Monday, December 31, 2012

At Last

This year is almost over.

Happy New Year.

Be safe out there.


Sunday, December 30, 2012


I lived in Great Britain I'd bid on this.

She just appeals to me.



The weather is cold and clear and I hear the wind and outside a squirrel barks its warning at some stray cat. These tiny sounds equal peace and quiet for me. They're soothing music, how the wind whistles and the clear cold day amplifies natures voice. There, hear that, a train on the far side of the river, its whistle, pushed by the wind, only now reaches me.

I stepped outside a few moments ago to take in the river and found it white capped and my neighbor's boat rocked under the wind from where he has it slung high under his boat shed. His citrus needs to be picked.

This would be a great day to burn a few hundred rounds at the range. Maybe break out my M1A as it's been a while since I've put the old girl through her paces. Then again with the cost of ammunition I'd flinch with each shot and say, "There goes another dollar."


This morning, early, I eased from my dreams with the sound of my wife making preparations for Sunday school and church. I almost climbed from bed to join her. It's cool enough to wear tweed and it's been a while since I attended services with her. I know she'd like the company and indeed worries for my soul but the Good Lord and I still have differences. He is, I'm sure, aware of my respect for his word. Yet, I'm still not ready for the structure of same.

My church is located in the quiet places of His earth. My sweet wife isn't truly aware of the agreement I hold with the Lord. He and I do understand each the other and our agreement is written in blood. His and mine. One day, perhaps.

Now, with the above in mind, I should attend far more frequently if for no other reason than her happiness. When I picture her, alone on the pew, while other families gather together for worship, it pains my heart. I guess I've painted my reluctance in the color of selfish.


I've finally whittled my 'to read' list to under fifty or sixty books. I purchased Monster Hunter Legion early this year and only last night began the novel. Larry Correia is a fine writer. My recommendation isn't worth a gram of salt so I won't waste your time with the same, but I like it. It sure helps kill a few hours.


As I mentioned it's cold out and yet I should still break out my ladder and gloves and blower and climb onto our roof and blow the accumulated pine straw and oak leaves back to ground. The gutters need attention too.

But, you know what, I think I'll build another AR. Speaking of which I ordered a twenty inch fluted upper the 18th. I checked the vendors web site yesterday and its still listed as 'in process,' whatever the heck that means.

The weather gives good excuse to stay inside and fiddle. Then again, I bet when Sweet Wife walks in from the garage she'll make excuses why we should 'go somewhere.' She's like that you know...

Take care.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Thanks, John

My friend, John, over at The Simple Life, recently posted his dear wife's recipe for hamburger stew. Today, after I closed the shop, I hit the market for the ingredients then flew home and made a dutch oven full of happiness.

John, please tell your lovely wife it was a big hit. The only change I made was the addition of Cajun spices. Sweet Wife double dipped. With our windy wet day it sure hit the spot.



Friday, December 28, 2012


I'll answer comments soon, please give me a bit of time. I almost have this new computer personalized to my quirky nature. This strange new keyboard is driving me slowly nuts.

But hey, I like it.

As I type Sweet Wife is deep into a British Midsomer Murder mystery. I glance up once in a while and catch a bit...not bad.



Early Morning Ramble

Still cool here at 38 degrees. I love it.

I arrived at the shop early this morning. On the ride here I was shocked to see we'd had a twenty cent increase in gasoline prices. Bugs me as I need to refill my trucks tank.

Stand by as I jerk another cup of coffee.

Ah, better.

Six geese just shot their way over the shop cutting the air hard on a southerly course. If such had happended in my youth I'd have been outside with a shotgun barrel pointed in their direction. Now, I just smile and admire. They make such beautiful music.


Okay...I've taken advice, from you dear gentle readers, and have ordered a new laptop. I went the Sixbears route and did an online order from Wal-Mart. That, was a hard decision to make as I'd sworn to never ever again purchase from those folks. Ah, isn't life a cruel mistress.

With his advice in mind I tried to order the lowest priced laptop on their site with the features I need but in the end chose a model with a slightly higher retail price. Seems the inexpensive models lack wi-fi.

Still, this new computer only set me back half the price of my Dell laptop - happy happy me. Half, mind you. My new computer is the HP 655 (C1B96UJ) with a 15.6 inch screen. 

Anyway, whoop-tee-do...big deal.

I just use the darn things to write and surf. Long as it works I'm happy. Okay, did I screw the pooch or do well in my choice?


When I spoke of the price to Sweet Wife - the next day, she smiled and said I remind her of Hetty Green. I'm sure many of you know of this gentle and kind woman. Bet you didn't know she's my hero. Love the old girl. By the way if you haven't as yet read her biography, try and find a copy (not easy) and spend a rainy day with it. Very good read. Actually there are two bios but the one I like is titled, 'The Witch of Wall Street.'

Some have said, unflattering of course, I'm tight with a penny. Don't believe them, even if you do see me out and about searching the sidewalks and parking lots for Lincoln's image.


Some have asked....

Yes, I've only recently finished with the mind altering medications. Thank you. I feel so much better.

God bless you all.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Little Christmas Surprise

We received a Christmas surprise, a gift if you will from our son. A picture.

Christmas Eve, we packed our gifts to Little Bit and her little brother and with the cover of darkness quietly pulled into our son's driveway and I jumped out and placed the gift bags on his front porch.

For those of you in the know, you'll understand. We were in and out within seconds.

We then spent a lonely Christmas day together. Sweet Wife spent most of the day in tears.

Then, this:

Her picture arrived via text message. You must understand, we haven't seen her for seven  months. We were shocked at how much weight she has lost. She's so very thin. Little Bit has always been tiny but  now, excuse my language, but damn. Still, we're thrilled.

In the photo she holds a doll from her Nana. The son only sent the one picture.

But, there she is, my Little Bit, my heart.



Clear and Cold

We have, this morning, a beautiful clear and cold day. Thirty odd degrees when I walked out this morning, and guess what, my truck fired without a problem; aren't new batteries great. Frigging things sure are expensive.


Quiet this morning, so I'll write a bit longer....let's see, oh, one headline in the morning paper caught my reported we shall have a new Bass ProShops. Well, well, well...isn't that wonderful. Can't wait.

I bet Gander Mountain and the metro-sexual Dick's Sporting Goods and Academy Sports are just jumping with joy.


As I've said, it's cold outside. With the wind chill, numbingly so. I'd barely jerked my first cup of coffee when I heard a light knock on my front door. I thought, 'democrat,' as they can't read and there are instructions posted, simple instructions, on how to gain entry.

Anyhow, I opened the door to find a lady dressed lightly in sweater and jeans, and her feet bare other than a pair of flip-flops. She looked absolutely miserable.

I did not invite her inside. 'Nuff said.

She asked for money and was more than willing to provide a service in return. Now, here's the thing. My first inclination was to just close the door. But, when I took a careful look into her eyes (and trust me, I've had this same situation happen to me many times over the years) her eyes reflected such pain and agony, and she appeared so neglected and hopeless I just could not turn her away empty handed.

I know, I'm easy, a sucker if you will but there it is...

I gently refused her offer and placed a twenty in her hand. I asked if she'd like a cup of coffee to go (I have throw away chipped mugs galore) which she gently refused.

She broke into tears and said, "Thank you." 

Ninety percent of the time I refuse to support their habits. I'm not even sure this young woman (she couldn't have been more than thirty) has a habit and don't really care, but something about her softened my otherwise hard heart.

Blame it on Christmas.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Elk and Yellow Snow

(Note: There is neither rhyme nor reason for this reflection, I simply felt like writing during the silence of Christmas. As you read please understand I write this only for the remembering of things past.)

Well before sunrise and without the aid of alarm he climbed from bed and dressed head to foot in wool. His trousers were well worn European army surplus and fit well. They were slipped over his red long-johns and finished with braces branded with a popular chainsaw logo.  His bedroom was cold and when he parted the curtains found six inches of new snow dusted his truck. He smiled.

Downstairs he centered his packed gear on the kitchen floor. He expected to be gone three days, if weather and luck permitted. A north wind blew as he took down his long abused Thermos and filled it with coffee, and then packed his travel lunch.

At last he laced his boots and tiptoed back upstairs and bent and placed a warm kiss to her cheek. She whispered, "Careful."

Outside he lit a cigarette and then used the flame of the Zippo to warm his truck key. He pulled from the driveway and the truck tires flopped until the road returned them from their frozen state back to round. Two hours later he began the risky move over Blewett Pass. Many thought him nuts for the attempt; a lone traveler that dared the risk of an often snow closed pass into the Cascade mountains, to hunt alone in such a vast wilderness - yet he cared less. He liked solitude, now.

The late elk season appealed to him. He'd waited, on purpose, until the bugle season was finished which thinned the crowd of the amateur, truck riding orange vest house ape types. He preferred the silence.

He drove in this silence.

He'd only arrived home a few weeks prior. They had reunited, and he'd worked hard to regain a normal life. They shared a business, a tiny street front building which gave onto a brick paved street embedded with railroad tracks which lead to the waterfront lumber mill. 

As an aside to their business he'd taken to quietly investing in the private purchase of local firearms; the odd hunter's rifle, and once in a while, a handgun or two. Just a hobby. Along with the antique furniture he purchased refinished and sold, he'd clean and repair the guns and turn them over at a very small profit. He didn't like attention and kept the hobby as much under the table, so to speak, as possible. License holders, government boot lickers, were fools as far as he was concerned. He'd have none of it.

Even then he'd taken another job with the local lumber company. He liked the work, though hard, it kept him in the mountains. He worked among the tall timber and wildlife and the cold clear mountain streams and daily placed his boots upon virgin ground. In the off season as the weather ran the crews from their jobs he'd bid on cedar stumpage which gave him license to fall dead cedar trees for the shack  mills. Work, allowed his mind peace. 

Four hours on the road and into the eastern Cascades he entered the elk grounds. He selected a campground far from the road deep in a Ponderosa grove and stepped from the truck and stretched his stiff lanky frame. The ground was speckled with snow. He listened. Wind pushed the trees and a raven cawed and he faced the gray sky and took a deep breath of the freshness of the leaf mast and felt the cold air caress his exposed skin. He guessed the temperature at just a bit above freezing.

He remembered she'd said, "I wish you'd take a friend."

He smiled and asked, "Why?"

"Because, you might have an accident. Then what? How will you get help? Why do you want to always be alone? Aren't you afraid?"

He'd never understand how people in this country could be afraid.

He walked back to the truck and removed his gear and stacked it on a flat area of ground then strapped on his handgun, a time worn Ruger, and moved into the timber for firewood.

Later, he placed a grill over red coals and set a pot of coffee to boil. Only then did he begin to pitch the canvas tent. The tent was far larger than his needs, but one made do. It took him almost an hour to pitch the heavy chunk of canvas, its folds moldy and filled with countless tiny holes. The old tent held evidence of many hunts and inside he tried as best as possible to sweep the bit and pieces, traces of long forgotten camps, from its floor.

Soon the wind intensified and traces of snow danced over the campfire. He made a simple meal and after walked a few yards to the stream and filled a bucket with water and returned and placed it just outside the glow of the fire and sat and smoked. The temperature dropped. Other the the whisper of the wind the mountains held their silence. He reached for his rifle case and removed the Remington 760.

Its wood was smoothly polished with age. It was an older model of 1952 and wore a nondescript fixed four power scope, a piece of junk he was sure would probably have fogged lenses before the weekend came to a close, and if so he'd decided he'd just remove the offending thing and throw it into the bushes. Even though the mountains required scoped rifles he still preferred iron sights. But, scopes had their place when one needed to glass far ridges for bedded animals.

He's stolen the rifle in the sense the man from whom he'd purchased it was in a bad way and his asking price laughable. He'd taken the rifle home and after a good cleaning had taken it out and placed three shots of 180 grain soft points on target in the shape of a clover leaf. The placement of each had touched the other. The 760 had earned its reputation of accuracy for a reason.  

He wiped the old rifle and placed it back in its case. He rose and with Coleman lantern and heater in hand retired to his tent. The wind pushed hard on the canvas, and with its porous skin, the interior was cold and he welcomed the warmth of the goose down bag and was soon asleep and the snow fell hard and he dreamed.

Cold woke him. He eased to his elbows, the sleeping bag held tight, to find the foot of his bag covered in wind drifted snow. The night before he'd positioned his feet at the entrance of his tent and sometime during the night the wind had work the ties loose and he now found his feet covered in what felt like a block of ice.

 "You know, you should take my brother. He loves to hunt and he admires and looks up to you. He thinks of you as his big brother."


"Why not. You used to take him hunting. You guys fished together, worked the woods."

He again said, "No. Enough."

She cried. He didn't understand her concern. She stood at the kitchen stove over a skillet of salmon patties. He was at the kitchen table and nursed a cup of coffee. He'd missed coffee.

Her family was concerned too but not about his solitary trips into the mountains. They consoled her, made remarks about his so called change of personality. They said he'd grown angry and perhaps they needed children. They said he could not be trusted and space was available at the local quacks office.

He'd continued to make detailed plans, a list. She'd had a change of heart. He felt better about himself and had broken out his gun cleaning kit and soon smelled of Hoppe's Number Nine.

His Remington had, so far, taken six elk and countless Blacktail and Mule deer. He wanted another elk, a big bull if possible, but he did hold a rare cow tag. Besides, his freezer needed the meat.

After a quick snack and coffee and just before the sun kissed a far ridge he began his walk. His steps were silent in the fresh snow. He knew the path by heart. Over the stones of the stream and a short climb he descended into the next valley and crossed an old clearcut and found his stump. He sat, positioned his rucksack alongside and placed his rifle across his lap and assumed the position of frozen in place.

A light snow fell. He waited and watched. He never moved. Discipline is a gift. He remembered.

He'd arrived home with a slight limp. Some immediately noticed but others had pretended not, which was fine with him. If his boots were properly laced the limp was barely noticeable and at times he found himself making attempts to walk normal, and once or twice he'd made excuses like, 'oh, just a sprain,' until he'd said the hell with it and told a few it was none of their damn business.

He'd found the game trail a month earlier. He driven over for birds and he and his lab and worked the area very carefully. When he'd returned home with a bag of grouse and quail he also carried the knowledge of the elk sign and knew he'd return. He knew the elk would move to lower elevations with the first snows of the season and he knew they'd move along these trails and he'd chosen his hide with care and the stump provided the perfect elevation and gave him a great platform for his shot.

If necessary the stump gave enough area for him to use the prone position for long range kills. He liked stumps.

He occasionally glanced at its surface and made attempts to count its rings and thus its age. The snow slacked after about an hour and he'd almost decided to risk a quick pour and sip of coffee when the elk appeared like tan and brown ghosts at his three o'clock. He waited. All cows at first but he was sure a bull would break from the tree line when the herd moved far enough into the clearing. The bull never made an appearance and his patience almost cost him a cow. The rifle rose and he gathered the sight picture and made calculations and within seconds an afternoons work settled to ground.

He marked her place and stayed with the stump. After a cup of coffee he stood and made a yellow spot in the snow. He laughed and remembered what an old timer had once said to him about yellow snow and camp coffee and how the old timer's six friends at deer camp claimed he made the best coffee west of the Rockies. When asked his secret of great camp coffee the old timer said he only used yellow snow.

He returned to camp and gathered his pack frame a cruising ax and saw. He returned and quartered the animal after he first carefully wrapped the heart and liver and was happy he'd have liver and onions for dinner. Six trips to camp and he had the young cow hung. Overnight the meat would freeze.

She asked, "If you get one the first day you'll come home early, won't you?"

The next morning he caught six nice but very small trout from one spot on the stream. He'd fried them in butter and along with a full plate of hashbrowns had the best breakfast he'd eaten in many years.

After his simple meal he'd taken his radio and dialed in the weather. He had time, but it was best to not push his luck. Besides, she had expected him yesterday. He packed his gear, took down the old canvas tent and loaded his truck. Reluctantly, he drove home.

"How was it?" He smiled and remembered.


"You feel better?"

"Yes. I see we have fresh snow."

"It hasn't let up since you left. By the way, my mother has invited herself to dinner. Hope you don't mind. She was worried about you."

He reached and took down his old enamel ware coffee pot and turned towards the kitchen door.

"Where are going with that?"

"Thought I'd get some snow for coffee. I remembered an old trick for great tasting coffee. I'm sure you and your mother will love it. Besides, Dixie needs her afternoon walk."

He loved his lab...






Went my truck battery this morning.

First the computer, then my truck battery.

You do not want to mess with me this morning....


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

They Shoot Horses Don't They

I'm six seconds from taking this laptop for a walk. When I have it outside I shall put it out of its misery with a well placed chunk of lead.

Its a Dell, and its less than two years old and cost me close to nine hundred dollars, new. Last night I sat it aside to run a quick errand and when next I hit the fire control the sucker gave me a beep code. Six beeps - processor failure. Now, it takes about twenty hits of the power button, on and off, to fire this sucker to life.

A quick search of the web informs me I need to trash it.

The sucker works fine once its fired and running.

So tell me, what brand of laptop do you recommend? I only use this critter when I'm home or on the road and do require wi-fi.  Any ideas...

p.s., if I fail to reply to your comments remember this computer is close to death. I shall reply from my office tomorrow morning.


Merry Christmas

On this blessed day, the birthday of our Savior, I wish each of you, a very Merry Christmas.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Her Last Gift

It was a very small Christmas tree and sat atop an old RCA radio cabinet, one of the fine polished oak models built prior to the war. The radio gave forth Bach. My mother stepped back after she so gently adjusted its volume. She loved Bach. Christmas and Bach she held, were like cream and sugar with afternoon tea.

It was to be our last Christmas together, a fact of which we were both aware.

My mother was so very poor.

The four of us had gathered in the small room and took seats where possible. I remember my brother and sister sat either side of my mother, a small woman of delicate lines with waste length dark brown hair and high fine cheek bones which reflected her American Indian ancestry. Her eyes dark enough to reflect sunlight under still waters. She was beautiful in both soul and outward appearance.

She remained very still had held both my sister and brother's hands and bowed her head. We respected the silence as she cried then composed her thoughts.

I was the older child. Four and five years between myself and my brother and sister. My next step into life would, as a result, take me forever from her home. There was a war. I had taken the oath. We together held fear in our hearts. Life isn't easy.

She began to pray, her voice soft and sincere. Her message to our Father has been lost to the shadows of time but is still recorded in my soul. A simple prayer of love for the season and a gentle request of protection.

As she prayed I remember the warmth of her old oil heater. The flames within so often a comfort to me under the roof of her simple and cleanly organized home built with the few dollars she'd earned from long hard hours at the local hospital. 

She said, "Amen."

Then, she rose and took two of three gifts from beneath the tree and placed them in my brother and sister's hands. I watched as they quickly unwrapped their presents. I remember neither. They both smiled as we'd each discussed and agreed prior to this day. They gave thanks and prised her for such wonderful and thoughtful Christmas gifts. 

She bent and placed her hands on either side of their faces and gently kissed their foreheads. I waited.

My mother then returned and took the one remaining gift and reached and took my hand in hers. "I'm sorry," she said, "But its all I could afford but the name on the bottle reminded me of you. It seems to describe you so very well."

It was a bottle of cologne. Trouble, by Mennen. I smiled.

 I rose and took her into my arms. This small beautiful woman so full of grace. A woman attracted to books and music and art with a heart of pure gold.

It was her last Christmas gift to me. A gift of poverty, given with love.

I never used the cologne. It has traveled the world with me. It sits on a bookshelf in our home. Its contents have grown dark with age, its cap still silver and untarnished. Its lost very little in volume and when its cap is removed, as it was this morning, it still faintly yields a scent of her.

I lost her to heaven not long afterwards. She was so very young.

Ritualistically each Christmas I walk into my office and take down her last gift to me. I hold it, turn it slowly in my hands and remember.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Glock Magazines

This morning, as I waited for Sweet Wife's return from church, I searched the web for Glock model 17 magazines.

Why - guess I was bored. That and the fact my Kel-Tec Sub2000 wears the Glock 17's so very nicely...she likes to dress when she has a night on the town. Basic black, don't 'ya know...

So I hit Google and hit Google and for my efforts I read, 'Out of Stock,' over and over and over. I limited my search to Glock model 17 mags. There are a few ten rounders out there, but very few.

Many places, it seems, flatly refuse to 'stock' or offer handgun magazines on their virtual shelves. I will not name names but Cheaper Than Dirt was guilty of this practice (guilt disease) and it (excuse my language) pisses me off.

This proves my lifelong habit of multiple-magazine purchases and the hoarding of same will prove very valuable in the very near future in far more ways than one.

If, you have a nice stock pile of various magazines, protect your investment. If, like many, you failed to gather those minimum requirements of ten per weapon....well, shucks, good luck to you.

Now, remember, legislation has been written, that if passed, will ban 'clips' (heh) which hold over ten rounds. This doesn't mean (yeah, right) it will pass. So, you still have time. When you next hit the range with your buddies, go ahead, reach over and pinch his or hers and stuff your range bag full.

Trust me, they'll never miss 'em.

(Both Senior and Duke jump from their chairs and rush to take stock of their supplies.)


My Last (and His) Words on the Subject

"When a strong man, fully armed, guards his palace, his possessions are safe."

Jesus, Luke 11:21.

Just saying....


Saturday, December 22, 2012

My Day

In a picture....

This is a photo of my knee, as I sit and wait, covered with my lovely wife's partial selections of my gifts to her. I shall title this picture, 'The Chair in Hell.'

Until tomorrow, good night. I'm tired.



We're busy. The siren call of the road has its hold upon us.

I mean - I must shop for the wife. she tags along. Reckon she doesn't trust me?

Oh, forgot. She asked what I'd like for Christmas. I said, "Anything firearms related."

Hint, hint.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Today and Today Only

As soon as I catch a break I shall rush forth and get a beautiful 'I Survived The End of the World' tattoo.

I understand they're half price until noon.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's Old NFO's Fault

Here's mine.

Oops,'s from last year.

H/T Rev. Paul and OLD NFO.


My Friend

Hurry over and visit my friend, Duke. He has a great idea on how to put a stop to school shootings. Our group had its Christmas party last night and we all agreed his idea makes sense. Granted, many on the left will wet their collective panties when they hear of his solution. On the other hand, I love it.



Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Weekend Project

I need to take my mind off current events, as its given me a huge headache. So, let's cook.

 I really, really, like bread pudding. Here's a new recipe I found this morning.

Sinful Bread Pudding
Adapted from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

+ 6 cups baguette or ciabatta, cut or torn into 1-inch chunks
+ 4 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing
+ 2 cups half-and-half
+ 3/4 cup maple syrup
+ 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
+ a pinch of salt
+ 3 tablespoons rum or whiskey
+ 4 eggs
+ 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Over low heat in a small saucepan butter, half and half, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt and liquor until the butter just melts. In the meantime, butter an 8x8 baking dish or a casserole that fits 1.5 quarts.
2. Put bread pieces into casserole and pour the slightly cooled milk mixture on top. Let sit for a few minutes, submerging any pieces of bread that rise to the top.
3. Beat the eggs lightly, and pour over the bread mixture along with the chocolate chips. Stir gently, being careful not to tear up too many of the bread pieces.
4. Bake for 45 minutes. The center will be a little wobbly still, but it will set as it cools. Serve warm.



Lord, Help Us

Really? This is Obama's pick?

Story here.

Biden doesn't know the difference between a pile of dog poop and apple butter, much less firearms. Like I said, Lord help us.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Never Again

I shall never again spend a penny at Wal-Mart. Never did shop at Dick's Sporting Goods as I always thought of the place a metro-sexual joint.

Seems each has decided, as is their right, to pull semi-auto sporting rifles from the shelves.

Ragnar and Mel have rolled in their graves.


Bits & Pieces

It's here. Satisfy yourself to the idea of gun control, then deal with it.

Get thyself to your local gun store and purchase a battle rifle. Yes, I said battle rifle. The media refers to them as assault weapons. Also, deal with the fact 'high' capacity magazines will soon go the way of dinosaurs.

If you own (and you should) a basic battle rifle, like the AR-15 or M1A, twenty round magazines will soon triple in value. Handgun magazines over the ten round limit will be worth their weight in gold. Even ammunition, I fear, will see strict regulation. You've been warned.

Don't cry, fight. It isn't over yet but rest assured 'they' will win, with the blood of innocent children, to pave their path to complete victory. If you'd like an example take a good look at Great Britain.


Christmas finally arrived at my home. Sweet Wife took me by the ear and we went forth and purchased a fresh tree. She then insisted I climb into the attic and retrieve the heavy boxes of ornaments and then, get this, made me help her decorate the tree. She's mean that way....

Anyhow, now you know how I spent my weekend.


If you're not aware today is my 'Monday' here at the shop. The city has a work crew outside on an adjoining street hell bent on blocking my parking lot and the complete destruction of my business during this the busiest time of the year.  (example - I wrote the last sentence two hours ago.)

So far three members of the work crew have asked to use my head (restroom) and have each walked out with a cup of coffee.

It'll be a long week.


My best buddy, Duke, came by for a visit last week and left me with a jar of jam...he's so thoughtful.

He begged me for a plug of his blog...

And, he knows I always keep my word.

The Fuzzy Navel Jam went well with my Sunday morning toast and eggs. Thanks, Bubba.


Please forgive me the lack of edit...I just haven't the time.


Sunday, December 16, 2012


This is the first opportunity I've had to touch a computer long enough to write. That, and I'm just not in the mood to chit-chat.


I'll try to update this afternoon. At the moment the wife awaits. I hear her toe tapping and she has a stern look on her face...seems a day of Christmas shopping is in my future.

About the tragedy; short and simple - it was awful. God bless the parents. Sadly, we'll pay for the idiots crimes. News coverage this morning, as you well know, is all related to gun control.

It will happen. Count on it, and prepare.

P.S., Charles Schumer can bite my a$$.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Now, This is Progress


Applications for the permits in the state of 19.1 million people have doubled since 2007. Only 0.3 percent of the more than 2 million total permits issued since 1987 have been revoked, said Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

Story here. 

New Yorkers have collectively peed their panties.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gunsmoke Worthy

Once, many moons ago, Little Bit came to me and stood with big brown eyes, all serious. "Papa," she asked, "Am I Gunsmoke worthy?"

After assurance she smiled and climbed into my lap. Afterwards, when she visited, and if Gunsmoke was scheduled, we'd share the program as one. It was our little thing. To be granted status as Gunsmoke worthy meant one was qualified to watch Papa's favorite show and knew silence was the rule. And, one never, ever, tried to watch any other program when Gunsmoke was aired. Never.

Sweet Wife has lost her Gunsmoke worthy status.

Blame it on Hallmark. Believe it or not.

If you work for Hallmark you're on my list.



We have gray skies and it's cool and the rain falls hard. Now, it feels like December. I enjoy the soothing sound of rain.

I've less than two weeks to increase the bottom line of my business so please excuse me if my notes are less than frequent.

Time for another cup of coffee. Join me, why don't you.



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Something New

Since I haven't eaten more than a speck of food over the last few days I want to try something new. I have never prepared Creamed Spinach. It's about time.

The recipe can be found here.

I suppose it's very apparent I'm hungry.


Monday, December 10, 2012

The Best Laid Plans

Isn't it interesting how the best laid plans, once declared, slap you back to earth. I believe it was last week I wrote and informed everyone within hailing distance I planned to work six days a week through the month of December.  Yeah, right.

Many weeks ago, due to chapped lips, I developed a crack in my lower lip. Sucker wouldn't heal. I applied the wax in a bottle stuff several times a day. I was very careful with the wound. It would partially heal but it seemed each and every time I opened my mouth the upper portion of the wound would re-open. Then, last Friday, I noticed I didn't feel very well and my lip was extremely sore, painful. I applied more of the wax in the bottle.

By Friday evening the whole of my lower jaw was tender to the touch. It hurt. My lower lip had swollen to twice its size. Doctor time.

Long story short it seems my old nemesis, staff infection, had returned and kissed me hello.

At the doc's office the nice nurse told me to drop my trousers. Sweet Wife giggled. I manned up and took the shot like a big boy. Three days later and my butt still hurts. As I write my lip has reduced in size and I feel somewhat better but here I am at home...and my business is closed.

All this to explain my absence and I'm truly sorry for my silence but to tell you the truth I haven't felt well enough to write. Ever tried to eat and drink with a lower lip the size of a baseball.

I swear I thought I heard the nurse giggle when my trousers hit the floor...


Our weather is hot. I hate it. Of course I'm not in a seasonal mood but cool windy weather is best for those out cruising for evergreens.

I do so miss the days when I'd take saw and ax in hand and jump into my truck and ride the logging roads of Western Washington, my lab by my side, in search of our Christmas tree. The sky gray, light rain. We'd ride and climb to the higher elevations where tiny white puffs of snow peppered my trucks windshield. Dixie, my black lab, insisted I lower her window so she'd not miss one trace of grouse scent.

We'd drive for hours. Frequent stops to measure and test each tree. I'd judge the trees on limb spacing, height, and ease of retrieval as most were located on steep hill sides either above or beneath the logging road. Most were Douglas Fir but occasionally I'd opt for the rare Royal Fir with its circular and even spaced branches.

We owned an old Victorian in those days. It had been built high on a hill with an overview of Puget Sound and there was a beautiful clear and cold creek just yards from our back door. From our living room we had views of two mountain ranges, each wore a year round coat of snow.

When I'd arrive home with the tree I carefully measure and remove a small section of the trunk and place it in the old cast iron stand of faded green and red and carry the tree into the living room and next to the window with the best view of the mountains. Afterwards, when the Christmas tree was dressed, we'd lower the lights and silently stand and admire its beauty.

I remember my last Christmas under the mountains. My last Christmas tree of my last season stood freshly dressed as outside the snowfall was reflected by its dance of red and green and orange light. I remember the tree was a Douglas Fir found high in the Cascades and I remember I had shot three Blue grouse and my lab had retrieved each and placed them gently in my hand. I remember we'd eaten our lunch while sitting upon an long ago cut red ceder stump and watched a bear work its way across a canyon as a lone raven circled the thermals. I remember it as a good day.

Sadly, I cannot remember physical gifts of my last Christmas under the mountains. I do, however, remember the gifts of the tree and its lights and the beauty of the snow and the vistas presented from the windows of my old Victorian home and the smell of firewood and fir and the aroma of fresh baked cookies.

Mostly I remember the happiness.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

It's Nice

To have my boots off. Yes, I'm still alive just very tired. So far it's been a very busy week at the shop, and as a result, I have little time to write or for that matter, read.

Not complaining mind you, it's a good thing. And, I'm very sorry I haven't had the time to visit all your blogs. Hopefully this next weekend I'll find time to say hello.

Now, let's change the subject. I spotted my son's car this morning. It was brief as he crossed the street on his way, I'm sure, to deliver my Little Bit to school. I didn't see her as he was gone in a blink. Still, it made my heart flutter for just a second. Then the encounter just made me damn sad.

Not in much of a Christmas mood.

I miss the little girl.



Sunday, December 2, 2012

Bits & Pieces

You'll never believe what Sweet Wife has on the television...go ahead, guess.


Between work and my duties to keep my lovely wife entertained - I'm tired. My feet are sore and I just don't feel all that great. It's been a very long day. After the morning service Sweet Wife arrived home, loaded me into the car, and instructed me to drive.

I said, "Yes, Dear."

I'm a lethally quick study.

 Our first stop was a friend's yard sale. Since we arrived on the second day of the sale all the good stuff, read firearms, had fled the room. I was able (buy phone purchase) to walk away with a Coleman stove and a couple of spare parts. I did grab a large bag of 'fat-wood' kindling. Sure perfumed the car. Told Sweet Wife we should leave it inside as a permanent fixture. She smiled.

Anyway, my friend needed the help and I truly hope his little girls have a big smile this Christmas. He offered his four year old to us whenever we needed company. I told him to be careful as I need a child around and just might not return the little bundle of love. We shall take him at his word and then I'll just spoil the girl before/if I return her.

We then did a bit of this and that and after a pecan sticky bun and a cup of coffee at Paneras we hit the market. Sweet Wife wanted another pot of chili. After a quick hair cut I arrived home and built a pot of my world famous kick 'ya in the butt goodness.

The lady just finished a bowl. Now here's the thing; she's satisfied, warm and has her girly Hallmark program on the tube...soon she will fall asleep and I'll have a quiet evening until bed time. Hallmark will take a ride...


Since we're dead into the Christmas holidays business has increased so I will open the shop six days a week through the rest of December. As they say, make hay and all that stuff. As it is my feet are sore so by the end of the month I'll probably be crippled...but with a smile.

Take care.