I normally don't post news but I want to make this as easy as possible for many to read this fine article. It'll only take a minute or so of your time. Then, call and/or write your congresscritter. I know, it's a waste of time but at least you will be able to let the suckers know, we know. Get it.
I indeed built Her Highness the beef stew and now our house smells good enough to eat, as is. It has been a fine day filled with tinkering on rifles (Dug out scopes, gear, ammo.) and fitted a few pieces here and there. 'Nuff said.
Below, let the preps begin.
Here I've dusted the meat with seasoned flour. I browned the pieces of beef very slowly in small batches.
The stew ready for a long five to six hour simmer. When Sweet Wife arrives home from work I'll break out the bread, apply butter and we'll dig in. Ya'll come.
There's an old timer with a small farm just north of our location. Yesterday we took a quick day trip and on the way home I stopped at his farm and purchased this Mason jar of Orange Blossom. He has about twenty hives. According to him twenty hives is about all he can care for at his age.
He built a nice glass fronted cabinet alongside his garage for display. There is a sign which directs his customers to take what they want (from pints to quarts) and to slip their money into the slot cut into his garage door. Yesterday he had Orange Blossom and Wildflower available.
When I drove in he stepped outside and we chatted. He's about eighty-six, world war two vet. Nice man. I asked if he ever gets ripped off. He said no that for the most part people were honest. But, to keep folks from a life of crime he installed a motion sensor that beeps when a car enters his driveway.
His price for a pint was a reasonable nine dollars, quarts twelve. I like his handle, Beepa's Honey.
The last few dates of our kitchen calendar have been inked with, 'you shall sleep alone.'
Meaning me. She recently broke the news she plans to drive her mother to Atlanta for a medical procedure and afterwards on to South Carolina for our nephew's wedding.
Early this evening she asked if I'd please attend.
Me, attend a wedding. Now that's funny.
I don't do weddings, nor funerals. I attend rifle and pistol ranges, campfires, fishing holes, and any campsite with an old iron pot hung over a fire. I also attend, and will sign the guest book, to any gunshow. If hard pressed I'll attend county fairs, but only if it has a farm animal exhibit. Chickens and cows are cool. I have also been known to attend church, my granddaughter's school Christmas play, and boxing matches. But that's about it. I don't do crowds filled with poodle walkers and especially those known to attract metrosexuals.
She doesn't return until the second of September which gives me four full days of bachelorhood. I've plans. I should sit and put a few thoughts on a sheet of paper and make a list of those firearms I haven't shot in years and pull them from the safe. There are even a few for which have never had their pretty triggers tickled by my finger....the poor lovely lasses. They too shall be included along with select amounts of precious ammunition.
Our group meets next week at the shop and I'm sure I can recruit a few, if not all, to attend an early September range session. Perhaps make it a full day with the hours afterwards spent around a campfire with a skillet of bacon and a big pot of hot coffee and maybe even a good cigar.
Not sure though...a couple of 'em have been known to attend weddings and such silliness. One or two even wear those boy scout style shorts in public. This younger generation, I tell 'ya...
My friend and fellow group member, Senior has plans to mow the range grass and weeds to a manageable level. I've agreed to lend a hand as he's kinda busy these days with his late father's estate. We'll see.
I know Duke will be present on the firing line. He'll of course bring along his wonderful and heavy range bag filled with various morsels. I always set my gear close to Duke's. We're buddies, he and I. He's a sucker for fresh homemade peanut butter cookies. If you place a paper plate filled with the aforementioned goodness, on the bench, he gets very distracted and will often step a foot or so away from his range bag. Just saying....I baked a batch tonight and will whip out another the night before we gather to burn powder.
I should also remind myself to not forget the Tannerite.
If this doesn't worry you, well, you're a mushroom.
We previously warned of what can transpire when desperate governments
are no longer able to shoulder unbearable debts. As one can see in the
chart above, total public debt in the United States recently crossed the
proverbial Rubicon and now equals 104.95% of GDP. Though some would
argue that a healthy dose of debt is necessary to foster economic
growth, the US’s unsustainable public debt exceeds the same debt
measures of crisis-stricken Cyprus and fragile Spain, where public debt
as a percentage of GDP have been most recently estimated at 85.8% and
I can't seem to shake this routine of wide awake at zero four hundred in the dadgum morning. Even the moon remains in slumber. Owls have taken to their nest and snore. Me, on my second cup of coffee and the clock just flipped to 0502.
I'm stuck in a rut but have mastered the art of the perfect over easy egg.
I served mine on English muffins. Hint, low heat and butter.
To matters worse my newspaper is late, and I hear thunder.
The plain brown envelop arrived by mail many years ago. Inside was a simple piece of notepaper which bore a hurried note from my father, and several pencil and ink letters. It read, 'I thought you'd like these. You might want to keep them.'
The letters were written, it seems, by me. I'd forgotten them. I quickly glanced over the childish scrawl and tucked them safely away, and as is my forte, dismissed them.
Early this week the letters again came to light. I read them. The old dark memories returned. Late year 1963 my parents separated. One day we're a happy family unit, the next my mother has us bundled and driven far from our father. The reasons are still unknown to me, though I have my suspicions.
For a brief few hours, yesterday, I was transferred into a troubled younger self. A couple of the letters, one in particular, reveals a soul-torn child begging for the return of his father. I read how, without conscience awareness, I wrote and painted a beautiful outdoor lifestyle filled with game and fish filled waters, which I was sure, would appeal to the outdoorsman in my 'daddy.'
On a brighter note these newly recovered letters also showcase my ever involvement into all things outdoor related, especially firearms. Even at the tender age of twelve I was known for my sidearms while outside on the farm and in the field. I was a true product of a career law enforcement father.
I've yet to understand my reasons for posting these memories, or why I choose to share them with you. Perhaps as a record for my grandchildren. A lesson learned the hard way - time indeed heals all wounds. Yes, scars mark us for life, psyches are altered and damaged, but it makes us stronger as adults.
Without further ado and without commentary I'd like to share certain excerpts from these letters to my father. I will transfer them word for word without correction of either spelling or punctuation. Please remember, I was twelve years old.
'Hope you are doing alright tonight. I got your letter after I came back from camping. I got home this morning at about 5:30 in the morning. I went hunting about an hour ago and almost killed a ribbet but he got away.'
'Daddy thank you for the shotgun. The squrrels are alright and big and fat.'
'I have been out working for Uncle Joe (note: names changed to protect the guilty) on the land all week.'
'I haven't killed many squrrils this year yet. I'm going to get me a hunting light so I can get me some ribbits (rabbits) sure wish I would have got that one this evening but that is the way of life.'
'Love, always, Stephen.'
'How are you doing? fine I hope. Weer doing fine down here and moma is getting along good. Were in the store this morning. and I'm not doing nothing. Yesterday was my birthday. I have been planting a garden for my Uncle Joe. We have been going fishing and camping and Hunting. We have some rabbits that have 4 babies. I caught a speckled perch that was 11/2 pounds on worm. an about 13 Bream will I have to close now
by by, your son.'
.....'I have not been able to go fishing this week because we have been cleaning yards and House. There is a pair of quails that have babys and when they get big I'm going to kill them....'
....'Daddy could you send me your fishing and hunting books you have?'
'I've been hunting today and nearabout ever day this week. It has been raining all this week ever day and so I have been going hunting on our land I killed a ribbet on the run and everbody has been going crazy. I have seen all together 6 (underlined) ribbits this week. I made a bo-bo. I was trying to cock my gun and I let go of the hammer and it went off I was luckey cause it was ponting toward the ground....'
'We got another dog yesterday and he's got german and another kind of dog in it....'
'How are you this night I am getting used to my school now. Do you know how to get in toch with Ed. Nipper so I can send him a squirrel, because he wanted one. If we can't send him in the mail we can take him on vacation.'
'......Uncle Willie killed 3 turkeys one morning in the river swamp. I would have called you on the phone but I forgot your number. Brother is doing fine and so is mother and sister....'
'......Daddy do you have that one shot 12 gadge shotgun you had? if you do will you give it to me for Christmas. I just heard the news man say it is going to drop in the low 30's tonight well daddy I have to get on my spelling words good-night.....'
'I have been alright so far, I like the books you sent me they are good. I sent off for Fur-Fish-Game I ought to get them soon....'
'....the school sent me my work to make up. I had a list of math, English & Soc. Std, and science I went back to the doctor and he said I was doing good and to come back to see him in two weeks. Mother is doing good....'
'....Have you got a phone in your house? Will you send me some field & streams magazines. father do you have any Zane Gray books. I got me some greatfruit trees, I planted them in cans...'
'....I read a story in a book of a man & negro who killed a allegator that was 14 feet 10 inches long and weighed 1,500 pounds. Our bird broke his toes....'
'I have sent you a peace I got out of a True Magazine and I hope you like it.'
'......I am thinking about runing a trapline down a creek behind our house for coons and skunks and maybe opossem to get money out of their fur and send it to a company by mail. I wrote Grandpa and ask him if he had any old traps left over from when he used to trap to send them to me. I am going to try and make some money this summer by odd jobs to buy the rest of my equipment. I am writing this letter at six:25 in the morning so I will have to close. Write soon.'
'How are you doing this morning? I am alright. I have been cleaning dishes. Have I ever told you about our house. Well the kitchen has a gas stove and the bathroom has a shower instead of a bathtub and two of them lights that are long (underlined) and they are by the mirro. I wish you could come down to live. Our yard is big as a paster (pasture) that cows live in...'
'.....Daddy i have some gun blew (blue) that has 3/4 of it in the bottle that I found in some junk that I thought you would like to have. An daddy we have this old anteck (antique) pump that has an electtrick motor on it that you would get a kick out of if you see it. (Can you read the desperation in my words...) ....'An we have a little dog that is as mean as an alligator. Daddy it is fun down here their are fishing holes by the glower and lots of rabbits.
(The last sentence.)
' Daddy, mommy said she would have you if you got right with the Lord. (Underline five times.) So I wish you would. I wish you would. I love you father and I cannot find nothing else to say. Goodbye.
It's been a long and very hot day. I arrived home late and lazy so whipped out a quick dinner of sauteed porkchops, steamed fresh broccoli in stock with butter, and made simple, but tasty, stovetop stuffing from, all things, a box.
She cleaned her plate.
You remember those survival packs from last week? I've given away three. You should have seen their smiles.
During the day, in between work, there are several blogs I visit daily. Here are a few I highly recommend.
If for some reason you've missed the return of my old friend, Harry, please amble over and say hello. If there was ever a man to take the mantle of esteemed master survivalist, it's Harry. His blog, Self Sufficient Mountain Living, should be required reading for all novice survivalist. I've personally known Harry for many years and trust me when I say he lives the life. If I ever need a foxhole companion, or a man to watch my six, I'll take Harry.
Then there's my friend, PioneerPreppy. His owns a farm filled with all things good and wonderful. He's witty, intelligent, and makes, I understand, the finest honey in the Midwest. He lives the agrarian lifestyle. He's such a nice guy he even allowed me to steal the following picture. Trust me, one visit and he'll become your new daily read.
Then there's, Jess. His sharp wit and dry sense of humor make for a fine read. While you're there take a close look at his fiction. Jess is good people.
If you live within the gun culture, have a deep appreciation of the Second Amendment, and a love of God and country then you need to bookmark my friend, Rev. Paul. Reverend Paul is my adopted spiritual guide. He writes wonderful prose of his home state of Alaska, his family, and of course, firearms. I believe him, special. Please, ride over and give him your attention and don't miss his Sunday morning notes or his fine header pictures. Never know, you might miss a sighting of a Moose in his yard.
This list wouldn't be complete without mention of one of my very best friends. This man is grumpy, loveable, wise, and far more intelligent than your average bear. He slurps down my coffee, is a fine engineer, rides a Harley, collects fine old firearms, and is a veteran of Desert Storm. His name is, Duke. We're personal friends and shooting partners so I can write anything about him and he'll agree because I've seen him climb from a sleeping bag and he knows I have pictures. (If you're interested send ten dollars cash or silver per copy.)
My only complaint with Duke is he doesn't write and post frequently enough for his fans. Please, check him out.
For the last two weeks I've been neck deep in shredded paper as I give our home office a deep clean. In the process I've been pleasantly pleased to stumble upon a few lost treasures, long thought lost.
Now I ask - how many of my wise and intelligent readers can identify the item, made of leather and brass, in the middle of this picture?
I've always believed in an agrarian economic system. Much of our younger generation has forgotten America was once an agrarian nation. It was the ability to garden and farm that saved many depression era families, even those located within large population city limits.
Those little backyard gardens not only fed but provided a means of support during the deepest dark days of the Great Depression. It's quite possible the art of the backyard garden or small farm enterprise will once again save us in the very near future.
I found a very well written essay on the subject last evening during a visit to The Deliberate Agrarian. Do yourself a favor and click the link and take a few minutes from your busy day and read. I believe you'll find the essay very informative.
Please, take a moment and run over and say hello to each. And, gentlemen, I promise to always reply to your comments. It might take me a few hours, or days, and in some rare cases, weeks - but trust me, if it's within my power I shall never ignore you.
If in fact a comment has been made on any of my post and I do not respond within a reasonable time, please, bring it to my attention.
Again, thank you and welcome to my humble blog. You are now among friends.
She's in the kitchen, singing. I like that. She's happy and content after a nice meal. I made her favorite, my sauteed fish with an onion and wine sauce served with rice. Fresh asparagus steamed in olive oil, butter, red wine vinegar with just a tab of butter.
Business at the shop has been good for the last two days, too. Me, all smiles. The rain has given us a brief break. With luck our trench foot will heal.
Now for a quiet evening of soft music and a good book.
If the urge hits I might sneak over to Ebay, or some other site, and try to find a piece of old silver.
I face a ton of yard work tomorrow. After this weeks storms I need to climb back onto the roof and blow the pine straw and leaves and broken limbs back to ground - clean the gutters too. The grass needs to be cut and bailed. If you have need for hay, call me.
I feel so good I might accompany my wife to church in the morning. Really, it's possible. I'll call ahead and give warning. It's unsettling when the candles flicker and dim when I enter the sanctuary. I'd hate for some old lady to faint.
I pass this little mom and pop donut (I know, it's spelled, doughnut.) shop every morning. I seldom if every stop since I like to be able to glance down and see my belt buckle, but you know what, once in a while doesn't hurt.
Went to bed early last night which of course forced me awake at 'oh my God dark thirty.' After a quick shower and a swift brush of lips with my lovely wife I was out the door and down the road before I knew what had hit me.
Traffic was light since the morning was dark. Then the soft white glow of the 'Donut Shoppe' sign came into view. What 'da heck....I nosed the truck in and parked.
I'm a simple man. I like my pastries plain and glazed. Those sprinkles and weird fillings should be restricted to little girls and wussy boys and those that follow golf.
The girls flirted and I tipped and soon arrived at the shop and before long the smell of fresh coffee and warm just out of the grease donuts filled the office with sweet goodness.
Now covers our yard. Last evenings storm left us a mess. At least our power held as many in the city are without, at least those that haven't the sense to purchase a good back-up generator.
This morning, just before I hit the road, I snapped a quick photo of a few downed limbs. The limbs are much larger than they appear. Since I'm such a frail weak old man I need a good crew to help in the clean-up.
I shall assign each of you a work detail. You will assemble on my yard at 1800 hours. Don't be late. Refreshments provided.
Heed the thunder and listen to it sing, Wild Bill Hickok.
You should hear the thunder. Our house is silent otherwise as she reads and I type and now the lights flicker and the rain pounds hard against our roof. Our old cat cowers beneath my chair.
I thought about building another pot of coffee but I'm just too lazy to move, afraid I'll miss the show with the business of the measure and pour.
I like thunderstorms. There is something primaeval about storms that make me want to curl under a blanket and listen as the rain lulls me into sleep. Yet I settle comfortably in my chair satisfied with book and hot drink.
The winds have increased and small limbs and pine cones fall and smack the roof followed by the deep boom of another clap and the grayish green lightning flashes and brightens our world. The cat whimpers.
The outside temperature has now dropped to seventy-five. God's air conditioner gives respite from this horrid heat. I said thank you.
Now if you'll excuse me I believe I shall pull up my foot stool and read to nature's music.
This heat is so very oppressive. It's currently (I just checked) 95 degrees in the shade. The shop's a/c runs continuously.
Ants have gathered in my head (restroom) and are each in turn bathing in my toilet. One seems to be holding an iced tea.
Excuse me, I've work to do and I need another cup of coffee.
Autumn should be here in just a few weeks. Hang on.
Oh, forgot - seems I've a new follower. Since I cannot find a name it's difficult to leave a proper thanks and welcome. You know who you are....so, thanks. If you'll leave your name and/or blog, I'll respond.
A few days ago I'd watched an older lady leave the park, which is located across the street from my business, stroll down the street with plastic shopping bags tied around her feet. My first thought was, how sad.
With this Florida heat our streets and sidewalks are hot enough to fry eggs, at least sunny-side up.
There are many urban campers, homeless, that use the restroom facilities, such as they are, and sleep in the park. I notice dozens weekly. They make it a habit of knocking on my door to ask for handouts or request the use of my restroom or telephone and always, cash. I seldom give cash. Still, I feel for them - regardless of the poor life decisions that slapped the poor souls into their condition.
The evening of the old lady's walk I came home and in the quiet of our routine made mention of what I'd seen. I should have known better. Her first words were, "Oh, my Lord, that poor poor woman."
Then, her eyes grew moist and she cried silent tears. I felt like punching myself. Anyway, I then asked if she had a pair of old flip-flops. That perhaps I'd see the woman the next day and hand over the standard footwear of heat prone Florida.
Sweet Wife, "I'll do better than that. They need a care package. I'll drive over to Wal-Mart tomorrow."
"Sweetheart, please don't get carried away with this. All I want is an old pair of flip-flops."
Her, "Don't worry about it. Those poor people."
I came home the next afternoon to find this:
Sweet Wife explained how she decided to put together care packages, survival kits, for the homeless. Each one gallon bag contains; a new toothbrush with cap, wet wipes, five medicated band-aides, a new bar of soap and soap container, a tube of toothpaste, razor, combs, and two small travel bottles of baby shampoo, a small bottle of body lotion, and deodorant. She also purchased a set of three washcloths and a small towel which she laundered and placed in separate bags.
She built two sets, two for men and the rest for women...oh, and she included feminine hygiene articles for the ladies.
She didn't forget my request for those flip-flops. She purchased a set for each bag.
My lovely dear wife is a very compassionate person. She feels your pain. She lives a Christian life and I should have known better than to open my mouth, but you know what...I can live with it. The cost wasn't much at all when I think about the money I spend on books and firearms related items.
Sweet Wife's instructions to me are simple. Keep the baggies in my shop and when my doorbell rings and I find someone in need, help them. Who knows, perhaps this simple gesture of kindness, from my wife, will help someone fight their way back from the pits of hell. These people live a hard life. That small bar of soap and a new pair of flip-flops just might shove them towards hope.
She also said she'd better not see the old lady with bags wrapped around her feet or my life won't be worth a plugged nickle.
I swear I'm gonna take a day off and just read. Spent all of today in our home office shredding papers and old junk mail and paid receipts. The paper shredder worked so hard I do believe I strained its little blades.
Late this afternoon Sweet Wife stepped inside and smiled and gave me a nice pat on the rear and threw an 'atta boy' at me. As my neighbor says, 'I did good.'
During the mass sort I came across two new still in the wrapper AR magazines stamped Brownells, and about five hundred rounds of 7.62x39 I'd handloaded years ago from new components and stashed away in coffee cans...just slap forgot 'em. Isn't it nice to stumbled across lost treasure.
As I dusted my bookshelves I came upon this old tobacco tin and when I picked it from the board it gave a rattle. Inside I found about a hundred old wheat pennies. So, I thought I'd try and take a few pictures. As you well know I'm not very good at photography, matter of fact, I suck at it. Seeing as how I only use my Dingleberry phone to take photos it isn't any surprise....but, I try. Here's one example.
See Mickey? That's what you get for laughing...
The old bottle of aftershave should be thrown in the trash but I'm one of those guys with a hoarding problem. It was purchased back in the late sixties just about the time my young butt was shipped to the far east. Still smells kinda nice. Then, as a young man, any item with a duck or quail held my attention. I'm sure it only took seconds before my cash slipped from my pocket directly across the sales counter.
As I was saying, we now again, have a clean home office. It's time to kick back and listen to a few easy tunes and break out my current read. She said I've earned it.