Sunday, July 30, 2017


I asked our neighbor and good friend if I could take the photo above for this week's post. Told him that it is a good representation of Mother Nature taking over. It is the same here on our hill, but the camera liked this example. I also noted that there are only so many photos I can share around our home for blogging examples.

I had seen this above photo a week earlier helping him move a piece of equipment. Below is what I did not see that day.

 Bee Balm welcoming along the incoming driveway.

Black Eyed Susans and white Daisies.

More Susans.

And his wife's lily garden; the other half of the garden circling around to the right is a repeat. 

Their German Shepard announced my arrival outside of their house and out they came. I told her how beautiful her yard was in full bloom. And I am a guy and I do not think we (should not speak for others) guys are prone to noticing all of this. But the natural beauty she has brought out over her years of planting and gardening has also taken over.  It is magnificent. Add here a few chickens clucking and the squawking of guinea hens.


Mother Nature has here way along our country back roads and is easy to find just for the looking. 


We built our home eons ago. Seems eons. The property looked like a war zone when all was said and done. The land had been logged a few years previously for the cream of the crop trees. We blew the top of the hill off for home placement. There was nothing but ledge and big rock where we stood and looked at the ridge lines and peak of the hills that formed our view to the south. But that view and that spot was where we wanted to set roots. Boom, the rocks were turned to pebbles and our new home began.

We moved in late fall that year. Early photos show the new house with a few survivor trees around the site. Sparse and not our vision of the new home located in beautiful green, New England fall foliage and white winters.


I took this photo that first winter. I was learning PhotoShop and played with this to become Christmas cards that season. It is a good representation of fifteen years ago.

Same with our neighbors and friends above. New home built and area wounded from construction work. They are close by in rural measurements. Now too nestled in overgrowing and encroaching green. Do not get me wrong. Here and there, all of this is breathing taking beautiful. Peaceful, quiet and just a few minutes away from as much hustle humans want or need.  But Mother Nature, left unchecked, is always on the march.


This is our view today, looking from that front porch. This also a good photo showing how the forest turns black black just a few feet in. A rainy day helps the effect.


Ol' Remus #488 opening remarks. 


Thanks for the visit. What needs to be run/ran or charged up this week?

Sunday, July 23, 2017


Ruby was the little dog running with the big dogs last weekend at a pool party we were invited to. A fluffy dog and I am not sure what breed she is. I have always been a big dog fan. 

What caught my attention, that day, was that Ruby was running and swimming circles around the big dogs. She was a streak of blond moving through the black of dogs. And if dogs show their happiness through running and playing, it might be that Ruby was the happiest. 

When all was said and done, dogs relaxing in the shade, I could not help to notice that sopping wet Ruby tugged at my heart. I never want to pick up a little dogs and give love or the "oochy choochy talk." But this wet-haired muppet looked up and me and the "pick up the little dog" urge hit me. I did not because she was leashed and I had camera in hand. But on this day, Ruby got my vote. 


 "Dead Eye", as his grandparents call him, was given his first BB gun a few weeks ago. Grandpa has been teaching gun safety out of the box and DE is taking to it like a duck to water. Carries the BB gun a Port Arms and when on the move,  adjusts the direction of the gun when walking down gravel roads and trails as Grandpa and dad have taught. This is a big moment in the lives of young men. 

If you were ever given a BB gun, your first BB gun, and taught how to use it, then this moment will touch you as it does many folks who tell stories of being with parents and grandparents, out on the lands plinking sticks or shooting debris in the river. This time that youngsters spend in the company of the older generations cements forever. 

It is also a big moment for grandparents and parents watching the next generations take to old traditions. First driving of electric then motorized vehicles around the farm. DE and siblings learning how to plant a garden, feed the chickens, collect the eggs and help grandma make cookies and the joy of the little ones giving their first home made cake to dad for his birthday. There is deep goodness in these formative years for kids and full circle satisfactions for parents and grandparents. 

It is with pleasure some of us old folks sit back and enjoy moments like this. We know that there will be much transfer of knowledge to other life problem-solving moments for these youngsters. Some of that knowledge will have come from their time spent on the farm and with family. We also know that someday, these ways and stories of their first BB gun will be passed on around the family dinner tables and gatherings at evening outdoor camp fires. They will remember the first birthday cake they made for their father's birthday. Gets ya right here!! Tradition!! 



A flank steak will serve 4 folks and yield well done, medium rare and rare cuts. Photo above shows the rare middle of the steak. 
-marinate as you like and the trick is in the quick, high-heat grilling. I usually grill 4 minutes on either side and do not open the top while grilling.


Zucchini, yellow squash and bush green beans just now coming on. First pickings this week and looks like quite a few more meals ahead. Her uses the microwave bags and cooks for about 3 minutes with veggies sliced and sprinkled with salt and some olive oil. We also add a garden chopped green onion. Simple and heavenly.

All of our herbs are in full production, too. Cherry tomatoes just coming on mid-week along with Roma's. Hot, wet and humid weather here for awhile and the garden is loving it. What a difference. We had all but given up on any of what we planted, but it appears to me we were rushing summer.

There is no explaining the taste of homegrown garden vegetables. There is a crunch and freshness that is a part of what summer tastes like. 

Give the flank steak a try on the grill. Easy preparation and grilling. Great flavor. If you do not have the option to grow some of your own summer vegetables, then seek out a farm stand. You will help support local farmers and also enjoy this taste of summer.

The two containers of broth in the photo are from prepping fresh chicken for our Golden's daily meals.  Fresh/frozen chicken broth is one of this house's secret cooking ingredients.




If you are in a rush, fast forward to 16:00 minute mark where she starts her  routine.


A Great New England Week

Weather hot, some humidity and few thunder storms. All in all, one of the summer weeks we can boast of. Banana splits for dinner Friday night followed by a good movie.

Raided son's DVD collection and are good for a few weeks of older releases we have wanted to watch. Sooooooooooooooooo exhausted of all media.

Appreciate the visit and have a wonderful week.

Sunday, July 16, 2017


Post #72. Over 6500 hits from around the world. These hits, in two years of posting, are barely a grain of sand on the blog beech. It never passed on my radar that some day I would be writing as a hobby and have the stories read by folks around the world. None of this is earthshaking. Maybe a reason why some folks stop by. 

Initial intents here were to touch on stories and thoughts of working concerns and challenges of down times. Been a few years here now that some of this has been on the forefront of thinking and acting to some degree. To the point now where we feel we are about as ready as one couple could be. We have also realized that there is no way we can/could be ready for all the downs talked about in cloud country. 

Our age and times now teach us that less is more. I wish I would have started downsizing a few years ago. I was a little younger, things were easier, I had more energy, but it is hard to let go of things. Not so much now. 

The better half is also ready to start to shed some of the dust collection.  A lake fishing  boat sold to a family with youngsters, a vehicle listed for sale and weekly dump runs using the utility trailer. Planning to move woodworking tools to son's shop soon. Eventually they go to him, why not now? 

There is something to be said for more elbow room. Funny that we spend our lives purchasing, collecting and working possessions. Not a bad thing if "they" yield a quality of life, but at some point the maintenance becomes too much. I have mentally tested the pulling of a shop drawer, taking it to the dump and letting it all go. But life has taught me that as soon as I throw away something I have not needed in ten years, I would need it later that afternoon. Or more likely, the wife will ask me for something out of that drawer that very same day.

The cooking of bigger meals with side dishes also losing out to downsizing and simplicity. I understand why we look for someone to invite us over for holiday meals. What do you want us to bring? Problem is most of our peers are also seeking the same "someone else prepared meal invitation."

The big turkey dinner, with all the fixins, is very close to being a hot deli turkey sandwich covered in gravy and a small dish of fruit salad. All served on paper plates or in bowls. Not sure we can cross that bridge of purchasing the dessert pumpkin pie yet. And no, not going to a restaurant.

I think the onset of winter though will always find soups and stews simmering on the stove. Throw in meats and bones, greens, potatoes, seasonings and a few cups of broth or water. The smell of home cooking around me is still a keeper. A hot steaming bowl served, warm rolls with melting butter and dipped into the cool corner of soup bowl. 

I look at youngsters bending and rolling like I used to and wonder how and the hell they do that. Saw a young woman with child on her back bending down to the bottom row of canned goods at the store the other day. I did not even know there are bottom rows of canned goods anymore. I asked the young gal how she does that and she laughed. I asked if she could keep up the physical moving and activity till the evening hours and she admitted it a challenge. God Bless!

The dog is older too, white faced and slowing down. Harder for her to jump out of the truck and even now, shows some difficulty walking the 4 small stairs from the garage into the kitchen. I think she is relying on rote memory for foot placement on our last outing at night. But she is a good old girl and never ever complains. 

We are getting old together. As is the cat, who also deserves some mention here. How she has lasted this long and is as old as I am. Damn if she has not completely eradicated a full family of mice over the course of this past month during her nights outside. She is a persnickety old girl and gives no quarter to her owners. I think the cat would be the last one walking the property here in a serious after. Three more mice yesterday. A new family meeting kitty.

The Dodge truck is 14 years old with a hundred and eighty seven thousand miles. She does not leak oil, but uses a quart over the course of 3000 miles. Her water hoses needed some tightening recently and I have hidden some of her rust with black hundred mile an hour tape. Son installed a new seat for my birthday. Was thinking of trading her in on something newer; go in debt for a government controlled truck. But I have decided to keep the Dodge. She too has been a good old gal to this family. Her value is in her history and her ability to keep on going. Wife noticed, on a recent two vehicle trip, that the old Dodge has just dropped a left rear shock absorber. Ya think it would have lasted more than a 187K miles!





After the Bear Passes Through

The main bird feeder was downed this past week indicating "the bear" has made a pass through. I have learned that letting the bear easily have the bird feeder is the best of all bear worlds. I have tried to out-fox the bear, and lost every time. The bird feeder is losing a little ground every season with broken shingles and roof. But a much easier problem to solve vs the other damage the bear does to get at a feeder hanging in a tree. The bear is welcome to pass through and do what the bear does. The feeder is now back on the rotten stump and the order in creatures' world restored. 



Saving the Little Trees

Her is seasonally consistent with the desire to save trees. Self-starters that find themselves in the wrong garden, rock wall or stair step. A little tree that happened one day out of nowhere. She pulls with roots dangling, side shovels closest pile of dirt into pot, stuffs said roots down, covers and waters to her delight. Each tree is explained to me that "we" will find a place to plant it before first frosts set in. It is the "we" that gets lost in translation here.



Gardens and flowers seem late this year. Garlic is on time though and it all just could be me. 

Daylilies starting to bloom here and there. They are quick and offer a brief window for photography. Color and detail are hard for me to bring to light here, but getting a little better. 

Her calls many of the lilies growing here on the hill, "ditch lilies" because they can be found along the roads edge and hiking paths.

I will share more just for the fun of a little photography, editing and adding some color to these pages. Time of the season to do that anyway.



This caught my eye. "Snot Snakes" and apparently a delicacy. Problem was that these were strewn all over the road in the state of Oregon. The person who got out of the car in the first photo has a great story to tell.

Never been a fan of eyeballs, brain, tongue or fish with heads served on a platter. Or tails, feet and the such. I did eat tongue once but was not told it was tongue. I commented that it was very good and made the mistake of asking. Looking back now, I bet Grandmother and parents "snuck" a few animal items by me at the dinner table on the ranch thinking "the kid will never know." I remember flavors that were explained that they came from the "old country." I remember Rutabagas being added to the mashed potatoes. It was a way of getting more meal mileage out of a large bowl of mashed potatoes and getting the rutabagas eaten. I was able to eat that mixture provided there was a good dollop of butter added on top. Rutabaga by itself is bitter. 

I cannot foresee a time where these little creatures, in their gooey mess, will ever be a seafood I will eat.

Get a chore done that you hate doing this week. Hug a friend, laugh out loud and treat yourself time with a good meal. Thanks for stopping in.

Sunday, July 9, 2017


It was with great excitement I went to son's home the other morning to hear his stories of his past weeks' attending utility lineman's "Bare Hand" course. The course teaches Journeyman lineman how to work on electrical lines and structures while the lines are still energized.

The term "bonding on" refers to linemen becoming a part of an electrical circuit. In the photo above, a student is wearing a "Faraday cage" suit that protects him during the course of repair or construction work on energized power lines. This particular photo was taken as the students accomplished the specific requirements to work "hot" lines in the dark of night. 

Son explained that once bonded on and becoming a part of the electrical circuit, that it becomes a "whole new world... like stepping into another dimension..........I can hear what end of the line the power is generated from............I can hear where switches are thrown on or off and where they are located in the circuit--to the left or to the right of a line run-------I cannot raise my hands far above my head easily because the magnetic force field is pushing being inside a balloon and pushing against the outer walls of the balloon..."

There are currently less than 800 linemen with his qualifications in the world. Yep, in the world.

(By way of explanation: Lawyers pass a bar exam and become licensed only to work in a given state. They cannot practice law in other states or parts of the world with that specific license. These linemen qualify out of schooling to practice their craft anywhere in the world. They are licensed to do so and recognized in the industry to do so) 

He said that there has never been an injury, accident or death within this elite group doing this kind of work. And after learning all that goes into prepping a job and job site, I better understand the safety record. This a very serious business and these are very serious, very highly trained and very skilled men.

There was a day I would have been most happy for this youngster to just clean his room and get laundry in a basket. Today I look at his work, math equation solutions, electrical line drawings and asked him how in the hell does he know how to do all of this? Where did all of this come from? He smiles and says he loves the work. The challenge. That algebra comes easy to him.  Algebra comes easy to him?? 

I learned from him early on that if he was interested in something, it "came easy to him." I think there is a lesson here.

I so wish I could take credit for some of this but cannot. 

In this crazy world we live in, there are still very special people doing very special jobs and continuing to build, maintain and protect the world we live.

There are a long line of hard working family fore fathers that are applauding this young man today, in the keeping of family histories alive.

Thanks for the visit today. Have a very good week and as always, heads up.

Sunday, July 2, 2017


I have often thought of my father's years and all that historically happened in his life time. The changes in the world and humanity were monumental. He built a life, adapted, coped and his life time were worthy of a book, had only I given thought to years of documentation and asking questions.

I sat down and recapped the history of my life time, thus far, to see if I could get a visual. It is the same history anyone born in 1945. We just took different paths once we were up and running. The larger historical events, over the course of these past years, have touched us all.

I have tried to omit most of the politics. Folks reading this will find events missing or items listed of no never mind. Different paths. Different views.

72 Years

Use of Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki            WWII ended

The first Baby Boomers born         Berlin Airlift                First color TV

Princess Elizabeth became Queen                Segregation ruled illegal

First atomic submarine launched 

Polio vaccine given to children in a massive trial

Disneyland opened and McDonald's founded

Rosa Parks refused to give up seat on a bus to a white man

Elvis Presley               TV remote invented

My first airplane ride in a Cessna 120

The start of the space race in 1957 with the launch of Sputnik

NASA created                LEGOs introduced

Fidel Castro became the dictator of Cuba         First weather satellite launched 

Soviets shoot down Gary Powers in U2 Spy Plane

50 star flag comes to be with Hawaii admission into the union.

First televised presidential debate

First man made sub-orbital space flight       

John Glenn first US astronaut to orbit earth                 Cuban missile crisis

Reciting the lords prayer/bible verses became unconstitutional in public schools

Martin Luther King “I Have a Dream” speech.

Assassination of President John F. Kennedy.            Beatles arrive in America 

Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) becomes world boxing champion

Civil Rights legislation banning discrimination in jobs, voting & accommodations

The Vietnam War       Medicare for folks over 65 and older begins        

First Super Bowl

USS Pueblo is seized by North Korea and holds the vessel still to this day.

Civil Rights Leader, Martin Luther King is assassinated

Neil Armstrong is the first man to set foot on the moon.

Internet is invented                          Voting age lowered from 21 to 18

Microprocessor chip developed        Watergate                 Roe vs Wade

Secretariat wins Belmont by 31 lengths.                

President Nixon resigned.                          Viking 1 lands on Mars

Microsoft becomes a registered trademark

Three Mile Island nuclear power plant partial meltdown

First space craft visits Saturn                         Mt. Saint Helen's erupts

Space shuttle first launch               IBM introduces first personal computer

Vietnam Memorial dedicated 

My son is born 

Sally Ride becomes first woman to travel in space

First versions of Windows operating system

Challenger space shuttle explodes on take off

First patent for genetic engineered animal issued

Exxon Valdez oil tanker goes aground in Alaska's prince William Sound

Berlin Wall built and dismantled               Hubble Space telescope placed in orbit

The Gulf War          World Trade Center bombed                Waco Standoff 

The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act signed into law

NAFTA goes into effect               World Series canceled to baseball players strike

Oklahoma City domestic terrorism attack

Space shuttle docks with Russian space station

Monica Lewinsky and President Bill Clinton

Osama bin Laden published fatwa                   Euro currency introduced

Tiger Woods - first golfer to hold all four major golf titles at the same time

WTC in New York City attacked                  Anthrax attacks by postal mail

USA and allies commence first attacks in War on Terrorism

Space Shuttle Columbia explodes upon re-entry.

Facebook                               Hurricane Katrina

Nancy Pelosi, first woman speaker of the House of Representatives

The 50 Star Flag becomes the longest flying flag in American History.

First African American President

Largest Oil Spill in American History in the Gulf of Mexico

Tea Party Movement          The end of the NASA space shuttle program

First license of cars without drivers                     3D Printing

Obamacare                           Ebola                          Terrorism

Media Fake News   Artificial intelligence    Drones     Cell phones    Social media

My shoulders run out of cartilage.


Yep, things missing and maybe some no never mind.

I heard it mentioned on the radio a few weeks ago, I think by one of the fellows what was sitting in for Rush, that for the past 72 years, our country and people have grown up, prospered and lived in times of peace. World War being the experience common to our ancestors, but not common for us.

Is it possible that during this time in our history, we have come to believe that all things peaceful rule order of the day? That enemies can be discounted through words and tolerance of violent behavior? That violence from one segment of our society is acceptable behavior towards another segment of our society? 

There is no long-term up-side of a country at war with itself. 


A Holographic Projection


Thanks for your time visiting here this week. Celebrate Independence Day 2017 with family and friends.