Sunday, June 30, 2013

Oh, Baby

Come to Papa.

Show me a person that doesn't enjoy a batch of warm Beingets with a fresh cup of coffee and I'll show you a child bashing democrat voter.

Here's the link for the recipe. When you arrive zip through the wedding stuff and you'll find the recipe at the bottom of the page.



Friday, June 28, 2013

Her Gift

She gently slid the white bag to my side and said, "I hope you like it. I thought it the prefect gift for you."

Her gift to me. A Steve Bloom hand made knife. One hundred sixty-eight layers of carbon steel with a Damascus patterned blade. Hondorus rosewood grip. Nickel Silver fittings. Razor sharp.

I'm in love.

With her too.

What a nice anniversary gift. Thank you, Sweetheart.



Thursday, June 27, 2013

On the Road as a Survivalist

She bugs me when I pack for a trip. Always, it's with the, "Really, do we need a thousand rounds of ammunition? Why do you need a coil of rope. What's with the small ax? Really, two jugs of water...."

And on, and on. But in reality she'd never climb into our SUV without all 'my stuff.' Smart lady I married.

I'm an old time survivalist. Been whacking away at this weird extreme hobby since before many of you were born. I'm a Mel Tappan kind of guy. As such I tend to over plan. If travel arraignments require a drive of over two hours I lean heavily on the side of safety.

For instance...I travel with three firearms, four if you count the wife's carry piece, all chambered for the same ammunition. This trip it's nine millimeter. My folding critter getter and two sidearms. Commonality of caliber is important.

I also pack both of our 'get home bags,' and a small and very light backpack tent with room for two. Two gallons of water, and of course, our med kit. Just makes sense to me. Hey, you never know when the critters will attack.

Our drive consist of hours along wilderness two lane highways, and cell signals, even in the best of conditions, are erratic to none existent. Vehicle breakdowns, are very bad. Lord forbid Allah decides an EMP attack should take place while I'm out of town.

We stay (vacation) on an island situated in the Gulf of Mexico. Storms, love this place. Just last evening we had winds exceeding forty knots. Power, kaput. This year I made changes to my gear requirements.

I brought along a new piece of equipment.

It a small lightweight folding solar panel by GoalZero. This isn't a paid endorsement so Google it. Anyway, mine is the Nomad 7. I also purchased a companion piece, the 'Switch 8 portable recharger. I highly recommend the set. With the Nomad one is able to charge cellphones, laptops, Kindle readers and those silly little pads, and it'll give your laptop a fifty percent boost. Not bad.

If you want portable recharge power one simply connects the Switch 8 to the Nomad. After the Switch is powered to capacity one is able to pack it separately for a quick portable power boost to your cell phone or pad. Neat.

I took both of these pictures this morning.  Above, note the shadow...well that's me blocking the sunlight...sigh.

Give it a try. The set is very affordable.



Wednesday, June 26, 2013


We've arrived. It's hot and humid with just a slight breeze from the Gulf. I've several good books, the cell signal is spotty, and as I write, a thunderstorm brews offshore. I'm content.

As is the cat...

Later. Maybe.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Standing By to Stand By

I've made at least five different lists of items I need to load in our car.  I bet about half way to the Gulf I'll slap my forehead, sure to have forgotten, something.

Our vacation begins tomorrow. A week of rest and good food and books await. I might even wet a line. Then again why let a little fish interrupt a nice nap.

Now if you'll excuse me I have gear to load.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

I Tried My Best

It took him a good ten minutes to exit his car and walk the five or six feet to the shop's front door. He'd left his walker in the car. Pride. I've seen it a hundred times over the last thirty-one years of business.

The old man is bent, gray and likes battered fedora hats and blue shirts and smells like pipe tobacco, kinda brambly. He's tanned and wears a weary face full of creases and smile lines. His sharp blue eyes hold a minefield of trapped intelligence. I like and respect him. The old man's name is Lem.

I had the air set at meat locker and the smell of coffee was rich and thick when he finally achieved entrance. "Hey, Stephen."

"Morning, Lem. What's up?" He propped on his cane and pointed at one of the chairs and I came around and we both sat. I asked if he'd like a cup and when he was settled comfortably and had exchanged recent family news he went into silent mode. I went about my business and waited.

After a few minutes I stepped back into my office and jerked another cup of coffee. I heard, "Stephen."

"Yes, Sir."

Back on the floor I took a seat. "Ah, listen. I've got this old shotgun that belonged to my father. It isn't much. Just an old sixteen gauge and I haven't shot it in years cause the firing pin is broke. I think."

"No big deal, Lem. If we can't find a replacement I'm sure a nail would work." He smiled.

As we chatted about his fathers shotgun I noticed his eyes well and tears slowly slide down his face. He'd turned his head aside but tears are very hard to hide. I switched gears, "I bet you've run many different firearms in your life."

"Yeah, a few."

"What was your favorite?"

His attention had turned to the street scene. I waited as we listened to the traffic, the background music, and our hearts. I took in his old weather beaten hands with their liver spots and the rough worn cuff of his blue shirt. I noticed he hadn't worn his sweater vest - a standard with Lem. He'd complained about my air's temperature so often I'd lost count.

Finally, "Oh, I guess my favorite was the twenty millimeter cannon. I fired many a round at those Jap planes."

"Hit many?"

He turned and locked his blue eyes on me and said, "I tried my best."

He then reached and gave me his empty cup and asked for a refill. When I returned his face was soaked in tears.

"Lem, what's wrong?"

"I had to put her in the nursing home. I had to." I sat my cup on the table and placed my arm around his shoulders, and waited.

Then, "I just can't handle her anymore, Stephen. I'm just too old and her Alzheimers has progressed beyond my capabilities. It shames me. I'm a failure."

I explained how much I disagreed with his self assessment and how I felt he'd tried his best under very difficult circumstances. He removed his checkered bandana and wiped his face and then turned back to me and said, "I tried my best."

Then, I understood.

We talked for another hour or so. Just before he stepped outside I hugged him close. Like I said, I like Lem. He's a national treasure and hero, in the best sense of the word.

I whispered in his ear, "You did try your best."

I received a pat on the back. 


They're Fired

A few weeks ago I was backed into the 'ole proverbial corner which resulted in our hiring a professional yard service.  Wife said I needed to slow down, didn't have the time, was too old (really?) and needed help. I reluctantly agreed.

We hired a young couple. I walked them around our home and described exactly how I 'liked' things done. Trim here. Cut this down to there. Edge this way and please don't do this - you get the drift.

One of my pet peeves is the height of my St. Augustine grass. I like it cut high. Otherwise it suffers and the roots dry far too quickly.

Their first day on the job, they scalped my lawn.  They failed to trim the hedges. Didn't edge properly, left leaves and debris. They screwed the pooch with me. 

They're fired.

Sweet Wife has given me instructions....I'm not to work in our yard without adult supervision. So, as she sits in church services with her mother I shall dress in my grubbiest and hit the yard. I've work to do.

Time to sweat.


Friday, June 21, 2013

Bah, Humbug

Today, as you all are very aware, is the first day of summer.  Ah, yes. Watermelons, Independence Day, back yard cookouts, iced tea, and beautiful ladies in their bikinis - what's not to love.

Well, in fact, summer. I hate it. Bah, humbug. Tell me of its wonder as the season rolls into August when I can step from my cooled home into our garage and within fifteen seconds you've been turned into a puddle of sweat and your very breath could light a fire.

Okay, the girls in bikinis and the fireworks aren't so bad. You can keep the rest....


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Hey, Wanna Deal?

He's a player, always with a notebook in hand. He moves merchandise; jewelry, gold and silver bullion, firearms. You name it he'll find the stash and pass it along at whatever profit the market will bear.

I call him Grease Bear...short, hirsute and oily, forever trailing the scent of garlic. Grease Bear walks in this morning and begins with, "Hey, wanna deal?"

"What 'ya got."

He scratches his nose, flips his pad. "I got eight thousand five hundred rounds of .22. Can you move it for me?"

"How much?"

"It's a deal man. Only $1,400.00."

I held back the laughter.

"What. You think my price is too high...maybe..."

I cut him short, "Look man. I'm sorry but there's no way in hell I can move twenty-two's at that price. If anything I encourage everyone to wait and allow the market to settle. Supply and demand will correct these silly prices."

Him, "Okay. Sure man. How about some nine's?"

He gave me his price. Again, I held back the laughter.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

To your father, and mine.

Happy Father's Day.

I love you, Dad.


Little Bit & Pieces

A few days ago, "Honey, next Saturday I'm driving north and will bring my mother here. She plans to stay for a week."

"Really....ah, okay."

Just like that...

When she arrived I stood and gave the 'ole reach out my hand routine. She gently slapped it aside and instead gave me a hug.

Shucks...felt so loved I had a cup of coffee ready when she came out this morning, dressed in black, ready for church.

She likes to stay in character.


(Late afternoon, June 12th)

When I'd reached the main isle of the market I began the search for the frozen section with my focus on the overhead signs in search for icecream. I found my target and was about to make the turn when this flash of red, low down, caught my attention and I immediately tried to step aside in order to avoid a collision.

Instead, the little girl wrapped her arms around my waste. Total and complete shock. I looked down and realized the tiny girl in the red dress was my Little Bit and behind her was a shopping cart held by her father.

So many thoughts and emotions ripped through my mind and I knew I had but milliseconds to react. I reached down and took her and kissed and hugged and kissed again and tried to soak/absorb as much of her as I could because I knew or thought for certain he'd jerk her away and run.

She hadn't said a word. She just held me tight. After a few seconds she looked up into my face with the most wonderful smile and I again bent and whispered into her ear, "I love you. Nana loves you," and then, "Are you happy?"

She smiled and said, "Yes, Papa. I'm okay." She released me and took a step back and in a happy kind of way said, "Now, Papa, take a picture for Nana."

I reached, in desperation, and took her back into my arms, hugged her again, and took the first photo. For the second picture, she stepped back, and I took a full body shot. Her father remained still, head down, almost as if he were embarrassed.

With Little Bit back in my arms I turned to him and extended my hand. We shook. I asked after his welfare, life, work and he shyly answered. Things weren't good. Money is tight. He'd asked for a raise and was refused. His company (Acura) had even cut vacation pay. His wife, Little Bit's step-mother, refused full time work. Same old story.

I reminded him he needed to visit his mother and expressed her love of him. Only a nod in return.

As we spoke I gave kisses to Little Bit. As the old saying goes, I had eyes only for her. She told me she'd graduated to third grade and I replied of course you did, Honey. Then I turned back to her father, my son, and said, with care, "She's awful thin."

"She eats like a horse. Can't put weight on her." I smiled and said, "Yeah....she is her father's child, after all."

He has rules. His rules exclude sweets, any fats, and starches.

Little Bit, during this brief and unexpected encounter remained fairly reserved. She held me during the entire visit. When I'd ask a question she'd quickly cut her eyes in his direction, but she'd answer, in each instance, all of my questions, in a tiny whisper. I wanted so badly to take her in my arms and walk out, to take her home to her Nana. To protect her and feed her and love her. But, the law is on her father's side. I'm just her grandfather, a void in the legal system, and his wife is the law in their home.

Bitter, aren't I. Such is life.

Twice I asked if he'd please visit his mother and try and restore life back to normal, for all of us. My queries were answered only in nods. Never a vocal affirmative.  

And then, she was gone.

We had all of five minutes.


As you may have noticed I haven't written much of late. There is a reason. First, business has increased, and secondly I have been slowly weaning, ever so carefully, myself off most of my heart medications. The side effects of all these medications are awful. Muscle problems, cramps, lack of sleep, fatigue.  Before the doctors saddled me with all these pills I was a fairly active, I feel like a piece of, well, crap. Unfortunately there is a price when you begin to drop medication from your daily routine. I understand and will take precautions, but why on earth should a person need two cholesterol drugs when one should suffice.

It'll work out in the long run.


Take care out there.


Friday, June 14, 2013

A Little Red Dress

On my way to the ice cream isle I almost collided with a little girl in a red dress. I stepped aside to allow her to pass but the little girl in the red dress instead wrapped her arms around my waste.

I felt love, once again.

We had all of five minutes.

She's so very thin and tiny. And, to me so very beautiful.

When I have composed myself I'll relate the story.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Bits & Pieces

Our weather has turned intensely hot. Late yesterday afternoon a high of ninety-eight laughed at me from the shade and begged me to step outside and play. I graciously declined.

My mother in law called and informed me I haven't written a word in several days....guess I've been a baaaaddddd boy. I beg your pardon. Have I mentioned it's hot....


Last Sunday the rain moved into our area. Since outdoor work and play was out of the question I chose to take the afternoon and reorganize our 'get home bags.' Mainly my main medical kit. Since we both have GHB's I keep small and light med kits in each but I have one large medical kit that stays in my truck at all times. I transfer it and my bag to our SUV when we travel.

I've been remiss in my routine maintenance. Get home bags should be inspected seasonally, and medical kits (if you have one) are often overlooked.

 Above, here's a little kit I keep in Sweet Wife's personal GHB. I found the container at a local antique shop and just added the contents. I'm not a big fan of box store prepacked 'first-aid' kits. Save money and build your own.

See the two bottles at the top of the photograph, one contains aspirin, the other Advil. When I checked both were at least six years old. Not good. Dump and refresh.

Above, my main kit.

When opened it unfolds into three units.

Contents of unit three. I checked expiration dates and those expired I replaced with new.

Above, a simple surgical kit. I keep six types of sutures ranging from catgut to silk to a plain roll of sewing thread. To the left of the kit is an Israeli battle dressing. I keep about a dozen on hand.

Since we have a trip planned for the last week of June I also dug into our GHB's and did a bit of reorganizing. I'll give you a rundown in a few days.

Until then, stay safe out there.




Saturday, June 8, 2013


If you still have a Facebook page or use Twitter, I must ask, why....

Is it so important to you to bare your soul before the minions as the government sits back and laughs. What price are you willing to pay for your freedom?

Poor George, he tried to warn us.

Think about it.


Friday, June 7, 2013

The Storm

Our early tropical storm has passed. She spawned a few tornadoes and in turn they ripped a few out at the Naval Base and towns further north, but we're fine.

My storm, too, has passed. I've tucked it deep and far away, for now, and have chained the door.

Today I plan to read as work allows. It's the quiet moments I like best of all.

Until then.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Good Morning

Here's a big hello and welcome to two new followers, SteveierayV and Joe Schmo. Gentlemen, I promise to always reply to your comments.

Please, drop by and say hello. Each have very unique blogs.


Tropical storm Andrea seems determined to wash our area out to sea. I awoke to pounding rain which I'm sure has my old cat in a tissy. I actually used my worn yellow slicker, for the first in many years, for the walk to my truck.

Suffice it to say, I'm still wet, and get this...arrived to work to find my coffee mess absent cream for my morning brew. Long day ahead.


Today marks one year since I've held my Little Bit. One freaking lousy year.

I'd planned to write a longer piece, to her. It isn't possible. I haven't the mindset at this time. I'm sure I'd break down, and the urge for a kill shot is just too great. Maybe tomorrow.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Going Home

Stumbled upon this interesting book while browsing around It and book two have been downloaded to my Kindle.

I'm fairly certain I'll like it. 

Think about it. Click here.


New Survavilist Magazine

At your local newsstand (if you still have such near you) this August.

Information, here.

For those of you below the age of ten you will probably refer to this magazine as a 'Prepper' magazine  So be it. I'm still old school.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Jesus and a Saline Drip

She just wouldn't shut her mouth. Every five seconds it was, "I gots Jesus. You hear me man, I gots Jesus. Bless the Lord, Jesus is coming and I'm his friend and f*ck you anyway you motherless child of God."

Over and over. Loud. She made my head hurt. She was a certified meth-head.

I was in emergency room two. The crazy drugged out woman occupied room three. I was trapped with her for over four hours. Sweet Wife kept me company.

My nice little attending nurse smiled at me and said, "She has issues."  I replied, "You think."

Sweet Wife didn't crack a smile. She was worried; she'd insisted the medics give me a thousand dollar cab ride to the world of horrors. Sweet Wife was also the reason half my chest had been dry shaved for the leads and horrible sticky attachment points, and it was her worry which lead to the saline drip. I explained this to the nurse. Nurse said, "Of course, she loves you." Like that.

I'm fine.

Yesterday, as I mentioned to Rev. Paul, I had yard work, chores, to complete. I dug a few holes, fixed a few sprinkler heads, and then trimmed hedges. Not long after Sweet Wife arrived home from church she joined me in the yard. We enjoyed typical Florida weather, hotter than Hades and very humid. Then, after I dipped to grab a handful of leaves and brush, I darn near fainted. Pain followed. I quietly excused myself and went inside.

The pain increased, then spread its insidious way across the back of my shoulders and down my arms. I took my very first self administered nitro tablet and an aspirin...took a sip of water and tried to dry my sweaty body. Then I said a silent prayer and asked the Lord to take care of my wife. Hey, I'm way of ahead of the game. If it's my time, I'll take the stairway.

She found me in the bathroom, and a few minutes later dialed 911. They gave me the long ride. I hate hospitals.

The woman in room three screamed again, and again.  I turned to the nurse, "I'm fine now, release me." She simply smiled. Sweet Wife gave me, 'The Look.'

The nurse stuck another needle in me and said, "I'm sorry. We can't release you. You must stay until the doctor sees you."

The crazy drug fueled Jesus loving democrat screamed. And screamed. And screamed. I searched my pocket for the little Old Timer knife. Found it. Hey, emergency rooms are dangerous.

Finally the doctor arrived. He was younger than my socks. Said, "Acute renal failure."

I said, "Let me out of here."

The woman screamed, "I gots Jesus oh yes I do. You hear me, bitch, I gots Jesus."

The doctor grimaced, and I'm fairly certain he wanted to suck on his thumb. I jerked a few wires from my chest and began to cut the pulse monitor from my finger. My Old Timer is very sharp.

Sweet Wife and the nurse were not amused.

From room three I heard a yell for security. Jesus had arrived and the crazy lady wanted to ride her meth high to heaven and kick ass. She yelled, "Me and Jesus gonna kick your ass motherf^ucker." I believed her...

They asked me to sign a 'against medical advice release form.' I said, "No." Then, "Well, then, we advise you have a stress test within three days." I glanced at Sweet Wife, sighed, and lied, "Sure."

Like that. Hour later I'm walking to the car.

Like I said, I hate hospitals.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Oh, Baby

Come to Papa...

Recipe, here.

If, and it's a big if, I finish my outside chores early and am able to remove the dirt and grim quickly, this wonderful desert will find its way to my table this evening.

Our markets are currently filled with fresh strawberries. Ya'll come.


Out of the Wash

This morning I walked into the family room to find this.

A pile of freshly washed cash. It worked. The money smells just fine. Guess it'll take me a bit of time to sort, straighten, and stack but at least it doesn't stink.

Now I must excuse myself. The yard awaits and I have a few irrigation sprinklers to either repair or replace and my gutters need attention. Truthfully, I'd rather just kick back and read all day, but you and I both know that isn't possible.

Later, and hey, be careful out there.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Laundered Cash

He came in and asked about the Remington shotgun, an 870 and she was a beauty. The moment he fondled her stock and racked the slide I knew he was hooked.

"You can't come off the price just a little, can you?"

I glanced away to take in the beautiful weather. We've had good strong winds and I wanted so badly to be outside. I gave him a smile, "No, my friend. I'm sorry, but I've cut the price to the bone as is and you know she's worth at least three hundred more than my asked price."

As he stroked the Remington I daydreamed of fishing poles and a kid with a battered tin can of wigglers and a long lost creek of cool tannin stained water and the heavy pleasant pull of redbreast and bluegills. Again, he interrupted with, "Stephen, hey Stephen."

"Sorry. What?"

"I'll take it. Listen, is it okay with you if I run to the ATM? I haven't got enough cash."

I said, "Sure."

Nice fella. Half way to the door he turns with, "Hey, Stephen. Listen, would you be willing to take two hundred in one dollar bills? Thing is, I save money by never spending my ones. I just throw them into a box at home. Kinda of my way of saving for a rainy day. I'll pay the rest in twenties. Is that okay with you?"

I thought it over for all of two seconds. "Sure, cash is cash." Like I said, he's a nice man. His son is currently humping the ground of Afghanistan, a Marine. The 870 is a gift to his son upon his return.

He leaves. I returned to my daydreams. About an hour later he walks in with a cardboard box and dumps a pile of cash on me...and I do mean dumps. Thing is the moment he removed the lid from the box this smell, this arid acid tinged odor of aged cigarette damn near slapped me to the ground. I gagged, literally.

I'd overlooked the fact the buyer smoked. So, there I stood with a pile of loose cash. My friend and I shake hands and he leaves with his shotgun and I turn to this pile of, well, stink. Fast forward a few hours and I walk into the house and set my satchel on the kitchen counter. I remove the bundle of money and instantly our kitchen is overwhelmed with the stink. Sweet Wife isn't happy.

We discuss my bad judgement and before I can blink I'm pushed into the laundry room. She has a firm grip on her nose. She hands me an old pillow case, points towards the dryer and gives me a few sheets of fabric softener. I bundle the bills inside, tie a knot and throw the mess into the dryer. Didn't work.

I hope, I mean I really hope, the cash makes it through the washing cycle without damage....