newly opened present. Nana and Papa, with the help of Santa, gave her a new 'DS.' Don't ask, as I don't know its purpose other than its a game system. Oh, Sweet Wife said it takes pictures too. So there. She was very happy...jumped up and down at least twenty times, all the while screaming her little head off.

I suppose it is the little things in life.

Sweet Wife was very pleased with her gifts from me, and indeed, downright giddy with her new Ruger 'Elsie Pea.' She's reading the owners manual as I write.

Our Lord has blessed us.

Little Bit asked me to post her posing in her new dress. It lights up, don't 'ya know. I think its a Cinderella dress. She also requested I send you her love.

Above, before.

After. Little Bit in her new dress and holding her doll carriage,  Excuse the poor photography, taken with my Blackberry.

Nana's new toy.

Now, I need another cup of coffee and hopefully time to read the morning paper. I truly wish each of you a joyous Christmas day. May God bless and keep you.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

To all my friends, from my family to yours, may you have a very Merry Christmas, and may the peace of our Lord sooth you.

And, to all a good night.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Thanks & Welcome

To my new follower and friend, danontherock. I promise to always reply to your comments.

I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas.

To my other friends, please run over to and visit our new friend.

Dan, you are now among friends. Again, thank you and welcome.



I'm sorry I cannot be with you this evening, but please know you own my heart.

It is impossible for you to remember when I held you in my arms and walked you up and down the beach, you but a baby. You pressed your little lips to my ear and mumbled sweet baby tunes to my heart. That was the evening I knew I'd love you all your life.

When you were five the light of intelligence glowed within, and you such a wispy and happy little girl. 

At ten your appetite for literature confirmed and solidified my love and pride for you.

Then, a blink and you are now a beautiful woman. 

Our time has always been brief. Little visits here and there, a few moments to chat, exchange ideas, books, politics. Now, you are almost beyond my reach.

I miss you.

Merry Christmas.

Your Uncle Stephen

'Tis The Season

It's too warm here for the season. I want cold weather. Just glanced out at my thermometer, 63 degrees. Bah, Humbug.

Look what followed me home last night, little booger jumped into my truck and said take me home. I gave her a loving caress and she's now all toasty and snug under the Christmas tree waiting on Sweet Wife.

Here she is while fully dressed.

And naked.

House sure was quiet last night. So I wrapped my few personal gifts to Sweet Wife and placed them under the tree.

Not sure why but when I'm alone I feel little need to cook meals. Stopped at a fish place for take out and found myself reduced to eating fast food fish. Awful isn't worthy of its description.

At one point last evening I noticed my cat, out on the deck, at a fast back and forth pace in front of the French doors. I let her inside. She ran. I followed. She arrived in front of my family room chair and deposited a live baby squirrel on the seat.

Baby squirrel sat up and gave the place a once over. Cat smiled. Baby squirrel, I swear to all that's holy, did a little round about and settled in for the night. Sucker went to sleep. Cat continued to smile and rubbed my leg. Perhaps she felt this my gift for Christmas. I told her good girl but baby squirrels are not in the same class as veal. Then again.

The little squirrel fit into the palm of my hand. Big round eyes, long tail, tiny. I gently took the tiny creature and placed it back outside.

Wish I'd thought to have taken its picture.

We all fall from the nest time to time.

I miss Little Bit.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thanks & Welcome

To my new friend, fatal error. I promise to always reply to your comments. It might take me a few hours or even days in rare cases, but fear not I shall reply.

The light of your wisdom is always welcomed here. You are now among friends.

Again, thank you and welcome.


It's Early

Very early and I've turned the sign to open on my business door as the sun barely peeks from the clouds. I'm not joking when I say business is good prior to Christmas.

I wanted to post last evening but I had a dinner with my group. We all took over the local Cracker Barrel and made the place safe for normal people. It was nice. I have been privileged to have such good friends. It was necessary for me to leave a bit early and return home as Sweet Wife and Little Bit were making preps to leave early this morning for an out of state visit. My job was to check Sweet Wife's vehicle tires, top her tank, and load gifts for their journey.

Now, I'll sweat until their return, after all, two of the people I love most in this world are on the roads. Rest assured there are two GOB's and protection loaded within that Accura MDX. Still, I'll worry.

Sweet Wife and Little Bit baked for two days, solid. Much of those baked goods are loaded. This morning I stole a half-dozen cookies for the shop. Don't tell on me.

Until later.