Autumn

Autumn

Friday, July 29, 2011

Grandparent Love; An answer for Modern Day Redneck

My friend, you recently asked me a question concerning grandparents and if we treat them differently than we did our children and if we love them more. Your question has been difficult for me. Since you posted I've had to dig deep into my soul, so to speak, for the clarity of an answer.

My credentials, I feel, are sorely lacking for this task, I am not a polished writer. I am a simple but well read man; if pressed I could explain Balzac's coffee habit and how he preferred its preparation, why I believe Hemingway was one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century and that James Lee Burke is the best prose stylist writing today; but I am not a writer, nor do I hold credentials in any science dealing with human behavior or complexities of the mind. I can only answer as a grandfather that loves his grandchildren. With that said, here goes.

The short answer is yes, we do. As with all simple answers the greater truth is more complicated. My friend this great love has been molded from our life experiences, for what are we if not the sum total of the life we have lived. We, the grandparents, see our grandchildren through the lenses of time.
We have with age grown patient, where we as parents held little restraint in punishment of our children, we now restrain from such actions with our now mature innate sympathy. Grandparents give freely of our time, even those of us that still work fifty hour weeks.
As young people we dealt with the daily grind of life; we worked hard to make ends meet, fought the battle of debt, mortgages, seeking the next dollar in the non-ending fight of clothing and feeding our children.

Young parents feel and are trapped in the time spanking daily routine of modern life, they wake to an alarm clock, shake off a partial night of sleep, hit the shower and grind all day. Then it is home to, hopefully, a meal, and then find themselves lost in the void of television while their precious gifts of God (our grandchildren) wait for just a moment of their attention.
Most, not all, parents are lost to the gift God has awarded them. There are exceptions of course. I know a few gifted parents, parents with maturity and enough common sense, like you, to appreciate the young ones. Even still, their love will never match, in my humble opinion, that of the grandparents. This love must be experienced to be understood. Repeating myself here, I know. Yet it's a fact I must grind home.

It is very hard, to nearly impossible, to explain to you how much and why I love my grandchild, Little Bit. What I can do, in my simple way, is try and paint a picture of how I feel. This will not be easy for me. Please, I ask again forbearance.

Without complaint or excuses I have lived a hard life. Many of us have. We deal with it or cowboy up as you Texans say. I once had an extremely short fuse. I wasn't a mean person nor hard to deal with on a daily basis. I just had a few rough edges. I seldom suffer fools, but back then it was best if they'd stay outside my range. During my years in the service I'd fight at the drop of a hat. Not a proud period of my life.
Then Sweet Wife and my son came into my life. I worked hard and gave them the best life I could. We as a family were fairly successful. Yet, I wasn't happy with my life, oh, I had my moments but still, I felt incomplete. I was stuck. My spirit was somewhere in Idaho or western Montana and here I was with my roots sunk deep in Florida.

Then, six years ago, Little Bit was born. Little Bit changed me. When I first took her into my arms my soul was set free.
My rough edges were worn bone smooth. I found myself slowing down. I didn't yell or scream or have the inclination to bust somebody's head. I've always been a protective person but now my senses and awareness of any danger for this little gift of God went into overdrive. I felt true love unlike any in my life. 

I take time with my granddaughter and I listen to her. I allocate time for her games. I freely hand out the kisses and hugs, and more importantly, I tell her I love her. I do this, my friend, because I'm older, wiser, and like I said, I see her through the lenses of time with love few young people (and her parents) will ever understand.

My son and daughter-in-law have a bad habit of ignoring Little Bit which to a degree is understandable as they now have my nine month old grandson in their home. My wife and I tried to explain the need to share their love and not forget the fact they had another child which would need equal attention.
As is the case with most thirty year old people they have listened, smiled, and with the full knowledge they are far more intelligent than Dad and Mom, ignored our advice. While at her home, Little Bit suffers in silence. She's stuffed away in her room with her toys not unlike a mushroom. This, kills my soul.

An example of the difference between grandparents and parents. Remember I love my son with all my heart, he's a fine young man, just young. My son works hard, puts in very long hours, but with this mini-depression which we all suffer, his funds are limited and he's very frugal. Stay at home wife and all too....

This past Christmas Sweet Wife and I, with understanding their Christmas would not be very merry and bright, went out and purchased extra, over the top, gifts for our grandchildren. We wrapped them and placed them under our family room Christmas tree. My wife insists we have two trees in our house. She places one, a fake but nice tree, in our formal living room next to the fireplace and a live tree in our family room across from our other fireplace.
Every Christmas we have our son and his family over for Christmas dinner. They have their little gift exchange at home then drive over later in the morning. Last Christmas my wife was in the kitchen baking or some such when they arrived. I answered the door. All, with the exception of Little Bit, went straight to the kitchen. Little Bit ran to our living room and dropped down in front of our fake tree. We do not place gifts there. I could hear her softly cry.

I walked over and sat next to her and gathered her into my arms, asked, "What's wrong Sweetheart?"

She turned a little tear wet face up to mine and said, "Papa, Santa didn't come to my house and I only got two little dolls and some candy." The little girl thought her Christmas was over and that Santa had forgotten her.

So, I, fighting back my tears too, said, "Little Bit." 
"What, Papa."
"Why don't you walk into the family room and take a look under Papa's tree. Did you forget I asked Santa to come to Papa's house instead of yours."

The words were barely out of my mouth when she ran. Then, a scream of pure joy.

For the rest of the morning she would ask me how did Santa know she wanted this or that and isn't this the best dollhouse ever. I have it all on DVD.

My love for her runs deep and I would freely give my life for this little girl.

My friend, I hope this answers your question and please forgive me if it comes across as silly or overly dramatic. I tried.


(Note: I've written this in my office at my business. It's taken several hours since I find myself jumping up and down helping my customers. Please excuse any typing errors and edit work as I just haven't the time. Thank you)

Stephen

Don't Say I Didn't Warn You.


Stolen from http://baconandeggs-scifichick.blogspot.com/.

Stephen

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Current Read

Just arrived in the mail. Silence is imminent.





Stephen

A Tidbit Of Politics

As you have by now noticed I try and avoid political scribbling. But in my humble opinion,

Mitt Romney is nothing more than a paler shade of Barack Obama.


 He is hereby awarded the second 'bucket of sash weights award.'

That is all.

Stephen

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It's The Little Things

I'm standing outside my son and DIL's home waiting for Little Bit. It's a Friday afternoon and she has been granted permission to spend the night with her Papa and Nana. I hate waiting, but it's worth it.

Finally, she runs outside and jumps into my arms, our little ritual. It makes my heart swell with my love of her.

Then her mom steps outside and yells, "Little Bit, you've forgotten your nightlight. Don't you want it?"

She turns in my arms, "No mom, I've got Papa."

It feels good to be someone's nightlight...

Memories

A nice older gentleman came into the shop this morning with an old Marble's Shotgun Cleaning Kit. He said it had belonged to an even older man that had passed. My friend and his wife helped settle the old fellas estate.

According to some research my friend had conducted on the internet the kit was at least 60 to 70 years old. I don't dispute it. The Marble's company played a big part in my youth. My father was an officer with the Florida Fish and Game Commission, and an avid outdoorsman and shooter, as such he always had a few Marble's outdoor catalogs scattered around our home.  I cannot remember a home in which we lived that didn't have an attached gun shop. I was literally raised with a firearm in my hands, a few of which had sets of Marble's famous peep sights attached.

So when my friend walked in this morning with this old shotgun cleaning kit the memories came flooding back and it felt good.



This next shot is of a tube of lube oil. My friend said his research revealed it to be Whale Oil. I will not dispute his word. But I also can't state for fact it is indeed Whale Oil...maybe one of my friends, out there, can help.






Here is a can of solvent. The print on the can is upside down on purpose. The nozzle of the can is below my thumb in this shot.





Above, cleaning patches. The kit is in excellent condition.







I miss Marble's.



Stephen

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bacon, By MadOgre



See, I'm not the only gun dude that likes to cook.

Chamber Adapters for the Survivalist

I was a young man in my twenties when I first used a chamber adapter in a shotgun. I had known of them for years having seen the ads in Shotgun News and The American Rifleman, but for some reason or another had never tried one. Then one day I read a piece written by Ragnar Benson and set out to find my own.

Chamber Adapters give you the ability to employ different rifle and shotgun cartridges in certain weapon platforms. For instance; you have a single shot 12 gauge shotgun (one barrel) and you feel the need to shoot all that .308 ammunition old Uncle Bert left you when he died, and you know you're the smartest cookie at Ernie's Shoot-em-up Sporting Goods Store, you purchase a .308 chamber adapter, and you're on the way to poaching fame.





Someone once said chamber adapters (also known as Inserts) were the poor man's suppressor. They are not as quiet as a good suppressor (or as the Fudd's and Hollywood idiots refer to them, silencer)  but they do reduce the noise of a fired shot considerably. I've used .22 adapters in an old double barreled shotgun of mine for years on squirrels and I'd be hard pressed to say any good five hundred dollar suppressor could equal its performance.


Chamber adapters have been around for many years. Marbles, the old now long gone sporting goods company, made them in the thousands. A fellow named Harry Owen made his name when he introduced the little 'Four-Tenner,' a beautiful piece of engineering that allowed one to use .410's in 12 gauge chambers.
Back before Ebay was wussyfied it was possible to find a 'four-tenner' listed for bid, but alas, those days are long gone. As of this writing Gun Broker.com has its predecessor, now made by 'Little Skeeters,' listed for bid starting at about $39.00 and up. Or you could just go to their website (Google) and purchase direct.




Chamber adapters have many uses. Like I said at the beginning of this post, my first experience with a chamber adapter was in the woods of Washington State while still hunting in the Olympic Mountains. I was easing through the woods on a hunt for Blue Grouse, the dumbest bird God ever created. They seldom flush unless you walk over and slap one up side its head. Anyway, that day I had the left barrel of my old Stevens double loaded with a .22 chamber insert and my right with 12 gauge birdshot.  
The first covey I spotted had about fifteen birds in it, all sitting on the lower branches of a hemlock and a few surrounding rocks. They seldom flush, and if you don't believe me, just ask anyone that has ever hunted Blue Grouse. Indians used stones to kill them, serious.
I lacked accurate rock throwing skills so instead used my left barrel and sent a .22 shot at the first fat bird I could get my sights on; we're talking two plus pounds of sweet breast meat here. I barely noticed the sound. Puff, like that.
It was almost orgasmic, almost.
Shot six to seven birds before they wised up and got the hell out of Dodge.


Now, without revealing much detail, I'm sure you can use your imagination and understand how chamber adapters could be utilized in the event of 'that day.'  Replace the .22 with a .357 or a .45acp, and I think you'll get the picture. A double load (or with a few differently loaded adapters in your pouch) of readiness for any situation.
Chamber adapters are also manufactured for rifles. You have .32acp for .308 & 30/06 for example. A quiet load of death indeed. Accuracy is wonderful as the adapters are rifled. It's a practical way to use all that mixed ammunition in grandma's kitchen junk drawer for practice and small game hunting.
I do recommend you place a small piece of wooden dowel in your bag for extracting (or to push) fired cases. Sometimes, but not always, the fired cases will prove to be a booger to get out. I've seldom had problems but it can happen.


Give 'em a try.

Stephen

MadOgre's Forthcoming Novel


While I work on a longer post allow me to give fair warning to the soon to be published novel by George Hill of MadOgre.com fame. His blog can be found here. http://networkedblogs.com/gD0Eg.

Should be fun reading for members of the gun culture.

Stephen

Monday, July 25, 2011

Success for the Kitchen Witch

I promise this will be the last food post for a while.






The Gumbo was great.





Thanks for the recipe Kitchen Witch, your Granddaddy knew his stuff.

Stephen

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bits and Pieces

We're back to steamy hot weather. It's oppressive and makes life outdoors difficult. I've wanted to do a bit of clean-up work on my travel trailer for weeks now and since the weather is so nice....chose this morning.

My home is covered and shaded by oaks, hickories, and two large Longleaf pines. Leaves I have in abundance. During the Spring of the year catkins flower and die and then rain down covering all surfaces with not only their spent yellow pollen but also brown dead catkin debris. My travel trailer and house suffer for it.

I gathered items needed for work, opened the trailer and set the a/c to 75. I checked the toilet and, sure as shooting, it was dry. Not a good thing. The rubber seal needs a bowl of standing water or it dries and cracks and then it's time for money, like that.

Back outside I pulled out the awning, set my step ladder and went to work. With a high pressure water nozzle I jetted out the rain gutters and cleaned the awning. Fun work in the heat, really.

It's amazing how much leaf matter collects between the awning and gutters.






Ready to clean.





I cant the awning to help the water drain.





And here is another shot, boring stuff, huh. I let it drain and dry for most of the day. Today we have sunny and partly cloudy weather. With my luck a thunderstorm will build within the hour.





After I closed shop yesterday I took Sweet Wife and Little Bit to the fish market. I needed a few pounds of fresh shrimp for today's Shrimp Creole. I'll be using my friend Kitchen Witch's granddaddy's recipe.
While we were there Sweet Wife asked if I'd prepare a fish dinner for last night's meal. I chose Vermillion Snapper, fresh from the Atlantic. We're lucky to have one of the best fish markets in the city. They get six to seven daily deliveries.
I like this little (so to speak) fish market. But, they have one heck of a nice scam. When I purchase any seafood item I always ask for the whole fish, or if shrimp, head on in the shell. I utilize the back bones and heads. and those shells, for stock. Stock is expensive when purchased. With just a little effort on my part I can have gallons in my freezer; it's prefect and adds flavor lacking in water to creoles, chowders, bouillabaisse, pilaf and other rice dishes.

Now, my friends at the fish market, with full knowledge most people only want fileted fish and heads off shrimp, keep those backbones and heads and place them on ice on the market floor with a marked price of $1.50 per pound. Think about it. You've just paid $6.99 for a pound of fish and walked out with only filets.
Fine, it's their business and if people are foolish enough to leave them another profit market, good for them. Nearly every chef in our city walks in and buys these wonderful stock ingredients at a, comparatively speaking, cheap price and present high priced meals to the same public.

 
My Little Bit at the fish market. She wanted to know if 'it' would bite.


The above was, 'it.'


Fresh shrimp from our local waters. This is for Arsenius...

Sweet Wife at the market...she doesn't know I took this photograph, hence the reason it's here...





Stock prep.













I never add herbs or seasoning to any seafood stock as it has a way of over-powering the final results. I simply bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer (most of the time) over night. Strain and freeze. With tonight's Creole I will use shrimp stock from my freezer.

But first I have several pounds of shrimp to peel and clean...see you guys later.

Stephen

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

Get Ready

Go here and read - http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jul/21/beijing-develops-radiation-weapons/, it isn't too late to get ready.

Stephen

Survivalist Library

Before I begin let me state for the record any book I post here is for research purposes only. Do not, I repeat, do not purchase these books (if you can indeed find them) and use the information found within. They are only for reading enjoyment and to further your education.

Many years ago I lived in western Washington state.  One day out of the blue I received a book catalog in the mail from a little publisher in a neighboring coastal town.  Obviously my address came from a subscribers list.  I subscribed to close to a hundred book catalogs. Many of my older readers will remember book catalogs, not so much with you younger folks.  The name on the catalog was Loompanics Unlimited. When I first read the catalog I thought to myself, "Is this stuff legal, and if it isn't, I want these books." I'm weird that way.

One of the authors listed within was Ragnar Benson. This man and I, I came to realize, were kindred souls. The publisher's number was listed on the catalog, I called. Had a brief conversation with the publisher, a nice man, small company, and before long I had not only ordered four books but was given the true name of Ragnar Benson (his pen name, which I'd never reveal as he still writes) and thus so grew another collection of wonderful books and hours of fireside reading.

I own many, but not all, of his books. Many of his early works are out of print and are very difficult to find. Oh, trust me, they are out there, just difficult to track down. Many states, those controlled by Socialist and as such no longer a part of our country, outright ban their sale. This alone is enough reason for me to find and own them. When a state tells me I can't own (or do) something, well, they've just shown their willingness to tinkle all over my/our Constitution.

I have holes in my collection because I'm one of those guys that collects first editions, when possible. If you search hard enough you will find those out of print editions. Most will be found listed on the used market at places like Abebooks.com. There you will find fifteen (15) pages of his books, paperbacks. One used copy, as I write this, is listed at close to $300.00, that's used remember, but most can be had for less than thirty dollars. Some of the very rare works, when they hit the market sell well north of a thousand dollars. Remember, it's the contents for which you're bidding and the prices are high.

Allow me once more to remind you these books and their contents are dangerous. If you have any military background at all you should understand. If you are a novice and have never had experience with weapons, explosives, traps are any of the other subjects on which Ragnar Benson writes, do not try at home. It will hurt you.

Here is a very small sample of my favorites.  Remember, many of these are illegal to sale and own in many states. California comes to mind.





Please excuse my poor photography, I took these picture with my cell phone on my desk.












Any man or woman with a set big enough to try and make C-4 on his kitchen stove will get a handshake from me.

Loompanics Unlimited was finally sold in 2006 to Paladin Press. It was a sad day for me but I thought Paladin would do right by their authors. I was wrong. The government, as is its nature, began to put tons of pressure on Paladin because of law suits filed by those in pink clogs with their sweaters draped over their shoulders with its arms crossed over their skinny little chests. Some fool read one of the books published, used the information and went out and killed a man.
They blamed the publisher.

One day I purchased a Ragnar book at one of our local gunshows. On its cover was a red tag. The red tag stated Paladin Press does not endorse or intend for the contents to be used for criminal purposes, the information inside is for information purposes only. It went on, Paladin Press will cooperate with law enforcement investigations. In other words they'd tell the alphabet agencies you purchased the book from them.
They lost all my respect. I understand why the tag was attached, but sorry, I'll buy on the black market.

Ragnar Benson has written on many subjects. He has a style all his own. Many of the subjects are very current to today's world events and should be on your library shelves. For instance.


A fine read if there ever was one.


Stephen

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Weekend Gumbo

I've got hankering for some old fashioned Gumbo. Think I'll use this sweet lady's recipe, http://bywayofthebay.blogspot.com/search/label/dinner. When you reach her page just scroll down until you find her 'Granddaddy's Seafood Gumbo.'






It should look something like the above picture and taste even better.The picture is from Deep South Dish.

I've had Little Bit here at my business for most of the day. Her mom's at the dentist and asked me to 'baby sit.'  Lucky me. Don't tell anyone, really, but we watched a Disney movie using Netflex on my computer. I'm serious, don't tell. If word gets out I might be required to hand in my Dude Membership.

Have a nice evening and I'll see you good folks tomorrow.

Stephen

Google Account

The short of it is, it's easy.  It only requires a user name and password...it's free. It just gives us blog writers a sense of well being knowing we're writing for you special people that take precious time from your busy lives to read our work. Puffs me up, too.

Thanks.







Picture posted just because I like it. Pickled eggs make me smile...and with the handgun, well, what's not to like. I came across the picture on the AR-15 website and would give due credit to its owner if only I knew his or her name. Thanks anyway unknown nice person.

Stephen

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Things We Say

 We're on our drive to summer camp. Traffic that morning was bad. The car in front of me is slow, I mean slow, and I can tell the sucker is on his cell phone. I can't move right, I'm stuck. I get, well, mad.

Me, "Mumble, mumble, sorry "bad word" so and so."

I regret my words almost immediately. I look over at Little Bit and she's turned away as if the bloomed lavender Crepe Myrtles were the most important objects in here little life. I felt bad.
We move along at a silent snails pace for a few more minutes.

Then I say, "Sorry, Honey."

Her, "Papa."

"What, Honey?"

"It's okay, Papa, he can't help it."  I glance over with one of those questioning looks we all give children. She continues, "He's only a Democrat." 

Silence. Then, "Little Bit."

"What, Papa."

"Why did you call him that?" She's still looking out the window, hasn't moved.

Her, "Papa, I love you more than orange juice,"  in a rapid little voice, quick.

My heart broke. She now thinks she's in trouble for something I said and she feels her response has placed the blame on herself.

This is all my fault and it began many months ago. It's all due to my big mouth and my impatience with others. Allow me to explain, please.

We were driving down a busy city street, and like above, a driver had cut me off. Little Bit was with me, of course, and without thinking I yelled, "Damn Democrat." She heard and remembered and had seen the person in the car.

Thirty minutes later we're standing in a checkout line at our local Publix grocery store. We're second in line. The lady in front of us is swiping one plastic card after another. Each swipe the cashier would say, "Sorry, it's rejected."
I began to mumble. Little Bit looks up at me, takes my hand and in a crystal clear very loud voice said, "It's okay, Papa, she's just a Democrat."

Now, I'm a fairly large man, I fear no human. I have a great deal of respect for others but I know my limitations and have long outgrown the need to pick fights, so when I say I wish I had had a place to hide at that moment, I mean it.

If looks could kill they would have that day. Yet, it was my fault.

Back to the ride.

I turn to Little Bit after she said she loved me more than orange juice and reached over and took her hand. Said, "Sweet heart, Papa isn't mad at you. It's okay. Please look at me." She looked over and I continued, "I love you, you're not in trouble. Papa is mad at himself and I'm sorry I said those words. Do you understand?"

Silence. We're close to her school and I feel the need to heal my habit and heal her hurt feelings.

"Little Bit."

In a small voice, "What, Papa."

"Sometimes I use words I shouldn't. Words that can hurt other people's feelings and I will try real hard not to say those words again." She's locked her little brown eyes on mine. "Please, Honey, don't repeat bad words you hear Papa use, okay."

I pull into the driveway. She sips the last of her morning orange juice. Then, "Okay, Papa, I won't."

I helped her from my truck and she reaches for my hand, "I still love you more than orange juice, how much do you love me?"

"More than the whole world, Little Bit."

A kiss and she's gone.  







Stephen

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

An Answer for Rose

Good morning, my friends.  Rose from Simple Everyday Living, http://simpleeverydayliving.blogspot.com/, asked me for the recipe for my Cajun Irish stew I built last Monday morning.

Rose, the simple fact is I seldom use a given recipe for this stew as I've been making it for well over thirty years. Guess you could say I just kinda throw the sucker together. It takes a bit of time since I almost always make a Roux when cooking stews. I love Cajun and Creole cooking methods. So, with that said, let's get 'er done.

Now, please understand I will not give set amounts, I cook by feel unless I'm using a recipe for a dish new to me.

Take a good cast iron pot, a large one. I favor Le Cresuet, but any good cast iron pot or heavy stainless steel (if the pot can't inflect bodily damage throw it away) will work. Add about two tablespoons of bacon grease and set the flame to medium high.

I use about a three pound pork roast but beef will suffice. Season to taste, and I mean season. I like to sprinkle with Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper. Any brand name will work.
Then coat with flour, and brown all surfaces of the roast. A good pecan brown, and don't forget the ends. Set aside to rest.
In the drippings of the pot add four or five tablespoons of the flour you used to coat the roast, watch your heat and adjust as necessary. Stir the Roux continually until it reaches the color of a light chocolate or a pecan, the deeper the color, the better the flavor. WATCH the heat, do not burn the Roux. Remember, stir....
A good heat resistant spatula works best for this operation.

 
Click this link for professional instructions on making a great Roux. http://www.deepsouthdish.com/  

Take two large onions (I use Georgia sweet onions) and cut fine, add three to four large cloves of garlic, and put the onions and garlic into the Roux, when it's reached the color you prefer, stir until soft.
Our next step involves stock, your choice, but I prefer chicken stock. Slowly, while stirring the Roux and onion mixture, pour small amounts of stock into the pot....stir, stir, stir.  It will thicken. (And Rose, I know you know how to do all this. Just trying to help the novices.)
When the Roux mixture has reached a little boil, reduce heat and add the following in no special order.

The pork roast, keep it whole for now.
2-3 lbs of little red potatoes
2 38oz (or 34, forget what size they come in) cans of tomatoes, crushed.
Chopped carrots, any amount you prefer, just watch the level of the pot.
Adjust seasonings.

I like my stews to simmer for at least six (6) hours. I have a gas range so I just add a simmer plate beneath. Allow the stew to just form tiny bubbles, a long slow simmer. Near the end, take a utensil and gently separate the pork roast into three or four sections, adjust seasonings to your taste. This stew is good served over rice, but I like it best served in a bowl with some classic Southern Corn Bread.



As you can see I'm not a food writer. I'm sure the sweet lady at http://bywayofthebay.blogspot.com/, written by The Kitchen Witch can treat this recipe much better than I. By the way, try her site. This sweet lady can cook.



Hope this helped, Rose. Enjoy

Stephen 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Blue Barrels

After a morning of yard work, then a cool-off period, I decided to clean and refresh my three 55 gallon blue barrels. Our first tropical storm formed off our southeast coast last evening, and for us folks living in hurricane country, we don't take these storms lightly.

I don't care how much emergency food you've stashed away for 'that day,' if you don't have ready access to clean potable water you're in deep poop. I, for example, live next to a large river, but here at my location near the ocean, it's brackish and not fit to drink without complicated filtering processes utilizing expensive equipment I not only don't own but haven't the means of procurement.  Sure there are little lakes and retention ponds in the park next door, but in a grid down lead flinging situation, I'd rather avoid the risk and instead walk into my yard and tap one of my three barrels. Besides the pond and lake water needs treatment and filtration, my barrels are pre-treated with bleach and ready to drink.

Below is one of the barrels I drained and refilled this morning. As you can see from the picture I purchased this barrel many years ago from Emergency Essentials. No, I do not receive any payment from my endorsement of the company. I've purchased many items from them over the years, some you'll see in these pictures, and they've yet to fail or disappointment me. They're good folks.







 One thing I did forget to mention; if you so desired it would be a simple matter to take your water from the barrel and filter it with a Berkley Water Filter. Just saying.


My second barrel. The barrels sit on either landscape timbers, bricks or concert blocks.





These barrels can be found fairly cheap at bottling companies, such as Coke, and some wineries. I found two at a local hardware store which had been used to ship white wine for the unholy price of five bucks each. Of course they smelled like wine too, but I didn't complain.


You will also need a bung wrench, again sold at Emergency Essentials, and a pump. In this next picture notice both on top of the barrel. The pump will reach the bottom of the barrel making it easy to remove all your water. These three barrels give me 165 gallons of clean water and with a good filter system I can use those murky duck ponds if the need should arise.






I would strongly suggest if you are new to this vast world of survival preparedness to find the following book. It's well written and comprehensive and covers all aspects of physical survival. It can be found on-line at many locations. Amazon.com has them for less than twenty dollars. My copy is well used and bookmarked beyond description.





Stephen

Take A Look

One of my personal friends has just started her own blog. Please take a moment and drop by her place and say hello. She's a fine woman and even better mother and best of all, she packs a gun. What's not to like.

http://talesfromtheclothesline.blogspot.com/

Thanks,

Stephen

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday Morning In The Rain

It's raining here and you won't hear me bitch about it at all, we need it.  I've spent the last two nights alone since my Sweet Wife has spent that time with her mother at the Mayo Clinic. So far she seems fine. Time will tell. She underwent several hours of brain surgery yesterday.

After my morning coffee I decided to make a pork roast Irish stew. Prep time was about forty-five minutes and now my house smells great. As a matter of fact my fingers now smell of fresh rosemary cut from my herb garden.

I hope all of you have a pleasant and restful Sunday. See you tomorrow.

Here's my roast settled in for a long day of simmering.

Stephen

Saturday, July 16, 2011

My First Video


I offer this video in answers to some questions on how to store your food preps....enjoy.

Stephen

Resource

For those readers new to the survival lifestyle, here is a link I believe you'll enjoy. Tons of videos. Hope you like it.

http://www.survivalistboards.com/





Stephen